Multicultrualism and racism

Multicultural policy and principles are supposed to ensure that minorities are treated as equals. But some critics suggest that multiculturalism does little to combat racism and that, by ignoring the problem of racism, multicultural policies may even worsen racism. In making this argument, they point to different kinds of problems including, for example, judges and police who try to interpret cultural differences in the context of criminal court proceedings or investigations, how public inquiries are conducted (such as the Bouchard Taylor Commission in Quebec or the Boyd Commission public inquiry into religious arbitration in Ontario, and more).

Choose one such site, in Canada or elsewhere (e.g. France or Britain) in which a tension between multicultural commitments and anti-racism efforts is apparent. Conduct research into whether a multiculturalist perspective on the problem or the solutions proposed by the public inquiry is significantly different from what anti-racism aims at. Be sure to ground your assessment in on-the-ground political reality. To read some of the theory, see works by Himani Bannerji, Joanne Anne Lee, Rita Dhamoon, Patricia Monture Angus, and many others.






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