In Solidarity with the People of Buffalo & our Racialized Community Members
Dear Linden Community Members,
In Canada, we are not immune to the racist indoctrination that is responsible for acts of terrorism and violence like the one that occurred in Buffalo this week - far from it.
According to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, hate crimes in Canada had a sharp upturn at the beginning of the pandemic. According to a recent study by Statistics Canada, the number of police-reported hate crimes in Canada increased 80% from 2019 to 2020. And the Association for Canadian Studies reports that more than half of young people in Canada will see messages of hate while working and playing online. Much of this racist messaging will happen in spaces where young people are vulnerable and relatively unsupervised: in the chat spaces of online games; in the comment sections of TikTok videos; and in the DMs of social media.
The Linden School, like all schools, bears an immense responsibility to young people as they navigate these spaces. We need to counter racist messaging with anti-racist action. We need to show support for racialized youth as they bear the twin challenges of confronting hate in their own lives and navigating the horrors in the news. We also need to give our young people tools for getting help when they encounter racist and hateful messages. For example, letting young people know that they can report instances of online hate without fear of reprisal from caregivers is essential. We also need to demand action from our governments and from industry: hate should have no home in our country, and hate speech should not be allowed to flourish online.
We extend our support to our racialized colleagues, families, and other community members. These incidents weigh heavily on those most directly impacted. At Linden, we seek to create and hold space for healing and conversation on these difficult subjects.
If you would like to increase your own ability to stand up to hate and harassment, the organization Right to Be conducts free bystander training to allow people to safely help victims of harassment in real and online spaces. Senior Linden PHE students have taken this training and will continue to do so in the years ahead.
The Linden Leadership Team