Prejudice and Racism in Canada Essay

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Racism is a Problem in Canada

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
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This discomfort about discussing racism is common, in my experience. I suspect that many people are afraid of talking about racism because they are afraid they will say something politically incorrect.

Employment discrimination is probably the most quantifiable form of racism. Numerous Canadian studies show that although visible minorities as a whole have the highest level of educational attainment and relatively high occupational status compared to White Canadians, they have lower incomes, even controlling for all other factors.

Of course discrimination based on race is not the only form of discrimination. Sexism, ageism, homophobia, etc. also exist. What ties different forms of discrimination together is that they all involve ignorance, fear, and/or hate toward groups of individuals who we see as different, unknown, and/or inferior. In a study of twenty-three Anglophone and non-Anglophone immigrant women in Fredericton, Miedema and Nason-Clark found that many women felt that the hardest thing about being an immigrant woman was not being accepted into Canadian society. One visible minority woman commented that people always view her as a foreigner, as if Canada is not really her home (Miedema and Nason-Clark, 1989: 70). 68% of the women, both visible minority and non-visible minority women, reported direct discrimination. One English-speaking visible minority woman reported that shortly
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