The Hidden Job Market – Whiteness Has Its Privileges

© Copyright 2010 by Joseph Worrell. Reproduced with permission on Restructure!.

In February 2006, The Canadian Labour Congress presented a disturbing study on Canadian workers. The report maintained that Canadian-born visible minorities faced the highest barriers to steady, well-paying jobs of any group in the country.

Post 911 Arab-West Asians came in first with a 14% unemployment rate, Blacks at 11.5% and Latin Americans at 10.5%. Aboriginal Canadians also failed to reap many job rewards but statistics curiously grouped them with unemployed Euro-Canadians.

The Labour Congress’ study caused a bit of quandary, except among those who are already “in the know” about the dilemma.

Leslie Cheung, of Simon Fraser University, declared the report could not disavow “workplace inequality with education disparities because non-White Canadians are better educated as a whole than native-born Whites and immigrants”. The Labour Congress predicts the situation to worsen as huge numbers of non-White young people enter the job market.

The mainstream media responded at length, with some incredulous disbelieve, on what the CLC described as racial discrimination, almost parallel to the causes of the Paris youth riots. Immediately, one notices the mainstream framing the argument as “discrimination” for minorities rather than as “invisible privilege” and “preference” for White workers.

It leads us to turn the spotlight of inquiry on the situation. Why have Euro-Canadians continued to hold the competitive edge in labour mart?

As a high school youth, I observed that my White peers were regularly employed thanks to parental intervention and nepotism. I remember that my struggling nurse’s aide mother couldn’t work any job “obeah” for me—she simply didn’t have the right connections.

When I was an undergraduate, a frustrated journalism student cum English and History major, I could never secure a decent summer position that met my financial needs or career goals. Like many Black youth, I was relegated, over-represented in “Black jobs”, in old standbys like housekeeping or food services—Burger King, Mickey Ds, toiling in the campus cafeteria as a short order cook – food prep. As Black summer students looking for work, many of us fell through the cracks of the federally sponsored programs.

By the final academic year, I hit the jackpot in acquiring some “upscale” retail bookstore jobs. What was the reason for this sudden job mobility? I socially knew the White owner’s wife and the White manager who all cleared away an “invisible barrier”, conferring some privilege upon me. As a young Black job seeker, personal initiatives of submitting unsolicited resumes, answering ads, completing applications, garnered nothing, not even confirmation letters or interviews.

However, the doors of opportunity flung wide open, merely upon knowing someone within the White network. They bestowed that necessary “seal of approval”. They silently ensured that my resume rose to the top of the pile, that Euro-Canadian managers considered it and granted an interview. Without these benign “pixie” White helpers, I realized I wouldn’t have progressed.

My sense of individual “merit” was immediately deflated, the mantras of “working hard” in getting to the top, became an illusion.

How many Black folks would be honest in admitting that our entry into the Canadian workforce, our climb to management heights was contingent, however tenuous, on some personal contact within a White network, on White guidance or fatherly “benevolence”?

So why is it that Euro-Canadian job seekers are least likely to encounter systemic barriers in gaining access to meaningful jobs, moving beyond the glass ceiling?

This is part of the secret networking, of the unspoken advantages and benefits that White job seekers and their hook-ups access daily, without critical reflection, while declaring “no discrimination” and “meritocracy” in the Canadian job market.

In the recession ’90s, experiences as an ESL instructor and employment counsellor, courtesy of more White and female contacts, further exposed the covert privileges many Euro-Canadians garnered in the labour market.

Workplace experiences unveiled another insidious facet of White privilege that frustrated many job seekers of colour. As an employment search trainer – interview coach to job hunters on Employment Insurance and Social Assistance, I perceived how many African Diaspora and South Asian Canadians, experienced difficulty in performing for the Canadian interview. They faced obstacles in “performing Whiteness” and “middle-classness”—-the social behaviours that facilitate immediate identification and assimilation in the Euro-Canadian workplace.

With coaching in communication skills and personal deportment, Black and Asian applicants were able to grasp the nuances of this White minstrel performance in polishing our interview technique. Disciplinary control over our body language, how to dress and speak as “non-threatening” model minorities, could be mastered in the game.

However, some learn it, some can never assimilate the subtleties of this mimicry. Black males, especially, experience the most trouble, unless already initiated from affluent middle class backgrounds. I learned “perform” this compliant survival strategy but at a great cost of repressing my frustration and rage, policing the conflicting Euro-Canadian and Afro-Caribbean cultural dualities of my body and consciousness.

On the other side, I surveyed how ethnic White, foreign speaking Mediterranean and Eastern European job seekers, some with guttural accents and limited skills, always managed to achieve something in meeting their vocational goals. Often, assistance from their respective White ethnic community networks did the trick. Europeans can transcend and transform their ESL – foreign accent liabilities into assets. As for the salience of Black and South Asian job candidates, many fell short of reaching their job goals, ending up “settling” for third best, out of some desperate necessity.

