image via twitter.com
image via twitter.com

While often hailed as a racism-free escape, Canada is also marred by discrimination and anti-Blackness. A new campaign in Toronto, Ontario aims to shed light on what Black Canadians have been saying for decades: mainly that racism is alive and well in Canada.

The campaign, created by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), has six different posters, which will be displayed at bus stops around Toronto. The posters encourage onlookers to visit a new website — torontoforall.ca — which has resources for those who want to know how to confront racism in their everyday lives.

Anti-Blackness is not a surprise to Black people living in Canada; these are conversations that have continued throughout history for them and select others, the council’s executive director, Debbie Douglas, told The Huffington Post Canada. However, at long last these issues are also a concern for the city’s government and general (non-Black) population.

“It is about time,” Douglas told HuffPo Canada.

One of the posters reads, “People won’t sit next to me on the subway.”

“I’m so sick of people constantly asking to touch my hair,” says another.

Anti-Black racism “informs how black folk walk and live their lives,” Douglas explained to HuffPo Canada.

A press release for the campaign says, “Racial profiling persists in many aspects of daily life for Black Torontonians. Black youth continue to drop out from the educational system at higher rates than their white classmates. Black people are over represented among those living in poverty. And, the number of Black youth is alarmingly and disproportionately high in remand, youth detention facilities and jails.”

Douglas told HuffPo Canada that though anti-Blackness is easy to identify when it manifests as police-involved shootings of Black people, in reality it is much more than that; this is a message she hopes to get across.

“People tend to know about the police shootings because there’s always media coverage of that. We also want to send the message of regular, everyday, societal anti-black sentiments,” she said.

For the everyday occurrences, Douglas mentioned that sometimes Black Canadians wait longer at restaurants and that some have a harder time finding work, despite their degree(s).

“For the first time in over a decade, the conversation is really being taken seriously,” she said.

Atlanta Black Star