TDSB Kill Whitey DaY by Blazingcatfur

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									                         Getting Ready for March 21
                    International Day for the Elimination
             of Racial Discrimination (United Nations) (Canada)

Hello All Educators,

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21
commemorates the anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960. On that day in South
Africa, peaceful demonstrators against apartheid were killed. In 1966, the United Nations
declared that each year on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination should be observed as a symbol of the world- wide need to end racism.

Canada is a country to be proud of. But our pride is diminished when we do not use our
individual and collective voices to oppose racism. March 21 reminds us, particularly as
educators, to recommit ourselves to the struggle against racial discrimination in the
sincere hope of creating a just society where every human being’s dignity is affirmed
through fair and equitable treatment.
Excerpt from Days of Significance: A Curriculum Resource 2005-2006-03-01

The materials in this package are teacher resources for student activities and professional
reading from a variety of sources. They include:
           TDSB curricular materials for teachers’/students’ use for the school and class
           activities for the promoting antiracism;
           Community organizations and web links
           Canadian Heritage Multiculturalism materials for ‘March 21 Racism. Stop It!’
           2006 campaign
           Curricular materials and selected teaching/learning strategies developed by
           Media Awareness Network
           What Can We Do To Challenge Racism? Excerpt from Tools For Equity,
           TDSB 2006
           ‘Diversity Imperatives’, Speech from Senator Donald H. Oliver
           to The National Council of Visible Minorities, Atlantic Region Forum and
           General Meeting, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Feb. 20, 2006.
           Excerpts from ‘Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12
           Anti-racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development- White Privilege:
           Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack’.



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                  1
            Materials for Teachers’/Students’ Use for School and Class
                        Activities for Promoting Antiracism
               Compiled by TDSB Library and Learning Services
I.     Books           * denotes Junior/ Intermediate      ** denotes Senior

       Attema, Martha. Daughter of Light. Victoria, BC; Custer, WA: Orca Book
       Publishers, 2001. ISBN 1551431793.

       Clements, Andrew. The Jacket. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002.
       ISBN 0689825951.

       * and ** Ellis, Deborah. The Heaven Shop. Markham, ON: Fitzhenry &
       Whiteside, 2004. ISBN 1550419080.

       *Freedman, Russell. The Voice That Challenged a Nation. New York: Clarion
       Books, 2004. ISBN 061859762.

       Gilmore, Rachna. A Group of One. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2001.
       ISBN 0805064753.

       * and ** Hesse, Karen. Witness. New York: Scholastic Press, 2001.
       ISBN 0439271991.

       *Kadohata, Cynthia. Kira-Kira. New York: Atheneum, 2004. ISBN 0689856393.

       Kiuchukov, Khristo. My Name was Hussein. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills, 2004.
       ISBN 1563979640.

       Lionni, Leo. Little Blue and Little Yellow. New York: Mulberry, 1959.
       ISBN 0688132855.

       Miller, William. Joe Louis, My Champion. New York: Lee & Low Books, 2004.
       ISBN 1584301619.

       * and ** Moore, Yvette. Freedom Songs. New York: Orchard, 1991.
       ISBN 0140360174.



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                            2
       **Myers, Walter Dean. The Beast. New York: Scholastic, 2003.
       ISBN 0439368413.

       **Naidoo, Beverley. No Turning Back: A Novel of South Africa. New York:
       HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 0060275057.

       **Naidoo, Beverley. Out of Bounds. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
       ISBN 0060507993.

       *Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. New York: Clarion
       Books, 2004. ISBN 0618439293.

       * and ** Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee. New York: Little, Brown, 1990.
       ISBN 0316807222.

       Spinelli, Jerry. Milkweed: A Novel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.
       ISBN 0375813748.

       **Yep, Laurence. The Traitor. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
       ISBN 0060275227.

II.    Videos

       Meet the Sumdees. Dir.A. McNamara. Prod.Holm and McNamara. Dist.McNabb
       Connelly.Toronto: Markham Street Films, 2004. (47 minutes)
       In September 2000, a young white Canadian man named Aaron married a young
       Pakistani- Canadian woman named Saira. Before the wedding could take place,
       Aaron, the great-grandson of a Protestant Minister, embraced Islam and became a
       Muslim. This was bit of a shock for his mother, Judy, a liberal, non-practising
       Christian. Six months after the wedding, the newlyweds and both sets of parents
       travelled to Pakistan to meet dozens of Saira’s relatives across the country—from
       Karachi to Multan to Rawalpindi and Islamabad, to the Himalayas and beyond.
       Raised as Christians, but living a secular life, neither Judy nor her husband
       Michael had ever travelled in the East or spent time with Muslims. Now they
       were not just visiting, they were a part of the culture. Would they be accepted?
       Could they accept this new chapter in their lives and new direction in the lives of
       their son and their future grandchildren? Meet the Sumdees is an inside
       documentation of a globe spanning adventure—the discoveries, tensions,
       confusions, and joys of two cultures meeting and joining together for better or for
       worse, ‘til death (or Delhi Belly) do us part.’ Says filmmaker/film subject Judy
       Holm: “We have been both challenged and thrilled by our experiences as we have
       come to know our relatives. We have had assumptions shattered and been
       overwhelmed by the things we take for granted in Canada. We have both missed
       opportunities for growth and stood up to challenges. But most of all, we feel
       grateful to have the opportunity to travel this exceptional journey and we want to
       share these experiences with people who may be facing similar cultural merges.



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                 3
       And we want to give an inside look to those who know nothing about the Muslim
       community other than what they read in news headlines.”

       Native Son. Dir.of Photography William C. Nusbaum. Prod. Reggie Lite. Narrator
       Donald Sutherland. Discovery Channel School, 1996. (50 minutes)
       • English, Grades 9, 10, 11: Literature Studies and Reading
       • Canadian and World Studies, Grade 11: American History – Citizenship and
            Heritage, Social Economic and Political Structures
       • English, Grade 12: Studies in Literature
       Correlates to Grades 6–12 (50 minutes), 1996
       An introduction to Richard Wright, and to the story told in his literary portrait of
       racism in America. Authors and scholars discuss the two murders and the
       symbolism behind the fate that white lawyer Bigger meets when he is thrown in
       jail.

       Watch: Celebrations. Dir. Neil Scott. Prod./Dist.BBC London: BBC Learning,
       2003.
               Passover/Judaism                15 minutes
               Easter/Christianity             15 minutes
               Id-Ul-Fitr/Islam                15 minutes
               Janmashtami/Hinduism            15 minutes
               Baisakhi/Sikhism       15 minutes
       Viewers will learn what the festivals are about and, most importantly, what they
       can all learn about their own lives from them. The series looks at five distinct
       celebrations and faiths: Passover/Judaism, Easter/Christianity, Id-Ul-Fitr/Islam,
       Janmashtami/Hinduism, and Baisakhi/Sikhism. Each program will feature one
       celebration and faith. People will tell us why certain festivals and special events
       are important to them. Children will also get to hear some of the exciting stories
       behind these celebrations. Crucially, the programs will seek to make connections
       between these celebrations of faith and the way we live our everyday lives.

       Being Osama. Dir. Mahnoud Kabour. Prod.Timothy Schwab. Dist. Cine Fete.
       Quebec: Cine Fete, 2003. (41 minutes)
       This film is a documentary that explores the lives of Arab Canadians named
       Osama and the changes that have occurred in their lives since 9/11.The film also
       sheds light on these individuals’ struggle to fend off the negative connotation of
       their name and offers a deep look into the lives of their families and their
       environments as they prepare for the next year of hardship and hope. Finally, the
       film is also a window into the little-known world of Canada’s Arab communities
       and the challenges they face with integration and acceptance as the Middle East
       continues to boil. Being Osama will challenge the often general stereotype of
       being “Arab.” Through a wide range of depicted personalities who share the same
       first name, yet differ in age, background, look, and political opinion—the film
       will explore the reality of the obscure Arab community in Canada. It will
       highlight the saga of these less fortunate individuals to reinstate their lives in
       society as valid Canadian citizens and closely document their personal attempts to


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                     4
       outlive the political caricatures they and some in their community have become
       due to their name, religion, and ethnicity.