While not committed to these notions of assimilation and Euro-Canadian standards, nonetheless, I recognized them as real and inhibiting to Black job seekers in achieving their vocational goals. As a facilitator, I always felt these job search skills—a solid resume, a professional appearance, could be mastered and mediated while leaving our human dignity and self-respect in tact.

For many Euro-Canadian job seekers, these cultural performance issues and the power relations behind them, remain quiescent, as Euro-Canadians have set and maintain the standards to which other racial groups must conform. Euro-Canadians can safely discount and remain oblivious of the power of White skin privilege.

I like to recall the ironic moment of a time I was assigned a young Jamaican Canadian-born female client for interview coaching. She was very attractive, very lucky in that she possessed “desirable” Caucasoid keen features, a beautifully proportioned figure, café-au-lait colouring and “good” hair. Her diction was flawless. However, rather than the demure receptionist positions she sought, the young woman’s provocative wardrobe made her appear otherwise….

Establishing a friendly rapport with the striving office worker, I politely asked why she wore so much makeup, unobtrusively suggesting that she wear a dress to her next interview. She turned to me, asking point blankly, “you want me to act like a White girl, don’t you”? “I can’t act like no White girl”, she protested. Shocked and sputtering, I denied that “acting White” had anything to do with it. It was about appearing “business-like” and “professional”, deflecting both the patriarchal and class contradictions as a Black male instructing a Black woman in appearing “lady-like”.

Frustrated, I lamented, why are these attributes of being educated, well bred and professional, always considered the exclusive domain of White people? Why do they continue to set the standards?

I didn’t see the young woman much after that.

Perhaps the client had penetrated the mask behind the Black counsellor’s own “White face performance”? Increasingly edgy, his mask of assimilation was developing severe fissures by now.

For Black and people of colour, solid qualifications or “acting White” is not always enough.

If the Black candidate can convince the prospective employer that he won’t impose his non-European culture or anti-oppression politics in the workplace, he has the job. On the corollary, the Euro-Canadian candidate assures the Euro-Canadian employer sitting across the desk, that he is “safe”, able to assimilate into the organization’s homogenous White culture, and unlikely to file a complaint based on race.

As members of the same racial group, they identify, they speak the same language.

I’m often left benumbed whenever I read reports about minority discrimination in the labour market and workplace. I am left bewildered and alienated at Premier McGuinty and Mayor David Miller’s repeated call to business community to hire more “at risk” youth. What is the colour of the “at risk” youth that Mr. Miller is encouraging the predominately White private sector to hire?

I am similarly concerned about Black leaders and parents imploring our youth to “work hard”, in striving for “excellence”. How do they explain and reconcile the contradictions of such rhetoric, as Whiteness silently frustrates and undermines their children’s efforts?

Concerns about Black youth exclusion in the merit based “colour-blind” job market that claims not to “see” race when hiring remain unanswered because we insist on evading the critical ones.

Rather than discrimination as the subject, the debate should interrogate the hidden but tangible advantages of being socially White in a labour force that communicates to and privileges that dominant racial group.

All Euro-Canadians regardless of class background should ask what does it mean, not having one’s race or gender militating against one’s vocational and quality of life chances.

Only in soliciting these kinds of questions, can job-search trainers and employers develop critical anti-racist strategies with committed ameliorative actions for changing the Labour Congress’ “timely” discoveries and the White myths of meritocracy.

We must work in exposing and dismantling the pervasive systems of privilege.

Whiteness secretly guards its “entitlements”.

© Copyright 2010 by Joseph Worrell. Reproduced with permission on Restructure!.

40 Responses to “The Hidden Job Market – Whiteness Has Its Privileges”

  1. Flaw In The System Says:

    “employed thanks to parental intervention and nepotism.”
    “Black males, especially, experience the most trouble, unless already initiated from affluent middle class backgrounds”

    Whilst, undoubtedly, there is ingrained resistance to hiring of non-whites in western countries, isn’t a large part due to social priviledges? I’ll hire someone less qualified on paper than someone else, if I’ve worked with them before and know they can do the job, as CVs, even interviews are often misleading of someones skills.

    However due to were I grew up, studied and worked, even if all minority applicants were to be hired before whites, I’d still be working with a majority of whites, and as such, could vouch for more whites then minorities.

  2. Flaw In The System Says:

    “Whilst, undoubtedly, there is ingrained resistance to hiring of non-whites in western countries”

    Actually, this may not entirely be true for just western countries, some chinese firms we deal with will employ white people, qualified or not, to give the impression they are well connected with western companies. Its not common but does happen.

