Race and racism central issue of Toronto election

Margaret Hageman on racism and “white privilege:”

… We know that differences under the skin barely exist. Talking about race only becomes uncomfortable when we talk about different experiences among races in our shared society — such as why over-qualified brown people are driving Toronto’s taxis, or why so many young black men get questioned by police for no good reason, and why white men are over-represented in high-powered positions. It turns out you can’t talk about race without talking about racism.

There is a head-in-the-sand logic that needs to be called out when people deny white privilege. It denies the experiences of black people who get followed around in a store, over-scrutinized by security; or the voice of a black person driving a high-end car who has been stopped by police, over and over again. White privilege is invisible protection against all forms of racial profiling, including a pervasive form on Toronto’s streets called “carding,” where thousands of black and brown youth have been questioned and documented by police in Toronto over the past 10 years. White privilege is not having been carded, and subject to its cascading negative consequences. Investigative journalism done by Jim Rankin of the Star, reveals the numbers that tell the undeniable story about racial profiling by Toronto Police Services.

White privilege is an invisible protection in the streets and in the job market as well, where as a white person, your credentials are generally not called into question, your pay cheque is higher and your networks open doors. This is not opinion. Again, the facts and statistics in the workplace prove that unchecked systemic racism works to the advantage of white people, as shown by Grace-Edward Galabuzzi and Sheila Block’s research on the colour-coded job market in Canada. Denying this injustice will not make it go away.

I have heard people say that if we just stop talking about race, then racism will go away — like pundits who think that we must become colour-blind because the history of racism, the kind of deliberate discrimination against blacks and other non-white races has been discredited and legislated out of existence.

Race and racism central issue of election | Toronto Star.