The last couple of weeks have been both emotionally draining and eye-opening for me.
In the wake of Geoge Floyd’s heartless murder and the re-awakening of the Black Lives Matter Movement, I have seen videos that teared me up and made me question the sanity of the human specie; videos that completely broke my heart and almost made me delete my social media accounts; videos that raised my hopes for future generations only to see others that shattered my hopes beyond imagination.
I ask myself, is racial discrimination really as a result of the slavery that was abolished in 1862 or more as a result of media misrepresentation and mindless generalization of the black community? I’m more inclined to go with the latter. Not because slavery has not contributed it’s fair share to the plights of the black community but because while there’s nothing we can so about that history, we can change the narrative about who we are, so the world can gradually begin to shed the veil of racism and begin to see our shared humanity. Oh, and need I say that racism does not affect only black people, especially not in Canada.
I’m a black Canadian immigrant and while I haven’t directly experienced racism in Canada, I have heard numerous painful experiences of other racialized immigrants. Racism in Canada often stems from wrong assumptions and misinformation. From the assumption that all immigrants are refugees (my respect and love to all immigrants who were/are refugees), to the assumption that immigrants don’t pay taxes and are on the government’s payroll without working. Although these are merely generalized assumptions that are grossly misrepresentative of the immigrant community in Canada, many immigrants have been attacked because they are seen as threats.
An immigrant is not a threat to anybody just because he/she is an immigrant. Behind every immigrant is an authentic story that needs to be told and heard.
I have decided to use my blog (Immigrant Muse) to share immigrant stories across Canada in the hopes of limiting the misrepresentation of our individuality, our joint humanity, our struggles, our perseverance, our successes, our fears, and our contributions to the society. Such misrepresentation is often due to ignorance and unhealthy generalization but we can change the narrative and encourage other immigrants, one story at a time!
If you are an immigrant in Canada, please consider sharing your story. Not only will you help to change the narrative but your story might just be what another immigrant needs to cross the next hurdle.
Please feel free to share this with other immigrants in your network.
Cheers to growth!