       Too Colourful for the League. Dir.Daniel Cross. Prod. Mila Aung- Thwin. Dist.
       Cinefete. Quebec: Diversus, 2002. (52 minutes)
       When Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s colour barrier in 1947, he permanently
       paved the way for Blacks to enter Major League Baseball and eventually
       dominate the sport. Hockey’s colour barrier would not fall as easily. Too
       Colourful for the League is an hour-long documentary that follows the crusade of
       retired
       Montreal Immigration Judge Richard Lord to have Herb Carnegie elected to the
       Hockey Hall of Fame. Carnegie starred in the Quebec Senior League during the
       1940s as centre of the ‘’all-coloured line,’, winning three consecutive MVP
       awards in the Quebec Provincial League, then one step below the NHL.
       According to renowned NHL referee Red Storey and Carnegie’s former
       Quebec Aces team mate Jean Beliveau, any member of the line could have played
       in the NHL and Carnegie would have been a superstar, but racism kept them out
       of the top league. Storey, who refereed games involving the all-coloured line
       during the ’40s, joined Richard Lord in lobbying for Carnegie’s induction.

       The film contrasts Carnegie’s career with a top Black junior prospect, Seneque
       Hyacinthe of the Val D’Or Foreurs, the only Black player drafted into the NHL in
       1999. It also follows the efforts of Willie O’Ree, who is now Youth Director of
       the NHL’s Diversity Task Force which was established several years ago to
       increase minority participation in the sport. The film also features current Black
       NHL players such as Mike Grier and Georges Laraques of the Edmonton Oilers.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                5
                    Community Organizations and Weblinks

       Action Week Against Racism (AWAR). <www.inforacisme.com/>.

       antiracist.com. <www.antiracist.com/>.

       Artists Against Racism. <web.idirect.com/~aar/main.html>.

       Canadian Civil Liberties Association. <www.ccla.org/>.

       Canadian Heritage Multiculturalism.
       •     “Racism. Stop it!.” <www.pch.gc.ca/march-21-mars/index_e.cfm>.
       •     “Racism. Stop it!.” <www.pch.gc.ca/march-21-mars/why-
       pourquoi/index_e.cfm>.
       •     “Racism. Stop it!.” <www.pch.gc.ca/march-21-mars/>.
       •     “Multiculturalism.”
       <www.pch.gc.ca/multi/plan_action_plan/index_e.cfm>.

       Canadian Race Relations Foundation – Fondation canadienne des relations
       raciales. <www.crr.ca/>.

       The Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement/Le Centre d’excellence pour
       l'engagement des jeunes. <www.tgmag.ca>.

       Cultural Profiles Project. <www.settlement.org/cp/>.

       Equality Today! <www.equalitytoday.org/>.

       HopeSite – The Web’s Center for Holocaust Education. <www.hopesite.ca/>.

       Human Rights Internet. <www.hri.ca/index.aspx>.

       International Federation for Human Rights. <www.fidh.org/>.

       Media Awareness Network. <www.media-awareness.ca/>.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                           6
       Multicultural Children’s Literature (links).
       <www/lib.msu.edu/corby/education/multicultural.htm>.

       National Anti-Racism Council. <www.narc.freeservers.com/>.

       Native Law Centre of Canada. <www.usask.ca/nativelaw/>.

       The Northern Alberta Alliance on Race Relations (NAARR). <www.naarr.org/>.

       Seeds of Peace. <www.seedsofpeace.org/site/PageServer>.

       United Nations Association in Canada. <www.unac.org/>.
       •      “Action Guide on Human Rights.”
       <www.unac.org/en/link_learn/hr_toolkit/index.asp>.
       •      “Integration/Belonging.”
       <www.belonging-appartenance.org/resources.html>.
       •      “Human Rights Toolkit.”
       <www.unac.org/en/link_learn/hr_toolkit/classroom.asp>.

       Word2Word Language Resources. <www.word2word.com/>.

       Youth Forums Against Racism/Forum Jeunesse contre le racisme.
       <www.unac.org/yfar/splash.htm>.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                            7
              Canadian Heritage Multiculturalism Materials for
                ‘March 21 Racism. Stop It!’ 2007 Campaign
                    http://www.pch.gc.ca/march-21-mars/index_e.cfm

I.     Contact Information for Promotional Materials (Posters, Stickers,
       Pamphlets)

       To obtain free promotional material and further information, please call
       1-888-77MULTI / 1-888-776-8584.

II.    Racism. Stop It! National Video Competition

       The Racism. Stop It! National Video Competition is a major component of the
       March 21 Campaign. Across the country, youth rise to the challenge of this
       annual program. It is their project; they create the scenario, write the script, direct,
       shoot and edit a one-minute video story that expresses their feelings about racism.
       Information and the entry form on the National Video Competition are sent to
       schools across Canada. The entry deadline for the National Video Competition is
       January 16, 2006.
       Go to http://www.pch.gc.ca/march-21-mars/discussion/index_e.cfm for
       discussions and comments by students across Canada about participating in the
       Racism. Stop It! National Video Competition.

       Samples:
       On 2005/04/25 Deep from Toronto, Canada wrote:
        It is everyone's responsibility to help combat racism, not just the teachers, or
        students, or regular folks. I believe that the owners of Canadian media are
        reinforcing racism and prejudice with their ignorant mentality. Politicans must
        also step up to the plate, and not just talk about race when it comes to the
        election time, but educate everyone.

       On 2003/12/25 R. K. from Toronto, India wrote:
       People are born with equal opportunity. As technology brings the peoples of the
       world closer together and political barriers tumble, racial discrimination,
       xenophobia and other forms of intolerance continue to ravage our societies. The
       dream of a world free of racial hatred and bias remains only half fulfilled.



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                      8
       On 2004/11/08 Jayme from Toronto, Canada wrote:
       Racism is just wrong if u have somthing to say about someone that is racist keep it
       to yourself just because ur rude and feel that u have to put other people down to
       make urself feel good than just be quiet...STOP RACISM!!!!!!!!



III.   Mathieu Da Costa Challenge
       The Mathieu Da Costa Challenge was launched by the Department of Canadian
       Heritage in 1995, after the Parliament of Canada had declared February as Black
       History Month. The Challenge is an annual competition that invites students aged
       9 to 18, from across the country, to submit a short story or artwork that illustrates
       how specific individuals from Canada's Aboriginal, African and other
       ethnocultural backgrounds have contributed to the building of Canada.

IV.    Archives
       The Archives section of the Canadian Heritage Multiculturalism site collates the
       student responses from past years to the following questions.
       These sites are great for reviewing ideas for your class or school! What responses
       do you have to these questions?

   •   Should anti-racism/diversity education be a component of all Canadian students'
       education? If so, at what age/grade should anti-racism education begin in the
       classroom?

   •   What activities are you planning to organize to promote the March 21 Campaign?
       Do you have any suggestions for initiatives that could help eliminate racial
       discrimination in your school?




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                   9
         Curricular Materials and Selected Teaching/Learning Strategies Developed
                               by Media Awareness Network


CD-ROM Resources from Media Awareness Network

Two CD-ROMs, in both English and French, produced by Media Awareness Network, have been
jointly purchased for your collection and curriculum collaboration by the Social & World Studies
& the Humanities and Library and Learning Resources/Interdisciplinary Studies departments.

Media Awareness Network (MNET) is a Canadian not-for-profit center “of expertise and
excellence in media education” (see accompanying material in CD package for further details).
Instructional staff from the Social & World Studies & the Humanities and Library and Learning
Resources/Interdisciplinary Studies and Equity departments has previewed this material and look
forward to the professional development opportunities the package affords in the year ahead.

These CDs were distributed to CL/ACLs responsible for Canadian & World Studies and Social
Sciences & Humanities and the Equity representative in your school.

Description of CDs:

Deconstructing Online Hate/Propagnade haineuse sur Internet
This is a comprehensive professional development resource that addresses online hate and related
topics of bias, racism and propaganda. The resource examines the motives and tactics of hate
mongers and shows how the Internet can provide a powerful forum for targeting youth. It also
addresses how teachers can respond to online hate through "Web smarts" and critical thinking
skills.

Exploring Media & Race/Médias et diversité ethnique
This is a comprehensive professional development resource for diversity and media education.
The resource investigates the ways in which visible minorities are represented and portrayed in a
wide variety of media, examines the notion of stereotyping, looks at recent initiatives to make
Canadian media more diverse and inclusive, and provides teachers with educational strategies.

Recently, the web site at www.media-awareness.ca has uploaded a number of the teaching/
Learning Strategies included on the CDs.

