I live in the very center of North America in a very special place called Winnipeg.
Winnipeg exemplifies the term diversity like no other city.
We have diversity in our weather ranging from minus 30c to plus 30c.
We have diversity in our industries, agriculture, housing, recreation, etc, etc.
We also have diversity in our peoples.
Recently, a national magazine in Canada labeled us as the most racist city.
To begin with, I really hate labels and I mean hate in the true sense of the word. I believe when we apply a label we create further angst in people because of how they/we identify with that label. Labels are too simple in general and in this case a label of racist is absolutely too simple.
Our community is vibrant and working to survive and thrive, like any other. We have the same disease as any city in that sometimes we choose to see our fellow citizens as competition. Rather than assigning threat to the system of wealth that we are engulfed in we assign a threat to peoples. Like the people before us in history we are more comfortable assigning that label of “threat” to the people we do not know and as such we easily choose those people groups with cultures that are not like our own.
We must to strive to educate each other on the realities that we are the same in more ways than we are different. We must stop the competition amongst us on the basis of cultural practices and histories. We must stop because it is hurting our community and those that benefit are others outside of our community. Other cities and communities benefit from us fighting with each other. Why would we give them that advantage? Why would we let racial tensions eat away at our limited resources to empower ourselves? We need to build trust amongst stuff.
As we build this trust with each other, connecting communities of different cultural practices, we must align ourselves together as a geographic group to tackle the real competition, the systems that would deny us the opportunity to grow and survive as people. We all deserve to have access to the best education opportunities whether working towards a degree or learning to cook new food dishes from around the world. We all deserve to have opportunities to create and partake in a plethora of artistic experiences. We all deserve to have quality leisure time and interesting activities in our community that go beyond the hopelessness of just watching a screen and living vicariously through other, mostly fictional, lives. All of these things we deserve to be accessible, affordable and available to all citizens of our community.
None of us would actually like a world where we all looked the same, dressed the same and behaved the same, no matter how safe and secure that might sound to some. We need to not look at the colour of skin, accents, styles or the practices of others as things to assign negativity to but rather as things to be thankful for as part of a colourful world. People are the most amazing works of art on our planet and we need to remind ourselves that artwork is better when each piece is different.
We need our community to be so engrossed in working together that we grow out of these old systems of competitions against other people groups. We need to make our community a safe place for everyone where we are engaged in this task in collaboration and cooperation with each other regardless of our culture background or practices.
Educate ourselves on how we are the same
Build opportunities for learning, leisure, arts and activities that help us grow into peoples who see important values in people beyond our appearances and cultural practices.
Celebrate the colour in our appearances and practices as things that make the world more interesting.
So say we all!
P.S. I want to address this label of racist or racism. We need to stop talking about each other as if we are from a different race, we are all part of the human race. I will not say any more but instead link you to the video comments of Edward James Olmos: