Racial Discrimination in Canada and Its Impact on the Social Life of Canadians
Students will select a topic of interest while conforming to the following criteria:
1. The focus on the paper must be on issues of race/racism/ethnicity/Indigeneity
2. The paper must be from a Canadian context
3. The paper must link your argument to at least one theory from the course (e.g. democratic racism, biological racism, cultural racism, critical race theory, anti-racism, hidden/formal curriculum, spatialized justice, etc…)
4. The paper must be an analytical paper
5. Use at least five primary scholarly sociological sources (i.e., scholarly books, peer reviewed journal articles) that are relevant to your topic. Course readings and sources that are not scholarly can be used sparingly, but will not be counted as part of the required five scholarly sources.
The length of this final essay will be 5-6 pages double-spaced (12pt times roman font), plus a title page and works cited page
Racial Discrimination in Canada and Its Impact on the Social Life of Canadians
Introduction and Background
Racial discrimination is a major social concern in Canada and it has resulted in adverse social impact. Cities such as Toronto, Ontario, and Halifax have reported cases of racism. The Canadian government has established comprehensive laws and policies on human rights that protect persons against racial discrimination (Benoit et al., 2019). However, the incidence of racism has increased in the past decade, especially towards aboriginal groups as well as other communities such as the Japanese, Jewish, Africans, Chinese, Muslims, and South Asians (Dryden & Nnorom, 2021). The Human Rights Agency based in Ontario describes groups or communities encountering racism as racialized. Indeed, from a sociological perspective, race is merely a social construct; thus, society formulates perspectives of race based on economic, historical, geographic, cultural, social and human-physical factors.
Racism refers to prejudice, antagonism or discrimination by a person, institution or community against an individual or people based on their affiliation or association to a given ethnic or racial group, usually a marginalized or minority community. Racism in Canada emerges in social sphere through racial jokes, hate crimes, and slurs often directed to minority groups (Dua et al., 2005). Certainly, the portrayal of stereotypical beliefs, values, and attitudes during interactions with persons of a different racial heritage is a demonstration of racism. Racial discrimination which is an unlawful demonstration of racism takes several forms in Canada; it could emerge through name-calling or insults, racial jokes and comments (Van Sant et al., 2021). In Canada, incidents of racial discrimination may manifest through various forms: assignment to lowly or undesirable jobs, being denied access to training and mentoring programs, limited access to apartment or housing service due to aboriginal ancestry, and unnecessary or prejudicial scrutiny from police officers due to black heritage (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). An analytical review of racial discrimination in Canada and its impact on the social or community life of Canadians is paramount for the discussion.
Types of Racism in Canada
Systemic or Structural Racism
Structural racism is a challenge in the Canadian social system and it adversely affects the racialized communities as well as the indigenous groups. Indeed, structural racism refers to the forms through which white superiority and whiteness becomes strongly embedded in the processes and policies within an institution thereby resulting in a framework or system that favors the white community (Benoit et al., 2019). On the other hand, the system disadvantages the minority groups or BIPOC (blacks, indigenous or persons of color) in the area of education, employment, social participation, and justice (Van Sant et al., 2021). From a historical stand point, Canada was a settler-oriented colonial state whereby systemic racial bias was deeply entrenched within the state systems (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). In essence, the social, economic, and political systems of Canada were designed to favor the members of the white community while discriminating against the indigenous persons or communities that occupied the lands before the onset of colonialism.
Cultural and Racial Discrimination in Canada
Ethnic and racial bias and discrimination are adverse social elements encountered in Canada. In the Canadian Capital Toronto, there have been major cases of racism; therefore, they have had a negative impact on the development of the social fabric in Canada. The Canadian government has taken critical steps through comprehensive formulation of laws and crucial policies to limit the occurrence of racial discrimination and discourage the practice among the citizenry (Van Sant et al., 2021). However, the incidence of racism has skyrocketed in the past few years, especially with regard to the aboriginal communities and other key minority groups such as the Chinese, Muslims, and Japanese (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). In Ontario, the provincial administration has implemented policies that protect the cultural heritage and decency of all the racial groups with the aim of promoting a cohesive and culturally inclusive society.
Racism and Its Impact on the Social Life of Canadians
The Impact of Systemic or Structural Racism
Over the years, the practices and structures of systemic racism have been propagated to the modern society in Canada. A 2016 report from a non-governmental agency in Canada indicated that both Black men and women living in Vancouver, Canada had an extremely limited opportunity to access post-secondary education in comparison to men and women drawn from other ethnic groups (Dryden & Nnorom, 2021). Further, the Statistics Department in Canada highlights in their 2018 employment report that the unemployment level or rate for members of the black community was about 1.5 times higher in comparison to the other racial and ethnic groups in Canada (Van Sant et al., 2021). Fundamentally, the illustrations above present the view that systemic racism is a social that bedevils Canada (Dryden & Nnorom, 2021). However, the federal and provincial administrations in Canada have instituted measures through policy formulation and reformation of laws to limit the impact of structural racism while promoting a cohesive and racially-equal society.
