Member Interview: World Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

To mark the World Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we spoke to one of our Multicultural Mentorship Committee members, Hassan, about his experience and thoughts on racism.

Q: What are some things that people have said to you that you found racist or offensive?

Things such as “go back to your country.”

Q: What are some things that people have said to your friends/family that were racist or offensive?

Stupid questions such as “what do you use for transportation, do you own a camel or a horse for transportation?” or “How does it feel to see the snow?”

Q: How often are you asked ‘where are you from’?

I'm always asked where I come from. Personally it doesn't bother me, it’s not shaming for me to answer.

Q: What’s it like working with predominantly Canadian European seniors?

I never notice it.

Q: Given the most recent scare with COVID-19, do you feel that you’re treated differently than the general population?

I don't feel like I’m treated differently than anyone else.

Q: How do you handle racism when it’s projected at you and your loved ones?

I stand up for myself and I don't tolerate it.

Q: What would you like to see change in society?

I would like to see society recognize racism as it is and not sugar coat it. We have to be honest with ourselves and learn to celebrate our diversity.

Q: Has racism gotten worse or less from your parents’ generation to yours and what would you like to see for your kids’ generation?

I think it’s getting better as people are talking more about it.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to add?

As you become a part of a society, the on-on-one racism is not the larger problem because society starts to accept you and know who you are. There is some structural racism that’s in our systems – that is the one that is hard to beat because it keeps you away from reaching your full potential.

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