Systemic Racism Needs to Go

“Being constantly looked at like an alien in the country you were born in requires true tolerance.” (Reni Eddo-Lodge, British Author and Journalist). Racism has been a thing for many years. In recent years, the way people of colour have been treated has drastically improved or at least, for the most part, has been very well hidden. Systemic racism could lead to severe problems if nothing changes such as; discouraging young people, causing for separation in our society, and Silencing unique cultures.

People seem to forget the effect that societal issues such as racism have on our youth; kids are very impressionable meaning that they will follow others until they know how to form their own opinions. As well, most kids look up to their parents so for a child to see their parent be treated as an “alien” in society because of who they are they might begin to feel like that is something that is normal, which is false.

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“Children of parents affected by racism are at increased risk of developing emotional and behavioural problems through less supportive parenting and/or changes in racial socialization” (Mays and others 2007; Sanders-Phillips 2009). This goes to show the real psychological damage that can be inflicted to children due to them being exposed to systemic racism at a young age. “Child health research has linked racism to higher rates and risk of anxiety, depression, psychological distress, Racism has also been associated with behaviour problems such as ‘delinquent behaviours” (Priest and others. 2013). According to the Canadian mental health association, 1 in 5 Canadians will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.

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Situations like this show how discouraging systemic racism can be for young kids who have been exposed to it. Not everyone deals with systemic racism some people are very ignorant on the topic which can cause some tension and problems between one another.

These problems can lead to separation in society due to others not being as accepting of other people’s beliefs, values and lifestyles. Some just dislike others because of the colour of their skin. This article states that: “In terms of hate crimes, Canada has a higher recorded rate than the United States – 1,295 in 2014, or a rate of 3.7 per 100,000 people, according to StatsCan. By comparison, the FBI recorded 5,479 hate crimes in the same year in the U.S., 1.84 per 100,000 people.” This shows that Canada has a serious problem with people that are apart of society hating one another which needs to be fixed. Also, in another article by the Ontario human rights association stated by criminologist Scott Wortley: “To argue that racial profiling is harmless, that it only hurts those who break the law, is to totally ignore the psychological and social damage that can result from always being considered one of the “usual suspects.” We need to be able to see people as individuals and not a part of a group, with people still being allowed to express their beliefs, values, and cultures.

Systemic racism can cause a “silencing” of cultures, meaning that people aren’t going to express their cultures because they will feel that they won’t be accepted. In an article written by the guardian about Québec’s new law to ban hijabs in the workplace, Simon Ross, a spokesman for Canada’s minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism, Pablo Rodriguez stated that “Canada is already a secular state and that is reflected in our institutions. This new law undermines fundamental rights and individual freedoms because it forces some people to choose between their religion and their job. We will monitor the implementation of the law.” This law is causing for a big uproar because people of a certain culture and lifestyle are being told that they can not live their lives the way that they would like to. This law is being named by people as the “Policy of fear” because it is striking fear into these people whose way of living is being threatened by the government. In this second article by the national post about race, equality and culture, Gerry Kahrmann states that “What started as a legitimate change to bring about equality and transformation of how we viewed, treated and spoke about each other has now ossified into a rarely breached wall of silence.” Canada has a problem when it comes to falling too easily for stereotypes and it leads to the level of systemic racism which is becoming more and more prevalent in society now.

In conclusion, the way people of colour have been treated has drastically improved or at least, for the most part, has been very well hidden. Due to this we have had problems with; discouraging the youth, separating our society, and silencing unique cultures. These problems do not seem like they are changing, but they need to. People don’t feel safe or wanted in their own provinces and countries, that is not the way we should be aiming to live our lives and we shouldn’t be showing our children that this is okay either.


  1. Canadian Mental Health Association. (n.d.). Fast Facts about Mental Illness. Retrieved from
  2. Grant, T. (2018, October 22). Canada's racial divide: Confronting racism in our own backyard. Retrieved from
  3. National Post. (2016, January 4). Ujjal Dosanjh: By silencing white men, Canada can't have an honest debate about equality, race and culture. Retrieved from
  4. Ontario Human Rights Commission. (n.d.). The effects of racial profiling. Retrieved from
  5. Systemic Racism Quotes (23 quotes). (n.d.). Retrieved from
  6. The Guardian. (2019, June 17). Quebec law banning hijab at work creates 'politics of fear', say critics. Retrieved from
  7. VicHealth. (2014, April). Racism and Child Health. Retrieved from
Updated: Jan 25, 2024
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Systemic Racism Needs to Go. (2024, Jan 25). Retrieved from

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