Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Statement of Solidarity

The Visible Minority Librarians of Canada Network (ViMLoC) stands with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) in condemning violence and racism towards Black people and all People of Colour. ViMLoC endorses BCALA’s May 28 statement condemning the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Department officers.   We cannot remain silent and stand by idly as the list of victims including Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Regis Korchinski-Paquett, continues to increase. Countless others experience unmitigated violence and this increases each year.

Canada is not any less susceptible to racism nor ever historically immune from a colonial history of intolerance and injustice. Hate crimes against historically marginalized groups have risen frightfully during the COVID-19 pandemic (Liao, 2020; Pringle, 2020). While federal, provincial and municipal politicians have stated that racism, violence, xenophobia, and discrimination have no place in our country, hate crimes — hate-filled rants, racial slurs, threats, and intimidation to victims and violent physical assaults in public settings — are happening at rapid pace in almost every province of the country.  Not one charge has been laid as of June 1, 2020.

ViMLoC stands in solidarity with all library workers, library users, and members of communities who are vulnerable to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity.

Diversity is ViMLoC’s reason for existence.  We call on library and information services leaders, staff, and advocates of all races and backgrounds to acknowledge what is happening in their societies, to have open dialogues with their staff and institutional leaders, and to design and implement policies on equity, diversity and inclusion. We call on everyone to fight hatred and racism against Black people, against Indigenous peoples, and against all People of Colour and to continue to enforce that racism has no place in our institutions, our policies, our practices, our physical or virtual spaces, or our behaviours.

References

Liao, C. (2020, May 16). COVID-19 has put a harsh spotlight on the anti-Asian racism that has always existed in Canada. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/covid-19-has-put-a-harsh-spotlight-on-the-anti-asian-racism-that-has-always-existed-in-canada-1.5572674

Pringle, J. (2020, May 12). Ottawa police encourage residents to report racist incidents. https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/ottawa-police-encourage-residents-to-report-racist-incidents-1.4936444