It’s easy to sympathize with the reflection in the mirror. But what if we realized that we were all simply reflections of each other? The reason “the human experience” is such a blanket statement is because it’s recognizable in all of us; it’s a facet of everyone’s mirror. Furthermore, it is important that we resonate with and stand up for all social injustices, even if they may not be happening in our own communities. While we might not share the same beliefs or backgrounds, we can share similar stories of discrimination. We interviewed people of different faiths and backgrounds to get their thoughts on the issue. Here are a few excerpts:
Cecilia Amoakohene, Ghanaian-Canadian:
The process of carding is a form of discrimination that black people continue to face today. It’s really disappointing to me that in Canada we have laws in place that make it okay for law enforcement to stop a person who hasn’t committed a crime or isn’t suspected of one just because they look “suspicious”. The majority of the people who look “suspicious” are black and brown. The thought that your personal information can be taken and stored by the police because someone decided that you look like you shouldn’t be in a certain place is frightening to me…It’s unfair that we are targeted because of some unfounded fear that we are somehow more dangerous than other people.
Nicole Wemigwans, Indigenous Canadian:
Discrimination to Indigenous peoples of this country has occurred through many forms, but an issue of concern is the lack of access to learning Indigenous languages. Language is a way to communicate, but also provides an understanding of worldviews, values, and ways of being. Indigenous languages should be taught in classrooms across Canada as a way to honour the original people of this land and to increase the amount of language speakers. It is up to us as Indigenous peoples and to all Canadians to seek out those languages and to learn them, share them, and teach them to the next generation.
Rebecca Christensen, Jewish Canadian:
There was a mass migration of Jews into Canada from the 1880s up until WWI due to issues of prejudice and discrimination in Europe…[However] it was during WWII when systemic discrimination of Jews could be observed owing to anti-Semitic movements abroad. Canada accepted fewer Jews during WWII than any other Western Country…[and] historically turned away a ship of 907 Jews from Germany […] where 254 would eventually perish in concentration camps. Unfortunately, the ending of WWII has not stopped the discrimination that Jews continue to experience within Canada. There are many contemporary examples that could be cited, including recently when a York University Campus classroom was vandalized with Swastikas and had Anti-Semitic slurs painted on its walls.