"Post-racial" US and Canada, Part 1

Racism is a system of power, and racial profiling is one of the tools that a race-based system uses to maintain control.

Racial profiling doesn’t work at catching criminals. The Toronto Star (November 25, 2002, “Laws needed to ban racial profiling”) reported that “African Canadians were much more likely to be charged with traffic-related offences that [aren’t obvious from a distance], such as driving with an expired license [which is consistent with] African Canadian drivers [being] racial[ly] profil[ed].... For [people being] profiled, the indignity is real....

"The cumulative effect on individuals of bearing this burden... would be enormously damaging on their self-respect. It would also undermine fundamental principles of equal dignity and worth and respect for the presumption of innocence.”

According to a Statistics Canada report entitled “Visible Minorities in Canada - Profile Series,” people of colour are less likely than other Canadians to be employed. “More than 1 in 3 [visible minority people] lived in poverty in 1995, compared to 20% of the rest of [Canadians],” said the report.

“Visible minorities earned an average of [about $22,500] in 1995--15% below the national average. They earn less, even though they also tend to have a higher level of education.” Even when adjusting for education, coloured people are still less likely to be hired than people of colourlessness, and less likely to be promoted.

In 2003, CBC reporter Stephane Alari in Montreal repeated the Black Like Me experiment by donning Blackface make-up. He hunted for an apartment and then for a job, first going as a Black man, and then the next day as a White man. He said, “As a Black guy I asked who I should talk to for the job offer and they said it’s full.... And when I went back the day after as a White and I said, ‘Do you still need people?’ they said, ‘We always need people.’”

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation surveyed Canadians with the question “Do you believe... federal and provincial governments should ban the use of racial profiling by police?” 46.9% said no.

The first step to protecting yourself is to arm yourself with information. Check out the following sources:

Employment Equity

Discrimination and Exceptions

Canadian Race Relations Foundation

Unequal Access

Systemic Racism

Toronto Star Article on Immigration & Employment

Skilled Worker Immigration Info

Social Cohesion

Immigration & Integration

Immigrants & the Economy

Labour Market Integration

Employment Equity Myths & Realities

Visible Minority Employment Stats


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