“There comes a time when silence is betrayal” (Martin Luther King Jr). We must all join together to correct the wrong; we must open our hearts to this cry for justice and provide equal opportunities to all. The process starts with each of us. That time is now as we stand in solidarity with the #Black Lives Matter movement.
We are living in a moment in history where societies have reached a breaking point, no longer able to ignore the plague of Anti-Black Racism. It feels exhilarating that there is a collective reckoning which does not come around often. There is an opportunity created for society to confront Anti-Black Racism and reform our structures, but we better get it right, the consequences if we flounder will be dire to society as a whole.
Anti-black racism is historically embedded in our society, in our culture, in our laws and attitudes and institutions, socializing Canadians of all racial backgrounds (including other racialized non-black peoples) to be inherently anti-black. Black communities cannot fight the scourge of systematic racism by themselves. They need allies who have access and ability to influence the main stream Canadian audiences; in particular, white Canadians have influence and opportunities to play a great role in the work of ending anti-black racism.
As millions of people around the world have united to speak out against the killing of George Floyd, many are grappling with grief, anger, fear and anxiety. We are also at a crossroad having identifies the disproportional impact of COVID-19 on visible minority communities. This has brought to the surfaces the inequities, injustices, racism and violation of human rights towards visible minorities and in particular the targeting of black peoples. Many people are wondering how long such injustices can be allowed to go on.
All Canadians must seize this moment, in particular non-racialized Canadians, to listen, learn and reflect on how white privilege and systematic racism has perpetuated the social and economic disparities that exist in everything from education, to healthcare, to housing and employment.
It not enough that Canada has embraced policies of multiculturalism and diversity. The issue remains that black peoples continue to experience discrimination, harassment, police brutality and other abuses.
We owe it to the present and future generations to build a better Canada where all her peoples are treated with justice, equality and dignity.