Friday, June 1

White people need to face role in racism, academics say

Racism is alive and well and living in Canada, and it's time white people started talking about it, say academics who are aiming to get that discussion going among the country's educators.

"There is this idea that racism is a U.S. problem. That it doesn't happen here. It does. We are just more polite about it," explains Darren Lund (pictured), an education professor at the University of Calgary.

To encourage that discussion, Prof. Lund and fellow education professor, Paul Carr, have put together a book of essays to be published shortly - Exposing the Great White North: Whiteness, Privilege and Identity in Education in Canada

They also made their case to colleagues this week at the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the huge gathering of academics taking place at the University of Saskatchewan.

Previously, Dr. Lund pointed out that his family is from Denmark, but he is rarely asked where he is really from because of his invisible identity as a white Canadian. However, he knows Canadians of color and those who are what the Canadian government refers to as "visible minority groups." By contrast, the visible minority groups are almost always asked where they are really from, although they could be fourth or fifth generation Canadians.

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