The Impact of Cultural and Racial Discrimination in Canada
Indeed, from a sociological standpoint, the matter of ethnicity can be used as a foundation for cultural bias since some persons believe that the affiliation to a given culture or ethnic culture gives them prominence and high status in society compared to other persons (Van Sant et al., 2021). Therefore, the Canadian society formulates idealizations on the race and ethnicity while establishing inclinations to the socio-economic and political dynamics of the society. Fundamentally, the Canadian society can experience a significant shift in the manner of ending cultural and racial discrimination if the beliefs, perspectives, and attitudes of people can change in view of other cultures and ethnic association.
Undoubtedly, the reports of racial bias and discrimination are common in Canadian provinces and cities such as Manitoba and Quebec. Racism in Canada stems from the social framework created through the practice of racial insults, hate words and actions, and prejudices that are usually directed to persons affiliated to minority groups such as the black community members (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). Indeed, the representation of biased beliefs, attitudes, and express perspectives on values during interactive dialogues or ordinary interactions between persons of different racial heritage may breed the emergence of racism (Benoit et al., 2019).
Canada’s History and Its Relevance to Modern Forms of Racism
Racial discrimination in Canada can be traced back to the colonial era whereby the White community created systems and policies that limited the freedom, willpower, and intellect of the enslaved community as well as the indigenous communities (Benoit et al., 2019). Some of the practices have creeped back through the activities of the modern generation whereby the racialized groups feel that they are being unfairly treated in the socio-political and economic spheres (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). In Canada, incidents of the matter of racial discrimination appears through the ill-treatment of the black persons and the aboriginals whereby they are given prejudicial treatment through various forms of discrimination in the access to education, health, and other social amenities.
Critical Race Theory and Institutional Racism in Canada
From a sociological perspective, the critical race theory postulates several tenets. One of the fundamental tenets is that racism is a normal or ordinary practice. Further, the theory defends the matter of shared or common interests in the practice of racism. Institutional racism has a high congruence to the critical-race theory (Benoit et al., 2019). Indeed, structural racism refers to the manner or ways that enable the white superiority and open whiteness to be well-established in the processes, procedures, and programs within a facility in government or state; thus, creating a framework that strongly presents advantages to the persons belonging to the white race while causing disadvantages to the racialized or minority communities known as BIPOC (Dryden & Nnorom, 2021). In reference to the area of healthcare, the access to quality of care for the BIPOC members is limited. Further, the reach of the children from the minority groups to the top careers in medicine is limited (Benoit et al., 2019). In structural racism, the rate of unemployment is increasingly high within the aboriginal and black communities living in Canada.
The Operation of the Critical-Race Theory based on Systemic Racism
In the critical-race theory, the element of vested interests within some racial groups helps to propagates the adverse trend of limited access to employment opportunities by the minority communities (Dryden & Nnorom, 2021). The factor of social participation features prominently in regards to the critical-race theory and the lack of involvement of the BIPOC members within the executive operations of the state. In the colonial era, the persons from racialized communities were denied the rights to exercise their democratic privilege and right to cast the ballot in the elections (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). Essentially, the operations in the criminal-justice systems in Canada are reflective of the postulations established in the critical race theory in reference to the systemic racism. A high percentage of the persons incarcerated and imprisoned in Canadian correctional facilities are blacks and the indigenous people (Dryden & Nnorom, 2021). The trend is worrisome since it demonstrates the high degree of racial and institutional bias towards some racial groups and communities (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). Indeed, the critical-race theory relates strongly to the factor of structural racism experienced in Canada.
The analytical review of racial discrimination in Canada and its negative outcome on the social and community living of the people in Canada been effective in the discussion. Racism refers to prejudice or discrimination by persons, institution or community subjected to individuals on the basis of their association to a particular racial or ethnic outfit. The racialized communities experience a higher incidence of racism compared to the white dominant group (Howell & Ng-A-Fook, 2022). Racism in Canada manifests in the activities and events within the social space through racially unfair jokes and ill-treatment of persons from minority groups. The critical-race theory has a high congruence to the factor of structural racism. Certainly, the portrayal of prejudicial beliefs, ill-motive cultural values, and attitudes during interactions with persons of a different racial origin amounts to a form of racism in Canada.
Benoit, A. C., Cotnam, J., O'Brien-Teengs, D., Greene, S., Beaver, K., Zoccole, A., & Loutfy, M. (2019). Racism experiences of urban indigenous women in Ontario, Canada:“We all have that story that will break your heart”. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 10(2).
Dryden, O., & Nnorom, O. (2021). Time to dismantle systemic anti-Black racism in medicine in Canada. CMAJ, 193(2), E55-E57.
Dua, E., Razack, N., & Warner, J. N. (2005). Race, racism, and empire: Reflections on Canada. Social Justice, 32(4 (102), 1-10.
Howell, L., & Ng-A-Fook, N. (2022). A Case of Senator Lynn Beyak and Anti-Indigenous Systemic Racism in Canada. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l'éducation, 1-34.
Van Sant, L., Milligan, R., & Mollett, S. (2021). Political ecologies of race: Settler colonialism and environmental racism in the United States and Canada. Antipode, 53(3), 629-642.
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