In 1914 352 East Indians were left on board a ship, Komagata Maru in English Bay for 3 months without being allowed to immigrate before being sent back to India.
The immigration officer in charge was Cyclone Taylor.
In June, 1939 the St. Louis, a ship carried 907 Jewish refugees who were denied entry into Canada and subsequently died in Auschwitz. They were denied entry by our Ouija Board consulting Prime Minister, MacKenzie King. And let’s not forget our First Nations’ Peoples and Metis who suffered racist indignities in a multitude of forms including cultural and actual genocide throughout our history.
And, in time, the Irish, Italians, Ukrainians and Doukhobors all felt the scorn of Anglo-Saxon Canadians. There, I hope that clears things up a bit about historic racism in Canada.
Racial Slurs and Stereotypes
Now to the present where political correctness has turned our world upside down. The problem being that it seems that ANY statement, view, policy or practice made, which is not liked by any non-white and/or non-Christian person or group is viewed as racist. And it’s very selective with the truth being secondary.
Please accept the following in the spirit in which it is written: to wit, an expression of ideas and questions I have which may or may not see me condemned by those more politically enlightened.
An example: I don't believe it's racist to say that Chinese people smoke cigarettes more that Caucasians. This is an established fact, both here and in China. It's what's keeping the American cigarette industry going.
But it IS considered racist to say Chinese are bad drivers because it implies a negative. Personally, I think ALL immigrants are bad drivers, given that in my world travels, I never saw any Greek, Italian, Turkish, Irani or Afghani driving schools. It was also my experience to note that in the Third World, horns are more important pieces of equipment on a cars thank brakes!
So are Chinese bad drivers? Do immigrants cause more accidents? We’ll never know, because ICBC would never reveal that information for fear of being accused of racism. So the public maintains a ‘racist’ belief based on no actual information because it would be racist to reveal it if it turned out to be true.
Is it racist to say that Asians don’t wait for elevators to empty before shoving themselves in? Probably, but when you consider the population densities of Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Bangkok, small wonder their personal “territorial imperatives” are different than ours. Check out video of the Tokyo subway and watch the “elbows high” interaction of passengers.
Is it racism when I get upset because the service person or telemarketer can't speak English well enough for me to understand him or her? Probably. But I really can't imagine myself being allowed to work as a service person in France or Germany where I speak a hackneyed high school version of those languages.
I’m sure it’s a racist statement to say most Chinese restaurant washrooms are dirty, but it would not be racist to say most Japanese restaurant restrooms are very clean. Again, the generality is only a slur if it is a negative.
Is it racism when I get upset because the public toilet seat has the tread marks of a pair of Adidas on it? I perfectly understand that most of the world craps in a hole in the ground. I've been in many countries where I had to adapt to that reality. But why do I have to be understanding of someone else's inability to accept the way we do things here?
I think Canadians believe that foreigners should have to adapt to OUR culture, not vice versa. And that opinion, it would seem is racist. Oh, and you can't use the term "foreigners" anymore. It is viewed as a pejorative. The PC term is now foreign nationals.
An aside: in the 70’s a local keyboard player, Doug Lui named his band “Chinese Driver” which he could do as he was Chinese. Kind of like Richard Pryor using the “n” word, so it’s only okay to use that word if you are black. It’s only okay for one Italian to call another a guinea, etc. etc. Otherwise racial, religious, sexist or nationalist slang pejoratives are not cool. And rightly so.
Now true racism is believing one race is superior to another, and white folks have earned this reputation by the practice slave trading and slavery in North America and the genocide of First Nations people. Well, that and the subjugation of India, Africa and countless other countries by the British Empire.
Germans believed in racial superiority in WWII as did Japan, and more recently, Serbs renamed racial genocide “ethnic cleansing.” Does that make them racist? You bet. How about jihadists; are they considered racist for their belief that Islam is the only true religion justifying their death threats to all Jews and Christians?
Here’s a funny and true story on sterotyping. A local Irish comedian whom we’ll call Liam O’Neil was pulled over driving home on the Cassiar Connector on March 17. The East Indian police officer asked him where he was coming from, and was told, The Blarney Stone. The Officer then asked him if he’d been drinking and Liam said, “yes, one beer.” The Officer laughed and said, “You expect me to believe that an Irishman had only one beer in and Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day?
Liam waited a minute and then replied, “Are you stereotyping me as an Irish drunk? YOU of all people? Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to drive away and you’re not going to do a damn thing about it or I’ll lodge a human rights and racial profiling lawsuit against you and the Vancouver Police Department.” Liam then put his car in gear and drove off.
So the reality of racial slurs is that most of them are unproven generalizations. Not all black guys have big dicks and can dance. Not all Jews are clever businessmen and not all Irishmen are drunks.
I’ll tell you what I believe the Canadian people REALLY think. And that is, that unless you are a non-white, third world, handicapped, female, single mother, lesbian with a nose ring you won’t get a job in the federal or provincial governments.
Nor are you likely to get government grants. It seems that discrimination in these politically correct days is directed at white, Anglo-Saxon males. Whoa! Now THERE are a couple of racist statements for sure. But are they true? How the hell would we know, no one dares admit it or even talk about it?
