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Images in South Shore high school textbook called out as racist


by Lorraine Carpenter
“This is a classic example of how racism persists and that it is systemic, and directly in the school curriculum in Quebec.”

Images from a textbook at Centennial High School in Greenfield Park, Quebec has been called out as racist. Local business owner and civil rights advocate Joel DeBellefeuille was tagged on social media in a photo posted by a longtime friend whose child attends the high school on Montreal’s South Shore. DeBellefeuille shared one photo of a page featuring illustrations of gangsters, at least one of whom is clearly a caricature of a person of colour.

“It is mind blowing. In 2022, on the second day of Black History Month and the teacher decides this is the right thing to teach? Let alone the Minister of Education approving this type of curriculum is beyond me.
“I still am bewildered that François Legault still believes systemic racism doesn’t exist in Quebec This is a classic example of how racism persists and that it is systemic, and directly in the school curriculum.”

—Joel DeBellefeuille

Joel DeBellefeuille — who is a federal lobbyist and the founder of Red Coalition, a non-profit focused on eliminating racial profiling and systemic racism in Canada — shared two more images from the same textbook with Cult MTL. One depicts a racialized man as the suspect in a crime novel, while the other features physical descriptions of two characters related to this section, the first a shady type described as “une silhouette sombre,” the other being “my brother” who has “peau blanche.”

The Riverside School Board has not yet responded to our request for comment.
 

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