A new study published by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council indicated over 80 per cent of respondents believed there is unconscious bias or covert racism in the province.
The survey said 88.89 per cent of white respondents said there was unconscious or covert racism in the province while 74.53 per cent of respondents who identified as people of colour said unconscious or covert racism existed.
Husoni Raymond, the anti-racism project and policy development co-ordinator with the council, said he was surprised at how many people acknowledged that racism exists in the province.
“Generally, the narrative is that there’s no racism in New Brunswick or in Canada,” said Raymond.
“I believe that over the last year, when there’s been increased awareness to anti-black racism and state violence against racialized people, that more people are willing to interrogate racism within the Canadian context.”
The survey asked respondents “Do you believe there is racism in New Brunswick?”
If respondents answered yes, they were directed to the next question which asked what kind of racism with the options systemic racism, intentional or overt racism, unconscious bias or covert racism and other.
Furthermore a majority of respondents said intentional or overt racism was a factor in the province, 78.12 per cent for white respondents and 68.63 for BIPOC respondents.
The survey defines intentional or overt racism as “racial discrimination that stems from conscious and intentional personal prejudice and beliefs.”
Unconscious bias or convert racism is defined as “racial discrimination that stems from unconscious or unintentional prejudice and beliefs.”
The council says 71 per cent of respondents believe there is systemic racism in the province, defined in the survey as “the policies and practices fixed in institutions, which result in the exclusion or promotion of designated groups.”
And 83.6% of respondents said they have witnessed racism first hand.
A report into the survey said the analysts found the white numbers “surprising” and noticed that white respondents said both overt and unintentional racism existed at higher rates than people of colour did.
The report said this could be that white people are more polite to people of colour in person, the white people who filled out this survey are more aware of racial issues or people who’ve been in Canada longer have more knowledge of racism.
The report suggests new arrivals are disproportionately people of colour.
The survey was conducted by Anovasi Research on behalf of the council and was conducted voluntarily online.
The survey featured 30 questions and could’ve been completed in either French or English.
It drew 959 respondents, of which 907 were deemed “qualified respondents”
“it just goes to show that a lot of people are interested in this topic right now and we have the momentum to contribute to some real change within our community,” said Raymond
While the questions were multiple choice, the survey also allowed for people to elaborate on some of their answers, including questions about racist incidents that respondents were subject to or witnessed.
“The results were very broad,” said Raymond.
“People noting their experiences in the service sector, people noting, you know, things that they’ve heard, things that they’ve been called on the streets, et cetera.”
Lack of diversity
Raymond said the survey indicated that a lack of diversity was a concern.
“A lack of diversity in New Brunswick, especially in positions of power, is something that was highlighted,” said Raymond.
Information Morning – Fredericton12:53Racism survey
The 2016 census said 3.4 per cent of the province’s population identify as visible minorities and four per cent identify as Aboriginal.
Raymond said he hopes the survey will spur the province to develop and adopt an anti-racism strategy.