A few years ago in Smalltown, CA a burning cross was placed in the lawn of a visible minority family. Although the media seemed shocked at this explicit racial attack and portrayed the attackers as a group of abnormal, twisted deviants, I was not surprised. As an Asian student who is writing her Sociology honours thesis on visible minorities in Canada, I know on a personal and academic level that racism in Canada does exist. Although explicit racial incidents are not a common occurrence, they do happen. Here at school, a visible minority student left the school when a car sped past her, while the young men inside shouted racial slurs. Two weeks ago The school paper published an article about a group of International students who experienced racially motivated discriminatory service at restaurant. Last month I attended a meeting about racism, and a number of students related explicit stories about experiencing racism in Tinyville.
More often, racism is expressed in subtle ways, and is not recognized as racism. Although social scientists do not like using the term race since it is a socially constructed category based on inaccurate assumptions about phenotypical and biological differences between human groups, race still holds social currency since perceived racial differences leads to unequal power, privilege, and social prestige. Ignoring race would mean ignoring the reality of racism. Racism takes forms that include social ostracism, employment discrimination, and racial prejudice.
One Mt. A student related experiencing social ostracism and prejudice at Mt.A. "People are less willing to get to know me and most people view Black people negatively. 'Yo, whatsup?!' That stereotypical treat...
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...ral nation. Multiculturalism is unfortunately only a vague discourse that tokenizes cultures, ignoring the reality of racial conflict. Mary Pipher, discussing sexism, observes that "The lip service paid to equality makes the reality of discrimination even more confusing." Although overt forms of racism are rare, covert forms of prejudice and discrimination against visible minorities still exist. Further, racism is not only evident in individuals, but on institutional and national levels. Although it is tempting to ignore racism and deny that it exists, ignoring racism will not make it go away.
Miedema, Baukje (Bo) and Evangelina Tastsoglou. "But Where Are You From Originally? Immigrant Women and Integration in the Maritimes." Atlantis 24.2 (Spring/Summer 2000): 82-91. 25 Jan. 2003. http://www.stmarys.ca/academic/arts/sociology/tasto/pubs/atlantis.pdf
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