  3. modest-goddess Says:

    “employed thanks to parental intervention and nepotism.”
    I first noticed this in college. Middle class college students who had never worked before could get summer jobs making $10-18/ hour while I and my working class peers who had been working since 16 could only land jobs making $7/hour.

  4. joseph Says:

    I wish I now find the original 2006 Toronto Star article on which this rebuttal was based….But it becomes irrelevant now as there would still be these denials and disavowal of unequal outcomes in the Canadian Labour Market….

    Already I am seeing all the denials, denials, and more denials of White privilege that I wanted to interrogate, expose, show the ways in which they operate…..

    People take one single statement out of context from the whole article again to dismiss the Person of Colour’s lived experience and the existence of White privilege in
    seemingly transparent forms of networking, family nepotism, the potential and myriad flaws in the application and interview processes that were created by Whites.

    How many times have been heard the old saying, “it’s not what you know but who you know, that knowing someone on the inside can help you get in; read the studies that have shown that people of colour’s applications/resumes often get rejected on the basis on a “foreign” sounding name or a dubious area address like Jane & Finch, or because of some cultural volunteer work affiliation that the applicant unwittingly mentioned on the resume?

    How many times have heard, the expression from an employer, we want someone who is going to be a “good” fit into our organizational culture…what does that mean….? How is that determined, on what principles is it based…? This business is never unpacked….

    Again, few people, especially Whites seem aware or even question the reality that the job search / interview process FAVOURS and Supports White European perspectives, cultural behaviours, life experience, ways of saying and doing things, etc., etc…

    The job interview is a PERFORMANCE of White cultural behaviours, experiences and values to which minority groups have to conform…ever heard of the word “role modeling”…or about the Performance Based interview? The interview process was designed and determined with White people in mind and how they do things and behave…Interviews are predominately given by White bosses and personnel, who look for / seek out people who look like and behave like them, do not “threaten” or contradict them, make them feel comfortable/to whom they can identify…

    People are not always not always granted on merely skill and educational or work experience level….That stated, then how do we account for the high number of Whites who hold important jobs (sometimes in very high places) where their educational or experience background can sometimes be questionable / dubious….

    The labour market / job interview is a SYSTEM to which non-white peoples always must conform and assimilate to WHITENESS. While it all seems to “fair”, “natural”, “benign” and “nothing at all”—how then do we explain then the big DISCREPANCIES in SOCIAL OUTCOMES of unemployment and poverty….as in the many articles on this blog articulating the differences in job opportunity and income levels between White and non-White races?

    Do these silent and seemingly “invisible” practices of networking and a system that favours those identifying as “White”, not undermine, fly in the face of the whole process and principles of “merit” , “egalitarianism”, “employment equity” on which the job market loudly and often espouses…?

    And trotting out token examples to counter the argument doesn’t help either….then we must ask where the visible minority is located in organizational hierarchy, what position does he/she occupy…how meaningful is it? Often token minority faces are deployed for the express purpose of deflecting any interrogation of hiring / employment practices….One can easily point to the token sitting over there to say “we can’t be racist”, there is “no discrimination here”….you get the picture….

    Ultimately, Discrimination, inequality—-whatever, doesn’t have to be ACTIVE, CONSCIOUS or Premeditated for it to occur….The arguments herein are not about the RACISM—as most White folks like to conceive it—i.e.. we don’t want any Nxxxgers, Gxxxks or Spxxcks in our company. No white employer would dare say that to a Person of Colour’s face in these PC times…But they might find an alternative / covert way to demonstrate it…..

    The Labour Market is about SYSTEMS and UNCONSCIOUS SOCIAL PRACTICES/INTERACTIONS of PRIVILEGE that simultaneously mobilize COLOURBLINDNESS and Meritocracy rhetoric to mask, deflect the existence of SILENT ADVANTAGE, HIDDEN BENEFITS, PERSPECTIVES, ENTITLEMENTS that more often than not favour WHITE EUROPEAN CAUCASIAN PEOPLE….

  5. fred Says:

    Joseph Worrel writes, How many Black folks would be honest in admitting that our entry into the Canadian workforce, our climb to management heights was contingent, however tenuous, on some personal contact within a White network, on White guidance or fatherly “benevolence”?

    Everyone’s entry into the workforce is contingent upon some personal contact. But I find it ridiculous that you would actually criticize whites for helping you. You’re basing your complaint that whites are “privileged” on the fact that they AREN’T discriminating against you? wtf?

  6. Jayn Says:

    Geez, fred, do you even stop to think before you comment? He’s basing his complaint of white privilege on having to have help specifically from a white person. He shouldn’t have to be concerned with if we’re discriminating against him or not, because if whites weren’t really privileged, then he wouldn’t have to rely on our help in the first place.

  7. joseph Says:

    Thank you JAYN for your clarification/correction and rebuttal to Fred!

