Darker the skin, less you fit (Toronto Star):
Crunching thousands of numbers from 41,666 people interviewed in nine languages, the just-published study found skin colour – not religion, not income – was the biggest barrier to immigrants feeling they belonged here. And the darker the skin, the greater the alienation.
“We were surprised that religion didn’t have more effect,” said lead author Jeffrey Reitz. “It came down to race, with Asian people reporting some and with young black males the most stigmatized. The data is consistent with that.
“We tend to believe racism is a minor problem in Canada, of little consequence. Someone looked at them funny. Or that many immigrants are doing well, so it must be their fault if they aren’t. There is a reluctance to investigate the issue.”
The University of Toronto professor of ethnic, immigration and pluralism studies added that a lack of trust was also higher among the successful, Canadian-born, Canadian-educated children of visible minority immigrants.
The problem isn’t multiculturalism, spawned in 1971 by then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, the study concluded.
“A lot of people in Canada revel in diversity. They were happy to say goodbye to liver and onions, hello stir-fries and samosas,” said Reitz. But the original idea of multiculturalism saw integration as the marker of success: A second generation equally accepted in the mainstream and in the ethnic community.
The study found:
The more discrimination someone faced, the more they were likely to identify with their ethnic group, rather than as Canadian.
Visible minorities identified themselves much more strongly by their ethnic origin through the second, third and fourth generations.
While 65 per cent of recent black immigrants, 70 per cent of South Asians and 52 per cent of Chinese felt they belonged in Canada, those numbers dropped to 37 per cent, 50 per cent and 44 per cent in the second generation.
A third of Chinese, South Asians, Filipino and Southeast Asians reported discrimination; half of blacks did and 40 per cent of Koreans and Japanese did. In fact, a schoolyard fight in Keswick that made national news involved a Korean boy retaliating for a racial slur.
Discrimination was most common in applying for jobs and at work; a store, bank or restaurant were the next most frequent.
If people of colour in Canada do not feel a sense of belonging in Canada, the solution is not to eliminate multiculturalism and force them to adopt your culture. The solution is not to criticize them for identifying with their ethnic group. The solution is to stop being racist.
Racism, not different cultures, is the issue.