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Aminta Dicko
Student Number: 571-8187

Tutorial 1: Introduction to Racism
Before exploring issues of race and racism in the context of IDIS 302, it is important to define the key terms. Thus, the starting point for the readings, and indeed the course, involves an exploration of what racism is. The introduction of our textbook, The Colour of Democracy: Racism in Canadian Society depicts theneed to accurately define racism as not just an issue of conceptual clarity, but also one of empowerment. If racism and what constitutes it are not clearly defined, then it becomes impossible to refute denials of racism. If one cannot point to a specific ideology and the ways in which it manifests itself as racist, then statements such as “There is no racism in Canada” remain unchallenged.

Thedifficulty in defining racism arises from what our textbook characterizes as its “elusive and changing nature”. Racism in the context of our contemporary society does not exactly resemble the racism of the civil rights movement, which in turn does not reflect the racism that existed during colonial times and so on. This changing nature of racism and racist practices makes the term somewhatnebulous. However, racism can be grounded in racist ideology which acts as the conceptual framework that underlies racism politically, socially and culturally. Racism exists on many different levels including the personal or individual level, the level of a particular group or organization, the cultural level, or the systemic level. It aims at preserving the unequal power relationships that already exist,and the system of dominance that underlies our society.

I am of the opinion that although racism might change from time era to time era or appear differently within different contexts, it is still fundamentally the same across these barriers. It is my belief that, at its core, racism stems from ignorance and fear of the ‘other’. In defining racism and acknowledging that it exists within oursociety, and that we may in fact be complicit in reinforcing racism, we begin the first steps in addressing the issues. Conversely, if we refuse to acknowledge racism, the we are complicit in reinforcing this system of dominance because to deny its existence or its affects is to suggest there is nothing wrong with the manner in which society is currently organized.

Tutorial 2: Thinking aboutRace and Everyday Racism.
The notion that racism is something flagrant and noticeable is not always true. There are different types of racism and are created and reproduced on a daily basis. Everyday Racism is for me the most subtle form of racism that is embedded in our daily life. Regardless of your race and origin, each one of us have experienced or witnessed at some point the most common formof racism. In think that in a multicultural society like in Canada; this type of racism is more expressed. For example, the notion of “whiteness” and what being a true Canadian still persist. Indeed, even though Canada is considered to be a tolerant and multicultural country which successfully integrates immigrant to their culture, there is still the notion of the otherness and one group ofCanadian as being “true” Canadian. Even though certain Japanese, African descent families have been in Canada for centuries, some people still have time considering them as being a “true” Canadian.
For example, in Shadd’s article, the same problem is being depicted through a testimony of an African-Canadian. Even by being a fifth generation Canadian from North Buxton, people still asked where theauthor is originally from. The notion of “true Canadianess” is thus associated to White and the First Nation people. This type of racism is expressed on a daily basis and is unconsciously generated. The others, the visible minority are not considered as “true” Canadian. Even I have been confronted to the same thing when asked about “where I am from”. When I reply Montreal, people respond “no, no,...