The June 2020 South Cowichan Life Magazine (PDF) is available online: www.cowpress.ca/#pdf
Well, 2020 continues to be a wild ride! The racial justice movement around the world has arrived full force to Vancouver Island!
For many of our readers, these issues are not new. The same protests we are seeing today happened in the 60’s civil rights movement. And here we are again. What can we do better this time around, knowing what we know?
Just a few months ago I had the fundamental belief that everyone was equal. I felt completely aligned as an anti-racist. I taught my young children about equality and race and did my best to support local causes that acknowledged people from different ethnicities and backgrounds.
But lurking underneath all of us is a system of oppression and injustice surrounded by silence – the system of white privilege. This has been our normal for too long! The structures that created oppression hundreds of years ago are alive and strong today. I have unconsciously enjoyed the racial bias held in my favour – until now.
I love where I live. Everyday my family feels safe and supported by our community. But there are many within our community who do not feel the same way. Now is the time to listen and acknowledge the bias that black, indigenous and people of colour experience every day.
As a community we can work together to dissect internal bias and dismantle racial micro-agressions that we may have been unaware of in the past. Together we can move forward with grace and humility to openly acknowledge the damage cultural genocide has done to our indigenous peoples here on Vancouver Island.
You can find resources to learn more at Volume One bookstore’s section on race and belonging, at volumeone.ca, or the South Cowichan library at virl.bc.ca/we-stand-together-against-racism/.
Let’s show that we are more aware and can take this movement to a place where we can undo our unconscious biases and truly love our neighbors equally .