Well, the CBC has a new section called “Being black in Canada”:
By its essence and across its articles (the latest is about a story from NB that happened during the pandemic), this section seems to want us to believe that: All black Canadians are the same. It does not matter whether they are locals from a rural community in Nova Scotia, immigrants in Toronto from Jamaica, or Québeckers whose ancestors came from Haiti many decades ago.
It also wants us to think that all people with a darker skin, across all cultures and sub-cultures, think the same. How could this be possible ?? For instance, what does a second or third generation child whose ancestors came from the Ivory Coast have to do with a refugee from Palestine who happens to be black?
Should we laugh or cry to our increasingly stupid times?
This has nothing to do with a genuine concern for respect and justice to each Canadian.
This looks like a societal movement that insists on dividing our young country into tribes. Today, it is in the name of a global justice movement of so-called Blacks. Tomorrow about what and whom? Arabs? Muslims? Other?
How about Canadians who are short or left-handed? Will we ever see this ?? Even if left-handed people like Bambi are often disadvantaged, Bambi would find such divisive lines silly.
More seriously, this movement, if pushed too far, could resemble a certain form of identity socialism. Not any identity politics. It is about one tiny or superficial aspect of someone’s characteristic. We are calling it diversity and we appear to be glorifying it (of course, as long as the person put in this category endorses the movement. If not, we would not care about that individual).
Such movements seem to insist on reducing the person to just a single characteristic. It pretends to speak in its name and in the name of all the persons who may look like this characteristic. For Bambi, this is a form of both neo-colonialism and neo-racism.
Bambi may be wrong but in her non-expert citizen opinion, the irony is that all this is disguised into a noble anti-racism.
A possible antidote to such movement may be a simple individual characteristic: our critical sense. This will protect us (and others) from blindly endorsing movements, political or religious or whatever else. It may be challenging to critically think (not just repeat clichés) when a whole society, from the top of its pyramid all the way down seems to be obsessed with the new narrative (of course, some may be true believers. Others may pretend it, just to be left alone or to advance in a career, political or other, etc.).
Luckily both young and older members of this or that group do have a critical sense. They refuse to blindly embark in movements or to allow others to speak in their name. You would be surprised to see how unpopular these movements are among immigrants. Not surprising for Bambi though. Indeed, many of the latter (including herself) left their birth countries, precisely because of such limited visions of a society. Their nightmare would be when Canada becomes like their birth countries, instead of the opposite.
Well, when Bambi visited her birth country in December (story of an older post), she met with a school friend she had not seen for 30 years. The latter recalled when Bambi (delegate of their class) stoop up to militiamen who came to take school kids to applaud to a certain politician in another school (this was during civil war). Bambi told those guys: “We are not sheep and we are not going with you”. Well, the youth of all the schools had to attend in the end. This was not negotiable. Bambi did the following then: She went to hide in the washroom in order not to be forced to go with the crowd, against her will.
Of course, that was an extreme case in extreme times. However, make no mistake, our own times may become increasingly extreme with time (we are already seeing examples of vandalism or censorship here and there). Indeed, no country is immune, especially younger ones and perhaps more easily when people stop believing in their civilization or culture, feel too guilty of injustice in the world, or are too harsh with themselves. Instead of learning from their past, some may literally want to erase history. Instead of feeling proud/patriotic, the latter healthy feelings become unpopular or perceived as being racist, etc. They forget that, in order to respect others, we need to have self-respect.