We include two in this package and encourage teachers and students to explore this website for
many extremely well developed activities:
Lesson Plan: TV Stereotypes (Grades 2-6)
Lesson Plan: Perceptions of Race and Crime (Grades 7-12)




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                         10
   Curricular Materials and Selected Teaching/Learning Strategies Developed by
                           Media Awareness Network

                           Lesson Plan: TV Stereotypes (Grades 2-6)

TV Stereotypes
Level: Grades 2 to 6
Overview

This lesson familiarises students with stereotypes and helps them                 This lesson and all
understand the role that stereotypes play in television's portrayal of life.      associated documents
The lesson begins with a discussion about the types of stereotypes that           (handouts, overheads,
are common on television, why stereotypes are used on TV, and the                 backgrounders) is
possible negative influences of stereotyping. To further increase their           available in an easy-
awareness of television stereotypes, students will participate in a number        print, pdf kit version.
of writing, drawing and viewing activities that include deconstructing            To open the lesson kit
segments from television programs, drawing stereotypical and non-
                                                                                  for printing, click here.
stereotypical figures, and writing a poem about stereotypes.
                                                                                  To print only this page,
Learning Outcomes
Students will:                                                                    use the "printable
                                                                                  version" link at the top
     • recognize that the media construct reality                                 of the page.
     • understand that the representations made by the media are not
          always realistic
     • understand the various types of stereotypes that exist in the media
     • identify their own perceptions of various stereotypes
Materials and Preparation
     • Tape three or four programs in which actors portray stereotypical roles.
     • Photocopy Spotting Stereotypes and No Stereotypes worksheets.
     • Photocopy Putting Stereotypes to Poetry worksheet.
     • Read the Teaching Backgrounders:
               • Stereotypes
               • A Different World: Children's Perceptions of Race and Class in the Media
The Lesson
Guided Discussion
Ask students who remembers the definition of a stereotype from the lesson Once Upon A Time.
In our last lesson, we looked at stereotypes from traditional stories and fairy tales. Nowadays, many stories
that we enjoy are told to us through television and movies. You don't see many princesses or princes on TV
shows, but there are still many characters who are stereotyped on TV. How would you describe the
following TV characters?
     • A grandmother (is old-looking, wears her hair in a bun, wears glasses, is a homebody, lives with
          relatives)

    •    A bully (is big and tough looking, is always mean, most often is male)

    •    A villain (looks funny, or scary, or ugly; is always outwitted by the hero, nobody likes him or her)

    •    A cop (is most likely male, always chasing criminals, involved in lots of car chases and shoot-
         outs)

    •    Kids (are usually cute, smarter than their parents, sassy to their parents and teachers)


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                                   11
Ask the students to suggest other stereotypes which exist on television.
People on TV are stereotyped in many different ways. They are stereotyped because of their:
    • age (old people, young people, teenagers)

    •    sex (women and men, boys and girls)

    •    job (teacher, model, truck driver, doctor, lawyer)

    •    culture (Arab, French, Newfoundland, Irish, Italian)

    •    race (black, white, Chinese, Hispanic)

    •    looks (beautiful, ugly, 'nerdy')

     • position in a family (mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather)
All of these categories lead to pre-conceived notions about how people behave.
Ask your students, "Why do they use stereotypes on TV?" (Television stereotypes are used because they
enable a viewer to understand a character's role quickly and easily. In a half hour show, you only have
about twenty-three minutes of the actual program, so there isn't much time to develop a character in a
more well-rounded manner. Stereotypes are a kind of television "shorthand" with stock characters creating
easily understood plots.)
Activities
Stereotype Search: Show segments from three or four programs in which actors play stereotypical roles.
After each segment ask these questions:
     • What type of character did you see? (e.g. villain)

    •    What words or phrases best describe him or her? (e.g. evil, sinister-looking, tough-talking)

    •    Did the character's actions tell you something about him or her?

    •    How was the character dressed? Did the clothing help to suggest what kind of person this might
         be?

    •    Is the character unrealistic or true to life?

    • Is the character a stereotype?
Distribute Spotting Stereotypes and No Stereotypes worksheets. Have students complete their stereotype
sheet first, and their no-stereotype sheet second.
Stereotyping can be dangerous!
    • Have volunteers role-play these popular television stereotypes: scientist, teenage girl, detective,
          burglar, hero.

    •    Ask students to consider why stereotypes like these might be called dangerous.

    •    With older students, divide the class into groups, have each group list the dangers of stereotyping,
         then have a spokesperson for each group share their ideas with the class.
Be sure to point out that television tends to be dominated by white talent, despite the fact that we live in a
society made up of many ethnic groups and cultures. Explain that, although television uses stereotypes to
present viewers with easily recognizable characters, stereotypes often present a one-sided and negative



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                                    12
image. All viewers, then, must be careful about forming opinions about groups or individuals based on
what they see on TV.
A Word of Warning
    • Cigarette packages warn people of the dangers of smoking.

    •   Write a warning to tell people of the dangers of believing everything they see on TV.

   • List five programs that you think should give this warning.
Wanted: TV Stereotype
   • Make a WANTED poster for a TV stereotype.

    •   Explain why this character is wanted. Describe how he or she looks and behaves.

    •   List places where this person might be found.

   • Draw a picture for your poster.
Grandmothers
   • Fold a sheet of paper in half.

    •   On one half, draw a picture of a television or storybook grandma.

    •   On the other half, draw a picture of your own grandmother.

    •   Print words to describe each grandmother below her picture.

   • Are the pictures or the words the same?
You Play The Part
   • In a small group, role-play a scene from a TV program that relies on stereotypes.

   • Use costumes, props, and makeup to help create the characters.
Cinquain A Stereotype
   • Using the sheet Putting Stereotypes to Poetry , create your own stereotype cinquain.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                                13
   Curricular Materials and Selected Teaching/Learning Strategies Developed by
                           Media Awareness Network

                Lesson Plan: Perceptions of Race and Crime (Grades 7-12)

Perceptions of Race and Crime
Level(s): Grades 7 to 12
Overview

This lesson makes students aware how the media's portrayals of race and       This lesson and all
crime can affect our attitudes towards various visible minority groups in     associated documents
our society. Students begin by deconstructing a poster of a black police      (handouts, overheads,
officer that challenges racial stereotypes and respond to news articles       backgrounders) are
about racial identification in crime reporting. As a class, students will     available in an easy-
follow news stories about crime for one month, analyzing and sorting the      print, pdf kit version.
data according to how race is integrated into the stories. When the results   To open the lesson kit
have been tallied and discussed, students will complete a short paper on
                                                                              for printing, click here.
racial identification in stories about crime.
                                                                              To print only this page,
Learning Outcomes                                                             use the "printable
                                                                              version" link at the top
Students will:                                                                of the page.
    • develop an awareness of how media bias contributes to negative depictions of visible minorities in
         the media

    • Understand the media's influence on society's perceptions of visible minorities
Preparation and Materials
For background information or other lessons about perceptions of race or perceptions of race and crime,
read the selected resources on the right sidebar of this page.
    • Create the Policeman PSA transparency
Photocopy:
    • "Crime Has No Culture or Race"
    • "Crime Not Black and White"
    • Five Angles on the Crime-Race Maze
Procedure

Class Discussion

Place the Policeman PSA transparency onto the overhead projector. Ask your students:
    • What is the message of this public service campaign?

    •    What stereotypes and assumptions does this ad rely on in order to be effective? How does it
         counteract them?

    •    Is this an effective ad? Why or why not?

    •    In his book Mass Media and Popular Culture, Barry Duncan uses the term "dangerous other" to
         describe our perceptions of certain individuals in society. Can you identify groups of people who
         might be stereotyped as “dangerous”? (This list might include immigrants, teenagers, non-whites,
         motorcyclists and First Nations peoples.)




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                                  14
    •   From where do we get these beliefs? (Environment, friends, family, churches, schools and the
        media all play a role in molding these attitudes.)




Policeman PSA

Write the following on the chalkboard:

                  "Police said the suspect was described as a black man in his 20s..."

                               "Indian Found Murdered in New Town"

  "Detectives are investigating the death of an Asian employee of a brokerage firm whose body was
                             found by the company's owner yesterday...."



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                               15
Ask your students:
    • What do these news stories have in common?

    •    When is race an appropriate element in a story?

    •    Are the racial identifications used in these stories relevant? Why or why not?

    •    What are the problems surrounding unwarranted use of racial identity in crime-related stories?

    •    How much do you think the media contributes to public attitudes and beliefs about people from
         different cultures and races?
In 2000, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation conducted a study of racist reporting in Canadian English
print media. Their findings raised many concerns about media bias and discrimination in the news. They
discovered
     • people of colour underrepresented and largely invisible in the media;

    • misrepresentation and stereotyping of those people of colour who appeared in media coverage
They concluded that “The media articulates and transmits powerful and negative narratives, images and
ideas about ethno-racial minorities that can have a significant influence on the collective belief system of
Canadian society” and voiced particular concern over news coverage that continually links specific groups
with criminal or dangerous activity. They called this the “racialization of crime reporting” and the “the
language of otherness” that pervades the media.

