Anti- Racism Seminar 0:00 – 2:20 min Introduction By Bedri Mohammed

2:21 – 20:08 min What Is Racism And What Does It Look Like? Bedri Racism is the hate that an individual or a collective receive because they are perceived as different. Whether that be in the form of their skin color, tribe, culture, or ethnicity, racism comes in many forms. Racism is an ideology that still exist today, unfortunately racism has yet to be abolished. Unlike South Africa’s Apartheid or the United States Civil War in 1861, racism has evolved. The idea of someone openly being racist in today society is very slim, most of racism today is passive aggressive. More often, a big form of racism that effects minorities are Systemic racism. Systemic racism is a system, structure, or expectation that has become ingrained in society or an organization that results in discrimination or unfair treatment on the basis of membership in a specific ethnic group. Since systemic racism is a very big topic in the world today, what are different governments doing to counteract it? Trudeau and his team have been actively trying to minimize the racism presented in Canada.

What Are The Different Forms Of Racism? Racism can be presented in many different ways. A common form is through superiority. Superiority is the belief of “I’m better than you” or also known as the perceived moral high ground.Another form of racism is internal racism. This is presented when one believes they don’t fit in because they are a minority in a majority group. They put stereotypes, and/or look down upon themselves, they don’t feel accepted.

Racism Inflicted On Young Children Racism is inflicted on children at young ages. They may not always understand, or know what’s happening, but we all do know it’s happening.

Bedri tells us a story about a young boy named James and his experiences in elementary school. James was of African descent; he was a beautiful child. He had the most amazing smile, and one of the best hair styles. When all the kids would come in and line up after recess, James would always go the end of the line. Nobody ever told James to stand at the end of the line, but he did.

This is caused because of internal racism. James believed internally that he didn’t deserve to be at the front of the line, that his place was always at the end. This could have been caused by the bullying that James endured.

James’s hair wasn’t pin straight or blond like the others, he had very kinky and curly hair. One day at school, someone called his hair a carpet. James then went and shaved it all off by the next day. James was pressured into trying to conform to societies expectation, because of internal racism.

Racism In The Work Place More often than not, people are being bigoted against because of their name. People with cultural or any type of “exotic” name on their resume are prone to not get the job, but people with Caucasian presenting or “normal” names are prone to get the job, because of their name. Names like John, Smith, and Adam are more preferred than names like Mohamed, Ahmed etc. Even if a Mohamed is a better candidate, the John will still be chosen because of his name.

Racism In The World Black people and indigenous people are dramatically over-represented in Canada’s prison system. Black and indigenous offenders also report facing discrimination by being marginalized or even shunned from within the corrections system.

Black drivers are more likely to be pulled over than white drivers. They are searched during traffic stops more than white drivers, and black drivers are more likely than white drivers to get arrested. This statistic his heightened when it comes to the type of car they drive.

The Effects Of Racism On Children And Minorities The effects that racism inflicts on children is a lot. Children need healthy environments to grow. They need help, not only from you, but other outside sources as well. Many minorities are able to break the bigoted bonds that have been placed onto them.

All these successful people were able to break the bonds because they took racism as a positive and not a negative. There are many successful people of color in top places such as Ahmed Hussein. Ahmed Hussein, Minister Hussein immigrated to Canada in 1993 and settled in Toronto. He began his career in public service after high school. After earning a law degree from the University of Ottawa, Minister Hussein practised law in the areas of criminal defence, immigration and refugee law, and human rights. He served as a director on the board of the Global Enrichment Foundation, an organization that has enabled women in East Africa to access education in colleges and universities in the region. He also served on the board of Journalists for Human Rights, an organization that empowers journalists in developing countries to cover human rights and governance issues objectively and effectively.

How Can We Get Out Of The Continuous Restraints Of Racism? If we are not able to break the cycle ourselves, we have to do it with the generations that come after us. Teach your children, support your children, make sure your children become everything that you couldn’t be and do everything you couldn’t do.

20:21 – 33:00 min Racism In The Work Place - Zakir Abbamancha Although we live in a country where we are surrounded by our people, our ethnic groups, religion and culture, we still need to understand that we are not in our country; we need to find means to survive and thrive in this country. Familiarity doesn’t always mean success. We all may come from similar backgrounds, but we all have different futures awaiting us. We need to participate in this country, whether it be though voting, working or even through our children. In the Oromo language we have a proverb, “If you are ahead of an animal, it will not kill you.” This is relevant because, it emphasizes that if you out smart someone, then they cannot bring you down. Racists will never admit to being racist. There are very slim chances of someone admitting and or accepting that they are bigoted. In the eyes of a racist, when they see a man, the color of their skin is what they notice first. For example, this person could be an employee, a friend, a stranger or an acquaintance, the first thing a racist sees is their skin color. People more often than not, notice what makes you different before they notice what makes you the same. Zakir watched a video the other day of a bunch of school kids being interviewed, these kids could not be older then 12. One of the kids stated that “All nonwhite people will be sent back to their country.” When the interviewer asked why the child responded that way, the child said “Because in the bible it says that everyone should return back to their county.” The interviewer asked “What about white people, they are not from The United States originally, where should they go?” The child responded as such: “They will stay here, because Jesus promised this land to us. He called it the new Jerusalem, the new promise land.” The moral of this story is that, we have to be able to live amongst everyone, it doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree with their religion, political view, language, and culture.

33:25 – 41:44 min What Does Racism Look Like Amongst The Youth? (Ayantu Abduro) What does racism with the youth look Like?

