Essay about Prejudice, Racism and the Law in Canada

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Racism and the Law in Canada

In the 1900’s a prominent English scholar Gilbert Murray said: “There is in the world a hierarchy of races;[some] will direct and rule the others, and the lower work of the world will tend in the long run to be done by the lower breeds of men. This we of the ruling colour will no doubt accept as obvious.”(Walker; 1997) It was very true at the time; everywhere you looked you could see that white men assumed all roles of responsibility. Canada has been fighting a never-ending war against racism in the 19th century. It. It has modified or created many laws to help try to combat the discrimination that exists within our country. Canada has modified its immigration act to make it less discriminatory.
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This stereotypical thinking comes from believing that all people in one group have the same characteristics. There are no laws which prohibit racism because you cannot control a persons state of mind only his actions. (Cohen; 1987)

In Canada the road to racism is compared by John Boyko to ladder the first rung being stereotypes. These stereotypes are brought to existence by popular culture such as newspapers, magazines, cartoons, and movies. The next rung is prejudice, which is the belief that stereotypes are true. These beliefs are portrayed in phrases such as, “They are all”; or “Those people”; prejudice only looks at groups not individuals. The next rung is discrimination which is an action based on prejudice. For example an employer not hiring someone because they believe the stereotypes about the group that that person belong to. The next rung that Boyko talks about is sanctioned discrimination. This is where the discrimination becomes entrenched in our laws and practices. After that the next step is systematic racism, which is seen in laws that promote segregation. This step leads to the next step, a need to purify the nation through exclusion or expulsion. And finally that last step, which is genocide, the deliberate extermination of a race. (Boyko; 1998) In this essay I would like to talk about the 5th step in the ladder, sanctioned discrimination. Canada, which prides itself on being a multicultural nation, has a
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