    Again, another blogger who has selected one line, taken it out of context, and twisted the point to disavow the existence of White advantage and DOMINANCE in the labour market.

    I am not “complaining” about the “help” of White folks…but specifically calling attention to an aspect of White privilege / networking. I mentioned this in also CHALLENGING people of colour to reflect critically on their entrée into the workforce as youth or newcomer immigrants, whatever; that the introduction to the work force or career advancement is often contingent on simply knowing someone White. This White individual may be a friend, neighbor, associate, but they hold the connections, the network contact with the persons of POWER doing the recruiting/hiring. Often White people can have the best of “good intentions” but rarely do they question or reflect on the POWER they hold.

    Interrogation of White privilege often frustrates White people because they frame it as a “Damned if I do, damned if I don’t” paradox. They also tend to “individualize” and “personal” the issue as an attack on their person. Nevertheless, we have to be accountable in recognizing the COLLECTIVE – GROUP nature of privilege. Even if a White person doesn’t want to take advantage of his or her privilege…it is conferred on them anyway whether they want it or not…. They can use their privilege for positive change or merely keeping the status quo and inequality in place.

    Perhaps the other blogger was irritated with my tone…that sometimes the “help” even with the “best of intentions” Whites can appear “paternalistic”— —that people of colour always NEED the assistance of Whites in navigating / negotiating their systems and institutions… And we often do, while sometimes resenting the power and control behind it! It’s just another aspect of privilege that few Whites want to see and acknowledge…The business having that clout /power to act and intervene, to voice and be heard…That’s all I’m saying….

    In addition, Whites can conscious or unconsciously determine which racial group or individual person they deem “worthy” of their help and intervention……Usually they admire and support the POC who is “not like the others”, who doesn’t “threaten” them, one who makes them feel comfortable because they are model minority. Certain Whites have the PRIVILEGE to CHOOSE the racial group for which they have an affinity. For instance, they may like East and South Asians because they are socially constructed as “compliant”, “hard working” minorities while Blacks and to a degree Latinos, are constructed as “angry”, “indolent”, “lazy”, “undesirable” people who need to be under scrutiny and surveillance. Whites have an attraction for POCs who “don’t rock the boat” and keep the status quo.

    Let’s also be truthful.

    On the flip-side, there are few Persons of Color managers with the POWER, responsibility for screening/recruiting, reviewing the resumes, and conducting the interviews. Even when they have some power in hiring (usually in the Public Sector / Community Social Services field), POC managers/recruiters then have to be extremely cautious in not demonstrating too much preference or bias for a member of their own group. They now have to put on a mask of COLOURBLIND impartiality as well as not to show bias and favourism even if there organization has few people of colour working there. Remember, their reputation and ass is on the line, and have to be ACCOUNTABLE if that person of colour employee doesn’t work out. They also don’t want charges of “reverse White discrimination”. What a paradox!

    Let us be clear. This essay came out of over 20 years of life experience and critical reflection. It is NOT about ACTIVE OR DELIBERATE RACISM / DISCRIMINATION but about the advantages, the “invisible” power White Euro-Canadians maintain in the labour market…

    Bloggers also need make some broader connections by interrogating other areas like immigration, interracial marriage and its motivations, legal matters…Other systems and institutions where Whites maintain POWER AND PRIVILEGE, as the policies were drafted, designed and constructed by Whites. Only people of Colour have to make sense of the inherent paradoxes and contradictions.

    That stated, we could make similar arguments and analogies of Privilege in the Criminal Justice System or Persons receiving SOCIAL ASSISTANCE where the same kinds of disparities and outcomes have been interrogated with statistical findings and conclusions. …i.e. Police and judges, and Welfare Workers often see White INNOCENCE. They regard Whites in the system, as “worthy” and “empathetic” persons least likely to re-offend or “cheat the system”. For instance, sociology research in Criminal Justice has found with much empirical evidence that White judges often pass down lighter sentences on White offenders, while in comparison, they may pass a harsher sentence on the POC who say committed the same or lesser offense. So we must ask ourselves why do Blacks and Aboriginal Canadians continue to have the higher and longer incarceration rates…? On what principles and values do White persons with power make their decisions?

    We need to start asking the QUESTIONS, making the links in intersecting areas, and starting moving away from the Colourblind denials and the “good intentions”, that everything is equal.

  8. fred Says:

    Jayn writes:

    Geez, fred, do you even stop to think before you comment?

    Personal.

    He’s basing his complaint of white privilege on having to have help specifically from a white person.

    Canard.

    He shouldn’t have to be concerned with if we’re discriminating against him or not, because if whites weren’t really privileged, then he wouldn’t have to rely on our help in the first place.

    Circular.

    ================

    Joseph writes:

    Again, another blogger who has selected one line, taken it out of context, and twisted the point to disavow the existence of White advantage and DOMINANCE in the labour market.

