Transcript: Check Your Privilege | Apr 29, 2015

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, gray shirt, and matching striped gray tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says PRIVILEGE PLAYS A ROLE
IN A POLITICALLY CORRECT WORLD.
A WORLD THAT CALLS FOR THE
CONSIDERATION OF ONE'S OWN
PRIVILEGE IN ORDER TO GAIN AN
UNDERSTANDING OF A PARTICULAR
SITUATION.
TONIGHT, WE'RE LOOKING AT WHERE
PRIVILEGE RESIDES, AND IF ONE
PERSON'S PRIVILEGE IS
NECESSARILY ANOTHER'S.
JOINING US NOW TO HELP US DO
THAT:
IN EDMONTON, ALBERTA:
KAREN STRAUGHAN, BLOGGER AND
ACTIVIST WITH GirlWritesWhat;

Karen appears on screen smiling. She’s in her thirties, with short brown hair. She’s wearing a black leather jacket over a white shirt.

Steve continues AND WITH US IN STUDIO:
SAADIA MUZAFFAR, FOUNDER AND CEO
OF TechGirls CANADA;

Saadia is in her thirties, with short chestnut hair in a side-parted do. She’s wearing a red blazer over a black shirt, and silver droplet earrings.

Steve continues JONATHAN KAY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF
THE WALRUS MAGAZINE;

Jonathan is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short sparse white hair. He’s wearing black-rimmed glasses, a light gray suit, white shirt, and spotted red tie.

Steve continues DESMOND COLE, STAFF WRITER FOR
Torontoist...

Desmond is in his early thirties, with short black afro-style hair and a stubble. He’s wearing a gray suit and a pale yellow shirt.

Steve continues AND KATHERINE HENSEL, A
SECWEPEMC LAWYER WITH A
LITIGATION PRACTICE SERVING
FIRST NATIONS AND INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS
CANADA.

Katherine is in her late thirties, with long wavy auburn hair. She’s wearing a beige loose cardigan over a black shirt.

Steve continues KAREN, WE WELCOME YOU IN
EDMONTON.
EVERYBODY ELSE HERE AT THE
TABLE, NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US
AS WELL.
PEGGY McINTOSH WROTE IN 1988,
WHITE PRIVILEGE, UNPACKING THE
INVISIBLE KNAPSACK, AND SHE CAME
UP WITH 26 DIFFERENT SIGNS OF
WHITE PRIVILEGE.
WE'RE GOING TO SHARE A FEW RIGHT
NOW WHICH WILL HELP SET UP OUR
DISCUSSION.

A slate appears on screen with the title “The invisible knapsack.”
Steve reads from bullet point items which appear on the slate.
He reads I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.
I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.

Taken from Peggy McIntosh, 1988.

Steve says OKAY.
LET'S GO AROUND HERE.
WE WANT TO ALL UNDERSTAND
PRIVILEGE A LITTLE BETTER.
OKAY, DESMOND, YOU FIRST.
DO YOU IDENTIFY WITH THIS?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Desmond Cole. Torontoist"

Desmond says ABSOLUTELY I DO.
IN FACT, IN THE RECENT PIECE
THAT I WROTE FOR TORONTO LIFE
ABOUT DISCRIMINATION AND RACISM,
I CITED TWO OF THE THREE THINGS
YOU JUST MENTIONED, BEING
FOLLOWED AROUND A STORE JUST
SHOPPING -- WHAT WAS THE FIRST
ONE YOU MENTIONED?

The caption changes to "Check your privilege. How unfair?"

Steve says THE FIRST WAS
SHOPPING.
THE SECOND I'M NOT ASKED TO
SPEAK FOR ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF
MY RACIAL GROUP.

Desmond says THAT HAPPENED
THIS WEEK WHERE I WAS MAKING
COMMENTS ABOUT HOW THE BLACK
COMMUNITY IS BEING TREATED BY
POLICE AND SOMEBODY ON THE RADIO
SAID DESMOND COLE DOESN'T SPEAK
FOR THE WHOLE BLACK COMMUNITY.
IT WAS AN INTERESTING COMMENTARY
BUT IT LENDS INSIGHT INTO
PEGGY'S FINDINGS FROM A LONG
TIME AGO, THAT THAT WOULDN'T
HAPPEN TO HER BUT IT DOES TO
PEOPLE LIKE ME A LOT.

Steve says KATHERINE?

The caption changes to "Katherine Hensel. Hensel Barristers."

Katherine says I HAVE TO
SAY TORONTO IS A BIT OF A
UTOPIA, NOT NECESSARILY FOR
AFRICAN-CANADIANS OR BLACK
PEOPLE, AND NOT FOR ALL
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, BUT AS A
VISIBLY FIRST NATIONS WOMAN WITH
VISIBLY FIRST NATIONS MOTHER AND
CHILDREN THAT I TRAVEL WITH WHEN
I GO TO WINNIPEG, WHEN I GO TO
SASKATOON, WHEN I GO TO CALGARY.
I'VE BEEN DENIED SERVICE, I'VE
BEEN TRAILED IN STORES, IN FACT
I EXPECT IT THERE, AND I HAD A
COURT REPORTER JUST LAST MONTH
TELL ME I WAS VERY ARTICULATE
WHEN SHE FOUND OUT I WAS A FIRST
NATIONS PERSON, SO I WAS PLEASED
WITH THAT, YEAH.

Steve says KATHERINE, I'M GOING
TO NOW SAY THE FIRST OF WHAT I
SUSPECT WILL BE MANY DUMB THINGS
DURING THE COURSE OF THIS
PROGRAM.
TO ME YOU ARE NOT VISIBLY FIRST
NATIONS, YOU ARE NOT OBVIOUSLY
FIRST NATIONS.
YOUR NAME IS KATHERINE HENSEL
WHICH DOESN'T SCREAM FIRST
NATIONS.
SO I GUESS I'M SORT OF
MODERATELY SURPRISED THAT THIS
IS A THING FOR YOU.
HOW DUMB IS WHAT I JUST SAID?

Katherine says IN
TORONTO IT'S NOT A THING FOR ME
AND THAT'S WHY I'M RAISING MY
CHILDREN HERE.
I GREW UP IN CALGARY, IN
DOWNTOWN CALGARY, AND WHERE
THERE'S A LOT OF INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE.
OR IF I GO TO THUNDER BAY,
KENORA, WHERE THERE'S A LARGE
VISIBLE INDIGENOUS POPULATION, I
AM RECOGNIZED AS VISIBLY
ABORIGINAL, PARTICULARLY IN THE
SUMMER, BUT, YOU KNOW,
YEAR-ROUND.
PEOPLE WHO ARE USED TO SEEING
LOTS OF FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE AND
RECOGNIZING THEM AS SUCH
RECOGNIZE ME.
HERE I COULD BE PORTUGUESE, I
COULD BE -- OTHER INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE KNOW I'M ABORIGINAL, BUT
NOT YOU, WOULD SPECULATE ABOUT
MY ETHNICITY, AND THAT HAS A
PROTECTIVE EFFECT.

Steve says NOT WITH A NAME LIKE
KATHERINE HENSEL.
BUT WE GO ON.
SAADIA, DO THAT RING TRUE FOR
YOU?

The caption changes to "Saadia Muzaffar. Techgirls Canada."

Saadia says IT DOES.
I CAN RELATE A LOT TO WHAT
DESMOND MENTIONED BUT TO ME MY
NAME IS NOT ONE THAT BLENDS IN
VERY EASILY, SO THERE HAVE BEEN
TIMES WHEN I KNOW FOR A FACT
THAT THE EXPECTATIONS OF WHO I
WAS GOING TO BE WHEN I SHOWED UP
WERE DIFFERENT.
THE WHOLE BEING VERY ARTICULATE.
I'VE GOTTEN THAT LOTS.
I AM COMMENDED FOR HOW WELL I
CAN EXPRESS MY THOUGHTS AND
SHARE WHAT I AM SAYING WITHOUT
AN ACCENT.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT'S MEANT
TO SAY TO ME BECAUSE I DO THINK
BEING AN IMMIGRANT AND A PERSON
OF COLOUR I SOUND LIKE
EVERYWHERE NOW, BUT DEFINITELY
CAN RELATE TO THAT, YES.

Steve says OKAY.
JONATHAN, HOW ABOUT YOU?

The caption changes to "Jonathan Kay. The Walrus Magazine."

Jonathan says I THINK
IT'S -- I BROADLY AGREE WITH THE
DESCRIPTION YOU PROVIDED,
ALTHOUGH I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT
TO EMPHASIZE THAT CLASS IS AT
LEAST AS IMPORTANT AN INDICATOR
AS RACE IN OUR SOCIETY, AND IF
YOU -- EVEN IF YOU'RE WHITE, IF
YOU APPEAR TO BE POOR, IF YOU
APPEAR TO BE, SAY, HOMELESS, IF
YOU GO INTO A LIQUOR STORE,
YOU'RE GOING TO BE FOLLOWED
AROUND.
IF PEOPLE SUSPECT THAT THAT'S
THE SORT OF PERSON THAT'S
PROBABLY GOING TO SHOP-LIFT OR
WHATEVER, I THINK WE TALK A LOT
ABOUT RACE, IT'S AN IMPORTANT
SUBJECT.
IN MY EXPERIENCE FROM WHAT I'VE
OBSERVED AS A JOURNALIST, CLASS
IS AT LEAST AS IMPORTANT A
SUBJECT AS RACE.

Saadia says THERE ARE
OTHER THINGS TOO, WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT OTHER NUANCES, RACE COMES
UP OFTEN BECAUSE I THINK IT'S SO
OBVIOUS TO MAKE A DISTINCTION,
BUT PEOPLE WITH VISIBLE
DISABILITIES GET THE SAME THING,
RIGHT?
AND TRANS MEN AND WOMEN HAVE THE
SAME.
SO CLASS DEFINITELY INTERSECTS
BUT IT'S BROADER THAN JUST RACE
AND I THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT
THING TO TALK ABOUT.

Steve says KAREN, WE HAVEN'T
HEARD FROM YOU YET.
WHERE ARE YOU ON THIS?

The caption changes to "Karen Straughan. Girlwriteswhat Youtube Channel."

