I had a column planned for this week. It was going to delve into reasons why Canadian politicians don’t need foreign powers like Russia messing with this election via social media. Our politicians are quite capable of that themselves. I was going to point out a Facebook blunder by Kitchener-area Green Party candidates Stephanie Goertz and Kristen Wright. In a Facebook invitation which was sent out for a Green Party campaign fundraiser, they mentioned a “Traditional First Nations Pouch Making with the Green Party.” When mentioning this workshop, which had not been properly conveyed to First Nations artisan and respected knowledge carrier Christine Lefebvre,as a fundraiser, they forgot to mention her name, her nation or her experience, which is Indigenous protocol when sharing teachings. This led to the candidates scrambling to apologize for the post and the cancellation of the event. Then, The Conservative Party was asked by the RCMP to delete Tweets which falsely stated that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under investigation for the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal. A Conservative candidate in BC also ran into some hot water when a meme was posted on Twitter with a doctored quote from Rick Mercer which had him endorsing the Conservatives. The original quote had just been encouraging people to get out and vote with no particular party endorsed. Next thing I know, BOOM, Time magazine dropped a photobomb on the Canadian political landscape, shaking up everything. Polls that had been predicting a Liberal majority are now predicting a Conservative win. The trifecta of three separate incidents where Prime Minister Trudeau wore black or brown face have shaken up everything. We, as good Canadians, are out to admonish the racist acts of Trudeau from almost 20 years ago, by switching our votes to elect someone who has had to explain his way out of accusations of ties to alt-right groups more recently. All the while, we have candidates jumping ship from the NDP, to the Green Party, because people say Canada just may not be ready for a Prime Minister like Jagmeet Singh. Perhaps, that simply means, Canada just may not be ready to give up our racism. I was watching Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country on the weekend, attempting to give myself a break from thinking about this column. For people not familiar with this particular Trekkie film, it was being made right at the end of the cold war and the theme was making peace between two superpowers, the Klingons and the Federation. After a dinner where Captain Kirk hosts a delegation of Klingons on the Enterprise, Chancellor Gorkon said to Kirk, “If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it.” This pulled me back into work mode, and I started thinking about why we might have a hard time bringing ourselves to drop the racism from our Canadian lifestyle, in which it is deeply ingrained. I figure it’s because we don’t see ourselves as racists. We see ourselves as looking out for people’s best interests, protecting our families, friends and loved ones. For many of us here in Canada, we live in a big “I’m not racist, but” bubble, even as we are opening up to a certain extent as multiculturalism spreads to more communities, but we don’t want to let go of the past totally, so we tell ourselves Canada just may not be ready for that, and we cling on to our institutionalized racism under the guise of everyone’s best interest. But, is it truly in our best interest to not prepare to embrace a new future?
Canada is just not ready to give up on that yet, or so I have heard. By Colin Burrowes was last modified: September 27th, 2019 by