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More racism isn’t the solution for racism: David L. Thomas for Inside Policy – MLI

May 30, 2024

If Canada decided long ago that it is morally wrong to discriminate based on race, why is it suddenly okay now in BC?

Sometimes our solutions to problems have the feature of exacerbating them and making conditions worse for the very people we intended to help.

The latest candidate is the British Columbia government’s proposed Bill 23, the Anti-Racism Act. The Bill arises from the 2022 Anti-Racism Data Act and the follow-up 2023 Anti-Racism Legislation Questionnaire Summary Report (the Report).

The Bill raises two questions: Does systemic racism really exist? If it does, is the Anti-Racism Act the right solution – or will it make matters worse?

On the first question, let’s draw a clear distinction between allegations of “racism” and “systemic racism.” Racism is about an incident that amounts to discrimination based on someone’s race. Systemic racism suggests not merely the presence of particular incidents of racism, but rather, something baked into the “system” that results in the discrimination of a person or group based on their race.

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