About this episode
The murder of four Muslim Canadians in London, Ontario. The discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of 215 children at a former residential school in BC. A rise in hate crimes against Muslims, Asians, and Jews across the country.
As Canadians are confronted by racially-motivated attacks, both past and present, many have come to believe that these are not unique events. Racism in Canada, they argue, is embedded into our culture, our institutions, our media, and indeed the very fabric of our day-to-day lives. Sweeping reform in government, laws, and education must be undertaken to address the country’s systemic racism and make Canada a safe place for all of its citizens.
Others disagree with this assessment. While Canada’s history has indeed featured institutionalized racism towards different groups, most notably towards its indigenous communities, the country has made remarkable progress in acknowledging its diversity and celebrating its differences. One-off hate crimes do not represent the majority of Canadians and their attitudes towards marginalized and racialized communities. As Canada’s high rates of immigration attest, the country has won a global reputation as a welcoming home for all – regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexuality. To claim Canada is systemically racist is a gross mischaracterization that ignores the country’s success as pluralistic democracy and undermines social cohesion.