JIVANI: Trudeau administration funding racial segregation

Apart from some of the over the top framing and language, Jivani raises valid concerns about the NAC, as a government institution, having such an exclusive approach. While in some circumstances, such as discussions concerning trauma of particular groups (e.g., residential schools), an exclusive approach is warranted, don’t see that being the case here:

Racial segregation is not a sign of progress.

I can’t believe this needs to be said in 2023. But, apparently, it does.

For years now, Canadian institutions have surrendered to the demands of critical race theorists and other so-called progressives who argue Canada is a “systemically racist” country.

A result of this capitulation is that the Trudeau-led federal government is now funding racial segregation.

It sounds ridiculous, circular, confusing and obviously wrong. Ten years ago the federal government wouldn’t dare endorse racial segregation.

Yet the National Arts Centre (NAC), a Crown corporation, is holding a black-only showing of a play at Babs Asper Theatre in Ottawa. They are excluding non-black people from attending the event in February, including non-black people who might be married to black men and women.

Imagine what this does to families. A growing number of married couples in Canada are interracial. And they’re having a growing number of kids with complex identities.

I’m a black man with a white mom. Am I supposed to accept that part of my family can attend a play in the nation’s capital while another part cannot, simply because of skin colour and ancestry?

According to the National Post’s Tristin Hopper, the NAC issued a statement confirming that the venue will be limited to an “all-Black identifying audience” and their goal is to “allow for conversation and participation to be felt throughout the theatre.”

The underlying assumption made by the NAC is that black people want to be in racially-segregated spaces. Where is the evidence for that? Who told the NAC this is true?

None of my black friends or family members asked our federal government to fund racial segregation. I haven’t seen a single survey or poll that suggests other black Canadians want segregation, either.

Black people across the political spectrum fight for inclusion in Canadian society, not segregation. Isn’t that the whole point of “diversity and inclusion” in the first place?

Progressive activists and academics will call a black man like me a sell out for refusing to keep my mouth shut while they misrepresent our community. I have been called every racial slur you can imagine by so-called progressives.

But this is precisely why I cannot be silent.

Black Canadians are being betrayed by institutions that claim to do our bidding but could care less what we actually believe or want. Black Canadian writer Samuel Sey recently made this point on his blog when he said, “Black Canadians are arguably the most culturally conservative group in the country.”

You wouldn’t know that from how we are represented in Canadian politics or media, would you?

If the voices of the majority of black Canadians mattered, then the federal government would be striving to understand what working and middle-class families need in our country today. Tax dollars should not be going to please a small fraction of activists and academics who want to feel like they’re “fighting the man” while watching plays with their friends.

Regressive political ideas are being sold to us as progress. Our country, and its diverse communities, deserve better.

Source: JIVANI: Trudeau administration funding racial segregation

NAC Language:

Black Out NAC

On February 17, the evening’s performance of Is God Is will introduce the first of two Black Out nights that will be at the NAC this year. A Black Out is an open invitation to Black-identifying audiences to come and experience performances with their community. The evenings will provide a dedicated space for Black theatregoers to witness a show that reflects the vivid kaleidoscope that is the Black experience.

Creating evenings dedicated to Black theatregoers will allow for conversation and participation to be felt throughout the theatre and open the doors for Black-identifying audiences to experience the energy of the NAC with a shared sense of belonging and passion.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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