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I kind of need to know now, what the fuck is going on in Ontario with their interpretation of Human Rights and Discrimination.  What I do know is that we do not solve present day discrimination by race, by MORE discrimination by race.  This bizarre Kafkaesque excerpt from the C2C website.


On November 10, 2022 – lightning fast by HRTO standards – I heard from the Tribunal again. It was a brief but formal Decision that reasserted the SummerUp program’s legality and ended with an Order declaring, “The Application is dismissed.” In her decision, adjudicator Eva Nichols took issue, again, with the idea that I had a right to bring forward such a case when I had not “faced any form of discrimination on a protected ground” and because I had confirmed I was not bringing the application forward on behalf of another person, namely my son.

But it was the Decision’s Kafkaesque mental process that stood out. Nichols pointed out that “colour and race are among the protected grounds” under which discrimination is prohibited. But, she wrote, “They are not terms that are defined in the Code.”

“No fixed definition”: The HRTO now holds that race is a “social construct” that can be based on mutable characteristics from beliefs and manner of speech to clothing, diet and leisure preferences – things long considered stereotypes.

Instead, the OHRC “offers the following definitions in its Policy and guidelines on racism and racial discrimination…The Commission has explained ‘race’ as socially constructed differences among people based on characteristics such as accent or manner of speech, name, clothing, diet, beliefs and practices, leisure preferences, places of origin and so forth…Recognizing that race is a social construct, the Commission describes people as ‘racialized person’ or ‘racialized group’ instead of the more outdated and inaccurate terms ‘racial minority,’ ‘visible minority,’ ‘person of colour’ or ‘non-White.’ There is no fixed definition of racial discrimination… [emphasis added].”

So race is a legal grounds on which discrimination is prohibited. But it has no definition – and in fact can be based on things like what we eat or what we do for fun. In other words, on racial stereotypes the use of which, in the not so distant past, would themselves have been considered outrageously racist. Nor is there a definition of racial discrimination per se. The Tribunal’s decision did, however, specify one thing racial discrimination can’t be: “[19] It is important to note in the Tribunal’s jurisprudence that an allegation of racial discrimination or discrimination on the grounds of colour is not one that can be or has been successfully claimed by persons who are white and non-racialized [emphasis added].”

In other words, according to the Tribunal, white people cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their whiteness. (It’s not true, however, that such a claim has never succeeded. A group of white employees in B.C. not only won their case against that province’s Human Rights Tribunal but also successfully defended their claim in court that they were unjustly fired due to their “wrong” race.)

The belief that white people cannot suffer discrimination because they are white is not only held by the HRTO, but is often expressed in the media and by activists. (Source of right photo: alecperkins, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

It’s difficult to grasp which of the two major elements of the HRTO’s decision is more troubling: that blatant acts of discrimination are excused, and in fact are not even considered worthy of consideration if the person discriminated against is white, or that the OHRC is redefining race and racism as based on “social constructs” – habits and practices, like clothing and leisure preferences, that long were considered stereotypes.

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