Sunday, August 14, 2022

Racism in Small Towns

 

Small towns have been a feeding ground for hatefulness and racism for as long as most people can remember. It is not uncommon in small towns to experience harsh racism, unfortunately. When one group dominates in an isolated city, the only way other people in the community learn about other people of other cultures is through television or other media.

 

Most small towns focus on the larger and more diverse cultures where more minorities appear on the news as a result of large city racism creating a cycle of discrimination and stigma. How can anyone learn and grow culturally when there is just a cycle of the same teaching patterns being passed down.

 

For example, a small Ontario town Stratford has a population of around 31,000 people. Fewer than 350 identified as Black. In Chatham, Kent Ontario there is a total population of 103,988 with a total of 4,280 total visible minorities within the community.

 

When asking a middle-aged man within the community they will tell you the following things such as: “the town is being overrun” and “the confederate flag is not racist.” In an open response blog where discriminated minorities from small towns opened up about the racial issues, they faced there was a similar pattern many people experienced.

 

For example, a writer stated: “In some workplaces, racial jokes are thought of as the most normal thing in the world, jokes about sexuality, skin color, stereotypes-, My nickname by one person was ‘Foreign kid’ ”.

 

Being a visible minority in a small town, you can’t forget race, because people are reminding you all the time that you are a different kind of human, you have to mentally juggle between -this person gets a pass don’t be sensitive on one hand, and on the other end of the spectrum it’s like wow that was so racist, oppressive psychologically, what that person just said.

 

Kaitlyn Aliperti
Carleton University student in Public Affairs and Policy Management

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