Despite historical and modern displays of racism as an intractable and pervasive reality in Canadian society, the overt denial of racism is delusionary because it allows Canadian to neglect the abhorrent reality in which a community is divided into white, privileged population and ethnical minorities. Indeed, the country ignores its rich historical background in which a rigid confrontation between the representative of the First Nations people and non-native population was presented.
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The Canadian residents and institutions function on the basis of collective denial of the existing racial confrontation, which admits the presence of democratic racism. Canadians have forgotten their racial issues, including laws, practices, and policies that previously shaped their political, social, cultural, and economic institutions for more than three centuries.
The phenomenon of democratic racism will be analyzed through two lenses of social institutions – justice system and police to define how policy respond to the concerns of Aboriginal population and what role individual’s racial identity plays in their actions.
In fact, police officers are law enforcers that should develop an objective, unbiased attitude to all groups residing in Canada, irrespective of their racial affiliation. Nevertheless, racialized practices and beliefs are often implicit to everyone, except to those individuals who face them. The situation appeals to the importance of the dominance of white population, which does not only premise on race, but also on the construction of social identity.
However, victim’s testimonies and unrecognized experiences are still on the current agenda. Recently, a plethora of documentary films has been launched to discover the evidence of inappropriate treatment and give the experiences of the Aboriginal population to publicity. Specifically, the documentary Two World Colliding, centers on the story of Darrel Night, an Aboriginal man, who faced cruelties on the part of the police officers.
The representatives of the police department dumped the man in the outskirts of Saskatoon in January 2000, when the temperature reached 20 º C below zero. However, Mr. Night managed to survive and testify to the cruelties he had to experience. Moreover, the victim was shocked to find out that his case was not unique and there were many other Native people who had been frozen in the barren fields.
In response to unequal treatment, the Aboriginal community decided to resist to a police force and make it be responsible for the deaths of Native Canadian population. Despite the fact that the police officers were accused of improper treatment of Mr. Night, the court found them not guilty. They spent eight months in provincial correctional centre. So, the justice system failed to acknowledge the fact of racism, and therefore, this case is underestimated and biased because of unequal treatment and negligence on the part of official justice bodies.
A significant change in ideology dates back to 90s of the past century, the time when the Canadian government introduced its anti-racism reforms and encouraged funding programs. Apparently, the electing a neoconservative government was considered the most tangible change that occurred in Ontario.
The government was headed by Mike Harris who put an end to racial resistance. These initiatives were spread among other governments, but racial inequality and improper treatment of Aboriginal people is still on the rise in Canada. Biased and prejudiced assumptions are displayed and are apparent, both in the classroom and in the workplace, as it is presented in the film Race is Four Letter Word directed by Sobaz Benjamin.
Specifically, the movie focuses on the skin color as the apparent feature that allow the white population to divide the Canadian community into privileged and inferior strata. The director also highlights conflict and controversies around race by exploring his personal experience as well.
Benjamin steps away from the disguised nature of racial policies in Canada concerning whiteness and blackness and reveals the actual attitude of white people to minorities in cultural and psychological terms. Specifically, the author makes the point about the fact that white people take their identity for granted to dominate over the black community. As a result, such an attitude enhances social racism.
There are many other concerns with the concept of social identity in Canadian society that is specifically connected with the concept of whiteness. At this point, the analysis of the connection between racial issues and the white population is presented to discuss whiteness as an advantage over racial groups.
The patterns of attitudes and immigration policies toward the Canadian minority communities across the country are still predetermined by racial discrimination, leading to unequal treatment of certain groups, including Indigenous and black peoples (Justice System/Policing 2).
In the presentation, it is argued that the justice system fails to provide equal and fair treatment of the Native population because Eurocentric restrictions hamper the delivery of appropriate and acceptable services by health care agencies (Seline 2). As a proof, the movie The Mishuau Innu: Surviving Canada written and directed by Ed Martin provides evidence for extremely low living standards among the Indian population in Canada.
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The legislature policies reinforce neoliberal practices that put the welfare of racial groups under the threat. Overt discrimination of the Native population is not recognized by the Canadian government, although there are numerous cases of inappropriate consideration of the problems that occurred to the representatives of the minority population.
Although the country is considered as one of the most developed economies in the world, many representatives of indigenous people suffer from social exclusion. However, this inferiority exercised by the white population is denied due to the existence of social democracy.
Widespread resistance to anti-racism policies are presented at various levels, including individuals, communities, organizations, and systems. At the governmental level, the failure to introduce substantive policy against racism leads to even more challenging situation. Multicultural dimensions of legislative policies create a solid framework for consideration racial and cultural diversity and developing a new set of regulation for Canadian community, regardless racial and national affiliation.
Nevertheless, although multicultural awareness refers to the pluralistic nature of the community, there is explicit ambivalence about acknowledgement of other cultures to sustain unique identities and insure the equality of rights among all members of Canadian society.
Although the Canadian government recognizes the problem of racism, the reforms failed to progress because stereotypical beliefs remain unchanged (Justice System/Policing 3). In film project Miss Canadiana by Camille Turner, the focus is made on the Canadian outlook on democratic racism that overtly denies the presence of stereotypes and prejudices.
In conclusion, racism in Canada can be considered as the driving force of misconceptions and conflicts between the Native and Non-native population. It emphasizes the challenges that society faces while espousing such principles as social harmony, equality, tolerance, and respect for human rights.
At the same time, the Canadian community is reluctant to recognize racial prejudice and discrimination, which leads to a failure to develop the corresponding policies. Canadians are deeply committed to the policies and provisions regarding democratic society. However, the democratic principles contradict the recognition of physical differences as the basis for valuing individual rights.
More importantly, those people who face unequal treatment hold responsibility for the existence of racism in society. The controversies between collective and democratic racism shape the underpinning for Canadian racial heritage and, these issues should be considered in terms of the evidence of various forms of resistance to anti-racial policies.
Justice System/Policing. Presentation. n. d. pp. 1-6. Miss Canadiana. Ex. Prod. Camille Turner. Canada: Toronto Film Festival. 2012.
Race is Four Letter Word Ex. Prod. Sobaz Benjamin. Canada: National Film Board of Canada. 2006. DVD.
Seline. Presentation. Section Three. n. d. The Mushuau Innu: Surviving Canada. Ex. Prod. Ed Martin. Canada: Best Boy Productions. 2004. DVD.
Two Words Colliding. Ex. Prod. Tasha Habbard, Canada: National Film Board of Canada. 2005. DVD.