Karen says I THINK
THAT DISCUSSIONS OF THESE KINDS
OF ISSUES ARE DEFINITELY
IMPORTANT AND I THINK THERE IS A
LOT OF VALUE IN DISCUSSIONS OF
RACE AND THE INTERSECTION OF
RACE AND PARTICULARLY CLASS.
AS THE PREVIOUS PANELIST SAID,
IF YOU ARE DRESSED A CERTAIN WAY
AND YOU ARE IN A LIQUOR STORE,
YOU ARE GOING TO BE FOLLOWED
AROUND, WHETHER YOU'RE WHITE,
BLACK, OR EVEN A WOMAN,
ESSENTIALLY.
SO, YOU KNOW, THERE'S DEFINITELY
ROOM FOR DISCUSSION OF THAT KIND
OF STUFF AND THERE'S DEFINITELY
SOMETHING TO BE GAINED THERE,
BUT I THINK A LOT OF THE TOOLS
THAT WERE DEVELOPED IN FEMINIST
STUDIES AND INTERDISCIPLINARY
STUDIES, THINGS LIKE PRIVILEGE
AND STANDPOINT THEORY AND STUFF
LIKE THAT, THEY WERE REALLY
DESIGNED TO BE SCALPELS, AND
WHAT THE PUBLIC DISCOURSE SEEMS
TO BE, AT LEAST OUTSIDE
ACADEMIA, IT IS KIND OF BEING
USED AS A BLUDGEON.
THERE'S NOT A LOT OF ROOM FOR
NUANCE, SO ESSENTIALLY THERE IS
THAT -- THERE IS THAT CONCEPT
THAT YOU'RE GOING TO BE EXPECTED
TO SPEAK FOR EVERYBODY OF YOUR
RACE, BUT THE WHOLE REASON FOR
THAT IS BECAUSE YOU'RE ALL
EXPECTED TO HAVE THE SAME OR
SIMILAR EXPERIENCES, AND WHILE
SOME OF THOSE EXPERIENCES MIGHT
BE COMMON, ALL BLACKS ARE NOT A
HIVE MIND, ALL ABORIGINALS ARE
NOT A HIVE MIND.

Steve says I WANT TO ASK A VERY
UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTION TO KEEP
THIS DISCUSSION GOING ALONG AND
THAT IS I WANT EVERYBODY IN THE
STUDIO -- KAREN, SORRY, YOU
CAN'T DO THIS -- TO POINT TO THE
PERSON THAT THEY THINK IS THE
MOST PRIVILEGED ON THE SET
TODAY.
THREE, TWO, ONE, DO IT NOW.
POINT.

Desmond points at Steve, but Katherine and Saadia point at Steve with one hand and at Jonathan with another.

Steve says INTERESTING.
DESMOND IS POINTING AT ME,
SAADIA IS POINTING AT THE TWO
WHITE GUYS.
KATHERINE IS POINTING AT THE TWO
WHITE GUYS.

Jonathan says SHE POINTED
TO ME AND THOUGHT ABOUT IT AND
POINTED TO YOU.
I THINK IT SHOULD BE ON THE
RECORD --

Katherine says IT'S NOT
A COMPETITION.

Jonathan says I WAS GOING
LIKE THIS.

He shrugs, feigning outrage.

They all laugh.

Jonathan mockingly says
HELLO?
YEAH.

Katherine says I'M A
LAWYER AND A LITIGATOR AND I
LIVE IN TORONTO, I OWN A HOUSE
HERE AND EVERYTHING.
I OCCUPY HERE A POSITION OF
TREMENDOUS PRIVILEGE AS WELL.

Steve says ON A SCALE OF ONE TO
TEN, WHERE IS IT?

Katherine says SEVEN.
IT DOESN'T HELP ME IN WINNIPEG
EVEN IF I'M WEARING A SUIT.
IT WILL NOT HELP MY VISIBLY
ABORIGINAL DAUGHTER STAY SAFE,
STAY ALIVE, POTENTIALLY.
CLASS HAS SOMETHING OF A
PROTECTIVE EFFECT BUT IT ONLY
GOES SO FAR.
IN DIFFERENT PLACES AND
DIFFERENT CONTEXTS.
AND EVEN IN TORONTO, I WORRY FOR
MY DAUGHTER.

Steve says DESMOND, I'M
FASCINATED BY YOUR CHOICE
BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE MIGHT LOOK
AT YOU AND SAY YOU ARE A
JOURNALIST WITH ACCESS TO
AIRWAVES, YOU ARE A WELL-KNOWN
WRITER IN THIS TOWN.
YOU CAN PRETTY MUCH GET ON THE
AIR ANY TIME YOU WANT.

Desmond says I'M GETTING THERE.

Steve says YOU'RE ABOUT TO HOST
YOUR OWN PODCAST NOW ON
POLITICS.
HOW OLD ARE YOU?

Desmond says 33.

Steve says 33.
YOU'RE DOING -- SOME MIGHT ARGUE
YOU'RE DOING PRETTY WELL.

Desmond says WHY IS IT I
STILL GET FOLLOWED AROUND BY THE
POLICE IN MY OWN CITY.
THAT'S WHY I POINTED TO YOU.
YOU'RE DOING WELL --

Steve says I'M OLDER.

Desmond says THAT HAS
SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOUR
QUESTION, RIGHT?
IT'S A FUN EXERCISE BUT I THINK
BEYOND WHO HAS THE MOST, WHO HAS
THE LEAST, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND
HOW PRIVILEGES INTERSECT, WHERE
THEY ARE LIMITED.
THEY'RE NOT ABSOLUTE THINGS,
RIGHT?
AND I'M A MAN.
SO EVEN THOUGH I'M A BLACK MAN,
THERE'S EXTREME AMOUNTS OF
PRIVILEGE THAT ARE INVESTED IN
THE IDEA THAT PEOPLE SEE ME AND
THEY'RE LIKE, THAT'S A GUY.
SO I CAN'T DENY THAT, RIGHT?
IT'S NOT AS SIMPLE AS ONE
IDENTITY OR ONE WAY OF BEING.

Steve says BUT BEING A MAN
GIVES YOU MORE PRIVILEGE THAN A
CHILD, OBVIOUSLY.

Desmond says YES.

Steve says AND WOMEN TOO?

Desmond says IN MANY
CASES.

Steve says GO AHEAD, KAREN.

Karen says I WOULD
LIKE TO INTERJECT SOMETHING.
BECAUSE PART OF THE ENTIRE IDEA
OF DRIVING WHILE BLACK OR THE
FACT THAT STOP AND FRISK SEEMS
TO BE PREDOMINANTLY TARGETING
BLACK MEN IN PLACES LIKE NEW
YORK CITY, A LOT OF THAT HAS TO
DO WITH THE FACT THAT YOU'RE A
MAN.
IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU BEING
BLACK, IT'S ABOUT YOU BEING A
BLACK MALE.
IT'S NOT DRIVING WHILE BLACK,
IT'S DRIVING WHILE BLACK AND
MALE.

Steve says JUST SO I
UNDERSTAND.
BECAUSE IF YOU WERE BLACK AND
FEMALE, HE WOULDN'T BE GETTING
PULLED OVER; IS THAT RIGHT?

Karen says IT WOULD
BE MUCH, MUCH LESS LIKELY TO
HAPPEN.
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT STOP AND
FRISK POLICIES, ABOUT 95 percent OF
THOSE TARGETED ARE BLACK MALES
OR MINORITY MALES, BUT THE 98 percent
OF THOSE TARGETED ARE MALES OF
ANY ETHNICITY.
SO YOU'RE LOOKING AT AN INTERSECTING
OF MALENESS AND BLACKNESS THAT'S
LEADING YOU TO BE TARGETED IN
THOSE WAYS, AND THIS IS ONE OF
THE REASONS WHY THE DISCUSSION
AROUND PRIVILEGE -- AND I FIND
IT REALLY INTERESTING THAT THE
IDEA OF PRIVILEGE HAS ITS BIRTH
IN ACADEMIC FEMINISM, AND THEN
IT KIND OF BRANCHED OUT TO APPLY
TO ALL OF THESE OTHER AREAS
WHERE I THINK IT ACTUALLY IS A
BETTER FIT.
GENDER DOES NOT FIT THE SAME
MODEL OF SORT OF UNIFORM
PRIVILEGE.
MEN DO HAVE SOME PRIVILEGES
COMPARED TO WOMEN.
THEY WILL BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY IN
WAYS THAT WOMEN OFTEN WON'T.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME, IT DOESN'T
OPERATE ON THE SAME DYNAMIC.
IT'S A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
THING.

Steve says LET ME ASK DESMOND
ABOUT THAT.
HANG ON, KAREN.
DOES THAT MAKE YOU RE-EVALUATE
YOUR DECISION OR YOUR POSITION,
THAT BEING A MALE ALMOST
NECESSARILY GIVES YOU MORE
PRIVILEGE THAN WOMEN IN SOCIETY?

Desmond says NO, AND
AGAIN, I THINK IT'S VERY
SITUATIONAL.
NOW, I AGREE, AS A MAN WHO IS
ALSO BLACK, I WILL BE STOPPED
WHEREAS MY MOM DRIVING HER CAR
WON'T BE STOPPED, AND SHE'S
BLACK TOO.
SO THAT'S ABSOLUTELY THE CASE.
THERE IS A SPECIFIC STEREOTYPE
AROUND BLACK MEN AND CRIMINALITY
THAT GETS PERPETUATED IN OUR
MEDIA AND IN DAILY SOCIAL LIFE
AND THERE ARE OTHER STEREOTYPES
ABOUT BLACK WOMEN THAT I AM NOT
SUBJECTED TO, RIGHT?
SO THIS IS COMPLICATED.

Karen says EXACTLY.
THIS IS REALLY WHAT I'M GETTING
AT, IS THAT IT'S MUCH MORE
NUANCED, I GUESS, TO -- FORGIVE
THE PUN, IT'S A LOT LESS BLACK
AND WHITE WHEN YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT MEN AND WOMEN.
IT'S A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
DYNAMIC.
IT COMES UP THROUGH A COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT EVOLUTIONARY, BOTH
CULTURAL AND BIOLOGICAL
MECHANISM.
SO I FIND IT REALLY IRONIC THAT
WE'RE ACTUALLY TAKING A TOOL
THAT WAS ORIGINALLY DESIGNED TO
APPLY TO MEN AND WOMEN AND IT
WAS A VERY, VERY POOR FIT AND
WE'RE FINDING PLACES WHERE IT
ACTUALLY DOES FIT IN TERMS OF
ETHNICITY AND ABILITY AND SEXUAL
ORIENTATION AND GENDER
ORIENTATION -- ALL OF THOSE
THINGS.

Steve says LET'S GET SOME
FEEDBACK.
SAADIA, THEN KATHERINE.