    I selected the line most representative of your thesis. It wasn’t taken out of context. Nor was it twisted to disavow anything. Simply put, you just didn’t prove your case.

    Your argument was apparently based on 1) unemployment disparity and 2) anecdotes. But disparity need not be caused by discrimination. For example, there is a disparity in the AIDs rate amongst different demographics. The HIV/AIDS rate among blacks is roughly 10 times that of the general population. Is that due to discrimination? I don’t see how. Or maybe you agree with the 50% of blacks that AIDS was “created by da gubmint to kill da bruthas”?

    I’m only half joking. Because you have no more evidence to support your privilege canard than farrakahn has to support his AIDs canard. And just what is the extent of that evidence??? Nothing more than a “disparity”.

    The moral of the story is that losers always blame others for their problems. And as the AIDs “conspiracy” demonstrates, some people even blame others for their own inability to keep their dick in their pants.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33695-2005Jan24.html

  9. Jayn Says:

    Actually, I think the moral of the story is that jerks don’t care about how systemic problems might be keeping others down, as long as they’re happy with where they are.

    Look, you’re not going to deny that people start off with different advantages and disadvantages, are you? I’m going to assume you’re not, because I don’t believe you to be an idiot. Can some people manage to succeed despite their situation? Yeah, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s fucking hard work. How the hell is it MY fault if it takes me twice as much effort to get half as far as someone else? And sometimes, hard work alone isn’t enough. For example, I suffered for years with undiagnosed depression, and this caused me academic problems. Hard work wasn’t enough to get me past that–in fact, the more stressed out I am, the quicker I burn out and shut down. Putting extra effort in was actually counterproductive to my goals. What I needed was outside resources–knowledge, understanding, help figuring out how to cope with my illness (medication helped too). Without that, it didn’t matter how hard I tried, because I just wound up unable to function in the end.

    And I’m saying this from a place of relative privilege. How much worse would it have been had I been concerned about earning money to pay for rent? Or if I hadn’t been able to pay for a doctor to get diagnosed in the first place? I was fortunate to be able to take it easy for a while while I worked my way back to a place where I can function normally.

    Sometimes, life just fucking sucks, and what’s the problem with complaining about real obstacles that actually exist to ones success? I’m working to deal with my depression, but pretending that it isn’t there, even though I’m back to myself, isn’t going to help anyone. Denial led to me flunking out of university due to massive burnout. It was only by acknowledging it that I was able to learn how to overcome the obstacle it presented to me.

    That is why social justice issues are important to me. Because there are systemic obstacles that exist for some people (most of us, really, to greater or lesser degrees), and it’s only by being willing to admit that they exist that we can learn to tear those obstacles down.

  10. fred Says:

    Moderator note: The comments of this post will be moderated. Highlight the below text to read it, but fred is just a troll.

    Jayn writes, “Look, you’re not going to deny that people start off with different advantages and disadvantages, are you?

    No.

    Can some people manage to succeed despite their situation? Yeah, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s fucking hard work.

    Yes. It is hard work. I mentioned that to you on another thread some time back.

    How the hell is it MY fault if it takes me twice as much effort to get half as far as someone else?

    Whose fault is it?

    And sometimes, hard work alone isn’t enough.

    That’s true.

    And I’m saying this from a place of relative privilege.

    Ok. I never said privilege didn’t exist. My objection is to racializing it and using it as a canard. That’s the stuff of fascists.

    Sometimes, life just fucking sucks, and what’s the problem with complaining about real obstacles that actually exist to ones success?

    The problem with complaining is that it makes things worse.

    That is why social justice issues are important to me. Because there are systemic obstacles that exist for some people

    I’ve been reading this blog for months and I’ve seen a lot of racebaiting from the Social Justice TM types but I’ve yet to see any of them demonstrate a “systemic obstacle”.

  11. Restructure! Says:

    The comments of this post will be moderated.

  12. coefficient Says:

    what’s circular about the argument, fred? the idea is that whiteness allows greater advancement in the job market due to a lot of structural factors (resume being ignored due to a black name, perceived aggression where none is intended, etc). the black dude in the OP couldn’t advance to a higher grade of job and opportunity until some white folks gave him a leg up. you’re saying that he ought to be grateful. other people are saying it ought not to be like that in the first place. there’s nothing circular about it.

    as for the black population having higher incidences of aids, there are plenty of contributing factors. lack of education, easily available needle-drugs and unsafe needles because of the urbanization of the population, toxic masculinity coupled with lack of sex education leading to clandestine gay encounters that aren’t carried out safely (which then allows the infection to be transmitted to the female partner if he doesn’t want to use a condom, and often the situation is such that she can’t really say no. it works the same in a lot of africa and india, which also have massive AIDS problems, and increasingly Russia too). a lot of these can be attributed to discrimination, and none of them require AIDS to have been developed in secret CIA weapons labs.

