Historic Racism meets the New Racism

I read the Dalhousie Student Union’s public letter to the university’s administration:

I transcribed the text from the images, which is the following with my highlights:

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1. Issue public written apology from Dalhousie Board of Governors, Dalhousie Senate and Dalhousie administration to Kati George-Jim and Masuma Khan on the impacts of their actions.

2. Release and make public the number and demographic data of students who’ve accessed, been penalized, and disciplined through the Senate Discipline Committee.

3. Initiate an external investigation into Dalhousie’s disciplinary against Masuma where the findings are made public and that Dalhousie Student Union and King’s Student Union are involved in task force member appointments.

4. Strike a committee to re-examine the Code of Student Conduct and put forward recommendations for the university implementation. This committee should contain a majority of members who are Racialized and Indigenous, including: Students to be elected by the Dalhousie Student Union and King’s Student Unionfaculty to be elected by the Dalhousie Faculty Association, and community members with expertise on critical race theory.

5. Reinstate the fourth student representative on the Dalhousie Board of Governors and designate that seat to a Racialized or Indigenous student.

6. Increase funding, resources, and personnel for the Ombudsperson and the Dalhousie Student Advocacy Service to increase its capacity to support students accessing and navigating university processes.

7. Allocate part of the Strategic Initatives Fund for programs and initiatives dedicated to Racialized and Indigenous Communities. These may include but are not limited to: Public Lectures and Events, funding for Closed-Spaces for students, and dedicated staff and faculty positions for Racialized and Indigenous people. Funding must include adequate financial support and physical space for Sister 2 Sister, a program that brings together Racialized and Indigenous Femme students. This program is currently operating with an insufficient budget of $300 for the entire year.

8. Implement the recommendations of the Committee on Aboriginal and Black African Canadian Student Access and Retention to:

  • Create an Aboriginal Student Advising Centre and Advisor;
  • Create two new coordinators to support access to post-secondary education for Aboriginal and Black/African Canadian students

9. Increase funding, resources and personnel for Dalhousie Counselling Services for the purpose of creating culturally appropriate and representative mental health services to address the needs of Racialized and Indigenous students. Funding must be allocated to hire at least one new Racialized counsellor and one new Indigenous counsellor. Dalhousie University must also strike a committee to conduct a review of Counselling Services for Racialized and Indigenous students, which will review how funds are spent and hold recommendations accountable. This committee will contain a majority of members who are Racialized and Indigenous students and faculty democractically elected by the Dalhousie Student Union, King’s Student Union, and Dalhousie Faculty Association.

10. Join students to lobby the government for more needs-based bursaries and grants, increased funding to post-secondary education, and reduced tuition fees, in recognition that tuition fees limit access to post-secondary education with disproportionate impact on Racialized and Indigenous communities.

Your Dalhousie Student Union is committed to facilitating these conversations. This is the first year in its history that the majority of DSU are racialized people, which is indicative of for whom systems of leadership are designed, even within student spaces. We are committed to prioritizing issues of racism and colonialism on campus. These conversations are difficult, but they are not new. We have committed to advocating for the above actions and we commit ourselves to facilitate conversations and opportunities for learning. We encourage everyone to step forward and join us in working for a more EQUITABLE campus.

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Here’s a RACISM to think about from the below sentence:

This is the first year in its history that the majority of DSU are racialized people, which is indicative of for whom systems of leadership are designed, even within student spaces.

Which Dalhousie students are the whom?

This would be the whom that benefits from the systems of leadership, and that leadership is designed for them.

Is the whom only the Dalhousie students who have brown skin (because brown skin is a requisite for anyone to be Racialized)?

The whom are only the Indigenous students and those students whose parents are NOT immigrants from Europe but only from the Middle East, Asia or Africa?

The whom DOES INCLUDE the Dalhousie students whose parents and ancestors were the Hispanic European Settlers and who weren’t the Indigenous people of Central or South America?

Spanish and Portuguese Latin American students at Dalhousie University can still claim to be Racialized?

The racial ancestry of the Hispanic Settler students — which means the Spanish Conquistador and the Portuguese COLONIALISM of that ancestry — is IGNORED while they are in Canada at Dalhousie University?

Hispanic European ancestry can be Racialized? But not the British, French, or the central and northern European ancestry?

The concept of being Racialized in Canada is a hypocritical double standard that is used in two very different and unfair ways toward two groups of people who are the students at Dalhousie University: Those people (the White Settlers) with British, French, Central or Northern European ancestry and those people (the Hispanic Settlers) with Latin American Spanish & Portuguese European ancestry.

Both groups of people — the White Settlers and the Hispanic Settlers — are the descendants of COLONIAL ancestry.

I never listen to nor accept Hypocritical Double Standards.

RACISM is not going away. What’s happening is that the Historic Racism of the British & French European Settlers is being replaced with the New Racism, which comes from the Indigenous people of Canada and the people whose parents have immigrated from the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Masuma Khan, whose parents are immigrants from Afghanistan, is representative of the New Racism in Canada.

Masuma is not apologetic for her racism because the popular narrative we tell ourselves in Canada is that White Settlers (with British, French, Central or Northern European ancestry) are the ONLY racists. From that narrative we also tell ourselves that racism to White people in Canada is impossible.

Right now I am going to suppose that most White Canadians are blind or they choose to ignore the subtle racism that’s being advocated by the emergent racists like Masuma Khan. White Canadians also choose to be silent because they don’t want to be shamed with being called racist.

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