Saadia says I DON'T
THINK ANYBODY IS DENYING IT'S
NUANCED AND COMPLICATED.
IT SAYS THAT JUST BECAUSE
SOMETHING DOESN'T PERSONALLY
AFFECT YOU, YOU DEEM IT TO NOT
AFFECT OTHER PEOPLE AS WELL.
THAT'S WHAT PRIVILEGE IS, AND I
THINK THAT DEFINITION APPLIES TO
GENDER, TO RACE, TO SEXUAL
ORIENTATION, WHAT HAVE YOU.
THE WAY THAT IT'S MANIFESTED
ITSELF IS OF COURSE NUANCED AND
IT'S VERY INTERWOVEN HOW
EXPECTATIONS AND STEREOTYPES
PLAY INTO THAT.
WHAT OUR CULTURAL EXPECTATIONS
ARE FROM GENDER PLAY INTO THAT.
SO TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON
WHERE THIS ORIGINATED AND WHAT
IT'S DOING, I DON'T THINK MOVES
THE DISCUSSION FORWARD.
I THINK WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT
CREATING SPACES WHERE WE CAN
ACTUALLY HAVE THIS DIALOGUE AND
BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT, LIKE YOU
SAID, MAYBE I'M GOING TO SAY
SOMETHING THAT WILL BE
INAPPROPRIATE OR DUMB, BUT WE
NEED TO BE ABLE TO SAY THAT SO
OTHER PEOPLE CAN STEP IN AND
SAY, YOU'RE NOT CONSIDERING THIS
LENS, AND HAVE THAT.

Steve says LEARNING
OPPORTUNITIES.

Saadia says LEARNING
OPPORTUNITIES.

Katherine says I
ABSOLUTELY AGREE.
TO PICK UP ON SOMETHING KAREN
SAID, I THINK THE MALE -- OR THE
CATEGORY OF MALE AND THE
VULNERABILITY THAT MIGHT COME
AND THE OVERPOLICING OF MALES,
IT ONLY GOES SO FAR.
STEVE AND JONATHAN, HAVE YOU
EVER FELT THAT YOU WERE TARGETED
BECAUSE OF YOUR MALENESS DRIVING
WHILE MALE OR IF YOU'RE
STRUGGLING IN A PUBLIC PLACE,
FOR EXAMPLE, OR INVOLVED IN
SOME -- DID THE POLICE EVER DO
ANYTHING OTHER THAN GENTLY
INQUIRE AFTER YOUR WELL-BEING?

Jonathan says I CAN ANSWER
THAT QUESTION.
I CAN SAY IF YOU ARE A WELL
DRESSED WHITE MALE MINDING YOUR
BUSINESS IN A PLACE LIKE
TORONTO, YOU PRETTY MUCH HAVE TO
PUNCH SOMEONE IN THE FACE TO GET
ARRESTED.
EVEN THEN -- WELL, WHAT DID HE
SAY?
[Laughter]
SOMETIMES I'M GENUINELY
SKEPTICAL OF THE EXCESSES OF
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IN OUR
SOCIETY AND SOMETIMES PEOPLE
WIELD WHITE PRIVILEGE THAT MAKES
ME FEEL -- IT ABSOLUTELY HAS
MADE ME THINK ABOUT THE WAYS
WHITE PRIVILEGE DOES EXIST.
IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE, IF YOU ARE
A WHITE MALE OR FEMALE DRIVING
AROUND, WALKING AROUND,
SHOPPING -- AS I SAY, IF YOU'RE
WELL-DRESSED, YOU CAN LIVE YOUR
ENTIRE LIFE WITHOUT HAVING ANY
INTERACTION WITH THE POLICE
WHATSOEVER, EXCEPT AS A
COMPLAINANT.

Steve says IS THAT DANGEROUS,
DO YOU THINK, FOR SOCIETY AT
LARGE?
BECAUSE THAT MEANS PRESUMABLY
THERE'S A BIG CHUNK OF PEOPLE
OUT THERE WHO HAVE NO PERSONAL
EXPERIENCE AT ALL OF WHAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT?

Jonathan says IT'S
DANGEROUS IN THE SENSE YOU GET
PEOPLE WHO ASSUME THAT'S JUST
THE BASELINE OF HUMAN EXISTENCE
AND IF SOMEONE HAS A NEGATIVE
INTERACTION WITH THE POLICE,
THEY MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING TO
ATTRACT IT.
THIS IS BY THE WAY -- I KNOW
WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT INCOME
INEQUALITY TODAY, BUT IT IS
DEFINITELY TRUE THE MORE AND
MORE PEOPLE LIVE IN SEGMENTED
NEIGHBOURHOODS -- IF YOU LIVE IN
TORONTO, IF YOU LIVE IN FOREST
HILL, ROSEDALE, LEASIDE,
WHATEVER YOUR SKIN COLOUR, THE
ONLY CHANCE YOU'LL SEE A POLICE
CAR IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD IS IF
THEY'RE RESPONDING TO A FALLEN
TREE OR YOUR NEIGHBOUR GOT
ROBBED.
“SIR, DID YOU SEE ANYTHING?”
THAT IS THE ONLY INTERACTION
YOU'LL HAVE WITH THE POLICE.
AND IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO BE
PART OF A CIVIC DISCUSSION ABOUT
BROADER ISSUES AROUND POLICING
OR WHATEVER IF THAT'S YOUR ONLY
PERSONAL INTERACTION.

Steve says LET ME DO ONE MORE
FOLLOW-UP WITH YOU.
I WONDER IF THERE'S A PART OF
YOU THAT FINDS THIS KIND OF A
DISCUSSION FRUSTRATING AT TIMES
BECAUSE YOU'RE A PART OF THE
MOST HATED MINORITY GROUP IN THE
HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW THAT, BUT
YOU'RE JEWISH.
SO YOU ARE.
AND YET YOU'RE BASICALLY
SUPPOSED TO TAKE A BACK SEAT TO
EVERYBODY ELSE'S PAIN DESPITE
THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S
A LONG AND PROUD HISTORY OF
HATING PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKE YOU?

Jonathan says ANTI-SEMITISM
HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE MOST
SUCCESSFUL IDEOLOGY OF THE 21ST
CENTURY AND IT'S CERTAINLY TRUE.
HOWEVER, ON A SELFISH PERSONAL
LEVEL, ONE OF THE NICE THINGS
ABOUT BEING JEWISH IN 2015 IS
YOU CAN TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.
I HAVE JEWISH PEERS WHO HAVE
MADE JUDAISM COMPLETELY CENTRAL
TO THEIR IDENTITY.
THEY SPEND THEIR ENTIRE LIVES
RESEARCHING THEIR ANCESTORS,
THEY SPEAK HEBREW.
IT IS COMPLETELY CENTRAL TO
THEIR IDENTITY BY CHOICE.
WHEREAS THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE ME
TO FLUNKED OUT OF HEBREW SCHOOL,
NO VERY LITTLE ABOUT THE OLD
TESTAMENT, AND BASICALLY THE
JEWISHNESS IS AN ASPECT OF MY
IDENTITY THAT I CAN GO WEEKS OR
MONTHS NOT THINKING ABOUT VERY
MUCH AND I CAN PRESENT MYSELF IN
THE WORKPLACE OR TO STRANGERS OR
IN THE MEDIA AS SOMEONE WHO, OH,
YEAH, YOU MENTIONED, YEAH, I'M
JEWISH.
LET'S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.
I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT.
IT'S INCIDENTAL TO MY IDENTITY
IF I WANT IT TO BE.

Steve says YOU CAN TAKE IT OR
LEAVE IT.
YOU CAN'T?

Desmond says MAYBE YOUR
VIEWERS DIDN'T KNOW JONATHAN WAS
JEWISH UNTIL YOU ASKED.

Steve says IF YOU READ HIS
STUFF, HE REFERS TO HIMSELF AS
JEWISH.

Jonathan says I REFER TO
MYSELF AS A MEDIA FIGURE.
I CAN TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT
DEPENDING ON WHAT WE'RE
DISCUSSING.

Desmond says IN A WORLD
WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO MAKE
JUDGMENTS ON FACE VALUE ALONE,
THEY CAN'T DO IT ABOUT YOU.
THEY CAN DO IT WITH ME AND THEY
DO.

Katherine says I GET OFF
THE PLANE IN WINNIPEG OR THE
OTHER PRAIRIE PROVINCES AND YOU
SEE PEOPLE'S FACES, THEY'RE
TRYING TO FIGURE OUT BECAUSE I'M
NOT A SLAM DUNK AND THEY SEE AND
THEY SCAN ME, THEY SEE THE
BRIEFCASE, THEY SEE THE SUIT,
THEY SEE MY FACE AND A LITTLE
SCOWL.

Steve says A SCOWL MEANING
WHAT?

Katherine says JUST
THEY'RE IDENTIFYING ME AS --
NON-ABORIGINAL PEOPLE
IDENTIFYING ME AS AN ABORIGINAL
PERSON.
THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN TORONTO
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE
60,000 OF US HERE BUT IT'S NOT
CRITICAL MASS AND PEOPLE ARE
MORE INTEGRATED.

Jonathan says SPEAKING OF PRIVILEGE.
IF I DO AROUSE THAT RESPONSE
AMONG PEOPLE, I CAN USUALLY SAY,
OH, WHAT DID I DO OR SAY?
I CAN IMMEDIATELY NARROW IT DOWN
TO SOMETHING THAT I DID.

Katherine says OR WROTE.

Jonathan says OR WROTE, YEAH.
BUT LIFE IS MORE COMPLICATED IF
YOU'RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT,
WELL, IS IT BECAUSE OF WHAT I
SAID OR DID OR IS IT SIMPLY
BECAUSE OF MY SKIN COLOUR?
SO IT COMPLICATES EVERY SOCIAL
INTERACTION.

Saadia says TO NUANCE,
I WOULD ADD THAT MAYBE WHEN
DESMOND WALKS INTO A ROOM OR
WHEN YOU ENTER WINNIPEG, YOU
NOTICE THAT.
I THINK PEOPLE SEE MY NAME.
THEY'VE NOT EVEN MET ME OR EVER
LAID EYES ON ME --

Steve says THEY SEE YOUR NAME
AND ASSUME WHAT?

Saadia says THEY
ASSUME (a) THAT I'M DIFFERENT.
I'M ALWAYS CATEGORIZED IN AN
OTHER.
SO I'M ALWAYS HAVING TO PROVE
THAT I AM ARTICULATE AND
THOUGHTFUL AND MY EXPERIENCE
MATTERS AND QUESTIONS LIKE, SO
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
WELL, TORONTO.
WHERE ARE YOU REALLY FROM?