  13. fred Says:

    Jayn-

    Your last comment asked me 5 questions. I responded to all of them as honestly as I could. I’m sorry you didn’t get to read them. Apparently restructure didn’t approve of my answers because she deleted my comment and moderated this thread.

  14. fred Says:
    Moderator note: The comments of this post will be moderated. Highlight the below text to read it, but fred is just a troll.

    restructure: 2+2=5.
    fred: No. 2+2=4.
    restructure: fred is a troll.

    coefficient writes, “what’s circular about the argument, fred?”

    Circular reasoning is a formal logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises. Essentially, the argument assumes that its central point is already proven, and uses this in support of itself. You may agree with the position but that doesn’t make the argument sound.

    there’s nothing circular about it.

    The way Jayn phrased it was technically circular ie if whites weren’t really privileged, then he wouldn’t have to rely on our help in the first place. That’s a classic circular argument.

    In fact, blacks make up approximately 2.5% of the Canadian population. All things being equal, Joseph would recieve non-black help 97.5% of the time and Joseph would help a non-black 97.5% of the time. That Joseph would receive non black help doesn’t surprise me. What would surprise me is if Joseph reciprocated.

    The way ~YOU~ phrased it was not circular. You gave supporting “evidence” that was separate from the premise. Some of your evidence was valid and some of it was not. Regardless, your evidence doesn’t necessarily support your conclusion.

    For example, you mentioned a survey in which resumes with ghetto names recieved fewer responses. That is clearly discrimination. But is the discrimination reasonable or unreasonable? Maybe. Maybe not. I’d be happy to discuss why it may or may not be reasonable.

    as for the black population having higher incidences of aids, there are plenty of contributing factors. lack of education, easily available needle-drugs…

    Lack of education? Are you kidding? Who doesn’t know that IV drugs and unprotected anal sex have a high risk of transmission?

    a lot of these can be attributed to discrimination,

    Like I said, some people will blame others for their own inability to keep their dick in their pants.

    and none of them require AIDS to have been developed in secret CIA weapons labs.

    A lot of blacks believe otherwise. And if you disagree with them then you might be a racist!

  15. coefficient Says:

    the text in that post is small as heck.

    “In fact, blacks make up approximately 2.5% of the Canadian population. All things being equal, Joseph would recieve non-black help 97.5% of the time and Joseph would help a non-black 97.5% of the time. That Joseph would receive non black help doesn’t surprise me. What would surprise me is if Joseph reciprocated.”

    joseph’s article was published in the toronto star. pretty sure that black folks are something like 10% of the population here, but if you include other racialized/marginalized populations, who are suffering from similar effects (i’ve read similar stories coming from the south asian community, who are maybe 15% of the population, and way higher if you look at areas where they’re concentrated like brampton or scarborough, which have local service and manufacturing economies so they ought to be treated separately) the number goes wayyy up.

    “Lack of education? Are you kidding? Who doesn’t know that IV drugs and unprotected anal sex have a high risk of transmission?”

    people who didn’t receive proper sex education, which is dependent upon tons of factors like funding formulas, the way the curriculum is designed, the attitude of the teacher towards sex, the attitude of the teacher towards minorities, when the curriculum is delivered (it doesn’t help if it’s only covered in grade 11 when people can drop out in grade 10), whether or not the student is suspended when the lesson is given, etc, etc. there’s a whole bunch of ads down at wellesley station here in toronto aimed at telling people that yes, you can get aids even if he doesn’t ‘finish’ or even if you don’t do it often – and that’s a very upper middle-class area!

    “For example, you mentioned a survey in which resumes with ghetto names recieved fewer responses. That is clearly discrimination. But is the discrimination reasonable or unreasonable? Maybe. Maybe not. I’d be happy to discuss why it may or may not be reasonable.”

    uhhh what. they’re not ghetto names, they’re names racialized as black and have nothing to do with qualifications or performance, that is racist in the most literal and intentional sense, not the subconscious/unintentional sense

  16. joseph Says:

    In all of the debates and responses from the various bloggers, I feel we have become bogged-down and fixed on only the opening comments of Hidden Job Market, while ignoring many of the other complex issues about privilege, identity and the assimilation of non-White others into the Labour Market hierocracy and Canadian society.

    The article / rebuttal to The Toronto Star Article is not just about “Joseph” as a Black person or mere Black vs. White conflict. In coming from anti-racism / anti-oppression perspectives, I felt that I worked consciously to included and embrace the experiences other non-White groups in the debate, also pointing out the differences, the relativity, and confusions between non-White races and European ethnicity—less we start calling nationalities like Greeks, Italians or Poles a “different race’ in the 21st century.

