Watching and listening to a Black television host recently, I didn’t feel anyway put off when he said, matter-of-factly (straight up): “The first thing that comes to mind every day I wake up is the reality of my being, my Blackness.”
He was hosting a small group of commentators of various ethnic backgrounds partici-pating in what over the past several months has become a regular conversation about the recurring outcome of America’s other (or primary) original sin: race and racism — however defined or categorized.
“[…] I’m a Black man…” he affirmed, unabashedly as the tête-à-tête continued.
I for one don’t have the time to define “racism” and lately the types/categories of racism been seeded in our minds — systemic for example. As if to suggest/imply that what we’ve come to know and understand as “Original racism” if you will, the one we’ve come to immediately identify and understand is outdated, has lost its sting and socially debili-tating impact on the traditional victims, and replaced by a new form, or other less delete-rious forms, “Systemic racism” for example.
If you’ve experienced the “racist sting” and lasting pain (a psychological impact and on-going effect akin to a migraine headache?) in your life so far, then you can relate. Hope-fully you’re not in the throes of a mental breakdown as a result of a given racist incident. Not to make light of what truly is a bad, perhaps life-changing experience for some…
Truth is, the onus to find efficient and effective remedies for racism is on the creators and practitioners of that devilish social ill, which they do not/cannot admit or come to terms with.
But we, the traditional victims, can always speak to it whenever we become involved in certain/given social spats. And here I’m not referring to social media stuff, I’m talking mundane life’s day-to-day human issues… of any sort.
If you’re a living being who’ve had any negative interaction with a proverbial “superior being” then you know the deal.
As if it, racism, is not egregious enough to stand on its own, simple – normal – as most people understood it, that is before the current provincial leader began to push back against the notion that racism is rife in the province … Which leads me to think that if we (traditional victims of racial acts) become engaged in some sort of racial/racist matter we will have to decide or describe the sort of issue in question: “racist, systemic, sys-tematic… or other?”
So let’s say for some reason, you have to visit the CRARR (CENTER FOR RESEARCH-ACTION ON RACE RELATIONS) office to make a race-oriented complaint against let’s the po-lice or other para public outfit or organization, even the current provincial government itself about a racist incident or in , don’t be surprised if you’re asked to describe the nature of your complaint — basic racist or ongoing systemic incidences?
Hopefully you’ll never have to become entangled in such a dilemma in Quebec.
As we all know, and are periodically reminded by the premier Quebec is essentially “systemic racism free.”
But the Quebec premier, Francois Legault has never acknowledged the existence of “regular racism.” [Sic]
Which is why he and his Ontario counterpart Doug Ford were both once taken to task for essen-tially downplaying the problem, and faced public backlash for their comments that, “Canada does not have a systemic racism problem like the U.S.”
I don’t embrace it, but I get it. It’s always so easy, so Canadian to look south, and blame Ameri-can-style racism, to deflect attention.
But those in Canada who have experienced it, know of what they speak.
No matter which side of the border you live, and the recurring conversations, discussions, de-bates and whatnot, the compounded issue and conversations of race and racism and the social impact and deleterious impact and effects can never be ignored or discounted.
The evidence and effects are visible and tangible.
That television host mentioned at the top knows “race and racism” (of any and every kind—systemic, systematic, however defined.) After all he was born at the epicentre of North Ameri-can racism. And he lives it daily.
One of his countrymen recently wrote in an online article. Perhaps to better understand the ra-cially steeped polarized forces.
[…] Racial equality were not immune to the insidious impact of this psychological syndrome. They were riddled with guilt and conflicting loyalties, while being complicit in the system of fla-grant racial injustice. Liberals refused to give their unreserved political support to the civil rights movement and were unable to understand the motivations of African Americans. They simply did not see African Americans as their equals, as “another man like himself,” as Baldwin put it, even as they advocated for legal equality.
The reason? They lacked empathy. Clark held empathy to be something quite different from sentimentality or pity, which were delivered from a position of superiority. Empathy, in contrast, acknowledged the underlying similarity of the human condition and, thus, created a foundation of mutual respect that could reach across racial lines…”
Another article states: For years, African American leaders have been calling for this kind of po-litically engaged empathy. In 1964, at the New York City Town Hall roundtable “Liberalism and the Negro,” James Baldwin grew increasingly frustrated with his white interlocutors. Amid a de-bate over quota systems, two very different versions of American society emerged: one, pro-moted by the white panelists, celebrated increasing equality; the other, put forth by Baldwin, un-derscored entrenched discrimination. Baldwin voiced disappointment with the white liberal, who, he said, “thinks you’re pushing too hard when you rock the boat, who thinks you are bitter when you are vehement, who has a set of attitudes so deep they’re almost unconscious and which blind him to the fact that in talking to a black man, he is talking to another man like himself…”
Meanwhile our premier, in an attempt to temper the (systemic) racism “brouhaha” re-cently coined a new ministerial position, one could call him the Minister Of Racism. His role will be to fight racism for whatever that’s worth. Not Systemic though, just plain ra-cism, I guess. Thing is you can’t have one without the other; or are they interchange-able?
Personally, I don’t care for any, won’t tolerate any form of racism at all.
Not even that old so-called “Racism is a social construct” type. I, as well as the people I know do not want to deal with any form of racism at all. So no breathing a sigh of relief on my part; end it all, “systemic” and the rest of it.
But this headline might bring you/us solace:
Race is a social fiction imposed by the powerful on those they wish to control.
And this other one:
What Drives Subconscious Racial Prejudice? I don’t know, I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned whatever form of the so called “Social Construct” exists in Quebec, I do not want any form of racism or racial superiority at all.
What the hell, it will be in keeping with his other responsibilities as that other portfolio dealing with that other (troubled) environment, of which we all as living beings, contin-gent on our lifestyle habits, are collectively part of the problem…
Hearing that, like an echo from the leader of the province does nothing for me. But I’m comfortable saying racism is as Quebecois as it is in the rest of Canada and across the United States where it is manifested practically on a daily basis. And its debilitating ef-fects are historic and well-known by people who are not white… have not achieved the pinnacle of (white peoples) status of [racial] superiority.
Which is why we’re (all historically impacted) and so preoccupied with that interminable struggle for racial/human rights and racial social equality, will continue confronting those forces/obstacles that have deliberately been placed in our paths to living ordinary normal lives…
Terms like racism, systemic racism and other terms are merely words and ac-quired/intrinsic practices that you now employ to reflect and practice in order to maintain your Social Construct bad…inhumane/inhuman habits and historic, generational prac-tices…
Which is why, generations on, subsequent victims of your social construct ideology con-tinue to react in a logical way to the big lie of your dubious stifling historic creations…
As such, and as one Nelson Mandela (and I’m sure multiple predecessors) stated in whatever way or language:
P.S. The defiling of Union United Church is the work of racist vandals. Just saying… I can’t think of any Black person who would, pun intended: stoop that low.