In some commentary about our new council, ‘Vancouver’ has been referenced as though it was a dominantly white city – and hence the presumption of an underlying racism reflected in the complexion of council, where all but one member is white. That reminded me to repost an item Price Tags ran in May:
More than ever, facts matter – and the conclusions that follow from them. If much of the electorate is presumed to vote on the basis of race, then why did not people of colour who comprise the majority, whether in Vancouver or Richmond, not do so in numbers that could have resulted in greater diversity? Were there other factors that motivated them? And does that justify interventions in how we vote or structure council sufficient to achieve some greater good based on identity?
Talking about race and ethnicity can be like treading across a field of land mines. Emotions flare quickly, and damage can be done. Civility, it seems, is as necessary as a willingness to confront our failures: a willingness to get along.
We’re the civitas. We’re all in this together.