But they did note that colour-coded news is not necessarily intentional on the part of the press, and that
many factors contribute to racially biased or limited news reporting.
    • Can you think what some of these factors might be?
    First, there's the lack of diversity in the news industry. This is reflected in both ownership of
    mainstream media outlets and the producers, editors and journalists who select and report stories.
    (At last count, in 2000, 97.3 per cent of Canadian journalists were white.)

    Also, Canadian media has become increasingly mainstream and concentrated – which is bad news
    for ethnic and visible minorities.

    Add to this mix the increasing pressure to treat news reporting as another form of entertainment
    media, and you end up with a news industry that spends little time on issues that matter to visible
    minorities – such as immigration, integration, equality, race relations and cross-cultural
    understanding – in favour of more sensational stories
Unwarranted use of racial identity is hardly limited to crime stories. One way for reporters to check
whether race or ethnicity is a proper identification factor in a story might be to ask whether the individual's
race would be relevant if he or she were white. Would the headlines above have identified these people as
'white'?
Distribute "Crime Has No Culture or Race" to students.
     • In her article, Susan Riley makes the distinction between "Asian crime" and "crime within the
         Asian community." What is the difference between these two terms?

    •    Why are we so quick to label crime with terms like "Asian crime," "Black crime," "Youth crime,"
         etc.?

    • What role does culture play in our perceptions of race and crime?
Distribute "Crime Not Black and White" to students.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                                     16
In this article Randall Denley satirizes the media's use of racial identity when reporting on crime. To make
his point, he has condensed a number of journalistic tools and techniques commonly used by reporters.
(For example, the use of police estimates of the percentage of crimes committed by whites, to validate
concerns over this "white crime wave.") Denley also uses satire to address some of the more serious issues
surrounding race-identification and crime reporting.
     • Ask students to identify the journalistic tools and techniques in this article.

     • What are some of the more serious issues that are addressed?
Distribute Five Angles on the Crime-Race Maze to students.
Review the article's main points regarding how statistics on race and crime can be misrepresented in the
media.
Activity
Over the next month, students are to collect newspaper and magazine stories relating to crime. As these
articles are brought to class, students will analyze and sort them under the following categories:
     • No racial identification

    •    Relevant racial identification

   • Unnecessary racial identification
Where racial identification occurs, they will also take note of:
   • Tools and techniques used in reporting the story

    •    The tone and perspective of the story

     • The overall effect on the reader
At the end of the month, students will tally and post their total figures.

Once the total figures are tallied, students will complete a short paper that explores the issues associated
with racial identification in stories about crime. Included in this paper will be what was learned from the
month of monitoring stories relating to crime and a list of ethical guidelines for journalists.

Taking Charge — Students can send their results to the magazines and newspapers they surveyed. For
articles that contained unnecessary racial identification, students may wish to contact the editor responsible,
to request an explanation of the newspaper or magazine's rationale for making this distinction.
Evaluation
     • Short paper about racial identification in crime reporting.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                                       17
                               What Can We Do To Challenge Racism?
                                   Excerpt from Tools For Equity, TDSB 2006

      We can often feel so overwhelmed by the different forms of racism that we see around
      us, that we feel powerless to take action against them. Many of us just end up shrugging
      our shoulders and saying to ourselves and others ‘What can we do about it?’

      The actions that we can take become easier to identify if we break down racism into three
      aspects: first, Ideas/ Prejudices/Stereotypes; second, Individual actions; and third,
      Institutional / Systemic actions.

      Look at the Racism Power Triangle below and read over the examples of each aspect of
      racism. Think of more examples to complete each list. What action could you take action
      to stop each of these?


                                                                               Ideas/ Beliefs
                  Institutional                                               Stereotypes and
                  Discrimination                                                 Prejudices
                  Structures/


Racial separation                                                                         Overgeneralization
Media portrayal of                                                                        East Asians are all
                                               POWER                                      good at Math.
certain races in limited
social roles                                                                              Canadians of African
??????????                                                                                descent are good
                                                                                          athletes
                                                                                          ??????????




                                                Individual
                                              Discrimination
                                              Individual Acts


                                         Name- calling
                                         Inappropriate jokes
                                         Making fun of clothes,
                                         food etc.
                                         Physically threatening,
                                         bullying, and harming
                                         Avoidance
                                         ??????????




      © 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                         18
                   ‘Diversity Imperatives’, Speech from
                         Senator Donald H. Oliver
  to The National Council of Visible Minorities, Atlantic Region Forum
           and General Meeting, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Feb. 20, 2006.

The TDSB Equity Policy acknowledged systemic racism in 2000 and affirmed its commitments to break
systemic racist barriers. TDSB Equity is proud to have the permission of The Honourable Donald H.
Oliver, QC to reprint his February 20, 2006 speech on the necessity for the Canadian government to take
action against systemic racism.

“Good morning and thank you for providing me with this opportunity to contribute to your
important Forum and General Meeting – especially now.

The early indications are that 2006 could be a critical year for visible minorities in the
Canadian federal public service. And I, for one, intend to accelerate this momentum.

I am pushing for faster, greater and lasting change in both hiring and promotion of visible
minorities. I believe this need for change and inclusion has been ignored too long – and
it is long overdue. I will no longer accept quiet assurances. I won’t rely on vague
promises. I want positive action … and I want it now.

Why? Because the federal public service’s record in increasing the representation of
visible minorities at all levels is a disgrace. Overall, it has indeed reached “A State of
Urgency”.

Today, I will first recount the disgraceful record of the federal government in building a
truly representative and diverse public service. I’ll take a look at the numbers of visible
minorities currently in public service jobs, examining why they are so low and analysing
why progress has been so slow.

Second, I will explain to you why we must aggressively work to turn this situation around.
I’ll demonstrate the benefits of building truly diverse organizations from a management
perspective. Equally vital, I will paint a picture of the new diverse face of Canada. It
highlights the urgent economic and social pressures facing our country.

Let me remind you, again, what diversity means to me: Diversity is a positive construct
indicating the richness that exists when people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures
and ethnicities bring different talents, skills and experiences to a group. That should be
the description of our Canadian Public Service.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                              19
And third, I will outline some of the steps I have taken recently to address the dismal
progress of visible minorities within the federal public service. I will show that there is a
light at the end of this tunnel, but, as I see it, it is indeed a long and tortuous tunnel.

My message is that the current and future viability of Canada’s public service and,
indeed, our country as a whole, depends on its ability to tap into the ideas, talents,
experiences, expertise, technical skills, and knowledge of a diverse workforce.

Leaders in the federal public service must act now to ensure fair and equitable visible
minority representation. They must tear down the systemic barriers that stand in the
way of people of colour.

And, most of all, they must recognize that racism – an ugly, stubborn and damaging
brand of racism – remains a fundamental problem within the public service of Canada,
today.

Denying that fact won’t make it go away. Pretending it is not here, won’t work! Wishing
it weren’t true won’t make it disappear. Whitewashing it won’t make it any easier to deal
with.

The intricate and difficult problems of racism in the public service will not go away and
cannot be mitigated until white senior managers are willing to acknowledge that racism
exists.

Racism must be acknowledged and acted upon. Otherwise, it just festers, turning a
nasty local infection into a virulent disease that afflicts the entire body.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote from his jail cell in Birmingham: “Injustice
anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Dismal Progress of Visible Minorities
So first, let’s run over some of the latest numbers for visible minorities in the federal
public service.

As you know, in the spring of 2000, the government introduced the Embracing Change
Action Plan. The plan specified “one in five” targets for the hiring, promotion and career
development of visible minorities.

Yet today, according to the most recent report to Parliament on Employment Equity
(2003-2004), only 10.1 percent of new hires are from visible minority groups and only 7.9
percent of visible minorities were promoted on a national basis.

Here in Nova Scotia specifically, the numbers are even worse, with only 6.4 percent of
new hires coming from visible minority groups and only 4.9 percent of promotions going
to visible minorities.

Last spring, I wrote to Maria Barrados, the president of Public Service Commission, a
true champion of visible minorities for clarification on some of the national statistics cited
in the report. She confirmed that the entry rate for visible minorities into executive levels
was 7.3 percent and the entry rate into executive feeder levels was 8.9 percent.



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                        20
She also confirmed that the promotion for visible minorities in or to the executive
category was 6 percent. As she concluded, “departments must make a significant effort
in this area” to achieve the “Embracing Change” targets.

Three Reasons for Failure
Why aren’t visible minorities being promoted to positions where they can have a
profound influence on the culture, policies and decisions affecting the public service?
It’s my view that fundamentally, there are three distinct, but interrelated reasons.