Steve says YOU GET WHERE ARE
YOU REALLY FROM?

Saadia says THIS NEVER ENDS.
YOU CAN SAY YOU'VE BEEN IN
CANADA 95 percent OF YOUR LIFE AND IT'S
LIKE, “WHERE ARE YOU REALLY
FROM?”
AND WE LAUGH NOW, BUT THIS IS
EXHAUSTING.
THIS HAPPENS AROUND US OVER AND
OVER.

Steve says HOW DO YOU ANSWER
THAT QUESTION?
I KNOW YOU'RE FROM TORONTO BUT
WHERE ARE YOU REALLY FROM?

Saadia says I STICK TO
MY GUNS AND SAY TORONTO.

Steve says BUT YOU KNOW WHAT
THEY MEAN TO ASK IS, WHERE ARE
YOUR PARENTS OR GRANDPARENTS OR
GREAT GRANDPARENTS FROM?

Saadia says TRUE.
AND THAT COULD BE ASKED IN SO
MANY DIFFERENT WAYS IN A
CONVERSATION FURTHER DOWN THE
ROAD WHEN YOU NEED TO KNOW MORE
ABOUT ME AS A PERSON, NOT PUT ME
IN A CATEGORY, LABEL ME, AND
THEN SAY, OH, ONE OF THOSE,
RIGHT.

Steve says YOU DON'T GET THAT,
THOUGH, DO YOU, DESMOND?

Desmond says ALL THE TIME.
WHERE ARE YOU REALLY FROM?
I'M FROM RED DEER, ALBERTA.
WHERE ARE YOU REALLY FROM?
I'M BORN IN RED DEER.
DO YOU WANT TO SEE MY GIFT
CERTIFICATE.
IT SAYS RED DEER, ALBERTA, IN A
HOSPITAL IN RED DEER.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE.
THEY'RE TRYING TO GET TO ANOTHER
QUESTION, AS YOU'RE SUGGESTING.
I REALLY LIKE WHAT SAADIA JUST
SAID BECAUSE WHERE MY ANCESTRY
IS FROM MIGHT NOT BE THE FIRST
THING I'D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU
ABOUT IF I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU
ARE.
IT'S NOT HOW I IDENTIFY.
I IDENTIFY AS DESMOND.
I IDENTIFY AS A JOURNALIST.
I IDENTIFY WITH A GUY WHO LIKES
SPORTS AND MUSIC.
BUT I'M NOT NECESSARILY WILLING
TO DISCUSS MY -- BY THE WAY,
THERE'S VERY LITTLE FOLLOW-UP
WHEN YOU ACTUALLY GIVE PEOPLE
THE ANSWER THAT THEY'RE LOOKING
FOR.
SO WHEN YOU SAY, WELL, MY
PARENTS ARE FROM SIERRA LEONE
AND WEST AFRICA.
OH.
AND THEN THAT'S THE END OF THE
CONVERSATION.

Steve says DOES THAT SUGGEST TO
YOU THAT IT'S NOT THAT BIG A
DEAL FOR THEM ACTUALLY, THEY'RE
JUST KIND OF CURIOUS ABOUT --

Desmond says I FEEL IT'S
ONE OF THOSE THINGS PEOPLE DO,
MAYBE EVEN OUT OF DISCOMFORT, IT
FEELS LIKE AN ICE BREAKER FOR
THEM, IT FEELS LIKE A WAY OF
GETTING TO KNOW SOMEBODY, BUT
THEY'RE NOT THINKING ABOUT THE
IDEA THAT BECAUSE THAT WOULDN'T
NECESSARILY HAPPEN TO THEM THAT
IT'S NOT COMFORTABLE FOR
EVERYBODY, IT'S NOT ALWAYS
COMFORTABLE TO BE IMMEDIATELY
IDENTIFIED AS, “YOU LOOK LIKE
YOU'RE NOT FROM AROUND HERE.”
THAT MIGHT NOT ALWAYS BE THE
FIRST THING SOMEBODY WANTS TO
TALK TO YOU ABOUT.

Steve says WE DO DO THAT.
WHY DO WE GO THERE?

Jonathan says WE LIKE TO
PUT PEOPLE IN BOXES.
THE HUMAN MIND CAN BE VERY
LIMITED SOCIALLY AND WE DO LIKE
TO PUT PEOPLE IN BOXES.
PEOPLE DON'T USUALLY ASK ME
WHERE I COME FROM BECAUSE THEY
ASSUME THE ANSWER WILL BE BORING
AND IT DOESN'T HELP PUT IT IN A
BOX.
INSTEAD THEY'LL SAY I LIKE YOUR
WRITING.
YOU WROTE FOR THE
RIGHT?
YEAH, I GET IT.

[Laughter]

Steve says THEY'RE SIZING YOU
UP IN A DIFFERENT WAY,
OBVIOUSLY.

Jonathan says IN A
DIFFERENT DIMENSION.
BUT THAT IS THE WAY THE HUMAN
BRAIN WORKS.
LOOK, WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY OF
STRANGERS AND WE MEET THOUSANDS
OF PEOPLE AND WE NEED SORT OF
DEVICES TO KEEP TRACK OF -- OH,
YEAH, THIS GUY, HE'S MY
CONSERVATIVE FRIEND.
HE'S MY BLACK FRIEND.
HE'S THIS, HE'S THAT, HE'S MY
IMMIGRANT FRIEND.
OFTEN THESE ARE STEREOTYPES.
THIS IS THE ORIGIN OF HOW
PREJUDICE WORKS.
THEY LIKE TO CATEGORIZE AS
INSIDERS OR OUTSIDERS.

Steve says PEOPLE WILL BE
DISAPPOINTED TO KNOW YOU'RE NOT
THAT CONSERVATIVE.

Jonathan says IT HURTS ME
EVERY DAY.

Saadia says I WOULD
LIKE TO UNDERSCORE THAT, YES, WE
ALL CATEGORIZE AND PUT PEOPLE IN
BOXES, BUT SOME OF THESE BOXES
COME WITH BAGGAGE AND REAL
CONSEQUENCES AND SOME ARE JUST
LABELS.
SO YOU WRITE FOR THE
POST.
HMM.
THAT DOESN'T COME WITH A PRE-SET
NOTION OF WHAT KIND OF CHARACTER
YOU HAVE, WHAT YOUR WORTH IN
SOCIETY IS --

Karen says IT WOULD
DEPENDS ON WHO YOU'RE TALKING
TO.

Steve says GO AHEAD, KAREN.

Karen says I THINK IT
WOULD DEPEND.
IF YOU WRITE IN THE
POST AND YOU'RE TALKING TO
SOMEBODY WHO LEANS VERY TOWARD
THE LEFT, PEOPLE WILL -- THOSE
PEOPLE WILL ESSENTIALLY OFTEN
JUST WRITE YOU OFF, WRITE YOUR
CHARACTER OFF, YOU'RE A
RIGHT-WING NUTTER, OBVIOUSLY,
YOU'RE VERY CONSERVATIVE --

Steve says LOST CAUSE.

Karen says LOST CAUSE.
LOOK AT ME.
I DESCRIBE MYSELF AS AN
ANTIFEMINIST.
I KNOW THE WAY I PRESENT MYSELF
DOESN'T REALLY FALL INTO WHAT
PEOPLE ARE EXPECTING WHEN THEY
HEAR THAT.
THEY SEE THE SHORT HAIR AND THE
COMFORTABLE SHOES AND THEY'RE
ALREADY MAKING ASSUMPTIONS IN
THE OTHER DIRECTION.
SO WHEN THEY HEAR THAT I'M AN
ANTIFEMINIST, OFTEN THEY JUST
WANT TO SIMPLY WRITE ME OFF AS,
OH, YOU WANT TO TAKE THE VOTE
AWAY FROM WOMEN OR YOU WANT
WOMEN NOT TO HAVE RIGHTS OR YOU
WANT WOMEN BACK IN THE KITCHEN,
WHICH WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT I
WOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT WANT TO DO
MYSELF, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE MAKE
ASSUMPTIONS BASED ON HOW YOU
LOOK.
PEOPLE MAKE ASSUMPTIONS BASED ON
CERTAIN THINGS THAT YOU -- CUES
THAT YOU GIVE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE.
SOME OF THOSE ARE CHOICES, LIKE
WRITING FOR THE National Post,
AND SOME OF THOSE ARE NOT
CHOICES LIKE SKIN COLOUR OR, YOU
KNOW, WHATEVER.
YOUR GENDER.
BUT THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE
ASSUMPTIONS.
THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT,
EVEN THE ENTIRE PRIVILEGE
DISCUSSION IS A DISCUSSION OF
CATEGORIES.
IT IS SEGMENTING PEOPLE INTO
DIFFERENT CATEGORIES FOR THE
PURPOSE OF STICKING THEM IN
BOXES, OF SIMILAR EXPERIENCES.
AND I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM
DISCUSSIONS OF THIS IS THAT, IF
WE'RE GOING TO PUT PEOPLE IN
BOXES, THAT WE'RE ALL GOING TO
HAVE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES AND
THAT MEANS THAT SOME WHITE
PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE CONTACT
WITH THE POLICE, UNJUSTLY, WHEN
THEY'RE JUST MINDING THEIR OWN
BUSINESS, LIKE I DID LAST
WEEKEND IN CALGARY.

Steve says SORRY, HANG ON, HANG
ON.
YOU CAN'T JUST DROP THAT AND NOT
LET US FOLLOW UP ON THAT.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU'RE A WHITE
PERSON MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
IN CALGARY AND THE POLICE
APPROACHED YOU?

