Having grown up in Edmonton Alberta, I could write a pretty informed article on the racism you might find there. I’d start by providing real and explicit examples of racism which I have seen with my own eyes, such as the time I saw a white man yell at a Pakistani 7-11 clerk, “Go back to where you f&%king came from!”
And after I listed off the real and explicit examples of racism which I have seen with my own eyes, I would then go on to explain that Edmonton, with its population of over 900 000 people, is not a racist city. In fact most Edmontonians are good and welcoming people. And while the population is predominately white (to be expected in any Canadian city) there are many different nationalities living there.
But that kind of article (you know – an honest one) is not what you’re going to get from the Huffington Post. No, you will get an article which begins like this:
The world looks at Canada as a culturally neutral country. But the so called “melting pot of the North” is really… just Toronto. Western Canada is nowhere near the pot…
When I landed at Edmonton International Airport, it felt like I moved to Texas. There were retail stores that sold cowboy hats, hunting gear and some white people looked at me as if I were a ghost. It was only the beginning of the culture shock.
Those asinine words were written by the author, Malia Waterman, of a HuffPo article entitled This is What It’s Like to Be Black in Alberta. Cowboy hats are racist! And if someone perceives you looking at them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, that’s racist too! Got it?
The idiocy continues…
It was my first week in the city, and a long list of job interviews was lined up. I went to a print shop to print a resume, and there were a lot of customers with only one cashier. My computer timed out, and I went to the front desk to add money on my card while other customers were waiting for assistance. As I waited, a white man smirked and asked me “What happened? Did you run out of money?” I was stunned and noticed an Asian man had an embarrassed look on his face as if he felt bad about what happened because of the stereotypical racist comment. I replied, “Don’t you see me waiting to refill my card?” His face turned red, and he kept quiet.
So, some guy makes an ambiguous comment and… he’s a racist! And, good thing she was able to read that Asian man’s mind, because how else would she be able to back up her story? Also, I’m surprised she was able to get herself a long list of job interviews, you know, being black and all.
I think this is my favourite part of the article…
I am naturally a confident person, and a pep in my step is a part of my personality. There are times when I run errands in downtown Edmonton, and some white people will look at me like “Who does she think she is?” REALLY! Are all black people supposed to look down at their shoes and say “Yes Sir” like it is the 1920s?
So, people are yelling racial slurs at her? Are they trying to run her down with their cars? Are they angry that she’s walking to fast? Are they calling her the “N” word? Or telling her to move back to Toronto because her kind ain’t welcome here? I don’t get. I wonder if this woman is schizophrenic, and is just seeing these things in her mind. Because unless she can come up with some real examples of racism, rather than these “felt-attacks” she claims to be experiencing, I can’t take her seriously.
Edmontonians, like most Canadian city dwellers, will only get passionate about hockey. Other than that, they just want work their jobs, go home, open a beer, and relax. Sorry Malia Waterman, nobody in Edmonton cares enough about you to persecute you. Try wiping that huge chip off your shoulder and being friendly with people. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how welcoming Edmonton will be towards you.
In the meantime, please watch this video of a sketch performed by the Kids in the Hall back when Canadians still had a sense of humour…