Silence is complicity. Racism exists, not only in America, but in Canada as well. And not just in some abstract far away version of Canada—Racism exists here, on Prince Edward Island, and always has.
Racism is endemic in our Island culture. I grew up here steeped so deeply in it that for half of my life I couldn’t even see that it existed. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to people who broadened my mind and taught me to embrace a wider world and thereby enriched my life before I was hardened irrevocably and unable to change. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to be only beginning at this age to try to struggle out of the cultural preconceptions and attitudes—the racism I was born into. I can only hope that there are people out there engaged in that very struggle. I’m almost certain there are. And to them, I say, “Please don’t give up. The world needs all of us to be kind, caring, and generous to all humanity.”
Racism touches all our lives daily, and each moment we deny or refuse to acknowledge its existence a small part of our own humanity withers within us. Racism is the denial of humanity, the demonization of difference. It is the great enabler of selfish actions. For once we demonize others and deny their humanity we can smugly and righteously take everything they have and claim it as our own to do with as we will; including their very lives.
Don’t be silent on this Island.