Racism, Winnipeg, And A Different Perspective
"Canada Has A Bigger Race Problem Than America. And It's Ugliest In Winnipeg"
- Maclean's Magazine
It's pretty hard to miss the uproar in Winnipeg as a result of this Maclean's magazine article.
In my efforts to avoid reading the negativity that newspapers offer daily as a glimpse of our reality, I usually skim the paper or internet sites just to keep myself in the know, reminding myself that no journalism is definitely the full truth. However, it was hard to miss the scathing article that was published in Maclean's magazine. The heart of the continent and Friendly Manitobans have become the most racist????
Okay, so Winnipegers are mad. They feel targeted. They feel that one person's opinion about how we are as a city should not be used as a 'fact', nor should Maclean's magazine publish the article along with the cover quoted above as if this is Truth as a result of the writer's minimal research. Fair enough. I can understand how Winnipeggers feel unfairly criticized and thrown to the wolves both by Nancy Macdonald and Maclean's Magazine. However, there is a but. ( And yes, I'm about to start a sentence with it.)
BUT...what if we were to look at this from a completely different perspective? A more...Source-based perspective, if you will?
What has happened here is a gift. We know Winnipeg has racism. We know there is racism against our aboriginal/indigenous population. Surely it could be proven that there is also racism against other cultural groups/races. And in fact, we could also prove that there is 'reverse racism', where 'whites' are prejudiced against as well, due to the beliefs that other cultures/races hold. However, every city throughout the world has racism. Is this fact really a newsflash??
Anyone who claims they are not racist to any group or creed is lying; if to no one other than themselves. As human beings, we are taught to see ourselves as separate from others, 'different' than others. We are not taught to focus on what makes us the same. We are born into a planetary consciousness that is racist. (If you want to know our opinion on that we can write that in another blog.) Let's add religious discrimination into the mix. Do we have any place in the world that claims to be all-loving and all-accepting of any creed, race, or religion?
So let's sit with this for a moment then. If everyone on the planet is racist or discriminating to something or someone, whether it be a certain culture, race, religion, or even a person's sexual preference, why are Winnipeggers getting all up in arms about this article?
The truth is because it is right...to a degree. We do have a racism issue with the indigenous population. However, we can see racism anywhere we focus our gaze; racism against African Americans in the Southern states of the U.S. as another current example. But what is the bigger picture here?
If we all are racist, instead of pointing the finger at which group of people/city/race is the most racist, why don't we instead use this article as a stimulus to go within and determine what our own prejudices are? Pointing fingers at others in efforts to prove yourself as the 'right' party is as discriminatory as Nancy Macdonald claiming that she has proof that Winnipeg is the most racist city. The bottom line is we all have prejudices, every last one of us. So instead, let's take the gift.
Go within. Think about how you treat others. Ask yourself if some of the beliefs you hold could be considered prejudice or racism. Don't judge yourself for this, for then the feelings of guilt will actually stop you from being willing to look under your own racism rug and actually see what is there. Instead, take accountability for what your prejudices are and make a pact with yourself to change them. Not because someone else may call you or your city the most racist, but because as a human being on this planet, you don't like the idea that our planet focuses on differentiating ourselves from others rather than trying to accept each other, as is.
And no, don't for a minute think that myself or the Guides are suggesting we all sit together as many nations and sing Kumbaya. Far from it. That isn't even possible at this point. And why isn't it possible? Because all of us think we are right; every last one of us are convinced that 'our view' is correct. And guess what? So does Nancy Macdonald. From her experiences, from her lens, Winnipeg is the most racist city. That is her Truth. Now that doesn't mean that is everyone else's Truth, but due to the beauty of free will and free speech, she has every right to air her views. And Maclean's has the right to change her opinion into 'fact' and claim it is Truth as well. Isn't it up to us, to read every article with discernment (including this blog) and decide what we believe to be truth? So if we read the Maclean's article and decide that Maclean's used that cover because it would sell magazines, which means they were after the almighty buck rather than true journalism, should that activate us so? Don't all magazines do this, including newspapers and news shows? Is this not the reality we live in, where the 'good' goes unnoticed and instead the headlines are filled with the latest mistakes of society? So why should we be so surprised then, that Maclean's took a low blow at Winnipegers? Is this not the current accepted practice of the media?
Whether you believe Nancy Macdonald or Maclean's are correct in their assumptions or not, this is looking at this issue through the Ego lens. The true Source or Essence lens of the matter is to see that this article put an uncomfortable subject, racism, into the light. And now everyone one of us can use that light to look under our own racism rugs to determine just where we stand on the spectrum of being racist. It isn't a competition, for all of us are equally guilty. Every one of us, as humans, have had negative thoughts and beliefs about other religions, creeds, and races. So stop feeling like a victim of this article, Winnipeggers. Instead, PROVE MACLEANS WRONG. PROVE NANCY MACDONALD WRONG. Embrace the fact that she has shed light on a problem (whether it has been blown out of proportion or not) and look within to see what each and every one of us can do on a daily basis to be less racist and a little more loving.
Nope, not Kumbaya, but perhaps we can hold a little more acceptance of each other's beliefs, perspectives, and cultures. Just then, we may have the opportunity to experience the true gift of this article and reaction from the people: SELF-AWARENESS.
Namaste (the Essence within me honours the Essence within you),
Maureen & Guides
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