1. No Leadership Commitment
First, it appears that the recruitment, retention and promotion of visible minorities are not
priority issues for senior managers or executives in the public service. In other words,
there is no leadership commitment. Former Prime Minister Martin told me he knew of no
qualified visible minorities for the jobs and, of 16 appointments he made to the Senate of
Canada not one—not one—was a visible minorities. That is called a Lack of Leadership.

This lack of commitment is fatal. Research has shown that committed leadership is the
single, most important factor in creating inclusive and diverse workplaces.

I believe that many leaders in government, particularly HR types, continue to view
diversity as a nice thing to do, not necessarily a smart thing to do.

Research conducted by the Centre for Creative Leadership, for instance, shows that
some leaders simply intellectualize their awareness of diversity issues, such as
injustices suffered by people different from themselves.

This stage is referred to as “pseudo diversity”—where criteria for understanding and
relating to others are based on political correctness.

Public service leaders need to move to a higher stage. They must move toward an
aggressive “make-it-happen” strategy. They must devote resources to this issue. They
must hold themselves and their people accountable. I would personally like to see them
accountable to a parliamentary committee.

They must be prepared to become champions for diversity. This level of personal
commitment and involvement is absolutely critical.

2. No incentives or infrastructure
The second reason why visible minorities are not advancing has to do with infrastructure
and incentives. These prerequisites to fair representation of visible minorities within the
public service just don’t exist. So not only is there no will, there is no way.

The federal government does not lack the resources to effect near-term and enduring
change. It could make dramatic improvements if the will existed. It already has made
dramatic improvement when it comes to accelerating the representation of the other
three target groups, namely: women, the disabled and Aboriginal peoples in the federal
public service.

Its latest figures show that public service representation by these three groups exceeds
the government’s labour market availability goals. “Some 53 percent of all public service
employees are women, just surpassing our workforce availability goal of 52 percent;


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                  21
Over four percent of all public service employees are Aboriginal peoples, higher than our
workforce availability goal of 2.5 percent; nearly six percent of all public service
employees are persons with disabilities, which compares well with our workforce
availability goal of just below four percent.”

This progress is impressive and laudable – as well it should be. The incentives are
strong. The infrastructure is robust. And the commitment is clear.

There are special federal government departments, secretariats or resource centres in
place to address the requirements of the women, the disabled and Aboriginal peoples.

There are comprehensive training and award programs. There are plenty of financial,
technical and professional resources to support these priority issues.

But, there is nothing of the same magnitude and depth for visible minorities. So, let me
ask you, “Why isn’t the federal government doing the same for visible minorities?”

As every person in this room today knows, there are visible minorities in the public
service today who are highly qualified for important jobs.

Why are they not getting a chance? Why do opportunities remain beyond their grasp?
What is the cause of this dilemma?

3. Systemic Racism
This brings me to third reason why visible minorities are not moving in and moving up in
the public service. In a word, the reason is racism.

Systemic racism. Well-entrenched, institutionalized racism. The kind of racism that
makes it virtually impossible for a visible minority to move beyond the glass ceiling,
irrespective of merit, qualifications, or experience.

Why won’t the government acknowledge this truth and do something about it? The
problem is still casually brushed aside. The federal government points to the plans in
place and leaves it at that. The fact is these plans are not working.

There was an interesting article written by Martin Jacques, a white man and a visiting
fellow at the London School of Economics, in The Guardian, a British publication. For
me, it describes in compelling terms, the fundamental problems concerning racism.

He wrote:
“I always found race difficult to understand. It was never intuitive. And the reason was
simple. Like every other white person, I had never experienced it myself: the meaning of
colour was something I had to learn. The turning point was falling in love with my wife,
an Indian-Malaysian, and her coming to live in England. Then, over time, I came to see
my own country in a completely different way, through her eyes, her background. Colour
is something white people never have to think about because for them it is never a
handicap, never a source of prejudice of discrimination, but rather the opposite, a source
of privilege. However liberal and enlightened I tried to be, I still had a white outlook on
the world. My wife was the beginning of my education…




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                 22
“Second, there is a global racial hierarchy that helps to shape the power and the
prejudices of each race. At the top of this hierarchy are whites. The reasons are deep-
rooted and profound. White societies have been the global top dogs for half a
millennium, ever since Chinese civilisation went into decline…

“Racism everywhere remains largely invisible and hugely under-estimated, the issue that
barely speaks its name…

“This is clearly fundamental to understanding the way in which racism is underplayed as
a national and global issue. But there is another reason, which is a specifically white
problem. Because whites remain the overwhelmingly dominant global race, perched in
splendid isolation on top of the pile even though they only represent 17% of the world’s
population, they are overwhelmingly responsible for setting the global agenda, for
determining what is discussed and what is not. And the fact that whites have no
experience of racism, except as perpetrators, means that racism is constantly
underplayed by western institutions—by governments, by the media, by corporations.
Moreover, because whites have reigned globally supreme for half a millennium, they,
more than any other race, have left their mark on the rest of humanity: they have a
vested interest in denying the extent and baneful effects of racism.”

And, as he elaborates further: “Wishing (racism) wasn't true, denying it is true, will never
change the reality. We can only understand - and tackle racism - if we are honest about
it.

“And when it comes to race - more than any other issue - honesty is in desperately short
supply.”

Barriers to the advancement of visible minorities
Many white Canadians are not being honest with themselves. They are in denial. There
are many who persist in thinking that racism just isn’t a problem anymore in Canada and
especially in the public service. But, research shows that it continues to manifest itself in
many ways.

As you know, I raised half a million dollars to fund a major research and education
project at the Conference Board of Canada. Through this project, we studied the broad
economic and social imperatives of immigration and diversity.

We also examined diversity best practices in organizations across Canada and around
the world. And we conducted in-depth focus group research with successful managers
and professionals from visible minority groups.

This report demonstrated that visible minorities face overwhelming barriers in their
careers. Often their foreign work experience and credentials are not recognized here in
Canada. Sometimes, non-white names or merely speaking with an accent shuts them
out from pursuing important job opportunities.

But, there are other subtle, but equally daunting barriers, that also point to systemic
racism.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                  23
Lack of “fit”
The report concluded that some visible minorities are turned away or turned down for
opportunities because they don’t “fit”. I’m sure some of you have heard this excuse.

I recognize that “fit” has long been considered a key predictor of future job performance.
But, it’s certainly not the only one. And for some visible minorities, the “fit” criterion
simply masks systemic racism.

That’s because “fit” all comes down to the chemistry between the hiring manager and
the job candidate. Visible minorities who were unable to create a rapport with hiring
managers reported that they left interviews feeling that prejudice may have been to
blame.

Visible minorities also spoke of the “sticky floor” that limits their chances for initial
advancement and the “glass” or “cement ceiling” that stops them from being promoted to
top positions in organizations.

There is a lot more than just sour grapes to these stories. As Madame Barrados
discovered in her investigations, some federal departments do not even have a plan for
the advancement of visible minorities. Others simply have a list of what positions may
be open to visible minorities.

That’s not strategic. And it’s not enough.

The Canadian Way
A second major barrier set out in the Conference Board Report is a lack of familiarity
with the “Canadian way of doing things.” Immigrant visible minorities can have
difficulties in adjusting and adapting to Canadian customs and organizations.

That’s understandable. Different cultures have different ideas about personal space,
eye contact and gestures. For example, the OK sign or thumbs up are positive gestures
to us. But to Greeks or North Africans, these same gestures may be considered
obscene.

Different cultures also have different perceptions of time, different learning styles or
different work habits. In some Asian cultures, for instance, learning is formal and one-
way. And in some cultures, workers are not expected to make decisions, take initiative
or use their judgment without being directed to do so.

But the problem here is not just that visible minorities are different or are seen as
different. The problem is that are also perceived as less capable and less
knowledgeable just because they are different. That perception is clearly racist.

Different performance standards
Finally, different standards of performance can present huge obstacles to visible
minorities. We all know that to succeed, you must work hard. But the visible minorities
interviewed by the Conference Board said that they experienced more pressure than
their non-visible minority colleagues.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                  24
In some cases, these interviewees felt that managers needed to justify their hiring to the
rest of the organization. Consequently, managers expected longer hours and more
exceptional results from their visible minority employees.

In other cases, the reported source of pressure was co-workers’ suspicions that jobs or
promotions went to people because they were visible minorities, not because they had
the right competencies and skills.

Organizations that want to fully leverage the talents and contributions of visible
minorities have to tear these barriers down – and keep them down. They must
acknowledge that racism reinforces these barriers.

