A black man who moved to Canada wrote, “When people ask me why I would choose to move to Canada when America has so much to offer, the way I respond is the following: ‘If white people can move to the suburbs to avoid what they believe are dangerous black people in the inner cities, then I certainly can move to Canada to avoid dangerous and irrational white people who threaten my life in America. As an educated black man, I have a choice.'” But there is much more.
I stumbled onto a well-written Daily Kos article that should give every American irrespective of their race, pause. The response by a white Canadian was even more prescient.
Daily Kos’ Scandalous One wrote the following in his article titled “Been Black in the USA vs Canada, and Why I Felt Compelled to Move to Canada.” After reading my blog post please read the entire article.
I previously announced my big move to the Great White North after Trump won the 2016 election. However, I didn’t delve much into one of the main drivers behind my move — my experience as a person of color in the United States and the general state of race relations in the country. In this diary, I will explain why I made the extraordinary decision to move to Canada. …
The United States — probably more than anywhere else in the world — offers some of the best opportunities to become wildly successful if you are black. It’s a country that has made possible phenomenal black success stories like Oprah Winfrey and the Obamas, not to mention Michael Jordan who now ranks on Forbes’ “World Billionaires” list; plus myriad super rich black celebrities in the sports and entertainment arena: from Sean “P. Diddy” Combs to power couples like Jay-Z and Beyoncé in the music business, to the talented actor/director/play-write/producer Tyler Perry, to the gifted basketballer Lebron James, to the seemingly unbeatable boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather — each boasting a net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars respectively.
It’s incontrovertible that America has a lot to offer if you are black and gifted in one way or another. It’s truly a country of opportunity and possibilities in that regard. But what about the plight of the average black man/woman in America? Unfortunately, the reality is far less rosy, because whereas America showers its black superstars with fame and riches it can be a harsh society for the everyday person of color on the street. This is due, in large part, to an entrenched culture of racism that America has yet to come to terms with.
I commenter to Scandalous One had an insightful response. It illustrates a foreigner’s understanding of the American pathology that we need to teach with the expectation that it terminates in repentance, atonement, the building of trust and harmony. MyLegacy wrote the following.
Scandalous One. Interesting thread.
As a lifelong Canadian, glad you like our country (mine and now yours too). I’ve decided to include YOU in the why of: Why I personally love my country.
However, I believe you’ve not concentrated enough on your view of the, “History of the America Racism Problem.” I’d like to tell you MY view of America’s Racism Problem and why it is so much more complicated and intractable compared to Canada’s (not inconsiderable) problems.
There are racists everywhere, even here in Canada.
However, very few places on earth have a strain of racism as virulent as it is in the U.S.
I think I know why. (What follows is OBVIOUSLY an oversimplification — it would take a 10 Volume novel for it not to be an oversimplification).
In Canada we have three (primary) founding cultures; The First Nations, The French and The English. In Canada today we almost all know that we would not have a country without all three working, fighting and dying together. During the War of 1812-15 Canada would not have survived unless ALL three cultures had not fought and died to defend it. We became a Country.
The U.S. is very different. Founded by a group of businessmen who wanted to avoid taxes, nurtured on Genocide (your First Nations), Manifest Destiny (the intellectual construction that made genocide look not so bad), and the obscenity of Slavery.
It is very difficult culturally to admit that your great-great-grandfather raped blacks at his leisure, sold their children at his will and hung “young bucks” in lieu of Sunday NFL games. It becomes even more difficult when the 100 years after it ended many white American’s continued to double down on racism, hatred and anger. While the religions in Canada were championing “universal healthcare and schooling” many American religions were promoting white only drinking fountains.
While I am a white male who is very happy to be of Anglo-Saxon, British origin, and really likes where I am culturally and racially — I admire and enjoy exploring and spending time with those of other races and cultures. Having lived for 20 years in Canada’s Northern “half” I’ve developed a wonderful appreciation and respect for Canada’s First Nations. I’ve spent time with Ukrainian, Filipino and Chinese friends and explored their cultures.
I love what I AM — I love what they are. I love what you bring, and add, to our Canadian milieu.
Loving your heritage is not a license to HATE. America has a serious RACIST HATE problem.
America’s history of First Nations Genocide, Slavery and the doubling down on this Historic Hatred for over the last 100+ years has left some of American Heritage with a mortally wounded culture. Damned by the past. Unable to shoulder the maturity to move on. To grow as humans. A part of America has been morally corrupted for generations. A part of America has lost the effect of the 2% of their genes that separate all of us from Gorillas genetically.
Loving who are is fine. Even if it is a form of racism. Not learning to love so many of the fantastic cultural and historic fine points of our “different” neighbours is just plain stupid.
In my humble opinion.
Scandalous, welcome to Canada. Bienvenue au Canada.
Let me know what you think.