featured Racism

Raymond Sheppard: Anti-Black media bias is a form of racism

Raymond Sheppard. Photo Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – It amazes me that in this so-called enlightened year of 2021, broadcasting stations in Canada can be so insensitive to people of African descent. 

For example, 99.9% of political panels are 99% persons of European descent and film critics are 99 percent persons of European descent. If this has changed during the last several days I would appreciate it if someone would let me know.

This too is a part of anti-Black racism. After African peoples have been used and abused by the political systems in Canada, it is logical to conclude that African peoples in Canada have a knowledge of the political system. The same is true when it comes to television movies and or motion pictures about African people or with African people. Who better to judge/ critique them then other African individuals. 

Now, I fully realize that non-African people have opinions about politics in Canada, television movies and motion pictures about or featuring African people but their opinions should not be the only opinions on broadcasting stations. 

Based on the history of anti-Black racism in Canada, it is not a stretch to say that there are many many non-African Canadians that do not like, appreciate or even watch what can be viewed as Black film. Those persons are adding to this bias without any understanding of our history, culture, heritage and lineage, equally they cannot see things through Black eyes. 

I truly find many non-African people do not have the empathy necessary to identify with Black characters without looking for the stereotypical, which they continue to view us by. Therefore they cannot possibly see us in the roles which go counter to that, nor can they believe them. Yet many still do not have a problem with non-African actors and others in blackface or brownface. 

Depending on how open minded and accepting one is, one may not be able to see outside of one’s own cultural lens and therefore anything and everything is deemed inferior. It seems there is more of an appreciation of Black actors when they may be making jokes in a movie and or television show or they are acting a typical Eurocentric role. 

Now onto the political front, after much longer than four hundred years of enslavement, torture, abuse and mis-use, and having laws and rules and regulations enacted on the backs of African People and to maintain unearned  privilege, African People in Canada know much about the political landscape and how things work and do not work for us. Therefore, we have much to say about politics, politicians and legislation, etc. 

Therefore, all political panels in Canada should include some individuals of African descent. Duh!  

After all Black Lives Matter, Black Voices Matter, Black Beauty Matters, Black History Matters, Black Storytelling Matter, Black Opinions Matter and Black Knowledge Matters. 

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One Comment

  1. Very well said. And I agree totally. I would hope that more African canadians will be more aware of this as well. We as people need to help make aware of the while situation. Thank you Raymond Sheppard

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