That’s not easy. And it will always be a major challenge. As Martin Jacques also writes
in his article:

“The dominant race in a society, whether white or otherwise, rarely admits to its own
racism. Denial is near universal. The reasons are manifold. It has a huge vested
interest in its own privilege. It will often be oblivious to its own prejudices… Only when
challenged by those on the receiving end is racism ousted, and attitudes begin to
change.”

Benefits of Diversity
Today’s global reality demands that we acknowledge our prejudices and act on them
accordingly. Equally vital, it demands that companies and governments adapt, change
and learn.

Money won’t help them do that. New processes, procedures or equipment won’t help
them do that. Only people can do that. Ideas, knowledge and creativity are the only
enduring sources of organizational effectiveness.

Let’s turn now to some of the benefits of cultivating a culture free of racism and
resplendent in diversity.

Increased brainpower
First, diversity enhances the brainpower and creative output of any organization.

Individually, by virtue of the fact that they have left what they know to come to place they
do not know, visible minority immigrants are courageous, driven and willing to take risks.
As the Conference Board also reports, they bring a strong desire to succeed.

What’s more, when you bring ethnically diverse groups together, the potential for gaining
more fulsome perspectives and more innovative ideas is magnified.

Why? Because a group of the same people of the same colour with the same
backgrounds and experiences inevitably comes up the same tired ideas – time and time
again.

By contrast, as numerous studies have shown, groups composed of people from a
variety of cultures don’t fall into this trap of “group think”.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                     25
They bring more perspectives to the table, enrich the discussion, and generate more
alternatives. Equally valuable, the solutions they devise are more wide-ranging and
effective. They take into account the interests of the full range of an organization’s
stakeholders.

The Conference Board’s research cites a study that compared the interaction and
performance of culturally-similar and culturally-diverse teams over 17 weeks.

The homogeneous and diverse teams scored equally well on measures related to
process and performance. However, the diverse group scored higher on the range of
perspectives provided and the generation of alternatives. Clearly, diverse work groups
propel innovation.

Magnet for Talent
This brings me to a second reason why companies need to build inclusive cultures.
Diverse organizations attract the best talent.

Carnegie Mellon economist Richard Florida postulates that smart, creative people want
to live and work in places and organizations that are technologically advanced.

They also want the opportunity to learn from other skilled and educated people. But,
above all, these creative people seek tolerance. A feeling of acceptance is important to
them – very important. They look for organizations – and countries – that are diverse
and inclusive.

Countries, Professor Florida believes, are going to have stop thinking of immigration as
a gate-keeping function and start thinking about it as a talent attraction function,
necessary for economic growth.

This is especially true for Canada. Canada’s shortage of skilled workers is going to get
even worse.

Of the 15.6 million people in the labour force in 2001, according to Statistics Canada,
more than 2.5 million were in highly skilled occupations that normally require a university
education.

Professor Florida in The Flight of the Creative Class—The New Global Competition for
Talent said, “First and foremost, we must strive to tap the full creative capabilities of
every single human being. The creative class is doing well, and taking care of itself.
Addressing the needs of the 30 percent of the workforce employed in this class is
important, but it won’t be enough. To both prevent widespread social unrest and benefit
economically from the creative input of the maximum number of its citizens, the U.S. and
other countries will have to find ways to bring the service and manufacturing sectors
more fully into the creative age. In this respect, our greatest challenge involves both the
growing class divide that the creative age is producing and the huge reservoir of
untapped creative capital that is being squandered. Addressing this divide is not only
socially and morally just; it is an economic imperative for any society interested in long-
term innovation and prosperity.”

This was a 33 percent increase from 1991 – triple the rate of growth for the labour force
as a whole.


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                 26
Statistics Canada’s research shows that this trend was evident across all provinces and
territories. It is also a trend that will accelerate sharply. By 2011 when the baby
boomers start to retire in greater numbers, the Conference Board predicts that the skills
shortage will be more generalized across all sectors.

Consequently, if the public service does not become more receptive to the talents of
visible minorities, then its access to precious intellectual capital will remain severely
limited.

Improved client relations
A third important reason for reaching out and making sure visible minorities feel
welcome is the fact that a diverse organization fosters closer ties and better relationships
with its clients.

Ethnic groups are burgeoning right here in Canada, as they are in other countries.
Government departments must be able to reach out to them and build positive
relationships.

Take Centrelink, an agency of the Australian government’s Department of Human
Services, as an example. It was set up so that citizens can get more of the help they
need in one place.

It serves 6.5 million customers, or approximately one-third of the Australian population,
pays out about $60 billion a year in assistance and entitlements, and administers more
than 140 different products and services for 25 government agencies.

And its customer base is quite diverse with about 20 percent or 1.2 million clients who
were born in non-English speaking countries.

To strengthen relationships between its staff and clients, Centrelink developed a unique
Guide to Ethnic Naming Practices. This tool provides its employees with information on
more than 60 languages and customs, including where the languages are spoken, how
different cultures order their family and given names, and how names should be
pronounced.

Centrelink also gives its employees an allowance for speaking with customers in their
native language, when this language is not English. Employees are further encouraged
to foster ties with local community organizations. And the organization has set up
Multicultural Advisory Committees in all Australian states and territories.

Today, 18.6 percent of Centrelink’s 27,000 employees are from diverse cultural and
linguistic backgrounds.

The results: Client satisfaction rates are consistently high, services are continually
improved, and the demand for Centrelink services continues to grow year over year.

In short, Centrelink delivers. And it is earning diversity awards and widespread acclaim
for its achievements.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                    27
Stellar reputation
This brings me to the issue of reputation – a fourth vital reason for cultivating a culture of
diversity.

The value of a superior reputation may be difficult to quantify, but it is a precious asset
nonetheless. Wouldn’t you rather buy a product from a company that treats its
employees well and provides excellent customer service?

Don’t you feel better about obtaining a service from a company that contributes to your
community or that supports a good cause?

Studies consistently show that consumers are willing to spend more for a product or
service from companies that they perceive as socially responsible. And they will punish
companies that they believe are dishonest or unjust.

The same is true for nations. Look at what happened in South Africa. Back in the 1970s,
much of the world boycotted South African products, refused to visit the country, and
declined their diplomatic exchanges. But apartheid continued.

Then in the 1980s, individual and organizational stockholders started asking their
brokers and bankers if any of their money was invested in South Africa. If it was, they
demanded that it be withdrawn. Soon, the trickle of divestment became a flood.

And by 1991, shortly before Nelson Mandela’s release from jail, there was $625 billion in
global investment pools not open to the South African regime. When asked whether the
investment boycott had played a role in ending apartheid, Mandela replied: “Oh, there is
no doubt.”

In sum, the Conference Board study proves the business case for diversity. It
demonstrates that diverse organizations consistently achieve powerful results.

That’s because these organizations have more brainpower and better ideas. They are
magnets for new talent. They develop mutually beneficial relationships with all their
clients. And they inevitably enjoy a superior reputation.

Social and economic imperatives of diversity
For all these reasons, it is crucial for Canada to build a culturally inclusive and diverse
federal public service, especially now. Yet, the economic and social reasons are just as
compelling.

Canada’s demographic landscape is being dramatically reshaped. We’ve been hit with
what I call the inverted age pyramid.

This pyramid is top heavy with baby boomers and aging seniors and bottom light with
young people. This is due to a fertility rate well below the level needed to maintain our
current population.

In 1980, the median age of Canadians was 29 years. In 2000, it was 37. And by 2050,
it will approach 43.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                      28
This same trend is affecting other developed countries too. Fertility rates across Europe,
for example, are so low that demographers predict that the number of Europeans will
drop dramatically over the next five decades, even with immigration.

Specifically, Italy’s population is expected to fall from more than 57 million in 2000 to
about 45 million by 2050. Spain’s will drop by 3 million over the same period. And in
just 25 years, almost half of all Germans will be 65 years or older.

Canada, as you know, has long been a country of immigrants and indeed, immigration
has long fuelled our economic growth. But, over the past 30 years, our immigration
patterns have changed dramatically.

Prior to the 1970s, most of Canada’s immigrants came from Europe, Great Britain and
the United States. Most were white. Most spoke either English or French. And most
were either Roman Catholics or Protestants. But, after the 1960s, that all changed with
more and more immigrants coming from Asian countries.

Today, immigrants to Canada generally come from countries such as China, India,
Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines and Taiwan. And most – 73 percent in 2003 – are
visible minorities.

As a result, according to Statistics Canada’s most recent census data, Canada’s visible
minority population has more than tripled to nearly four million or 13 percent of the
population in 2002, up from 1.1 million or just 5 percent in 1981. And three-quarters of
these visible minorities are first generation Canadians.

