For 150 years the culture of racism, xenophobia, and misogyny has been present in this country. As citizens across the nation celebrate 150 years of confederation it is worthwhile to mention this is a country that occupied and stole indigenous lands with deception, violence and impunity. This is a country that has oppressively invaded other countries and violated human rights laws. For 150 years historical violence and oppression has besieged indigenous peoples along with marginalized communities that are not white. Thus, it is worthwhile to ask when will this country right its wrongs as it celebrates its achievements at the expense of indigenous peoples. Is it possible to move toward a path to justice, liberty, inclusion, and equity?
The simple answer is IT CAN NOT, not until it rights the wrongs it has committed. This might then lead to some form of reconciliation. Reconciliation might be the first step, but before that Canada needs to name its cancer, WHITE/WESTERN SUPREMACY. It is this elephant in the room that has allowed settler colonialism to thrive without addressing the status quo of white/western supremacy. For example why did Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir. John A. MacDonald feel the need to restrict the movement of indigenous peoples and have their movement monitored by a government department.
As a decolonialist this idea that anything white or western is the standard to which everyone must aspire to is ludicrous. Historical imperialists Portugal, Spain, Belgium, France, and England and now America and Canada continue to use cultural imperialism to impose their will on the Global South. This process of cultural imperialism begun the indoctrination of “race” and what Edward Said called “othering”. Where Europeans and its descendents claimed superiority over people that did not look like them. To enforce and entrench this idea as a “historical fact”, they brutalized, violated, denigrated, traumatized and mistreated African and indigenous communities around the world systematically via imperialism and what we now call neo-liberalism.
Neo-liberalism plainly puts an importance on money and those that make and control it, thereby marginalizing everyone else. It’s a game of the haves and the have-nots. It’s a game where everyone wants to have at the expense of their fellow human being based on social constructs that have no real basis. Hence the extreme marginalization of people based on income (class), gender, race, geography, sex etc. This is a game we all play without knowing our complicity. In this game depending on the time and place we become a have or a have-not.
So for example if you are a person of color (POC) that supports any of the major political parties, you always have to ascribe to the values of the political party not the values of justice, liberty, inclusion, and equity. If you don’t you will become a have-not that will eventually be marginalized. There are different levels of marginalization thanks to neo-liberalism. One has to be vigilant about these levels to be able to see the connection between different marginalized groups.
Another example is international marginalization. This can be explained via the Smartphone industry. The metals used to make our precious cell phones are mined in Africa and Latin America. To extract these metals the Canadian government along with Canadian corporations violates human rights laws. They pay unfair wages to working people; they evade tax payments all on the guise of economic development for the Global South. These are horrible violations that exploit Africans and Latin Americans. And this is how the Canadian populace of different stripes (the haves) gets their Smartphone in hand and the have-nots (Africans and Latin America) are exploited. And inside the borders of this country pipelines are being approved at the expense of ecosystems being used by indigenous communities.
Now when the same thing is done in Canada (national marginalization), the haves (political and private entities) take advantage of the Canadian populace (have-nots). This provides that atmosphere for infighting amongst the have-nots since there is a burden on them to have. This manifests into racism, xenophobia and violence. The beauty of neo-liberalism is that it pits the have-nots against each other while the haves decide where money is to be made and how it is to be shared.
These examples show that if we don’t name the enemy WHITE/WESTERN SUPREMACY via neo-liberalism; things will never change. In naming the enemy we will be able to dismantle it and come up with better ways of interacting with each other in a more humanistic way. For we are all a link in the chain of humanity: for if one link is absent we all fall.
Kojo Easy Damptey' Blog
Rumblings on my mind.