Academics say, Whites benefit by facing role in Racism

SASKATOON -- Racism is alive and well and living in Canada, and it's time white people started talking about it, say academics who are aiming to get that discussion going among the country's educators.

"There is this idea that racism is a U.S. problem. That it doesn't happen here. It does. We are just more polite about it," explains Darren Lund, an education professor at the University of Calgary.

Prof. Lund says his classes of would-be teachers generally start to squirm when he raises the issue of race with them. Most are middle-class, white women who loved school, he says, and they do not want to entertain the notion that the system is not as fair to everyone as it was to them or that they play a role in the problem.

"There is lots of discomfort and shame and people get angry," he said.