By 2016, the Conference Board of Canada predicts that the number of visible minorities
in Canada will jump to 6.6 million or roughly 20 percent of Canada’s population. It
further predicts that visible minorities will account for more than 10 percent of Canada’s
total gains in GDP growth by that time.

In addition, this increasing influx of visible minority immigrants continues to radically alter
the demographic make-up of Canada’s major urban centres.

Toronto alone attracted almost 49 percent of all immigrants to Canada in 2002. Today,
almost one in two Torontonians belongs to a visible minority group – an increase of
almost 300 percent in just two decades.

And by 2017, Statistics Canada projects that both Toronto and Vancouver will become
“majority minority” cities.

Overall, immigration already accounts for more than 50 percent of Canada’s population
growth. It is also sharply affecting Canada’s labour force potential.

By 2011 – just five short years from now – the Government of Canada projects that
immigration will account for all labour force growth in Canada.

Consider this important statistic too. In 2017, for every 100 visible minority persons old
enough to leave the labour force, there will be 142 old enough to join the labour force. In
the rest of the population, there will be only 75 potential entries for every 100 potential
exits.


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                    29
Clearly, Canada’s long-term economic prosperity rests with the successful integration of
persons from visible minority groups. Diversity is and will remain an urgent necessity for
Canada’s public service.

Advancing positive change
Let me now explain some of the ways I have been calling attention to the long overdue
need for concrete, positive and enduring change.

First of all, as you may know, for more than 15 years I have been actively promoting the
business case for diversity and its social and economic imperatives with audiences and
opinion leaders across the country in both the public and private sectors.

I think the Conference Board research provides a powerful argument for why
organizations, both public and private, must take action now. And I also hope my
message is starting to sink in.

Second, and equally crucial, I am working on several key fronts within the federal
government and the federal public service.

Over the past two years, I have written to and met with the Clerk of the Privy Council,
Alex Himmelfarb, several times to inquire about the government’s progress in advancing
the interests of visible minorities.

I remain in regular contact with the Public Service Human Resources Management
Agency of Canada and the Public Service Commission. In addition to Maria Barrados, I
have met and corresponded with Michelle Chartrand, the President of the Public Service
HR Management Agency

Madame Chartrand acknowledges that “there continue to be challenges with respect to
the appointment of persons from outside the public service, whether visible minority or
not.” But I also shared with her a list of senior visible minority officers in the federal
public service who could, in my opinion, be eligible for appointment to the Assistant
Deputy Minister level in the near future.

She wrote back to thank me for supplying these names and said:
      “It is encouraging to note that many of the individuals on your list are currently in
      the Accelerated Executive Development Program, which has produced several
      ADM appointees. Indeed, two visible minority employees under this program
      have been appointed to the ADM level, and a few of the persons on the list are
      being given opportunities to develop themselves by acting in various positions at
      this level. As participants in this program continue to develop the requisite skills
      and competencies, they will be well-situated to compete for ADM positions.”

This is encouraging and compelling news.

I continue to demand answers to my questions about the government’s plans for visible
minorities in the Senate. And last year, I set down an Inquiry and spoke in the Senate. I
called on the government to take action immediately with new initiatives to give visible
minorities the same rights, privileges and protections as all other Canadians. I want the
Senate of Canada to represent the Diversity of Canada.


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                 30
I continue to meet many deputy ministers individually on the Diversity issue.

I meet frequently with Maria Barrados, President of the Public Service Commission of
Canada.

I meet with many different Privy Council and Treasury Board officials—both political and
administrative.

Since I launched this campaign, I have received hundreds of e-mails, letters and phone
calls from visible minorities. I have tried to promote many of them.

They shared with me their frustration, disappointment and anger. They told me how they
invested their money, time and energy in gaining important new qualifications only to be
passed over for promotion time and time again.

They told me about the problems they solved and the new solutions they discovered,
only to have their results ignored. They told me about the impressive experience they
had gained on the job, only to feel that their achievements meant nothing.

The prevalence of these problems underscores the fact that well-entrenched, systemic
racism continues to stall the career advancement of visible minorities across the country.
Even more appalling is the fact that the situation is no better for visible minorities
working in the federal public service.

In total, I have collected more than 360 curriculum vitas or resumes from visible
minorities within the public service who should be promoted. In addition to Madame
Chartrand, I have shared the names of deserving individuals with Madame Barrados,
with the Clerk of the Privy Council and with the Prime Minister.

Last December, I also became the first Senator to address Deputy Ministers at their
quarterly breakfast meeting. I shared with them my concerns about the public service’s
moribund record in advancing the interests of visible minorities. I indicated that racism is
at the root of the problem. I spoke about the urgency of making real progress.

And I am pleased to say that many of the Deputy Ministers thanked me for taking the
time to meet with them. They felt my presentation was informative and several found my
arguments persuasive. I will continue to follow up with these Deputy Ministers over the
coming months.

So as you can see, some people are starting to acknowledge the problems. They are
signalling a new commitment. So now the time is ripe for some follow-through.

Right here in Atlantic Region, I would like to see action taken on three decisive fronts.
First, before the end of 2006, I believe that at least three visible minorities should be
appointed to ADM positions.

I know from my research and my contacts that many qualified visible minorities are
already in the pipeline. So this goal is entirely achievable.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                    31
Second, I would like every Atlantic Region manager and executive to become a mentor
to a talented visible minority employee.

And I don’t mean becoming a mentor in name only. I mean working with a visible
minority individual at least five hours a week to show them the ropes and help them to
become more effective managers.

Mentoring is crucial. In the Conference Board’s focus groups, participants reported that
networks – internal and external as well as personal and professional – were very
important to them.

David Thomas, a U.S.-based researcher on minority advancement and career
progression, found that “people of colour who advance the furthest all share one
characteristic.”

That characteristic is a “strong network of mentors and corporate sponsors who nurture
their professional development.”

And third, I would like to see more substantive efforts to fill the executive feeder groups
with talented visible minorities. This can be done by accelerating the Career Assignment
Program in the Atlantic Region.

Again, I know that this step is entirely feasible. I have the names of qualified visible
minorities to prove it.

Conclusion
Allow me to sum up. As I have shown today, the public service of Canada is in trouble.
It is not doing enough to advance visible minorities. The current plans are not working.
The time for talk is over. The time for action is now.

That’s because the competition for valuable talent within the global marketplace is fierce
– and it will intensify in the future.

As the largest employer in Canada, I believe the federal public service can and should
be on the leading edge. It should be a shining example to all Canadian organizations,
public and private, of the many advantages of building a diverse, inclusive workplace.

These advantages include a greater capacity to foster organizational creativity and
innovation, the ability to attract and retain valuable talent, stronger relationships with
your clients and stakeholders, and a stellar reputation.

I believe it is up to managers and executives to create an organizational culture where
all people of colour believe their voices will be heard and their contributions will be
welcome.

Effecting cultural change is never easy, but it is not impossible. You must recognize the
importance of your role. You must walk the talk.

And you must acknowledge that racism remains the largest impediment to creating
diverse and inclusive cultures.



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                     32
Remember racism is not a disease you can see, smell, hear, touch or feel. It remains
largely invisible, hugely under-estimated and wholly pervasive. But, I know it’s there.

I know because the research proves it. I know because many Black Canadians and
other people of colour tell me they continue to encounter prejudice on a regular basis. I
know because I encounter racism too.

It may not be the in your face "You may not eat in this restaurant" type of rejection
common forty years ago when I was growing up. But it’s there.

It is called the glass ceiling, a plateau above which visible minorities are unable to rise,
no matter their abilities, or competence, or achievement.

People of colour are never sure when they are going to bump their heads on this ceiling.
But they know it's there. They know that if they aspire too high they will be pushed aside,
held back, squeezed out, denied the opportunity to participate fully and equally with their
fellow Canadians.

For people of colour, it’s very easy to get discouraged and give up in the face of these
obstacles. It is tempting to ignore the problem and slip into the background. But, we
cannot – not for ourselves, not for others, and not for those to come.

As a wise woman once wrote:
       “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about
       shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant
       to shine as children do. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously
       give other people permission to do the same.

       As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates
       others.”


Recently, a colleague shared with me a poem. The poem is directed at young Black
woman, who asked God why He made her black. She was fed up with her struggle for
equality. She lamented her colour – and all the negative connotations that it implied.
God replied:

Why did I make you black? Why did I make you black?

               I made you in the color of coal
               From which beautiful diamonds are formed...
               I made you in the color of oil,
               The black gold which keeps people warm.

               Your color is the same as the rich dark soil
               That grows the food you need...
               Your color is the same as the black stallion and
               Panther, Oh what majestic creatures indeed!

