A sense of fairness
August 16, 2013
There’s a new movie coming out called The Butler. It deals with racism in America. Racism in Toronto was different. When I was a kid growing up there were no black students. I never met a black person. There were no black families in the city where I lived or in the suburbs where we moved when I was 6. The only blacks I saw were on the news and in Buffalo when my parents crossed the American border.
Its painful to recall the kind of ideas that were roaming around the heads of 9 and 10 year olds. Were Negroes the missing link between humans and apes? Were Negroes innately slower? Should they be allowed the same rights as the rest of us? Our inhumanity at that time is difficult to explain. But we were obviously picking up these ideas from the adult world. And there was something else. Something even stronger than these prejudices. A sense of fairness. No matter how you argued any issue, we all knew that ‘negroes’ weren’t being treated fairly.