The public believes that a goodly amount of our crime is committed by immigrants; Chinese, Vietnamese, East Indian, Jamaican and Central American gangs; car theft, chop shops and bogus driver’s licenses and fraudulent insurance claims. Is this true? Again, who would know? The cops, the lawyers, the courts would know but to ask is to risk being labeled a racist.
The Bottom Line – I think Canadians want to be able to express themselves without constantly being accused of racism for doing so.
These days, to be against immigration is to be racist. I’m sorry folks, but this doesn’t wash. As long as the basis for not wanting unlimited immigration is not race, then it follows that to deny entry to our country is not inherently racist. Forget the East Indians and Chinese, personally, I’d like to keep out the Scots. All they want to do is start unions and complain all the time..
Is it racist to say that Southern California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas are being taken over by illegal Mexican immigrants? The fact is they will soon have a Hispanic majority. It’s ironic when you consider that those states were owned by Mexico for 300 years, since 1535, before becoming part of the U.S. And now, Mexico is getting them back.
So, what if the existing majority of people in a country are happy just the way things are and don’t want an influx of immigrants to alter an existing balance of peoples? Is that racist? Evidently so.
The politicians keep telling us that immigration is a good thing; that there is a financial net benefit to the country, but oddly, we never see proof of that contention. They lead us to believe that immigrants bring in more money than they take out of our system in welfare and medical benefits and this is good for the country. It may well be true, because God only knows, politicians will do anything to bring in more money to play around with in their ivory towers. They tell us that immigration is important because immigrants will do the jobs Canadians refuse to do; ie low paying service jobs. Again, where is the proof?
Are more immigrants receiving welfare per capita than the public at large? Are more immigrants abusing our welfare and medical systems than the public at large? Who would know? The government isn’t revealing that information.
We proudly describe our country as a “mosaic” as opposed to the American “melting pot,” which is to say, we allow our immigrants to maintain more of their culture for a longer period of time without expecting them to immediately conform to our traditional Canadian ways. And that’s fine in theory but when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When I’m in a foreign country, I behave and act according to THEIR rules and traditions, not mine.
Is it racism to not want to allow Sharia Law as demanded by Muslims in England and now Ontario? Is it racism to not allow women to wear hajibs covering their faces for official things like entering banks, passport photos and court appearances?
If I were to emigrate to another country, I would learn their language and adapt to their ways. As should immigrants to our country. But Canadians believe this is not the case, because they see new Canadians insisting on us doing business THEIR way and our institutions and government encourage us to accommodate them in THEIR way. This is not right. End of story.
The Canadian people are sick and tired of seeing illegal immigrants and bogus refugees sit around for two or three years at our expense with our tax paid legal aid lawyers arguing a case for them to be allowed to stay here when then snuck in the country to begin with. They should be immediately put on a plane back to where they came from. Period. We are tired of seeing people not being deported who should be.
We also expect that recent immigrants and Permanent Residents who are not yet Canadian citizens, who are convicted of crimes, should be immediately deported. Slam dunk. Out the courtroom door, onto the plane.
And immigrants can’t be allowed to bring their own wars to our country. The moment an immigrant steps foot in Canada and expresses a wish to become a Canadian, they must give up any political activism they have in causes back in their home country. We do not want political and racist strife from other countries brought here. Not Kahlsa/Punjabi independence movements, Tamil independence movements, IRA, Serbian-Croatian-Bosnian hatred, or Islamic extremism or any other bullshit. If immigrants want to keep fighting those fights, go back home and have a blast.
The irony of it all is, the Canadian Immigration bureaucrats invariably let the wrong people into our country and throw out the good ones. Canadians have NO faith in our immigration officials whatsoever. They take no responsibility for their decisions.Every day in the papers we see stories of some hardworking immigrant family getting tossed out of the country for some technicality, and some dope-dealing illegal immigrant being allowed to stay.
After the war in Bosnia, the Bosnian government gave Canadian officials a list of Serbian war criminals, which they refused to even consider while merrily admitting 20,000 Serbians. What’s wrong with this picture? The Serbians were the racist, ethnic-cleansing perpetrators of the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosavo.
Rumor has it that a mass murdering Serbian sniper owns a body shop in Burnaby. Who would know if this is true? Not Canadian immigration.
Our laws are so lax, Canada is a transit point for all kinds of criminals. Former Mexican presidents absconding with the treasury, James Earl Ray after killing Martin Luther King and the jihadist caught on the Black Ball ferry with explosives which he was going to use to blowup LAX.
The Bottom Line – I think Canadians want to have a say in our immigration policies. Since we are a nation of immigrants, they want to feel that recent immigrants will respect the nation we have and work within it. And that the interests of the existing Canadian people will come first in government policy and bureaucratic implementation.
So what was my point in all the above. I’m not really sure. It was an effort to express some views I think others may share, and to ask some questions for which we have no answers
What I do know is that beyond the absolute definition, the charge of racism can be used unfairly and subject to context, perception and point of view. Hell, some may accuse me of racism for even writing this piece.