    But believe it or not, Eastern and Southern Europeans (up to the mid-20th century) were once considered “off-White” peoples vis-à-vis Anglo-Saxons/WASPS.

    Likewise, there has been little mention and reflection on the writer’s experiences as an ESL instructor and Employment Counsellor/Trainer, out of which these so-called “anecdotes” and “canards” emerged.

    In all sincerity, Joseph wishes he had the “power and privilege” to “reciprocate” in always helping other Black and POCs…But the plain truth is he doesn’t.. At the same time, he couldn’t always even meet his own goals or garner much privilege for himself…. Working in my university cafeteria or bookstore was not intended to be my life’s work…

    Even while employed as a Counsellor-instructor, devoting my time and skills for racial equality and social change, I found there was very little I could do in combating, challenging and dismantling the realities of White privilege. For the longest time, I was unable to name and identify privilege and its power as I too, had been “programmed’ via my education and social coercion to see social experience and struggle through a colourblind lenses.

    I only recognized it more as it often slapped me the face.
    I had to take those lenses off.

    I have had to stop subscribing the “colourblindness” and the “myths of meritocracy” in Canada and start reading the critical anti-racist works—-bell hooks, George S. Dei, Frances Henry, Tim Wise, Richard Dyer, Ruth Frankenberg
    and a host of others who have written extensively on Whiteness and privilege and its intersecting oppressions of gender, class, sexuality, ability.

    I wish some of the bloggers that contribute to these many discussions (especially the ones identifying as White),would take that time read some of these authors…rather than relying on dismissive contradictory denials / false analogies such as “reverse White victimization” all mobilized to discount the social experiences of other races as “irrelevant”, and “blaming the victim” for their oppression with the use of language like “losers” and “complainers”.

    But as usual, it’s only people of colour who have the burden of making sense of race and privilege and all its power dynamics, paradoxes and contradictions….

    Ultimately, leads to alienation from Whites who do not want to read, see or hear anything….because if they did comprehend, then they would have to be accountable in doing something….

  17. fred Says:
    coefficient says, “the text in that post is small as heck.”

    That’s restructure’s way of censoring me while claiming she’s not really censoring me.

    joseph’s article was published in the toronto star. pretty sure that black folks are something like 10% of the population here, but if you include other racialized/marginalized populations, who are suffering from similar effects…

    Does using local figures rather than national figures change the principle or support your position? No.

    Considering around half the pop. of Toronto isn’t white and wasn’t even born in Canada the idea that all these different races and nationalities coalesced into a monoculture (multiculture?) of White Privilege TM is absurd.

    Even considering most of the whites in Toronto are probably leftist libtards who badmouthe whites themselves nothing is going to change. Whites are a minority in Brazil and you’ve got the same situation there. Chinese are a minority in malaysia, singapore, indonesia and you have the same situation there. Indians were a minority in Uganda until Idi Amin kicked them out and you had the same situation. And, of course, everyone knows about the problems Jews have had. The issue is jealousy, not discrimination.

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7727

    Restructure never breaks down white income disparity because she wants to play games. But if you did you’d see that Jews make about twice as much as other whites. You know why? Jews are smarter and work harder than other whites. Which is the same reason whites make more than blacks. The secret to success isn’t blaming others for your failures. It’s working hard and not doing stupid things.

    people who didn’t receive proper sex education…

    Dude, everyone got the memo.

    uhhh what. they’re not ghetto names

    Yeah they are.

    ==========================

    joseph

    Whether or not someone likes or even hates someone else has nothing to do with discrimination in a free market. I got tired of being discriminated against by affirmitive action. I thought I could do better on my own so I started my own company. AND I WAS RIGHT!

    If you think you’re being discriminated against then stop being a crybaby and put your money where your mouth is by starting your own business. In spite of all the excuses you’ve given for failure you’d have a lot easier time starting a business than I did. After all, the discrimination against me was required by law. Your excuses are based on what — people not liking you? Yeah, well people don’t have to like you for you to succeed. They just have to like MONEY.

    You’d be a lot better off if you quit reading “critical [Anti-Racist TM] works” by race hustlers and started reading articles from black economists like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.

  18. Restructure! Says:

    Comments have been re-opened for this post at Joseph Worrell’s request.

  19. Sam Says:

    It’s not difficult to copy/paste fred’s comments into a word document and enlarge the font to read it.

    Good points, fred. I’m sure you don’t need to be told that your being censored confirms that you’re a threat to these ninnies.

