The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole. A Critical look at the Polite, Nice country of North America.
Every word, sentence and paragraph resonated with me as I read this book. I may not have, as of yet, experienced overt racism in Canada. But I'm sure I have been looked at in that way, that all 'delicately' racist white people have of looking at a Black woman or man.
I absolutely salute Cole for placing focus on the Indigenous and First Nations peoples of this land, their land; as he details our struggles as Black people in polite, nice, safe Canada.
Part memoir mixed with social commentary and examination; #TheSkinWereIn, yanks back the curtain on Canada: America's 'nice', 'welcoming', 'polite' neighbour to the north.
Reading this book took me back to when I read about, heard about or saw these incidents where the police had to be called in, in order to restore order or apprehend a violent offender.
I remember being very angry when most of those confrontations ended with a Black body being violated, hurt, beaten or killed. Rarely, if ever, do we see such force reflected on the news when white perpetrators are involved--always the bodies seem to be Black and Brown.
I am tired of being angry, but they refuse to see how they treat us from our point of view: the state, the police, even our neighbours. The utter lack of care or thought as to our humanity, our dignity.
I am grateful that this book has joined the many others out there, that document the atrocities that Black bodies have gone, is going, will continue to go through, if nothing is done; that it is shining the spotlight on the rot that is at the core of this 'internationally-known-as-nice-country'
Reading of the refusal to believe and counter-protests of white people (as they uphold and support the racist institutions) in this country, further brings to the fore that when they naysay and deny Black people's voices and experiences(across the entirety of the spectrum), it is coming from a place of hate; a place where they are clearly saying you don't matter until we say you do.
Cole is ripping away cobwebs and tearing down the frosted glass that has been obscuring the view of the violence and racism that lurks throughout Canada.
Politesse has been used for centuries to sideline and obfuscate atrocities -Tina.
In spite of all you have done and continue to do (white supremacy and supremacists), in an attempt to curtail our advancement and thriving, still we persevere, still we fight; still we are here - Tina.
This has been an educational, eye-opening piece of work and armed with this knowledge and what I personally have experienced, I now approach the system with even more caution and mistrust than which I have ever done before.
This is a stellar read and one for the People.