Karen says NO, THEY
APPROACHED A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO
WERE CONVENING IN A PUBLIC PARK.
THERE HAD BEEN AN ALTERCATION --
THERE HAD BEEN AN INCIDENT WHERE
MY GROUP WAS THROWN OUT OF THE
CALGARY COMIC EXPO BASICALLY
BASED ON PREJUDGMENTS THAT WERE
MADE ABOUT US.
THEY STILL HAVEN'T CITED A RULE
WE VIOLATED OTHER THAN HOLDING
THE WRONG OPINION, AND SO WHEN
WE CONVENED IN A PARK THE NEXT
DAY IN ORDER FOR PEOPLE WHO HAD
GONE, TRAVELLED TO THE
CONVENTION TO MEET US, THE
CONVENTION SECURITY CALLED THE
POLICE ON US BECAUSE THEY MADE
ASSUMPTIONS THAT WE WERE MAKING
PLANS ABOUT CHARGING THE GATES
AND GOING BACK INTO THE EXPO AND
PROTESTING AND MAKING A RUCKUS
AND THAT'S JUST SO NOT WHAT OUR
GROUP IS ABOUT, BUT THEY MAKE
ASSUMPTIONS BASED ON OUR
POLITICAL BELIEFS AND ALL OF
THOSE THINGS, WHICH WE'RE QUITE
VOCAL ABOUT.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP ON
THIS BY -- AND I WOULD COMMEND
FOR YOUR VIEWING ENJOYMENT
SOMETHING YOU AND I DID LAST
WEEK.
DESMOND WAS HERE LAST WEEK, DID
AN INTERVIEW ABOUT AN ARTICLE HE
WROTE FOR TORONTO LIFE MAGAZINE
DESCRIBING HIS EXPERIENCES AS A
BLACK MAN, 30-SOMETHING, LIVING
IN THE CITY OF TORONTO.
LET'S JUST PLUCK A LITTLE BIT
OUT OF THAT PIECE RIGHT NOW AND
WE'LL CHAT ABOUT IT.

A quote appears on screen, under the title “Not a fish in water.” The quote reads “When I walk down the street, I find myself imagining that strangers view me with suspicion and fear. This phenomenon is what the African-American writer and activist W.E.B. Du Bois described as ‘double-consciousness’: how blacks experience reality through their own eyes and through the eyes of a society that prejudges them.”
Quote by Desmond Cole, Toronto Life, May 2015.

Steve says HOW DO YOU TELL,
DESMOND, WHAT'S REAL PREJUDICE
AND WHAT ISN'T WHEN YOU FIND
YOURSELF IN ONE OF THOSE KIND OF
CIRCUMSTANCES?

Desmond says IT'S ABOUT EXPERIENCE.
SOME OF IT IS REALLY JUST ABOUT
HAVING SPIDEY SENSES, SOMEBODY
MIGHT CALL IT, RIGHT?
YOU HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN TO YOU
SO OFTEN THAT YOU ARE
HYPERAWARE.
AND PART OF THE REASON YOU'RE
AWARE IS WHEN PEOPLE SEE YOU AS
BEING THREATENING, WHEN PEOPLE
SEE YOU AS BEING DANGEROUS, WHEN
PEOPLE DISLIKE YOU BECAUSE OF
YOUR APPEARANCE, THAT CAN BE BAD
FOR YOU.
SO YOU WANT TO BE AWARE OF BEING
IN A SITUATION WHERE YOU MIGHT
BE BEING VIEWED AS SUCH.
I'M VERY HYPERAWARE.
IT DOESN'T MEAN I CAN SEE INTO
PEOPLE'S HEARTS AND I'M ACTUALLY
NOT INTERESTED IN SEEING INTO
PEOPLE'S HEARTS ALL OF THE TIME
AND SAY I KNOW WHAT YOU WERE
THINKING, I KNOW WHAT YOU WERE
FEELING.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT BOTHERS
ME A LOT ABOUT CONVERSATIONS
ABOUT PRIVILEGE IS WE END UP
TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE'S
INTENTIONS.
AND I THINK WE'VE ESTABLISHED
VERY CLEARLY HERE THAT SOMETIMES
PRIVILEGE MEANS YOU HAVE A BLIND
SPOT.
IT MEANS YOU DIDN'T EXPERIENCE
SOMETHING AND SO YOU DON'T
UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS.
NOW, IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S
LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, TO BE
FOLLOWED AROUND A STORE, AS I
AM, IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S
LIKE TO HAVE SOMEBODY SAY,
DESMOND, YOUR SKIN IS LIKE SO
DARK, IT'S LIKE SO DARK.

Steve says PEOPLE HAVE SAID
THAT TO YOU?

Desmond says OF COURSE.
AND THEY DON'T KNOW THE IMPACT
THAT THAT HAS ON ME.

Steve says WHICH IS WHAT?

Desmond says IT HURTS MY
FEELINGS, STEVE, BECAUSE I DON'T
WANT TO BE POINTED OUT THAT WAY
IN PUBLIC, ESPECIALLY BY
SOMEBODY WHO I'M NOT COMFORTABLE
HAVING THAT CONVERSATION WITH.

Steve says I ASSUME IT WAS A
WHITE PERSON.

Desmond says EVERY TIME.
THERE WILL BE TIMES MAYBE IN MY
OWN FAMILY WHERE, YOU KNOW,
PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT SKIN TONES
WITHIN MY FAMILY WILL TALK ABOUT
THAT.
BUT I'M MORE COMFORTABLE WITH
THEM THAN SOMEONE WHO IS A
STRANGER OR SOMEONE WHO IS NOT
BLACK.
ALL I'M TRYING TO SAY, THOUGH,
THIS IS NOT ABOUT SAYING THAT
THE PERSON WHO SAID, DESMOND,
YOUR SKIN IS DARK, HAS BAD
INTENTIONS.
IT'S ABOUT THE FACT THAT WHAT
THEY SAY HURTS.
THAT'S IMPORTANT TO ME.
IT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHETHER
THEY INTENDED TO TURRET ME OR NOT.

Steve says FOLLOW UP ON THAT.
WHAT IS REQUIRED OF THE PERSON
WHO, NOT INTENDING TO HARM BUT
JUST THROUGH IGNORANCE, MAKES A
COMMENT LIKE THAT?

Saadia says AND GETS
CALLED OUT?

Steve says YEAH.

Saadia says I THINK
IT'S IMPORTANT TO VIEW IT AS A
CALL FOR INTROSPECTION AND NOT
GUILT.
IT'S A CALL TO REVIEW WHAT
YOU'VE SAID AND TO SAY TO
YOURSELF, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I
DON'T KNOW.
BUT BE OPEN TO LEARNING.
SO WE OFTEN -- AS DESMOND SAID,
WE ASSOCIATE THIS WITH MALICE.
THAT'S WHY WHEN SOMEONE GETS
CALLED OUT FOR SAYING SOMETHING
RACIST, THEY ASSUME THEY'RE
BEING TOLD THEY'RE A BAD PERSON
OR ALL THEIR CHOICES ARE INVALID
BECAUSE THEY HAVE MADE A
STATEMENT WHICH PRESUMABLY SHOWS
THEIR STANCE ON WHERE THEY VIEW
CERTAIN HUMANS VERSUS OTHERS,
AND THAT'S WHY IT'S IMPORTANT TO
TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY'RE
NOT COMING AT IT FROM A POINT OF
VIEW TO HURT SOMEBODY ACTIVELY.
REGARDLESS, THE EFFECT OF THAT
IS PAIN.

Steve says IS THERE A PLACE IN
THIS CONVERSATION FOR THE
OFFENDSING PERSON TO SAY, “HEY,
I DIDN'T MEAN ANYTHING BY THIS.
CHILL OUT”?

Saadia says WHICH IS
OFTEN THE LESS SORT OF AMPED UP
VERSION OF BEING DEFENSIVE,
RIGHT?
“IT WAS A JOKE.”
RIGHT?
“RELAX.”
WHICH IS TRIVIALIZING WHAT I'VE
SAID.
INSTEAD OF SAYING THAT, YOU
COULD BE FORTHCOMING AND SAY, “I
DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS.
WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM?”
I DON'T THINK VERY MANY PEOPLE
WHO ARE ON THE OTHER END WOULD
SAY, “WELL, THAT'S YOUR
PROBLEM.”
THEY WOULD ACTUALLY MAKE A
CONCERTED EFFORT TO HAVE THAT
UNDERSTANDING.

Steve says ALL RIGHT.
LET ME GO TO JON ON THIS.
THE SUBJECT OF THIS PROGRAM, THE
SERIES WE'RE RUNNING THIS WEEK,
IS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.
DO YOU WORRY THAT IT'S GOTTEN TO
SUCH A PLACE THAT SOMEBODY WHO
OFFENDED UNINTENTIONALLY CAN'T
SAY TO SOMEBODY, “OKAY, I DIDN'T
MEAN ANYTHING BY THAT.
RELAX”?

Jonathan says I AGREE THAT
THE BEST CONSEQUENCE OF THIS
WOULD BE INTROSPECTION.
PEOPLE WOULD THINK, MAYBE,
REGARDLESS OF WHAT MY INTENTIONS
WERE, MAYBE I SHOULDN'T HAVE
PHRASED IT THAT WAY OR TALKED
ABOUT IT AT ALL.
FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE THE
MONITORING OF WHAT THEY SAY,
THEIR MAIN EXPERIENCE WITH IT
OFTEN COMES IN UNIVERSITIES OR
CAMPUSES WHERE IT IS A HIGHLY
PUNITIVE MODEL.
I WENT TO UNIVERSITY IN THE
'80s AND '90s, WHICH SOME
MIGHT SAY WAS THE HEIGHT OF
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, I WOULD
SAY PUNITIVE.
IN THE SENSE THAT IF YOU MADE A
COMMENT IN CLASS, IF IT WAS
INTERPRETED THE WRONG WAY, IT
WASN'T A QUESTION OF SAYING, I'M
SORRY, I DIDN'T MEAN IT, YOU
COULD LOSE YOUR CAREER OR
EXPELLED OR BROUGHT UP BEFORE A
TRIBUNAL, YOU COULD BE SUBJECT
TO SENSITIVITY COURSES.
THE ENTIRE MODEL WAS A COERCIVE
GUILT-INDUCING MODEL.
THAT MODEL DID NOT ENCOURAGE
PEOPLE TO SAY, LET'S HAVE A
CANDID CONVERSATION ABOUT THIS,
WHICH IS MORE PRODUCTIVE, IT WAS
BASED ON GUILT AND INNOCENCE
MODEL.
THE IDEAS WAS RACISM WAS AN
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THOUGHT
CRIME AND IF YOU WERE FOUND
GUILTY, YOU WOULD BE PUNISHED
FOR IT.
THAT'S THE REASON A LOT OF
PEOPLE ARE DEFENSIVE ABOUT IT IN
2015 IS THE WAY POLITICAL
CORRECTNESS CAME ABOUT IN THE
LAST FEW DECADES, THE IDEA HAS
BEEN IF YOU CONFESS TO ANY KIND
OF BAD SENTIMENT, YOU'LL BE
PUNISHED AND OSTRASIZED AND YOU
COULD LOSE YOUR JOB.

