Racial profiling incident on Parliament Hill during Black History Month points to racism – Justin Trudeau

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The Canadian Politician (Toronto) – Though it is Black History Month, incidents of racial profiling continue to occur regardless of the activities that are going on to celebrate black Canadians and their enormous achievements and contributions to society. This fact was on full display at Parliament Hill in an alleged case of racial profiling of visiting black Canadians that occurred on Feb. 4th. The visitors were participating in a lobbying event tagged “Black Voices on the Hill” when allegedly a security guard referred to them as “dark-skinned people,” and asked them to leave the parliamentary cafeteria.

Trudeau in a speech given at Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia near Halifax, stated “A group of young people … faced discrimination and marginalization,” The PM continued, “They faced a stark reminder that even in that one place that should be theirs … that anti-black racism exists, that unconscious bias exists, that systemic discrimination exists in this country today.”

One of those who stated that he was racially profiled in a place for all Canadians was a second-year student of Saint Mary’s University, Travone Clayton. Clayton had a half hour meeting with the prime minister where he and others expressed their feelings and concerns about the state of race affairs in Canada and discussed the incident at hand. He noted, “We had our say…we respect his apology,” referring to the apology of the prime minister to the alleged victims. Clayton noted that he was disappointed and in his words “very hurt.” Clayton further stated in the mold of the celebrated civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “We should be accepted for who we are, and what we do. We should not be turned down just because of our skin colour.”

The Federation of Black Canadians involved in the event indicated that its members who were all cleared by the security agencies protecting the Parliament, were waiting in the parliamentary cafeteria where they were asked to wait leading up to their meetings with government officials, when a security guard asked them to leave after making unwarranted reference to their skin colour.

While addressing the incident on Thursday, the prime minister expressed his concern that the incident happened in a month when black Canadians from all walks of Canadian life were being celebrated as bona fide and integral part of the Canadian society. Mr. Trudeau stated, “We still have a country where discrimination based on the colour of a person’s skin is all too common. We have much, much work to do.”

The Canadian Politician learned from Parliamentary sources that the Protective Service has issued an apology for the incident and commenced investigation. It is unclear if the Federation has accepted the apology or believe more action needs to be taken. But the Speaker of the House of Commons, Geoff Regan, indicated that while the apology is in order, it should not be assumed that it has addressed the underlying issue of racism.

Culled from www.thecanadianpolitician.com

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