Episode 12: Let's Talk About Race


This week, Frida and Georgia sit down to talk about race and whiteness, Amal honours legendary journalist Gwen Ifill and Peggy makes her pop culture picks.

At Underwire and TOFemCo, we want listeners to know we stand with the protesters who are rising up, organizing and demonstrating against hate and prejudice in their country. We also support and are proud of all of the people who are making every effort to protect more marginalized groups by showing solidarity and putting their bodies on the line to protect those most affected. Most importantly, we are thinking about all of the women, Muslims, people of colour, Latinx, LGBTQ folks and more affected by the rise of hate.

Recently, we had a meeting here in Toronto to discuss how the election results make us feel and what we can to prevent this from happening in Canada. Already, one of our friends who lives in a smaller town outside the city has seen a friend be harassed just for walking down the street, a cup full of urine thrown out a car, narrowly missing her head.

Some of the points in our action plan, to help those in the US and our fellow Canadians, were as follows:

  • Donate to progressive organizations. One idea is donating to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name. We can include the address on our blog post for this episode.
  • Protest in your city and let racists know this will not be tolerated. However, we do not recommend protesting in Toronto this weekend.
  • Paint over any Swastikas or racist graffiti you might see. A Swastika can easily be converted into a Windows 95 logo!
  • Verbally let the women, and people of colour in your life know that you are there for them. Act on this if you witness injustices happening to anyone, anywhere. Support and believe those online who share their stories.
  • Engage people with opposing views to try to understand their thinking, in a non-judgmental way, if you feel safe doing so. Ask them why they feel this way and empathetically try to share your point of view. You never know how you could change their perspective.
  • #MakeItAwkward. A campaign started by Jesse and Julia Lipscombe in Edmonton calls on us to confront racism head-on when we see it taking place, even if it makes it awkward among friends and family. Especially if you hold a privileged position in the group you’re in where this happens, or if you are the same race, gender, etc. as the harasser. They’re likelier to take you more seriously if you call them out in a tactful, patient way.
  • Don’t make excuses. We’re tired of hearing “Oh I know a Trump supporter. But deep inside they’re a good person.” That may be true. But whoever you know who voted for him put their own, possibly privileged, interests ahead of the lives and safety of millions of other Americans who may have their rights infringed upon or taken away from them. As Kumail Nanjiani tweeted after he was harassed by Trump supporters in an LA bar, at best, Trump supporters overlooked racism and sexism from their presidential candidate. Now, they are part of a group either committing these acts of violence, encouraging them or turning a blind eye.

Last but not least, if you have personally encountered racism, please tag us in your story. We want to support you in any way by retweeting or offering a compassionate ear, thereby showing those who think we’re overreacting. Trump’s win has serious repercussions in the US, Canada and globally.

Our Twitter question of the week is how can we build on this list? What else can we do? Please tag us on Instagram or Twitter at @tofemco or message us on Facebook at Toronto Feminist Collective.

Further reading: 

"People are crying: It's not because they lost a race," USA Today

"What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism," The Toast

"Canada's race problem? It's even worse than America's." Maclean's

"Okay, Fine. Here's What You Should Do Post-Election." Huffington Post

"Canada's racial divide: Confronting racism in our own backyard." The Globe & Mail

Further listening:

W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu's Politically Reactive

NPR's Code Switch

Trump, Brexit and racism: Why Canada isn't immune to racist rhetoric on CBC's The Current

Music featured on this episode: 

Chance the Rapper - All We Got

Solange feat. Lil Wayne - Mad

Solange - Cranes in the Sky

A Tribe Called Quest - We The People