Karen says I THINK
THAT MODEL HAS NOT DISAPPEARED,
AT LEAST NOT IN UNIVERSITIES, AT
ALL.
IT'S A HIGHLY PUNITIVE MODEL.
IT'S A MODEL WHERE THE OFFENDED
PARTY GETS TO IMPUTE INTENT
WHETHER IT EXISTS OR NOT ON THE
PERSON WHO OFFENDED AND SORT OF
A SERIES OF ETHEREAL MOTIVATIONS
THAT THEY BELIEVE THAT PERSON
HAD TO SAY THE OFFENDING THING.
AND YOU SEE NOW THE DEGREE OF
POWER THAT CERTAIN ASPECTS,
CERTAIN BRANCHES OF CAMPUS
CULTURE HAVE TO SILENCE PEOPLE,
TO POLICE THEIR THOUGHT, YOU
KNOW, THE WHOLE THOUGHT CRIME
THING, EVEN PEOPLE WHO REALLY
DIDN'T DO ANYTHING, DIDN'T SAY
ANYTHING OBJECTIVELY THAT
OFFENSIVE.
YOU CAN HAVE THIS HUGE WEIGHT OF
PUBLIC SHAME JUST COME CRASHING
DOWN ON YOU, AND NOT EVERYBODY
IS WELL-EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH
THAT SO ...

Steve says SO THERE IT IS.
CAN I READ SOMETHING ELSE HERE?
OF COURSE I CAN BECAUSE I'M THE
MODERATOR.
HERE WE GO.
A PRINCETON STUDENT WROTE ABOUT
HIS JEWISH FAMILY COMING TO
AMERICA WITH NOTHING AND HERE'S
THE QUOTE...

A quote appears on screen, under the title “I built that!” The quote reads “I do not accuse those who ‘check’ me and my perspective of overt racism, although the phrase, which assumes that simply because I belong to a certain ethnic group I should be judged collectively with it, toes that line. But I do condemn them for diminishing everything I have personally accomplished, all the hard work I have done in my life, and for ascribing all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive... Forget ‘you didn’t build that’; check your privilege and realize that nothing you have accomplished is real.”
Quote by Tal Fortgang, time.com, May 2, 2014.

Steve says THAT'S A DIFFERENT
TWEAK ON THIS.
KATHERINE, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The caption changes to "Is meritocracy a myth?"

Katherine says I
THINK -- I MEAN -- AND I THINK
THE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT AND
THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT AND
WHAT THAT YOUNG MAN IS TALKING
ABOUT, IT'S AN INCREDIBLY
IMPORTANT EDUCATIONAL
OPPORTUNITY.
I AGREE, THE PUNITIVE MODEL
DOESN'T WORK.
ON THE OTHER HAND, CANADIAN
SOCIETY, PARTICULARLY WITH
RESPECT TO BLACKS AND FIRST
NATIONS PEOPLE, IT'S NOT
CONTROVERSIAL THAT IT'S RACIST.
THE SUPREME COURT HAS FOUND IT,
NUMEROUS COMMISSIONS OF
INQUIRY -- THAT'S NOT
CONTROVERSIAL.
HOW DO WE FIX IT THROUGH
EDUCATION?
AND UNDERGRAD AND THE PUBLIC
SCHOOL SYSTEM ARE REALLY
CRUCIBLES FOR THAT.
PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO LEARN
ABOUT FIRST NATIONS, WHY OUR
COMMUNITIES SHOULD BE PRESERVED,
WHY OUR TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY IS
IMPORTANT, FOR EXAMPLE, THEY'RE
NEVER GOING TO LEARN THAT AT
HOME BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS
WEREN'T TAUGHT AND FRANKLY THEIR
OWN TEACHERS WEREN'T TAUGHT.
IT'S AN EXTENSION, PART OF A
POLITICALLY INCORRECT,
INSENSITIVE, HURTFUL COMMENT IN
A SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT IS AN
OPPORTUNITY TO START TO UNPACK
THAT BECAUSE FOR US IT'S A
CONTINUUM BETWEEN THE TYPE OF
THINKING THAT GIVES RISE TO A
THOUGHTLESS COMMENT AND PUBLIC
POLICY, MAINSTREAM COVERAGE IN
THE MAINSTREAM PRESS,
EDITORIALS, LIKE THE ONE THAT
WAS IN
THIS
MORNING THAT WAS PROFOUNDLY
INACCURATE AND HURTFUL ABOUT A
CASE IN SIX NATIONS.

Steve says ABOUT WHAT?

Katherine says IT WAS
FULL OF INACCURACIES AND
THEREFORE DREW COMPLETELY
SALACIOUS CONCLUSIONS AND THAT'S
OUR LIVED REALITY.
AND SO THE COMMENTS -- I AGREE,
ESPECIALLY FOR A STUDENT.
A STUDENT IS SUPPOSED TO BE
LEARNING.
THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE NURTURED.
AND ANYBODY WE TALK TO WE SHOULD
SPEAK TO WITH KINDNESS AND
RESPECT.
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
HERE AND TREAT WITH KINDNESS AND
RESPECT.
FOR THE YOUNG MAN THAT WAS
WRITING THE PRINCETON STUDENT,
OF COURSE, HE DOES ACTUALLY WALK
AROUND WITH A CLOAK OF PRIVILEGE
AS A WHITE MALE.
THAT DOES NOT MEAN HIS
ACHIEVEMENTS ARE IN ANY WAY
DIMINISHED.
IT JUST MEANS THAT HE ALSO NEEDS
TO EXPAND HIS CONCEPTION OF THE
ADVANTAGES THAT HE CURRENTLY
EXPERIENCES AND THE
DISADVANTAGES THAT SOME OF HIS
PEERS IN SOCIETY AND IN THE
CLASSROOM MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED.
THAT'S ALL.

Desmond says SOMETHING
ELSE I THINK WE HAVEN'T SAID
ABOUT THIS YET TOO.
SOMETIMES UNIVERSITY IS THE
FIRST PLACE THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY
GET TO TALK ABOUT NOTIONS OF
INTERSECTIONALITY, NOTIONS OF
RACE AND GENDER.
WE DON'T DO THIS IN OUR
EDUCATION SYSTEMS OR WITH
PARENTS AT HOME.
THESE ARE AWKWARD AND
UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS FOR
PEOPLE.
A LOT OF TIME YOU SEE PEOPLE
REACTING WITH A SENSE OF LOSS
AND FRUSTRATION THAT THEY WERE
NEVER ABLE TO TALK ABOUT THINGS
BEFORE AND THEY MAYBE HAVE
EXPERIENCED BECAUSE HERE'S THE
THING.
SOME OF THAT STUFF IS
ACCIDENTAL.
SOME OF IT IS UNCONSCIOUS.
BUT SOMETIMES DO GET TARGETED
WITH OVERT, BLATANT RACISM AND
THEY SEE A SOCIETY WHERE PEOPLE
DON'T STAND UP FOR THEM AND MAKE
AN ISSUE OF THAT.
IF IT HAPPENS IN UNIVERSITY,
PEOPLE FREAK OUT.
I PAID FOR AN EDUCATION AND I'M
STILL BEING TREATED LIKE X, Y,
OR Z.
I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE
COMPASSION THAT WHEN YOU, FOR
EXAMPLE, SUFFER HISTORICAL,
SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION AS A
BLACK OR INDIGENOUS PERSON, IT'S
REALLY KIND OF ASKING A LOT OF
SOMEBODY TO BE LIKE, NOW, CALM
DOWN.
EXPLAIN TO US QUIETLY AND SLOWLY
HOW IT WORKS.
DON'T GET ANGRY.
DON'T HAVE YOUR EMOTIONS COME
OUT.
THAT MIGHT NOT BE A REALISTIC
EXPECTATION FOR SOMEBODY WHO HAS
HAD TO LIVE WITH THAT AND NEVER
GOTTEN TO TALK ABOUT IT.

Saadia says I THINK
THAT'S WHERE THE
CHECK-YOUR-PRIVILEGE PHRASE
COMES FROM AND HOW MOST PEOPLE
REACT TO IT.
THE REASON WHY IT'S VIEWED AS
CONFRONTATIONAL IS BECAUSE IT'S
OFTEN AT THE TAIL END OF
SOMEBODY SAYING, “THIS IS MY
LIFE.
I HAVE TO NEGOTIATE SOMETHING
THAT YOU DON'T GIVE A SECOND
THOUGHT TO, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF
MY LIFE.”
SO THERE IS A PART OF MY ENERGY,
MY EFFORT, MY SANITY THAT GOES
INTO NORMALIZING THINGS THAT
OTHER PEOPLE JUST WALK THROUGH,
AND THAT'S WHY MOST OF THE TIME
WHEN SOMEBODY LOBS A “CHECK YOUR
PRIVILEGE,” IT IS WITH AN
UNDERTONE OF FRUSTRATION AND
RAGE, BUT IT COMES FROM NOT JUST
THAT ONE INCIDENT, IT IS BUILT
ON -- LIKE, IT'S DEATH BY A
THOUSAND PAPER CUTS.

Steve says I GOT A QUOTE ON
THAT TOO AND THEN I'LL HAVE JON
WEIGH IN ON THIS.
THIS IS A WRITER BASED IN
PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, HAS A
DOCTORATE IN FRENCH AND FRENCH
STUDIES FROM N.Y.U., WRITING A
YEAR AGO IN THE ATLANTIC...

A quote appears on screen, under the title “A blunt instrument?” The quote reads “Use of the term ‘privilege’ has, I’d argue, actually set back the cultural conversation about privilege... These ubiquitous expressions – ‘check your privilege’ or ‘your privilege is showing’ – ask the accused to own up to privilege, not to do anything about it.”
Quote by Phoebe Maltz Bovy, The Atlantic, May 7, 2014.

Steve says DO YOU GET TIRED OF
THIS ISSUE OF PRIVILEGE COMING
UP ALL THE TIME?

The caption changes to "Politics of guilt."

Jonathan says I HAVE TO
ADMIT, IT ACTUALLY HAS MADE ME
THINK ABOUT A LOT OF THINGS IN
MY LIFE.
IN PARTICULAR, IT HAS MADE ME
THINK ABOUT HOW THINGS HAVE
CHANGED FOR THE BETTER IN SOME
RESPECTS.
I'M NOT THAT OLD, I'M 46.
I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL, YOU KNOW,
IT WAS 30 YEARS AGO.
EVEN BACK THEN, IT WAS LIKE A
NORMAL PART OF HIGH SCHOOL LIFE
THAT PEOPLE WOULD JUST TRADE
AROUND THESE ETHNIC SLURS.
THERE HAPPENED TO BE A
PAKISTANI -- SOMEONE WHO IS OF
PAKISTANI ANCESTRY AND WE JUST
CALLED HIM A PAKI TO HIS FACE.

