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September 14, 2020Letters and speeches

Naming racism is important to find long-term solutions!

"Like any social problem, racism, far from being static, mutates and is transformed," stress Myrlande Pierre and Philippe-André Tessier, who call for systemic solutions to a fundamentally structural and institutional problem, in this open letter published in La Presse on September 12, 2020

Like any social problem, racism is not static, it mutates and transforms. Thus, there is an abysmal distance between its classical expressions, which claimed to be scientific, and its contemporary forms, which refer more to the idea of "differentiation" (Wieviorka, 1998; Balibar, 1988). Racism is a sensitive and complex issue and this is why there is so much reticence and resistance in tackling it. Resistance can be found to varying degrees in many settings, institutions and among the population. Talking about racism and discrimination based on "race" is not easy, especially in a state that claims to be based on the rule of law, freedom and equality. These are the very foundations of our society, based on values of openness and inclusion, whereas racism is a denial of all these principles.

A letter by Myrlande Pierre and Philippe-André Tessier, respectively vice-president, responsible for the Charter mandate and president of the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse.

This open letter was published in La Presse on 12 September, 2020.

Read the letter (French only)