Many of our Oromo children and children who came from abroad, did not start their education in Canada. This brings a lot of obstacles, they don't speak much English, living here is different, also adjusting to the society of this country is difficult.

Racism comes in different forms, people can beat you, laugh at you, insult you. They can do many things to you. In school, they insulted immigrant kids, they called them Fob’s. Fob means Fresh off the boat, a derogatory term used to describe immigrants. 85 percent of children in Canada have seen someone insult and abuse children. Of those 85 percent, 14 percent accused of doing so.

Racial socialization - Racial socialization is when a parent or family teach their children to protect themselves from oppression and abuse. For example, in a doctor's office, with the police, even on social media.

How Can You Help? We have to prepare our kids for this. Talk to your kids, if they are not comfortable with you, they can't talk to you about all their problems. You have to be active in their lives, support them. Whether you go to parent teacher meetings, if they play sports, go and cheer for them. Even asking how school is today, or what they learned today gives them a lot of courage.

Racism sticks with you for your whole life. Racism hurts you as long as you are in this world.

This is true, now if someone hurts me, or you insult me it is hard to forget. What we have to do is teach children young that racism can be your biggest motivation.

Many of us know of George Floyd, they killed him for 20 bucks in the United States. After the death of George, racism was a very big topic in many different countries. Many groups started protesting in Canada; the Oromo, and Palestinians being some examples.

Personal Story When I was in high school, I was a very quiet. When my teacher asked me a question, I wouldn’t respond. During my grade 10 year we had a big exam to evaluate our English level. I scored a university level grade in English. My teacher was surprised, and the question of how I did it was asked. They never saw me talk or interact with peers. Finally, I heard the kids talking to me while I was studying, they said “This immigrant knows nothing, she cheated on the exam etc.” Just then, for the first time I said something to them. I said “As an immigrant who knows nothing, I scored university level, you grew up here, what did you score?”. I grew up in Canada but because I’m black, I wear hijab, I’m quiet, people had already stereotyped me without knowing me.

A Reminder I learned one thing in high school, Racism is resilience. Don't let if effect who you are, and what you want to become. Racism is a reminder; no matter what anyone says to you, don't be angry because people want to be what they hate. Human beings are jealous, so when someone insults you, they insult you out of jealousy.

Racism Has To Go We have to teach our children to love everyone. If parents teach their children the difference between wrong and right, the ideology will pass on to the children. Equality starts with us; racism ends with us.

43:40 – 53:00 min Arrero Jatani

Canada has been as much a bad experience as it has been a good experience. Roosevelt once said “Nobody can hurt me without my consent.” This is true because hate can only affect you if you let it.

Back home in my country, where everyone shares the same skin color and history, they used to call me gala; a derogatory word used against Oromos. I was never hurt by it, because I never accepted it.

It’s not the racism that affects people the most, it’s the question of their masculinity that is touched. I have big respect for the police here. I used to work at a 7/11, and they would come in all the time and joke around with me, chat with me, and even visit me. One night when I was driving, I was pulled over by the police. They asked me why I was driving like that.

I told the officer that I was at fault and that I was sorry. I also mentioned to the police that I was in a bit of a rush and the officer let me go with a warning. I had another instance when I was driving from Edmonton and Saskatoon and was pulled for speeding. The officer asked me why I was speeding and I said “Because it’s dark, I wanted to get to my destination fast.” The officer let me off with a bit of advice, “There’s a lot of animals on this road, so be careful.” The moral of these stories are that if you show fear, you will be feared, and not in the best way. Building a bond to those who are respected will essentially give you the same respect.

I have been together with my wife for 37 years. My wife is a Canadian native of Caucasian decent. When we were first getting to know each other, her mother told her that she would give her 10,000 dollars if she married someone else. My mother-in-law didn’t like me at first, but because I showed great resilience, she loves me more than her own children.

Final Remark: “If you do everything with courage, then you have nothing, and no one to fear.”

53:21 min Sheikh Jamal - Racism In Religion Just like this country is multicultural, it is also multi-religious. The biggest religions being Roman Catholic, Protestant, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Islam is the fastest growing religion, but it’s also the religion that gets the most prejudice. We all saw the number of attacks that Islam was getting in the media after the infamous 9/11 attacks. Currently in Edmonton, there are a lot of women who are being attacked, and many instances when women wearing hijab have been ridiculed and physically harmed.

In the Qur'an, God highlights on many occasions where everyone is equal. In Surah Hujurat, God states “يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍۢ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ شُعُوبًۭا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌۭ .” This translates to “O mankind, Indeed We have created you from male and female and made you into peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” The Same way Ahmed Hussein emphasized his tribe, religion and culture, we should all be emphasizing it. It’s nothing for us to hide from. God said to be proud of what you are, and where you are from, not for you to fight, but to get to know one another.

God also states in the Qur'an “وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ” This translates too “And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference in your languages and colors. Indeed, in that are signs for the worlds.”

Through out the whole Qur'an, God states that everyone is created equal. A Black person is not superior to an Arab and vice versa. Bilal ibn Rabah was born the son of an Ethiopian slave called Rabah. Because of his black skin, back in those days, they would ask if you were family of Bilal ibn Rabah if you had darker skin. One time when Bilal RA and Abu Dhar were traveling, they got into a fight. Arab Companion Abu Dhar called Bilal “son of the black woman”, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) got angry and told him: “You are a man who has ignorance in him.”

The point of these stories is to highlight although we are different races, it’s good to understand what you are and where you are from. But don’t confuse being proud and knowledgeable about where you’re from, and superiority above others.