Has Thunder Bay Made Real Progress Against Racism?

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THUNDER BAY – VIEWPOINT – One of the interesting parts of social media like Facebook is that META will pop up items from the past.

In this case this is a post written in 2014 about racism in our city:

I would like to share some thoughts… hope to help… Working toward a goal means that a group works together.

There does not have to be friendship, there has to be a goal of achieving success toward a cause. Causes of all sorts do this successfully. It means putting aside personalities and dealing with the real issues at hand.

That can be one of the most difficult things to do. We are seeing that here. Personalities can clash. Facebook where it is only words, without facial expressions, body language etc. can make it difficult.

To me, a group isn’t about personalities, it is about the goal.

If the goal is getting at racism in Thunder Bay, we have choices, we can set a goal and work toward it, or we can decide to argue inside the group on who is right or who is going to do what, or just argue.

Discussion is healthy. However getting focused and moving forward is very healthy.

When I talk about DRAMA free it is because I am tired of the stuff happening in our city. I am tired of seeing people attacked on our streets, I am tired of people being attacked online, I am tired of seeing racist stuff grow in our city. We have real work that can and must be done.

Let us get to work.

Reading this post eight years later, it is difficult to really think honestly if there has been really significant progress made toward combating racism in our city?

We keep hearing instances of racism.

Just last night, on Red River Road, a woman was berating a driver over how he parked. The banter started, bluntly as soon as the woman saw the driver was wearing a turban.

Online a woman expressed how walking through Intercity Shopping Centre older men were berating her that “Its Child Tax day” – her apparent flaw, shopping and pushing a stroller. The woman was Indigenous.

Perhaps one of the most poignant statements outgoing Mayor Bill Mauro ever made was, “The world has found us”.

The national media has found Thunder Bay, and sadly it is not all for the natural beauty in our city and region.

It is the instances of racism that have lead them here. Each national report in the media on some of the negative things that happen here probably cost our city millions of dollars over time in dimming the positive earned and paid good media on the city.

Of course there are committees. There are those who are choosing better paths in their lives. But have things really changed? Are they changing?

What can make our city better, stronger, more inclusive and more tolerant of others?

Here is one idea: Thunder Bay, Superior by Nature. The city slogan, I think it sends a subtle message of racial superiority, and it should be changed.

What do you think?

James Murray

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