B.C Premier Christy Clark has spent the better part of the last week apologizing for the provincial Liberals’ classified plan to win the “ethnic vote.” While the scheme had clear ethical issues by using provincial staffers for political purposes, what has garnered the most attention is the disingenuous manner in which the party hoped to get “quick wins” from minority groups. One of the ways they hoped to do this was to officially apologize for racist policies and acts from the past. And while not mentioned specifically, one of these racist policies that may have been considered was school segregation in the 1920s and 1930s.
In this episode of the History Slam I talk with Timothy Stanley, author of Contesting White Supremacy: School Segregation, Anti-Racism, and the Making of Chinese Canadians. Professor Stanley provides a unique take on the social construction of race and the power dynamics that lead to racism. We also chat about the Victoria school strike and the creation of a Chinese community in the region. The conversation also touches on the “history wars” as we debate how regional and national histories interact.
In addition to the podcast, be sure to check out this interview with Professor Stanley from 2011.
Sean Graham is a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa where he is currently working on a project that examines the early years of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has previously studied at Nipissing University, the University of the West Indies, and the University of Regina and like any red-blooded Canadian his ultimate dream is to be a curling champion while living on a diet of beer and poutine.