Trudeau government says non-whites who are 'perceived as white' are guilty of white privilege

The guide also names George Floyd, listing his death as an incident that reflects the discrimination faced by "many people and communities in Canada"

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Immigrants, Refugees, and Citizens Canada has listed a definition of "white privilege" that states that it is not just those of European origin that benefit from the concept, but anyone who accepts the legacies of colonialism as normal.

The definition of "white privilege" in the glossary reads: "Benefitting from unearned power, advantages, access and/or opportunities based on being white or being perceived as white. White people are defined as belonging to any of the various peoples with light-coloured skin, usually of European origin. The term has become an indicator less of skin colour and more of an unquestioning acceptance of the legacies and ongoing practices of white supremacy and colonialism."

The glossary contains definitions for multiple terms, such as for the term "ally" to what it means to be "racialized." On page 13, it again reinforces the idea that one doesn't have to be white to benefit from white supremacy, stating:

"... racism against Indigenous Peoples, Black people and racialized groups has persisted over time; it exists to support, reinforce and build upon supremacy of one group over many. In our society, this is the elevation of (the) white people (or settler groups) above everyone else in many areas of Canadian life. The inertia continues to be upheld by access, privilege and indifference.

Again, in the next point, it states that "colonialism, through our immigration system, has had an impact on Indigenous Peoples."

The anti-racism framework states that there are risks to not implementing societal changes based on race. These include:

  • Upholding white privilege and power imbalances
  • Widening disparities for underserved groups in Canadian society
  • Erosion of truth and public trust
  • Slow pace of change
  • Low yield/return on investment to advance equity
  • Hindering full potential for innovation

The guide also names George Floyd, listing his death as an incident that reflects the discrimination faced by "many people and communities in Canada"

"Throughout our history and still today, far too many people and communities in Canada and around the world face systemic racism and racial discrimination,," it states. "The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the tragic treatment of Joyce Echaquan on September 28, 2020, and the rise in anti-Asian attacks in Canada have highlighted the impacts of systemic racism on Black, Indigenous and racialized peoples. These incidents are not singular, and they are not limited to these racialized peoples."

Floyd was from Minnesota and was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, in the United States.


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