By Letter to the Editor on January 14, 2018.
Oki, hello! I was starting to believe that racism is just an illusion, and if you think of racism then it will happen.
However, that mental stronghold of turning a blind eye towards racism, especially in a subliminal method, took a hard hit during the Christmas holidays for me. I would call it a reality check.
Over the holidays, I caught an advertisement from a popular car dealership from the City of Lethbridge. The advertisement focused on different ethnic groups, as they gave their holiday greetings to the public in their respective languages. The advertisement focused on ethnic diversity. I was in shock to notice that they didn’t include the Native peoples’ greeting in their advertisement. I felt that particularly the (FNMI) First Nations, Metis and Inuit people were excluded – why? I don’t know.
The first thing that came to my mind was exclusion. My reasoning for this claim is based on the fact that we were here on this land first, and that we should’ve been acknowledged because, after all, is this not traditional Blackfoot land that we live on? Second, does the car dealership realize that probably (approximately) 50 per cent or higher of their business comes from Native reserves that surround Lethbridge County?
For instance, I believe many residential school survivors used their financial compensation funds to purchase vehicles from this establishment. I see the dealership’s stickers on back windows of many vehicles on the reserve, and many hard-working Native people, who work hard to better our communities, utilize this dealership as well. And you have the hard-working Natives who live off the reserve and pay taxes, who, in my guess, have bought vehicles from this particular dealership in the past.
To add on to that, how does this situation from this dealership support the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on inclusion for Native Canadians? In my mind, we have to work together to overcome this problem.
Therefore, in my opinion, this is not inclusion, it is exclusion; in fact, it is covert racism. There you have it: my allusion that racism is in the eye of the beholder was snapped over the holidays, with that “Happy New Year everyone!”
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