Sunday, May 21, 2006

Local Filipino youth denounce systemic racism by Montreal school board

Local Filipino youth denounce systemic racism by Montreal school board

Statement by Kabataang Montreal (Filipino youth organization in
May 10, 2006

The actions of the Marguerite Bourgeoys school board demonstrates the
depth of systemic racism within the Montreal school system. Completely
within their rights, the Cagadoc family has intelligently spoke out
about their concerns and asked for public support. Furthermore, we
disagree with recent reports that there may have been
misunderstandings, especially when the principal has alluded publicly
that Cagadoc's eating behaviour may not have been intelligent.

We are deeply offended by the reports of actions that took place in
ecole Lalande at Pierrefond involving a 7-year-old boy punished for
eating with a spoon and fork during lunch. It is unjust that he be
punished and secluded to another table for eating with a fork and

Within Quebec's inter-cultural and diversity policies, immigrants
diversity is suppose to be celebrated, yet it is these same policies
that must be examined as they continue to hamper their development and
integration. Moreover, this just goes to show the fallacy of the
"tolerant and multicultural society" phraseology used in Canada to
sugar coat the problems of inherent and institutionalized racism that
many of us feel and experience each day.

By directing attention to the child's behaviour only, we see a
diversion tactic on the part of the school board to sweep the facts
under the table and not address the racist behaviour by
administrators. This type of discrimination and ignorance on the part
of school staff and administrators should not be tolerated in Canadian
schools since many Canadians have diverse cultural origins.

This is a prime example of racism and discrimination that we at
Kabataang Montreal won't stand for. The racism and discrimination
towards Filipinos begin with immigration policies like the Live-in
Caregiver Program (LCP) that imports many nannies, more than 90%
coming from the Philippines, to work as indentured slaves in the homes
of Canadians. The LCP creates a second class of workers who have a
different set of rules that apply to them. These are the kinds of
discriminatory policies that are extended to the families of Filipinos
living and working in Canada.

We would like to show to the family of the boy that we are behind them
100% and that they should continue to press on. Kabataang Montreal
will also be acting on our own behalf as members of the Filipino
community for the insult done to our compatriots sharing the same
cultural habits that have been looked down upon. We demand that the
Marguerite Bourgeoys school board make a public apology to the family
and that the Minister of Education conduct a public investigation,
review the anti-racism policies provincially, and ensure that quality
education is accessible for all.

Access for all to quality education!
Stop systemic racism!
Genuine equality and development for all!
Scrap the Live-In Caregiver Program


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