Racism, the press, and Canadian society: laying the groundwork for contemporary study
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 15:36 by Rebecca Morier
As its national anthem proclaims, Canada is indeed "glorious and free," especially with the trope of a harmonious cultural mosaic as a defining characteristic of this fundamentally democratic nation. As Prime Minister Jean Chretien asserts, egalitarian values have always been at the basis of Canadian society: "Throughout the course of our history, we Canadians have built our society on the principles of fairness, justice, mutual respect, democracy and opportunity" (Department of Canadian Heritage, 1997). However, there also emerges from Canada's history a legacy of racial prejudice, discrimination, and disadvantage. As numerous studies have shown, racist attitudes and beliefs persist in Canada, even though they are not always apparent to those unaffected by their direct repercussions. This tension begs the question: how does a society that upholds liberal democratic values, prohibits overt discriminatory practices of ethnic group dominance, and defends its tolerant and humanistic character simultaneously perpetuate racism?