The Great White Nope

“I wouldn’t call Canada racist. I’m not being nice when I say that, I’m being polite. Canadians are like that. That kind of polite where you hear a racial slur and pretend it didn’t happen. Or you see some bro get too close to a woman and you walk right by because it’s not your affair. This is not a confrontational country. I remember one recent Toronto subway ride where a white workman fresh off some job site, boots muddy, reflector bib on, interrupted two men — one brown, one white — who were about to brawl. You could feel the entire car getting progressively more tense as their voices escalated. But the workman got between them. ‘Come on guys, we’re all tired. Chill,’ he said. And they did. And when it was my turn to get off, I thanked him. ‘It’s just what you do,’ he said. I assume he was from out of town.”

Soraya Roberts – Longreads – December 2019

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