               All colors of the heavenly rainbow
               Can be found throughout every nation...


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                       33
               When all these colors are blended,
               You become my greatest creation!

               Your hair is the texture of lamb's wool,
               Such a beautiful creature is he...
               I am the shepherd, who watches them,
               I will ALWAYS watch over thee!

               You are the color of the midnight sky,
               I put star glitter in your eyes...
               There's a beautiful smile hidden behind your pain...
               That's why your cheeks are so high!

               You are the color of dark clouds
               From the hurricanes I create in September...
               I made your lips so full and thick,
               So when you kiss...they will remember!

               Your stature is strong,
               Your bone structure thick to withstand the
               Burden of time...
               The reflection you see in the mirror,
               That image that looks back, that is MINE!

                So get off your knees,
                Look in the mirror and tell me what you see?
                I didn't make you in the image of darkness...
               I made you in the image of ME!

People of colour deserve to sit at the same table as their peers. They deserve to grow
and advance in their careers. They deserve a fair chance. Let’s work together to make
sure visible minorities get everything they so rightly deserve. Thank you.”




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                             34
               ‘White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack’
            - excerpts from ‘Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical
             Guide to K-12 Anti-racist, Multicultural Education and Staff
                                    Development
Peggy McIntosh’s essay was first published in 1988. Reactions and responses to her essay about
developing empathy and antiracism ranged from approval to confusion to outraged defensiveness. Read the
essay in 2006. Many of our societal attitudes have changed; have they changed enough?


        WHITE PRIVILEGE: UNPACKING THE INVISIBLE KNAPSACK
                                         - Peggy McIntosh
"I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible
systems conferring dominance on my group"
Through work to bring materials from women's studies into the rest of the curriculum, I
have often noticed men's unwillingness to grant that they are over-privileged, even
though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to
women's statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can't or won't
support the idea of lessening men's. Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of
advantages that men gain from women's disadvantages. These denials protect male
privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended.
Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since
hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there is most likely a phenomenon of white
privilege that was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been
taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught
not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.
I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught
not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like
to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of
unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to
remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special
provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank cheques.
Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in women's studies
work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of their power, so one who
writes about having white privilege must ask, "having described it, what will I do to
lessen or end it?"


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                            35
After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I
understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious. Then I remembered the
frequent charges from women of colour that white women whom they encounter are
oppressive. I began to understand why we are just seen as oppressive, even when we
don't see ourselves that way. I began to count the ways in which I enjoy unearned skin
privilege and have been conditioned into oblivion about its existence.
My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly
advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as
an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. My schooling
followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth Minnich has pointed out: whites are taught
to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that
when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow "them" to be more
like "us."


Daily effects of white privilege
I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of
white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach
somewhat more to skin-colour privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or
geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined.
As far as I can tell, my African American co-workers, friends, and acquaintances with
whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work
cannot count on most of these conditions.
1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.
2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have
learned to mistrust my kind or me.
3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an
area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbours in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to
me.
5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be
followed or harassed.
6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my
race widely represented.
7. When I am told about our national heritage or about "civilization," I am shown that
people of my colour made it what it is.
8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the
existence of their race.
9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                     36
10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only
member of my race.
11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person's voice in a group in
which s/he is the only member of his/her race.
12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented,
into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a
hairdresser's shop and find someone who can cut my hair.
13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin colour not to work
against the appearance of financial reliability.
14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like
them.
15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own
daily physical protection.
16. I can be pretty sure that my children's teachers and employers will tolerate them if
they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others'
attitudes toward their race.
17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my colour.
18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having
people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.
19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.
20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of colour who
constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such
oblivion.
23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and
behaviour without being seen as a cultural outsider.
24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a
person of my race.
25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't
been singled out because of my race.
26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and
children's magazines featuring people of my race.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                   37
27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied
in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.
28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to
jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.
29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a
program centring on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting,
even if my colleagues disagree with me.
30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn't a racial issue at hand, my race
will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of colour will have.
31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist
programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be
more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.
32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people
of other races.
33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body door will be taken as a
reflection on my race.
34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.
35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers
on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or
situation whether it had racial overtones.
37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and
advise me about my next steps, professionally.
38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without
asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to
do.
39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.
40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get
in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.
41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.
42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection
owing to my race.
43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                     38
44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people
of my race.
45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences
of my race.
46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" colour and have them more or less
match my skin.
47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in
those who deal with us.
48. I have no difficulty finding neighbourhoods where people approve of our household.
49. My children are given texts and classes that implicitly support our kind of family unit
and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.
50. I will feel welcomed and "normal" in the usual walks of public life, institutional and
social.
Elusive and fugitive
I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me white
privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is
great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this
is not such a free country; one's life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain
people through no virtues of their own.
In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege, I have listed conditions of daily
experience that I once took for granted. Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad
for the holder. I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of
privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just
society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive.
I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a pattern of assumptions that
were passed on to me as a white person. There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was
my own turn, and I was among those who could control the turf. My skin colour was an
asset for any move I was educated to want to make. I could think of myself as belonging
in major ways and of making social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear,
neglect, or be oblivious to anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the
main culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.
In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious,
other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated.
Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was
being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of colour.
For this reason, the word "privilege" now seems to me misleading. We usually think of
privilege as being a favoured state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet



© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                   39
some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to over empower
certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one's race or sex.


Earned strength, unearned power
I want, then, to distinguish between earned strength and unearned power conferred
privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to escape or to dominate. But
not all of the privileges on my list are inevitably damaging. Some, like the expectation
that neighbours will be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in
court, should be the norm in a just society. Others, like the privilege to ignore less
powerful people, distort the humanity of the holders as well as the ignored groups.
We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages, which we can
work to spread, and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always
reinforce our present hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the
human circle, as Native Americans say, should not be seen as privilege for a few. Ideally
it is an unearned entitlement. At present, since only a few have it, it is an unearned
advantage for them. This paper results from a process of coming to see that some of the
power that I originally say as attendant on being a human being in the United States
consisted in unearned advantage and conferred dominance.
I have met very few men who truly distressed about systemic, unearned male advantage
and conferred dominance. And so one question for me and others like me is whether we
will be like them, or whether we will get truly distressed, even outraged, about unearned
race advantage and conferred dominance, and, if so, what we will do to lessen them. In
any case, we need to do more work in identifying how they actually affect our daily lives.
Many, perhaps most, of our white students in the United States think that racism doesn't
affect them because they are not people of colour; they do not see "whiteness" as a racial
identity. In addition, since race and sex are not the only advantaging systems at work, we
need similarly to examine the daily experience of having age advantage, or ethnic
advantage, or physical ability, or advantage related to nationality, religion, or sexual
orientation.
Difficulties and angers surrounding the task of finding parallels are many. Since racism,
sexism, and heterosexism are not the same, the advantages associated with them should
not be seen as the same. In addition, it is hard to disentangle aspects of unearned
advantage that rest more on social class, economic class, race, religion, sex, and ethnic
identity that on other factors. Still, all of the oppressions are interlocking, as the members
of the Combahee River Collective pointed out in their "Black Feminist Statement" of
1977.
One factor seems clear about all of the interlocking oppressions. They take both active
forms, which we can see, and embedded forms, which as a member of the dominant
groups one is taught not to see. In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist
because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members
of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my
group from birth.


© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                   40
Disapproving of the system won't be enough to change them. I was taught to think that
racism could end if white individuals changed their attitude. But a "white" skin in the
United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way
dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate but cannot end these
problems.
To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen
dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political
surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about
equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance
by making these subjects taboo. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me
now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while
denying that systems of dominance exist.
It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male
advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of
meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most
people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of
people props up those in power and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups
that have most of it already.
Although systemic change takes many decades, there are pressing questions for me and, I
imagine, for some others like me if we raise our daily consciousness on the perquisites of
being light-skinned. What will we do with such knowledge? As we know from watching
men, it is an open question whether we will choose to use unearned advantage, and
whether we will use any of our arbitrarily awarded power to try to reconstruct power
systems on a broader base.
Peggy McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley Collage Center for Research on
Women. This essay is excerpted from Working Paper 189. "White Privilege and Male
Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming To See Correspondences through Work in
Women's Studies" (1988), by Peggy McIntosh; available for $4.00 from the Wellesley
College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley MA 02181 The working paper
contains a longer list of privileges.
This excerpted essay is reprinted from the Winter 1990 issue of Independent School.




© 2007 Toronto District School Board – Equity Department                                41

								
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