We asked Canadians to share their experiences with racism and prejudice with us. We also asked Canadians to send in solutions to the discrimination many of them describe.
Alright, CBC; I have some examples for you, since you asked:
#MyExperienceWithRacism: As a brown-skinned, mixed-race Canadian, I have experienced prejudice from other minority group members at places of higher learning and workplaces, for not being the type of brown person they think I should be. For instance, in the early nineties, after dropping my hitherto-then liberalism, when I went through my somewhat neo-conservative phase and watched Rush Limbaugh’s TV show in my university residence apartment, and enjoyed his skewering of liberals, my East Indian roommate called me an ‘Uncle Tom’, and was angry that I didn’t embrace prog leftist politics like he did; he saw my being conservative as a betrayal of my heritage. I’ve also been called a ‘coconut’ – brown on the outside, white on the inside. (The non-white bigots fail to remember that I am half-white, so if I am a ‘coconut’, I come by it honestly, due to being half-white, raised in small-town Ontario, and pretty much thoroughly culturally assimilated. Not that I give a crap what they think.)
Also, I have found that by my not really being a ‘desi‘, but more or less a pretty much thoroughly culturally assimilated, small-town Canadian, has alienated me somewhat from fitting in socially with urban folks of minority persuasions, at different educational institutions and workplaces. I’ve found that most non-European-background minority group members only want to associate with their own kind and/or other non-European-background minorities, and have as little to do with ordinary Canadians (i.e. white Canadians, whether English-Canadians or French-Canadians) as they possibly can. I’ve heard minority group members in Ottawa, where there are lots of French-Canadians, making fun of them, and/or wondering aloud why they can’t have names that are easier to pronounce (as if their names are any easier for either French-Canadians or English-Canadians to pronounce, at first, until learning how). Sometimes I’ve been only marginally tolerated by minority folks I’ve lived / studied / worked with; other times, there’s been outright hostility and/or exclusion.
Cut back greatly on immigration of people who aren’t of European descent, who aren’t culturally western, and who often as a result have axes to grind, chips on their shoulders about ‘colonialism’ and western ways in general; do this by cutting back greatly on immigration from all such countries where the majority aren’t westerners. Toss out laws that provide for easy ‘family reunification’, i.e. allowing people who are admitted to sponsor all their relatives to join them in immigrating here. Tighten up the definitions of what officially constitutes a ‘refugee’, so that people who really aren’t suffering persecution of one kind or another, but are merely ‘economic migrants’ simply seeking a better life, don’t get to claim refugee status and get away with it; make them instead apply to immigrate just like everyone else. (Following my previous recommendations, of course.) Make it easier for Europeans, and folks from other mostly white countries, to immigrate here if they apply, and have useful, employable skills. Change the laws so that, for instance, if a doctor wants to immigrate here, you can legally require him to agree to move to rural locations where there tend to be shortages of doctors, and set up a practice there for at least a decade, rather than all-too-typically heading to a metropolis where he can live among an expatriate community of his own people, and where there aren’t typically shortages of qualified doctors in the first place. Do the same for other professions, as is sensible, according to where the needs are greatest in each case. This will cut down at least to some extent, on the tendency of newcomers to congregate only in big cities where they can be amongst their own and thus not assimilate much, and will force some to have to get used to living amongst ordinary Canadians in the boonies, without many of their own kind around.
End official ‘multiculturalism’ policies that discourage immigrants from assimilating in the slightest degree. If we’re going to have public education, let’s use it to inculcate patriotism and loyalty in the offspring of newcomers, rather than celebrating ‘diversity’. No more banning of Christmas, Halloween, etc. at schools; instead, teach respect for the adopted country of their parents, for our western culture and ways.
Establish a conditional form of citizenship for newcomers, with provisions that grant them all the same rights as those born here as long as they do not commit a crime, but if they do, no matter how minor, grant the government the ability to strip them of said citizenship and deport them. But give their offspring born here full citizenship, so that if they break the law, they could end up separated from their children. Together, in addition to disincentivizing law-breaking of any kind, it should help serve to disincentivize acting out on prejudices retained from the old country against those of other groups, and thus, help to encourage them to strive to fit in, be good citizens, etc. And further, it would let them know that being here is a privilege, not a right; revocable if they fail to meet the necessary conditions; that will also help encourage them, if they still wish to come here, to make a new start, and focus on becoming truly Canadian, being grateful for the opportunity, rather than feeling entitled to it.
In short, let in less of them; encourage those admitted already, or who we do still admit, and their children, to assimilate more; even try to force some to do so by dictating where they may live, by not letting them rush to move to places where their own kind are; force them to be where they mostly aren’t, among ordinary Canucks.
Thus, my solutions to the kind of racism I’ve most often encountered in my adult life, which IMO is far more of a bigger deal than any white racism I encountered in my earlier years; I rarely encounter any of that kind any more; the new kind is far more prevalent today.
So, CBC, how’s that?
Oh, I know; doesn’t fit with your desired prog narrative, does it?
Aw shucks; guess I’se jist a coconut Uncle Tom, ain’t she? 😉