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Human Rights: Systemic Racism

  • Date Submitted: 10/30/2012 05:20 PM
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Human Rights Essay: Systematic Racism


      In Canada, the government set out to destroy Aboriginal culture. In Stephan Harper’s apology to the First Nations, he says their policy was to “Kill the Indian in the child.” This policy was an example of systematic racism. In the text April Raintree by Beatrice Monsinier and the films Where the Spirit Lives and For Angela suggest that systematic racism is the reason why Aboriginal people struggle to be proud of who they are. Systematic racism is the value system that is embedded in a society that supports and allows discrimination. April Raintree is a story of two Métis sisters growing up in Manitoba. For Angela is a story about a woman who is compelled to change attitudes and shatter stereotypes. Where the Spirit Lives is about Aboriginal children in Canada being taken away from their tribes to attend residential schools.   April from the text April Raintree, Angela from the film For Angela, and Astikomi from the film Where the Spirit Lives struggle to be proud of who they are due to systematic racism.

April struggles to be proud of whom she is, a Métis person, because society portrays Aboriginal people to be overall not as great as white people, in the book, April Raintree. In the park where April and Cheryl used to play, brown-skinned children were depicted as “dirty looking” while white-skinned children were depicted as “clean and fresh.” The white children also seem to be considerably rich compared to those with dark skin. Mrs. DeRosier and Maggie are an example of this racism since they talk down to April and expect her to follow whatever they “order” her to do. They also call April a “half-breed” which is an insulting word to describe a Métis person. Thus, April does not feel proud of her identity as a Métis girl, and envies the white people. April marries a rich man named Bob Radcliffe. When April moves to his house in Toronto from Winnipeg, Cheryl visits the house. Tension between April and Cheryl...

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