Denying Racism in Canada’s Residential School System


  • Trevor Gulliver Bishops University


Denials of racism are one of the most salient features of racist discourse. This paper examines the online comments following six news articles posted on Facebook.. The articles, from three major Canadian daily newspapers, announce the findings of graves at former residential schools. This article sorts the different denials of racism in the comments using the typology of denial proposed by Van Dijk (1992) and used by Wodak (2015). It then examines the other ‘denial-adjacent’ strategies that appear in the comments, including delegitimizations, temporal distancing, individualization and displacement, excessive doubt, distractions, and outright dismissals.