Transcript: Moving from Not-Racist to Anti-Racist: Spotlight on Anti-Black Racism
Racism is any individual action or institutional practice that treats people differently because of their colour or ethnicity.
Anti-Black racism is racism directed at people of African ancestral descent. It is rooted in the unique history and experience of enslavement and settler colonialism. Like other forms of racism, it is engrained in Canadian institutions, policies and practices.
Being anti-racist means that you are committed to fighting racism wherever you find it, including in yourself.
Dr. Rachel Zellars from Saint Mary's University and the Inaugural Jocelyne Bourgon Visiting Scholar outlines the following steps you can take to become anti-racist:
- Learn about history and other people's experiences. Increasing your knowledge is a critical first step. Take it upon yourself and deepen your understanding of issues involving anti-Blackness and systemic racism. Don't wait for those who have been directly impacted by racism to educate you.
- Be an active ally. Don't just say you are an ally; be an ally. This means listening to—and believing—the lived experiences of Black and other racialized individuals. Being an ally in the workplace means actively identifying, combatting and preventing inequities and disparities. In your community, it can include supporting Black-owned businesses and organizations that serve Black communities responsibly.
- Acknowledge your unconscious biases. Everyone has unconscious biases. Your biases are influenced by your upbringing and family history. When you are aware of your biases, you can take active steps to mitigate their harmful effects. Acknowledging your biases is like cleaning your house: it's something that needs to be done regularly over a lifetime.
- Commit to allyship. Fake allyship lacks the commitment to change and action, which is required to dismantle systemic racism in the workplace. Performative or fake allyship is the outcome of not practicing steps 1 through 3.
Are you ready to begin your journey to becoming anti-racist?