There are plenty of people that have been joking about moving to Canada around the times of presidential elections here in the United States and at least for me, the joke seems to have more weight and audience this year than in the past. One Canadian island has an entire site inviting people from the US to move there if Donald Trump wins and even Canada’s Prime Minister has joked about it. Google searches for how to move to Canada spiked way up after Trump’s win on Super Tuesday.
And while many of the people saying they’d move to Canada won’t, the entire conversation says a lot about who is saying all of this and privilege itself. Turns out moving to Canada is filled with hidden fees – making it even more difficult for some than others. Plus, while there are white people joking about moving to Canada, many people of color here in the United States are legitimately scared for their safety because of Trump.
I’m also ready to slap the people saying “I’m going to Canada ha ha” like you’re not hopping a border from one settler colony to another.
— Zoé S. (@ztsamudzi) 2 March 2016
I don’t find “I’m moving to Canada” jokes funny at all. It means don’t give a single shit about all the marginalized folks who can’t leave.
— Fangirl Jeanne (@fangirlJeanne) 2 March 2016
I think that joking about moving to Canada can be fun – for most, it is nothing just a joke and won’t actually happen. But I also think that when white liberals do that, we tend to ignore how both countries are settler ones and ignore our own privilege and responsibility in deconstructing white supremacy. Instead of facing the horrifying terror that comes with Donald Trump and other issues, we joke about bailing the second it gets too real for us.