Call out hate

Dear editor,
I would like to personally add my support to Councillor Douglas Judson in the fight to call out racism and behaviours within the ranks of leadership and power.
As leaders, we have a responsibility to send a resounding message that we do not stand for racism and hate. We must do all that we can to recognize the horrors of the residential school system and the long lasting, irreversible effects it has had on the race and culture of an entire group of people.
“In my view, there is no racism in Canada. Right now there are groups putting people into silos, trying to divide us, by saying that we have racism against violence, we have racism against Indigenous people, Ukrainian, white privilege–I find those people racist. Those who seek to divide us are the racists,” Senator Lynn Beyak has said.
Senator Lynn Beyak claims she is trying to break down silos yet her actions are in direct conflict with her words.
“Edgy and opinionated” are euphemisms for the silo culture and status quo she seeks to keep fully intact. We can also clearly see that the divide has been further deepened with the CBC report that shows “Beyak received more than 6,766 emails and letters from members of the public after CBC News first reported on her March 2017 speech. Most of them, 4,282, criticized her speech, while 2,389 were described by Legault as supportive of the senator’s positive sentiments about the residential school system.” (CBC, March 29, 2019).
How are Beyak’s actions contributing to breaking down these silos?
Not only do Beyak’s actions divide those who seek true reconciliation from those who benefit from and maintain the status quo, it also divides Northern Ontario from the rest of Canada who liken the racial divide in Northern Ontario to the “deep south” in the USA.
Let us call on all our leaders, myself included, to do better by indigenous people and reach for a true reconciliation by calling out racism and hate.
Shelby Ch’ng
City councillor
Thunder Bay