Taking Responsibility, Taking Direction

By Sheila Wilmot

Taking Responsibility, Taking Direction
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The history of Canada's racist colonial past is tangled and ugly, and racism remains an urgent problem today--especially for progressive social movements. Sheila Wilmot draws in equal measure upon her extensive experience as a white anti-racist activist, and critical theories ... Read more


Overview

The history of Canada's racist colonial past is tangled and ugly, and racism remains an urgent problem today--especially for progressive social movements. Sheila Wilmot draws in equal measure upon her extensive experience as a white anti-racist activist, and critical theories of race and whiteness, in an effort to re-think the way white leftists understand and take up anti-racism.

Sheila Wilmot

Sheila Wilmot has been a community activist since the 1980s, and has worked in the labour movement as a shop steward and an organizer with low-wage and migrant workers; in a long-term solidarity project with the Zapatistas of Chiapas, Mexico; and in anti-war and anti-racism campaigns in Toronto, Canada. She currently is the manager of a midwifery clinic.

Reviews

Wilmot provides an interesting but all too brief discussion of recent anti-racist organizing in Canada. She highlights some of the too-often neglected work done by white anti-racist activists, and some of the lessons participants have learned, but focuses primarily on organizations based in Canada's major metropolitan centres, often surrounding immigrant rights. White organizing efforts around Aboriginal rights outside of these larger centres remains largely neglected. Furthermore, Wilmot paints only a general picture of each anti-racist organization based on limited interviews with key organizers. The analysis would have benefited from a more complex depiction of these organizations based on a larger number of interviews. It would be particularly informative to hear the critiques of people of colour of the role of white activists and their organizations. - Briarpatch Magazine

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