QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement about the ongoing unrest in North America related to violence against Black communities:
“I want to acknowledge the pain, grief and anguish that so many people are experiencing right now.
Our reaction to centuries of anti-Black racism cannot be one of silence or excuses.
The suggestion that Canada is somehow different or immune does a disservice to Black and Indigenous communities and other people of colour who know what racism feels like every day.
We too have a legacy of colonialism, oppression, exploitation, and even slavery.
We too have systems that are are steeped in racism and discrimination and built on the false idea of white supremacy.
We need only to look at incarceration rates, health outcomes, food security, homelessness and so many other factors to know that racial inequities live in Ontario.
Racism is not only violence – it is differences in rights, privilege and opportunity baked into our institutions over generations to oppress people of colour.
Defeating racism is an active process of unlearning and re-educating, of facing the problem head-on and remaking our society in the true idea of equality.
If we are going to eradicate racism from our communities, then it is those who have benefited from the tradition of white supremacy who must work hard to combat it.”