Polite racism in Canada’s graduate schools: Opinion

November 16, 2020

A polite kind of racism is smothering Canada’s BIPOC graduate students, writes Karine Coen-Sanchez. The author describes conducting a survey of racialized students and a series of panel discussions for BIPOC students. Most participants reported that they faced racism, but were told not to question it. Additionally, many students reported being told to downplay experiences of racism, avoid conflict, and see their experiences as exaggerated. The article calls for challenging the status quo through the recruitment of more racialized faculty and through questioning social structures of whiteness that normalize the suffering of racialized people. “Ideally, we must challenge and unscramble anti-racism to reinforce policies and structures in our universities, in our teaching, and in our research, in order to promote the need for systemic change,” writes Coen-Sanchez. Univeresity Affairs (National)