The Community Race Relations Committee of Peterborough (CRRC)

is a non-profit community-based organization, committed to encouraging and promoting sound race relations in Peterborough. Please visit our Facebook page here or join our Facebook group here.

What more is there to say...

man in black jacket holding white and black i love you print board

There is no shortage of commentary on the recent racist incidents. Many reflections on a singular issue that has plagued us for millennia. What more is there to say? Apparently, there is plenty more that needs to be said but what will it take for real and sustained change? Recent events clearly show that there is much more work to be done. 

 None of this is new and while some progress has been made there is a long way to go. I was given a teaching years ago, the gist of it was that we have teachings placed before us numerous times until finally we are ready to receive them. So here we are again getting a teaching about normalized racism. Are we ready to accept this teaching yet?

 

We are at a tipping point. A point where even political leaders and (some) police are acknowledging that racism exists and is a problem. But as I listen to these leaders, I realize that acknowledging racism is not the same as understanding racism. This was made clear in recent statements by the Premier of Ontario. Like the Premier, many believe we are better at race relations than the U.S. – We are not. This myth will be our undoing.

 

What I want is for people to truly understand how everyday/normalized racism functions not just the sound bites prepared for a press conference. I want to hear how our leaders are doing the work of anti-racism themselves. What are they personally doing to unlearn racism?

 

I am so sick of hearing “I am not a racist” from folks when they get caught doing or saying something that is racist. We all have racial prejudice. Accept it.  Only then can we do the work needed to become anti-racists. We need allies to be more. We need accomplices willing to take action and speak up whenever and wherever racism presents itself. 

 

The current situation has put a magnified spotlight on inequality, racism and discrimination. With a significant portion of the global community in some state of quarantine we have plenty of time to amuse ourselves online, giving us a front row seat to Viral Racism 2020. 

 

There is no denying we are at a tipping point in our collective history. Let’s make this moment count. Silence is no longer an option.

 

Viral Racism

man in black t-shirt holding black and white i am a big print banner

For a moment, the top news story is not about the number of dead from COVID 19. For the moment, the headlines are about the death/murder of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer. For the moment, they are about the outrage and frustration as people take to the street in response.

The killing of George Floyd, and what seems like an attempt to cover up the cause of his death, has brought the devastating impact of racism front and centre. If there was ever any doubt that racism is alive and well, it can no longer be denied. We need everyone on the frontlines of this fight – racism has gone viral.

The pandemic brought into focus some of the disparities faced by marginalized and racialized groups. Recent events have driven that message home and are forcing us to listen.  Amidst a pandemic, thousands of people are marching in solidarity and support of George Floyd, his family and for all those affected by anti-black racism.

The rallies and marches give me hope, but we cannot get complacent. Every day we bear witness to the devastating effects of systemic and institutional racism. Every day we see the viral videos of racism in action. This is the time for each and every one of us to stand up and shout that it must end!

It’s not enough to simply be not a racist. If we are to create real and lasting change for racial equality, we must be actively anti-racist.

Peterborough Joins the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities

Peterborough becomes the 22nd municipality in Ontario to join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities (formally the Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination).

In November 2019 Peterborough City Council voted unanimously to join the Canadian Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities. Many city officials and community members were on hand to witness the historic signing of the declaration which took place on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

“WE WON:” “6(1)a All The Way” Clause Ending Sex Discrimination in Indian Act to Come Into Force Before Election

Peterborough activist Mary Gordon (left) and others at a weekly protest.
Peterborough activist Mary Gordon (left) and others at a weekly protest in support of eliminating discrimination against women in the Indian Act. (Photo: Nikolaus K. Gehl)

BREAKING NEWS — “The Trudeau government is expected to formally announce this week that it will put the 6(1)a clause into force before the fall federal election, inside sources have told JOURNEY Magazine.

“The clause, which was added as a part of Bill S-3 (An Act to Amend the Indian Act), if it becomes law, will end the Act’s last vestiges of sex discrimination.”

2019 - International Year of Indigenous Languages

Languages play a crucial role in our daily lives. They are not only our first medium for communication, education and social integration, but are also at the heart of each person’s unique identity, cultural history and memory. The ongoing loss of indigenous languages is particularly devastating, as the complex knowledges and cultures they foster are increasingly being recognized as strategic resources for good governance, peacebuilding, reconciliation, and sustainable development. More importantly, such losses have huge negative impacts indigenous peoples’ most basic human rights.

An International Year is an important mechanism dedicated to raising awareness of a topic of global interest and mobilizing different players for coordinated action around the world. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/71/178) proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, based on a recommendation by the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. At the time, the Permanent Forum expressed concern that 40 per cent of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages were in danger of disappearing— the majority belonging to indigenous peoples.

Hosted by UNESCO in collaboration with the Permanent Forum, the IYIL 2019 will strive to preserve, support and promote indigenous languages at the national, regional and international levels.