Steve says WHAT CITY WAS THIS?

Jonathan says MONTRéAL.
ANTI-SEMITIC SLURS WERE IN JEST,
OTHER TIMES SERIOUS.
THERE WAS AN ITALIAN GUY WE
CALLED HIM A WOP.
WE MADE FUN OF PEOPLE'S NAMES.
THIS WAS PART OF SCHOOL YARD
CULTURE.
I LOOK AT WHAT MY CHILDREN ARE
EXPERIENCING IN THE TORONTO
SCHOOL BOARD, IF ANY TERM GETS
USED LIKE THAT, YOU GO TO THE
PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE AND THEY MAKE
A BIG DEAL OUT OF IT.

Steve says IT'S A THING NOW.

Jonathan says IT'S A THING.
IT'S GOOD THAT WE DO THAT.
SO TO A CERTAIN EXTENT A LOT OF
THE ARGUMENTS WE'RE HAVING ABOUT
WHITE PRIVILEGE AND POLITICAL
CORRECTNESS IS PART OF A CULTURE
SHIFT AND FOR THE MOST PART IT'S
A WELCOME CULTURE SHIFT.
I THINK SOME OF THE EXCESSES YOU
SEE ON UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES AND
IDENTITY POLITICS, SOME OF THE
EXCESSES YOU SEE ON SOCIAL
MEDIA, ESPECIALLY TWITTER, THEY
GO TOO FAR.
BUT FOR THE MOST PART THE
MOVEMENT TO BECOME AWARE OF
WHITE PRIVILEGE IS PART OF A
WELCOME AND LONG-AWAITED
RECOGNITION THAT THERE ARE
PEOPLE IN SOCIETY WHO JUST EVERY
DAY FACE CASUAL DISCRIMINATION
AT SCHOOL AND THE WORKPLACE AND
IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Steve says I HAVE SEEN
EXAMPLES, THOUGH -- I DON'T KNOW
WHO WANTS IN ON THIS, DESMOND --
EXAMPLES OF TENURED UNIVERSITY
PROFESSORS TELLING PEOPLE TO
CHECK THEIR PRIVILEGE.
IS THERE ANYBODY PRIVILEGED THAN
A TENURED UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR.
YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

Desmond says I KNOW WHAT
YOU'RE SAYING.
AGAIN, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
WHILE I DON'T AGREE WITH THE
SPIRIT OF THE QUOTE THAT YOU
JUST READ, I THINK THAT THERE IS
SOME TRUTH IN SAYING, LIKE,
WHAT'S TO BE DONE?
HOW DO WE MOVE FORWARD?
AND MY FRUSTRATION IS THAT I
BANG MY HEAD UP AGAINST A WALL
DAILY OF PEOPLE WHO JUST DON'T
WANT TO LISTEN.
AND THEY WILL SAY TO YOU, “TELL
ME HOW TO HELP.
TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO.”
BUT THEN WHEN YOU TRY TO TALK TO
THEM, THEY DON'T LISTEN TO YOU.
AND PART OF THAT FOR ME IS
REALLY DIFFICULT BECAUSE I FEEL
LIKE I'M BEING DISRESPECTED
AGAIN.

Steve says BECAUSE THEY DON'T
WANT TO HEAR?

Jonathan says I BELIEVE
THERE ARE GOING TO BE dogmatists
WHO DON'T WANT TO LISTEN.
BUT EDUCATORS, PEOPLE WHO WRITE
OUR LAWS.
THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE CONTROL IN
SOCIETY ARE LISTENING WHEN IT
COMES TO FIGHTING AGAINST
DISCRIMINATION, CREATING MORE
COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENTS FOR
EVERYBODY.

Katherine says NOT ABOUT
RESPECTING THE TREATIES, NOT
ABOUT CEASING TO DISCRIMINATE
AND CHRONIC UNDERFUNDING FOR
SERVICES FOR ABORIGINAL
CHILDREN.
NOT ABOUT, NOT ABOUT, NOT ABOUT.
WHEN PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AT
DINNER PARTIES OR WHEN I'M ON A
PANEL OR BEING CONSULTED ON A
COMMITTEE AND SAY, WHAT SHOULD
WE DO TO FIX THE TERRIBLE PLIGHT
OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN CANADA
AND WE, I, THE CHIEFS, YOU KNOW,
THE LEADERS IN THE COMMUNITY,
THE ELDERS TELL THEM, AND
THEY'RE LIKE: THAT'S NICE.
WE CONSULTED YOU.
AND THEY DON'T LISTEN.
THAT IS PUBLIC POLICY.

Jonathan says I CAN PUSH
BACK TO THAT.
YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT A HIGH
ORDER OF POLICY MAKING, TREATIES
AND SUCH.
I'M TALKING ABOUT THE BASELINE
LIBERAL PRESUMPTION, YOU CAN
WALK INTO A STORE, A RESTAURANT,
A SCHOOL, AND GET THE SAME LEVEL
OF SERVICE REGARDLESS OF YOUR
SKIN COLOUR OR ANCESTRY.
THAT'S THE BASELINE -- CERTAINLY
THE BASELINE WE OWE PEOPLE IN
OUR SOCIETY AND ON THAT FRONT I
THINK WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.

Steve says THAT'S NOT HIS
EXPERIENCE.

Desmond says WE HAVE MADE
PROGRESS.
I'M NOT SATISFIED WITH THE
AMOUNT OF PROGRESS WE HAVE MADE.
WE ARE SITTING IN A CITY RIGHT
NOW WHERE A POLICY THAT
DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTS BLACK
MEN, WHICH IS POLICE CARDING,
STOPPING PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT
SUSPECTED OF ANY CRIME AND
TAKING DOWN THEIR PERSONAL
INFORMATION -- THIS IS SOMETHING
FOR WHICH THERE IS WIDESPREAD
SUPPORT.
THIS IS SOMETHING MAYOR TORY
WENT ON TELEVISION AND SAID,
THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO MY
CHILDREN, AND THEN HE VOTED IN
SUPPORT OF IT FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S
CHILDREN.
SCORES AND SCORES OF PEOPLE,
PEOPLE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY,
WHO WORK WITH BLACK YOUTH, TOLD
THE POLICE BOARD DON'T DO THIS
TO OUR CHILDREN.

Steve says THE NEW BLACK POLICE
CHIEF SUPPORTS THIS POLICY?

Desmond says I DON'T THINK
HE HAS BEEN GIVEN ENOUGH CHANCE
TO STATE HOW HE FEELS AND HOW
HE'S GOING TO MOVE FORWARD.
ALL I'M SAYING IS YOU ASKED ME
THE QUESTION WHEN I WAS HERE,
WELL, WHAT ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE
AND CRIME.
IT'S ALWAYS STILL ABOUT WHAT I'M
DOING.
IT'S NOT ABOUT WHAT THE
INSTITUTIONS ARE DOING TO ME AS
MUCH AS IT OUGHT TO BE.

Saadia says I WILL
PUSH BACK ON WHAT YOU'RE SAYING
TOO IN TERMS OF ARE THEY
LISTENING?
YEAH, THEY'RE LISTENING.
BUT ARE THINGS CHANGING?
EVERYONE KNOWS THERE'S RAMPANT
SEXISM.
EVERYONE HAS ENOUGH STATS TO
DROWN IN TWICE OVER IN THE TECH
FIELD.
BUT THERE IS THIS COMPLACENCY
THAT JUST BECAUSE WE KNOW IT'S
THERE THAT IT WILL SOMEHOW FIX
ITSELF AND THERE ISN'T ENOUGH OF
A CONCERTED EFFORT THAT SAYS I
AM WILLING TO SURRENDER THESE
BENEFITS, THESE ECONOMIC
BENEFITS THAT ARE TIED TO RACISM
AND SEXISM, I AM WILLING TO
SURRENDER THEM BECAUSE IT IS
UNFAIR THAT WHAT I'M GETTING IS
NOT DIRECTLY TIED TO WHAT I'M
EARNING.

The caption changes to "A world without it?"

Steve says JON, DO YOU WANT TO
COME BACK?

Jonathan says LOOK, WHEN
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT EMPLOYMENT
IN THE HIGH-TECH FIELD, TALKING
ABOUT TREATY-MAKING -- AGAIN,
THESE ARE THINGS THAT I THINK
AMBITIOUS, SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT.
I GUESS I'M THINKING MORE ABOUT
REALLY BASIC STUFF.
POLICING IS PART.
YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO WALK DOWN
A STREET AND NOT BE STOPPED AND
FRISKED BECAUSE OF YOUR SKIN
COLOUR.
BUT I THINK WE SHOULD ALSO BE
COGNIZANT OF THE PROGRESS THAT'S
BEEN MADE -- FOR INSTANCE,
HAILING A CAB.
25 YEARS AGO, 30 YEARS AGO, YOU
WERE BLACK, YOU HAILED A CAB,
AND THE CAB DIDN'T STOP.
TOUGH LUCK FOR YOU.
IT HAPPENS I DID A STORY ON THE
WAY THE TAXI INDUSTRY WORKS IN
TORONTO.
SOMEONE DOESN'T STOP BECAUSE
YOU'RE BLACK, THEY GET HAILED
BEFORE A PANEL, THEY COULD LOSE
YOUR LICENCE.

Desmond says AND YOUR EYES
ARE QUICK ENOUGH TO CATCH THE
CAB NUMBER.

Jonathan says CONCRETE
THINGS ON THE BASELINE OF
EVERYDAY LIFE.

Desmond says I THINK IT'S
CONCRETE THOSE SCHOOL YARD
TAUNTS AND RACIST SLURS WOULD
NOT BE USED BY ANY RESPECTABLE
PERSON IN OUR SOCIETY.
FORMER MAYOR FORD IS NOT A
RESPECTABLE PERSON BUT HE USED
THE “N” WORD MULTIPLE TIMES.
IT WAS IN HIS PRIVATE TIME.
HE WAS BEING FOLLOWED AROUND AND
HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY --

Jonathan says THE PEOPLE
WHO MATTER DON'T SAY THAT.
I MEAN JOURNALISTS, FELLOW
POLITICIANS.

Desmond says I'M TALKING
ABOUT THE PUBLIC AT LARGE.

Jonathan says YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT ETOBICOKE.

Steve says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Jonathan says ONE OF THE
REASONS THE FORD BROTHERS WERE
ESSENTIALLY SHAMED OUT OF OFFICE
FOR THE MOST PART WAS BECAUSE
THERE WAS WIDESPREAD PUBLIC
DISGUST AT HOW COMPLETELY
RETROGRADE THEIR LANGUAGE WAS.

