Oh... Canada

Let's stop being too polite to talk about it.

Racism is alive here too. Let's stop just looking south at the extreme actions while shaking our heads. Navel gazing in Canada is required. America is bold and out there. We are muted.

I remember my first trip to Boston. It was 1982 and I was stupidly 20. I was astonished that the white people walked on one side of the street and the blacks on the other. I knew there were tensions between the Irish and the Italians but I never expected Boston to be racially biased. I took a bus out to see Harvard because I figured someone interested in academics even at a young age should have a view of an ivy league school. On my way back to my hotel on the bus I was somewhat charmed by an action of a young woman on the bus. She yelled out: "stop here". I hailed from Toronto and we would never be so bold. But the bus stopped and she exited -- well distanced from any formal bus stop.  To me that was a differentiating moment between what it meant to be American and what it meant to be Canadian. I was taken aback at first. How dare one be so bold (which I thought was rude).

I love being a polite Canadian and from a nation that has humility and peace keeping at its core. But as I enter my later years I think back to my Boston experience and the need to dare to be so bold as to say "stop here."