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"I'm not sure the organizers understand the concept of diversity."
Shock jocks have attacked Muslims, people with disabilities and indigenous groups on air for years.
By failing to be systematically aware the Quebec Human Rights Commission has failed to see and understand the bigger picture of race. There can be no real serious talk, or discourse about the biggest human right issues that affect marginalized and racialized members of the society if no thought is given to the systems involved.
As the year winds down, news readers are treated with a feast of annual compilations. From fashion to finances it is a time to look back at the hits and misses. Here is a compilation of low-lights in racial discrimination the country that coined multiculturalism.
Why is it that the U.K.'s newspaper is willing to publish a painfully honest editorial about race in Canada but Canadian papers aren't? Before Mr. Douglas was published in the U.K., he submitted his personal op ed to Canadian newspapers. None of them thought this perspective was fit to print.
One day we will all be in stitches, laughing together at the symbols which have lost their racist tone of yesteryear. Today, we are not there yet. Mario Jean's minstrel portrayal of a black person hurt members of the larger Franco-Canadian family. No one, not even the privileged members of the dominant culture, can deny it.
A State has no right to tell a person what to wear. For some, clothing such as long skirts worn by Mormons, or kippas worn by Jews, are all symbols that are inextricably mixed with a person's beliefs, values, and expression. To deny this fundamental choice of a how a person expresses his or her values is antithetical to respecting human dignity.
Earlier this month Huffington Post blogger, Nydia Dauphin, wrote a post entitled, "Why The Hell Are Quebec Comedians Wearing Blackface?" She was referring to Mario Jean's "impersonation" of Boucar Diouf at the Gala des Oliviers, in which Jean used black makeup to portray Diouf. This would have been an opportune time to have a constructive dialogue concerning race relations in Quebec. Quite predictably, however, the discussion has resorted to accusations of overzealous political correctness on one side to indictments of overt racism on the other, which is simply indicative of the sad state of the discourse surrounding ethno-race relations in Quebec.
Quebec: As the Distinct Society you have fought so valiantly to become, what are you doing with that responsibility? Are you addressing the cultural and racial coexistence challenges that face every growing populace? Are you attempting to be an equal and balanced partner with the rest of Canada?
If the whites in Quebec who are donning blackface are claiming to have no prior knowledge of the practice, how and why exactly are they coming to partake so frequently in its disturbing revival? Are some commentators then claiming that some white people are born with an inherent desire to spontaneously paint their faces black to stereotype, dehumanize, and ridicule the physical characteristics of their fellow citizens? Most people are intelligent enough to deduce that blackface is a popular form that you no longer tend to see on TV or in film anymore for a reason.