Quebec Just Announced A New Anti-Racism Minister & He's White As Snow
Quebec Premier François Legault has named a new anti-racism minister to lead the fight against racism in the province.
Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, will add the title of anti-racism minister to his resume after Immigration Minister Nadine Girault and Social Services Minister Lionel Carmant submitted their recommendations on how to combat racism in the province.
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The fight against racism is above all, a question of human dignity.
While several questions were raised about Charette's ethnicity at a press conference on Wednesday, Legault insisted that Charette is the right man for the job and that he's "a man of results who can deliver."
Responding to a question that brought up him being white, Charette said that "the colour of someone's skin should not be an argument to disqualify someone."
Born in Sainte-Jérôme, Quebec, Charette's community engagement involves, among other things, work with SOS Jeunesse and a volunteer trip to Haiti in 1995.
Speaking on his personal life, Charette mentioned he's married to a woman of Haitian origin.
He explained that his "wife and my kids can speak to their experiences [with racism]. It's sometimes subtle, it's sometimes direct, but in all cases, it's offensive."
He also gave an example of when racism directly affected his life, speaking about how his family members were once refused when attempting to rent an apartment.
Charette stopped short, however, of agreeing about the existence of systemic racism in Quebec and said that "the laws and our system protects citizens."
"What bothers me about the expression are several elements but it gives a false sense of security to throw the blame on others [...] whatever our origins, we have certain prejudices."
"So, if we back a vague concept that's badly defined, it removes some of the responsibility that we have."