Canada's Shiny New Senate Back-Tracks on Anti-Black Male Racism
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the initiative for a new
independent Senate selection process, social inclusion was to be part of
its mandate. However, with the retirement of Senator Oliver who had
been appointed by former Prime Minister Mulroney and the resignation in
2017 of Don Meredith who had been appointed by former Prime Minister
Stephen Harper there was suddenly no black males in Canada's Senate as
But, notably, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau many announcements of new senators appointed by the new Independent Advisory Committee has not had a black male among them. Are we, as Canadians to now assume that there are no longer qualified black males to become Senators in this country. Has the quality of the “talent pool” among black males have gone down? Or, is the Independent Advisory Committee showing signs of having the same "unconscious bias" which black males face in general regarding a prevalent institutionalized racism?
One thing which I don't like is political hypocrisy, and this new "independent Senate" seems to be flirting with it on this phenomenon
An apparent on-going bias against black males in this country has been well documented by provincial human rights commission and the media alike. February of this year Prime Minister Trudeau observed the phenomenon of anti-black racism. But in February 2018 as the Prime Minister made this observation black males were once again excluded from his announcement of Senate appointments in February 2018.
During Black History Month, our Prime Minister further expressed concerns about the on-going prevalence of anti-black racism when he made the following comments:
"....it’s time Canadians acknowledged that racism and unconscious bias against black people exist in this country."
"...it’s time to take action to ensure equal opportunity and treatment of the more than one million black Canadians, including doing more to recruit and elect black members of Parliament."
It is therefore with great sadness to observe that will the retirement of one black male Senator appointed under former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the resignation of one black male Senator appointed under Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new process of appointing Senators has excluded black male representation.
It was Stephen Lewis who had documented in his report the kind of racism which black males have faced in this country.
Within the first eight paragraphs, the author Stephen Lewis wrote: “First, what we are dealing with, at root, and fundamentally, is anti-black racism … just as the soothing balm of ‘multiculturalism’ cannot mask racism, so racism cannot mask its primary target.”
During public consultations for this Commission one black male rose shyly from the audience to say that he was a teacher and that his most touching experience came on his first day on the job, when a group of Black youngsters approached him, solemnly shook his hand, and said, 'Thank Goodness. A Black teacher at last.' (p.21)
How does Senate's Independent Advisory Committee now explain the apparent prevailing exclusion of black males - an historically marginalized and a significant constituency of the Canadian population - from the Senate?
Somehow, I wonder if there are any black members of this rather secretive Committee.
Why has a supposedly rejuvenated "Independent" process of selection now resulted in the exclusion of black males?
I was born in this country and this kind of social exclusion in light of government acknowledgement of anti-black male racism has the appearance of a political hypocrisy of the worst kind.
I don't understand how this new Senate process can in good conscience present itself as "forward thinking" while keeping out black males now.
This brings back memories of the the private golf clubs which had done the same in parts of Canada and the USA.
The ongoing exclusion of black males in the Senate under the Trudeau government begs the question that if Don Meredith was white, would he have suffered the same fate or having been forced out of the Senate or would have he been forgiven just like Senator Mike Duffy and all the other white Canadian Senators who have engaged in unethical conduct involving the appearance of criminality?