If you have even one conservative relative on Facebook—you know the one you thought you had on "limited profile"—then you've heard some version of, "at least we don't have that kind of racism here in Canada" over the last week. Well, hate to break it to you Uncle Dave, but we absolutely do have "that kind" of racism here in Canada.
Our much celebrated melting pot of diversity makes for great political sound bites and subway poster campaigns, but the day to day reality for many people of colour is lot closer to this New Brunswick man's recent experience.
Louizandre Dauphin was pulled over on the weekend by RCMP on his way home from Stonehaven wharf in Bathurst, N.B. Police told him they'd received several calls about a "suspicious" black man parked at the wharf.
Turns out Dauphin, who is the director of parks, recreation and tourism for the city, was reading an anthology by C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia series, in his car.
"I came down to the wharf just to do some reading and just to spend some nice quiet time by the wharf," he told CBC.
Take that in for a second. The director of tourism was reading a book of Christian fables in his car at the wharf in the middle of the day and several people called the cops about it.
To his credit, Dauphin was remarkably chill (or maybe depressingly resigned) about the incident, expressing his disappointment, but not anger, at the residents who called to report him.
"I'd imagine it was largely due to their suspicions of someone who is not common in the area and they might have had some preconceived notions," he said.
That is an unbelievably generous way of looking at what is a wildly racist response to your head of recreation reading by the water.
So next time one of your idiot friends or relatives with questionable politics starts to weigh in about our lack of racism north of the border, send them this article and then hit that block button.
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