Racism and Immigrant Finances

As I type this, various major cities all over the world are hosting demonstrations in support of #blacklivesmatter. The trigger is a series of heart-wrenching events that occurred in the US.
Those three events, captured on camera have once again brought to the consciousness of the world, how easy it is for a black person to be killed by racists and police in America with no recourse to justice. While this fact is now just hitting the consciousness of some of our lighter-skinned co-humans, it is a fact that has never been far from the consciousness of any black person in North America.

For those of us that immigrated to North America as adults, it was a long and painful process to learn the truth about racism, how deeply ingrained it is in society's systems and how we're never fully protected even when we are given citizenship rights by the countries we've adopted as home. The question is

              Can Racism Impact Your Finances as a Black Person in Canada?

Short answer: "Yes". Long answer: See below.

The government can seize your assets (and do worse) based on conflict with your country of origin. Both the US and Canada did this during World War II. Read more about the Japanese Internment here
Applying for a job with an ethnic name reduces your chances of getting called for an interview. Sources here and here
Unequal pay for equal work. Black people (especially women) in America are paid 39% less on average than their white, male counterparts. 
In a recession, black people are laid off quicker and in higher numbers than their other colleagues. See here, here and here
Even banks and other financial institutions will make access to lending and other services harder for their black customers.

Being killed by the police for the crime of existing in a melanin-rich skin? That's just a physical manifestation of all the ways the North American powers and systems detest the inhabitants that can no longer be owned as slaves. 

That's a short and quantifiable collection of how systemic racism plays out. Yes, my examples are mostly based in the US but truth is that in my opinion, Canada is simply a microcosm of USA when it comes to cultural trends. 

So what recourse does an African-Canadian have in this reality? First step for me was to recognize that systemic racism exists and certain things I'd experienced and observed were not just a figment of my imagination. This step was crucial to safeguarding my mental and emotional health.

Next step is to try to survive and thrive in this country regardless of the odds stacked against us. I hope that with the lessons and learnings I share on this blog, I can contribute to that process for you.






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