White North: Canadian Racism ; Image as Paragon of Racial Peace and Justice Is Being Challenged

By Ap | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 16, 1997 | Go to article overview

White North: Canadian Racism ; Image as Paragon of Racial Peace and Justice Is Being Challenged


Ap, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


For more than 150 years, Canadians have congratulated themselves on their country's tradition of racial equality. While their cousins to the south were undergoing the agonies of a bloody civil war followed by more than a century of oppression and strife, Canada regarded itself as an asylum for runaway slaves then as a paragon of racial peace and justice.

But a recently published book, "Towards Freedom: The African- Canadian Experience," by Ken Alexander and Avis Glaze shows the picture isn't quite so rosy as many Canadians like to think.

The book points out that:

Slavery was banned in parts of the United States 47 years before the 1833 British Emancipation Act outlawed it in Canada.

Nova Scotia operated segregated schools in the 1960s.

Of the roughly 50,000 escaped slaves who reached Canada by the Underground Railroad during the early 1800s, two-thirds returned to the United States after the Civil War, drawn back by family ties or the opportunities of reconstruction, but also driven by Canadian bigotry.

When Canada recruited Americans to settle its western prairies around the turn of the century and blacks from Oklahoma joined the migration, their arrival sparked a racist reaction across Canada and resulting regulations effectively barred black immigration for a half century.

The policy changed in the 1960s after black civic leaders, noting the hypocrisy of Canada's strong opposition to South African apartheid, petitioned to open the door to Africans and West Indians.

Examples of recent difficulties:

In Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, 17 blacks have been killed by police in the last 15 years.

In Nova Scotia, where black freemen who migrated to Canada after the American Revolution founded Canada's oldest black community, racial brawls have broken out in the high schools this year.

In Colingwood, Ont., where pride in their history has moved blacks to oppose changing the name of Negro Creek Road, a black church has been defaced with racist graffiti.

In Ontario, a recent study by the provincial government of the criminal justice system found that young black men in Toronto had been stopped by police at twice the rate of their white counterparts and that young blacks suspects were released on bail at half the rate of whites.

Even added together, these events may not equal the anguish of an American race riot. But black Canadians argue they are serious matters treated with insufficient seriousness.

"The black community has no allies right now," says Sheldon Taylor, professor of African-Canadian history at York University near Toronto. "When a police officer shoots a young black person, there is no court that will convict him.

"Then there is the embarrassment factor. We do not want to admit even today that there are problems. We do not want our American neighbors to know."

The embarrassment factor was evident over the summer in the national furor that erupted when Sports Illustrated magazine quoted a black Canadian sprinter, Donovan Bailey, as saying Canada was as racist as the United States. Bailey later said he was misquoted about the comparison, but stuck by his contention that racism flourishes in Canada.

Canada has no official figure for the number of blacks, because until the census being conducted this year the government had never asked its residents about their race. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

White North: Canadian Racism ; Image as Paragon of Racial Peace and Justice Is Being Challenged
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.