Desmond says 33 PERCENT OF
THE VOTE.
ONE THIRD.
THAT'S ALL I CAN SAY.

Jonathan says STILL, THEY
BECAME FIGURES OF RIDICULE AND
MOCKERY IN LARGE PART BECAUSE
THEIR VIEWS WERE SO REGRESSIVE.
AND NOT JUST ON RACE.
EVERYTHING FROM WOMEN TO
SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND SEXUAL
ORIENTATION.
THIRTY OR FORTY YEARS AGO THEY
MIGHT HAVE BEEN DISMISSED AS
THAT'S POLITICIANS HIJINKS.
WHAT THEY DO ON THEIR OWN TIME.
THERE IS A SEGMENT OF THE
POPULATION THAT SAW THAT AS,
THAT'S JUST CLOWNISHNESS.

Steve says ROB BEING ROB.

Jonathan says THINGS HAVE
CHANGED.
THE REASON WE TALK ABOUT ROB
FORD, IT'S LIKE A TERM OF ABUSE
TO COMPARE SOMEONE TO ROB FORD,
IS IN LARGE PART BECAUSE OF THE
EXAMPLES YOU JUST GAVE.

Saadia says I DON'T
THINK ANYBODY IS DENYING THERE
HASN'T BEEN PROGRESS.
IS IT ENOUGH, THOUGH?
IT'S SO EASY TO FALL BACK INTO,
WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT?
NOBODY USES THE N-WORD ON THE
SCHOOL YARD ANYMORE.
OKAY, THAT'S GREAT.
THAT'S LIKE THE BARE MINIMUM
THAT WE CAN DO.

Katherine says I DON'T
AGREE WITH YOU WHEN IT COMES TO
FIRST NATIONS ISSUES AND
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN CANADA.
YOU CAN BE IN SO-CALLED
CIVILIZED SOCIETY AMONG A GROUP
OF PROFESSIONALS AT A DINNER
PARTY TALKING ABOUT FIRST
NATIONS ISSUES AND IT HAS, IN MY
EXPERIENCE, DEGENERATED INTO:
THOSE PEOPLE DON'T PAY TAXES,
THEREFORE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO
BASIC SERVICES, ARE LAZY
DRUNKARDS.
THAT IS NOT -- THAT IS,
UNFORTUNATELY, RIGHT IN THE
MAINSTREAM IN TERMS OF SOCIAL
DISCOURSE AND I'VE CERTAINLY
HEARD IT AND I'VE OFTEN BEEN
TOLD, “EXCEPT YOU.”
EVEN IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD, IN
WHAT I DESCRIBE AS A SOCIAL
UTOPIA WHERE I DON'T HAVE TO
WORRY ABOUT DISCRIMINATION AND
THE SAFETY OF MY CHILDREN BASED
ON THE COLOUR OF THEIR SKIN AND
THEIR CULTURAL ANCESTRY.
I DON'T.
BUT I'VE BEEN AT DINNER PARTIES
WHERE IT'S GONE TO THAT ON THE
THIRD BOTTLE OF WINE.

Jonathan says AND THE GEOGRAPHICAL SEPARATION
OF RICH AND POOR.
WHEN I LIVED IN MONTRéAL, THE
ONLY EXPOSURE THAT MY FRIENDS
AND I HAD TOWARD FIRST NATIONS
LIFE WAS WHEN WE DROVE TO A
RESERVE TO BUY ILLEGAL
CIGARETTES.
IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD IN TORONTO,
THE ONLY DAY-TO-DAY EXPOSURE
THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO FIRST
NATIONS ARE WHEN THEY PASS BY
THE LOCAL CHURCH AND THEY SEE
THE CHURCH FEEDING AND HELPING
HOMELESS FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE
WHO HAVE COME TO THE CITY TO GET
ASSISTANCE.
THAT IS THEIR DAY-TO-DAY
EXPOSURE WITH FIRST NATIONS
PEOPLE.
AND I THINK IT'S TRUE THAT A LOT
OF PEOPLE HAVE STEREOTYPES.
I THINK A LOT OF THE STEREOTYPES
THEY HAVE IS PART OF THIS
SEGMENT AND SOCIETY WE LIVE IN
WHERE YOU BECOME BEHOLDEN TO
WHATEVER HAPPENS TO BE THE
SNAPSHOT YOU SEE IN YOUR
NEIGHBOURHOOD.

Katherine says OR IN THE
MEDIA, UNFORTUNATELY, AS WELL.

Jonathan says I THINK THE
MEDIA HAS DONE A BETTER JOB OF
LATE.
THE MISSING AND MURDERED
INDIGENOUS WOMEN HAS HAD FOCUS.
THIS PANEL ISN'T ABOUT THE MEDIA
BUT I THINK THE MEDIA TO A
CERTAIN EXTENT HAS BEEN PART OF
THE SOLUTION.

Steve says WE'RE DOWN TO A FEW
MINUTES.
KAREN, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN ON
THE ISSUE OF WHETHER OR NOT THE
GOAL HERE IS TO CREATE A WORLD
WITHOUT PRIVILEGE OR IF THAT'S
EVEN POSSIBLE TO DO?

Karen says I THINK
IT'S NOT ONLY NOT POSSIBLE, I
THINK ANY MEASURES TO ACTUALLY
BRING SOMETHING LIKE THAT ABOUT
WOULD BE -- THEY WOULD HAVE TO
BE TOTALITARIAN MEASURES, THEY
WOULD HAVE TO ESSENTIALLY -- TO
EQUALIZE EVERYBODY AT ZERO IN
ORDER THAT NOBODY HAS ANY UNFAIR
ADVANTAGE THAT ANYBODY ELSE, YOU
KNOW, DOESN'T HAVE, I JUST CAN'T
SEE IT HAPPENING.
IT'S UTOPIAN THINKING AND
UTOPIAN THINKING, WE KNOW WHERE
THAT CAN LEAD.
I WOULD REALLY RATHER JUST STICK
WITH AN ETHIC OF TRYING TO
UNDERSTAND OTHER PEOPLE, TRY TO
UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY'RE COMING
FROM, BUT NOT NECESSARILY TRY TO
ENGINEER SOME HUGE CHANGE TO HOW
PEOPLE OPERATE IN SOCIETY.
PART OF THE REASON, LIKE I SAID,
THAT WE OPERATE THE WAY WE DO
WITH STEREOTYPES AND
CATEGORIZING PEOPLE IS BECAUSE
THAT'S HOW OUR BRAINS WORK AND
OUR BRAINS HAVE WORKED THAT WAY
FOREVER.
IF THEY DIDN'T, WE WOULD KEEP
EATING THE NEXT RED BERRY AFTER
THE FIRST ONE MADE US SICK
BECAUSE WE WOULD NOT HAVE THE
ABILITY TO CATEGORIZE THOSE RED
BERRIES AS SOMETHING NOT TO EAT.
YOU'RE LOOKING AT SOME KIND OF
MASSIVE SHIFT IN HUMAN NATURE
AND IT'S JUST NOT GOING TO
HAPPEN.

Steve says DESMOND?

Desmond says I THINK THAT
WHAT -- YOU KNOW, MAYBE I'M ALL
FOR SOCIAL ENGINEERING.
I SHOULD PUT THAT OUT ON THE
TABLE, STEVE.
I THINK THINGS LIKE EMPLOYMENT
EQUITY, WHICH HAVE BEEN
IMPLEMENTED SOMETIMES BY
CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENTS,
SOMETIMES BY LIBERAL
GOVERNMENTS, SOMETIMES BY MORE
PROGRESSIVE GOVERNMENTS, THAT'S
AN INTERVENTION INTO SO-CALLED
HUMAN NATURE THAT I AM ALL FOR.
THE THING IS I CANNOT WAIT, MY
FAMILY CANNOT WAIT, MY ANCESTORS
AND MY CHILDREN AND THE
GENERATIONS AFTER ME, WE
SHOULDN'T HAVE TO WAIT FOR
ENOUGH TIME TO PASS FOR PEOPLE
TO SEE US AS EQUALS.
WE WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE NOW.
AND IF WE HAVE TO DO THAT BY
ARTIFICIAL -- SO-CALLED
ARTIFICIAL MEANS, AND I DON'T
ACCEPT THAT IT'S ARTIFICIAL
BECAUSE THE IDEA THAT, FOR
EXAMPLE, EMPLOYMENT IN CANADA
WORKS ON MERITOCRACY, BROWN
PEOPLE DON'T HAVE THE BETTER
JOBS.
IT'S NOT BECAUSE WE'RE SMART
ENOUGH, IT'S BECAUSE STRUCTURAL
RACISM.
I WOULD LIKE TO CORRECT THAT
THROUGH THINGS LIKE EMPLOYMENT
EQUITY POLICIES RATHER THAN TO
WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO BECOME MORE
ENLIGHTENED THAN THEY ARE TODAY
SO I CAN GET ON WITH MY OWN
LIFE.

Saadia says IT'S
IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT THE
ECONOMICS OF THESE THINGS.
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT BEING A
NICER PERSON.
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE PLIGHT OF
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND BLACK
PEOPLE AND PEOPLE OF COLOUR AND
TRANS PEOPLE AND PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES ARE TIED VERY, VERY
TIGHTLY WITH THE ECONOMICS OF
WHETHER THEY HAVE ACCESS TO
JOBS, TO HEALTH CARE.
AND UNTIL WE TALK ABOUT THAT,
THIS WILL STAY PERSONAL, PEOPLE
WILL KEEP TAKING THIS PERSONALLY
AND GETTING DEFENSIVE AND WE
NEED TO CREATE A DIFFERENCE IN
TERMS OF DISCOURSE AROUND WHAT
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHICH IS
TIED TO TANGIBLE THINGS AND NOT
JUST TO YOUR CHARACTER OR HOW
WARM AND FUZZY YOU MAKE ME FEEL.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Theagenda.tvo.org"

Steve says SAADIA, YOUR
PRIVILEGE TODAY IS THAT YOU GET
THE LAST WORD.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, EVERYBODY,
FOR A GREAT DISCUSSION.
KAREN STRAUGHAN, GOOD TO HAVE
YOU ON THE LINE FROM EDMONTON,
ALBERTA.
AND BACK HERE IN OUR STUDIO,
SAADIA MUZAFFAR AND DESMOND COLE
ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE TABLE,
JONATHAN KAY AND KATHERINE
HENSEL ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE
TABLE.
THANKS SO MUCH, EVERYBODY.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: Check Your Privilege