Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

VAUGHAN: Multiculturalism is a Canadian aspirational goal we haven’t achieved yet

Black Lives Matter protests a crucial step forward towards an anti-racist country

Canada’s story is told under an aspirational lens which often disguises the fact that racism is still alive and well in our country.

Canadians view their home as a safe haven for the principles of multiculturalism, acceptance and equity.

It would be a mistake, however, to view those aspirations as an achieved goal and the backlash seen around central Alberta to the Black Lives Matter movement is proof we still have a ways to go.

While the numbers of citizens peacefully protesting in Red Deer, Innisfail, Stettler and soon to be Lacombe have been growing and inspiring, so too have the voices of a small minority of detractors.

It can be tempting to look at multiculturalism and pluralism legislation in this country and think that Canada made anti-racism into law, pushed it into our bygone past and we have little to worry about — but the truth is, thinking racism is a relic of our ancestors is a dangerous and naive viewpoint that actively dismisses the racism experienced by Black, brown, Indigenous and people of colour in Canada.

Yes, we know Canadians want to believe that “All Lives Matter” but – as you’ve likely heard in repetition by now – all lives simply cannot matter until Black Lives Matter.

It is therefore important to stop looking at both those phrases as slogans shouted in the streets and take time to understand the full meaning behind them.

It is on all Canadians, Albertans and central Albertans to learn our own history of racism, intolerance and bigotry and then learn to actively fight against the idea we have already achieved our aspirations we hold so dearly in this country. Racism continues to be a blight on our identity and it is on everyone to actively eliminate it.

Multiculturalism, acceptance, tolerance, equity – these are all visions of a grander future that we cannot fully realize until we address the systemic issues racialized people still face in Canada.

In essence, it’s time we stop day-dreaming on what high school textbooks told us Canada already is and start building what it should be – that sought-after, aspirational home of cultural acceptance and love we all want.

A peaceful Lacombe Against Racism protest will be held in Lacombe on Friday, June 19 at 6 p.m. at the Lacombe Memorial Centre Park. Attendees are ask to follow social distancing guidelines, wear masks and stay at least 2 m apart.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside courthouse for man slain in Lacombe

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4 in Red Deer

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

People line up outside a vaccine clinic as seniors wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton Alta, on Friday February 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Health Services head sorry for glitches in vaccine booking system for seniors

AHS president said technical issues have been fixed and a virtual waiting room is in place

Vandalism is shown on Alberta NDP MLA Janis Irwin’s constituency office in Edmonton in this handout photo on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney quickly condemned vandalism at an Opposition legislature member Janis Irwin’s Edmonton office after the MLA posted pictures showing her front window spray-painted with the words “Antifa Liar.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Janis Irwin *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words ‘Antifa Liar’

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

Most Read