    “I wish some of the bloggers that contribute to these many discussions (especially the ones identifying as White),would take that time read some of these authors…rather than relying on dismissive contradictory denials / false analogies such as ‘reverse White victimization’ all mobilized to discount the social experiences of other races as ‘irrelevant’, and ‘blaming the victim’ for their oppression with the use of language like ‘losers’ and ‘complainers’.
    But as usual, it’s only people of colour who have the burden of making sense of race and privilege and all its power dynamics, paradoxes and contradictions…. ”

    Translation:”The only acceptable opinion here is one that slavishly agrees with everything the promoters of ‘whiteness’ are selling, including the notion that ‘people of color’ are gifted with god-like insight while white people, who somehow manage to be completely incompetent and yet in control of everything, lack awareness of any sort and don’t even understand themselves.”

    I wish some of the bloggers that contribute to these many discussions (especially the ones identifying as White Allies), would wake up and smell themselves being bamboozled.

    Re: Whites inventing AIDS to iradicate blacks…
    I thought we invented sickle cell anemia to iradicate blacks.
    Curses…foiled again! Being a white oppressor is so frustrating sometimes.

  20. AfroCan Says:

    Sam Commented: white people, who somehow manage to be completely incompetent and yet in control of everything, lack awareness of any sort and don’t even understand themselves.
    ……………

    A point of privilege in itself…incompetent yet in control of everything…lacking awareness and understanding because Whites don’t have to. Yet they are always the “experts” on matters/oppression that doesn’t effect or impede the quality of their lives…

  21. Sam Says:

    “A point of privilege in itself…incompetent yet in control of everything”

    Priviledge is a magical thing indeed if, as you propose, incompetents can create and maintain it. This makes as much sense as your argument that two unrelated, crazy statements by animal rights activists cobbled together proves that all white people consider people of color to be subhuman.

    “lacking awareness and understanding because Whites don’t have to.”

    Well it seems we do have to jump through an endless and ever-changing series of hoops in pursuit of not being evil racist blue-eyed devils. I remember when “black” and the N-word were lumped together as BAD and the acceptable term was “negro”. Then “negro” became anathema and the only proper term was “black”. Now that seems to have given way to African-American. Similarly, American Indians became Native Americans and have since become Indigenous Peoples, but that can also refer to almost anybody EXCEPT white people who don’t really exist except as the universally horrible boogie-man who oppresses EVERYBODY.
    I also recall when what you guys WANTED was for whites to be “color-blind” and to “not see race”, so whites worked at that assignment until they thought they had it accomplished. Of course, NOW, color-blindness is an evil white trick intended to disallow the grievances of people of color. Here I get a little unsure about the progression, but I THINK that the next thing was the “white ally” scam wherein whites are supposed to “take responsibility” for their absolute intrinsic racist evilness and “priviledge”, then humbly dedicate their lives to dismantling said priviledge by rooting out and opposing anything that might be difficult or uncomfortable for “oppressed” people everywhere. But, if I read the blogs aright, “white allies” are now falling out of favor because they are both clueless nincompoops AND a nasty, evil white ploy to make white people feel good about themselves, and everybody knows that white people being “OK” will never, ever do.
    So perhaps you’re right that we don’t “have to” have awareness or understanding. It’s actually kind of liberating for us to know that nothing we do will make any difference with you folks anyway.

  22. Restructure! Says:

    I also recall when what you guys WANTED was for whites to be “color-blind” and to “not see race”, so whites worked at that assignment until they thought they had it accomplished. Of course, NOW, color-blindness is an evil white trick intended to disallow the grievances of people of color.

    No, people of colour never wanted that. Not even MLK. That is a white people idea.

  23. AfroCan Says:

    SAM WROTE:

    I also recall when what you guys WANTED was for whites to be “color-blind” and to “not see race”, so whites worked at that assignment until they thought they had it accomplished. Of course, NOW, color-blindness is an evil white trick intended to disallow the grievances of people of color.

    ………

    Yes, this is the point in a nutshell!

    Colorblindness…Perhaps one of the most misunderstood, subverted and perverted of Dr. Martin Luther King’s quotes. This is crucial part that has been appropriated by Whites and so twisted out of context. Just like “Separate but Equal” was a rhetorical travesty.

    If you are sincere, I strongly urge to seek out the whole speech— and perhaps a couple of books on the subject and read them. There are more titles but these are two of the best.

    I will even GUIDE you. Search Amazon.ca. for :

    Colourblind: The rise of post-racial politics and the retreat from racial equity. by Tim Wise

    AND

    Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America. by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva.

    Both books were written by ethnic White guys…although Blacks writers like James Baldwin were onto the problems long before them.

    The great contradiction with colorblind ideology is that Whites are the ones that “flipped” it, as such rhetoric and policy allows them to DISCOUNT the unequal power relationships and value judgments that still exist behind of skin color difference; Whites they claim do not see themselves as “racially” constructed, they remain “invisible”, unnamed and unidentified by racial labeling. It allows them to walk in and out of identity politics/racial boundaries when they choose…But Whites still make ethnic (Anglo-Saxon – Romany), religious (Judaism/Catholic) and national and linguistic distinctions when they want.

    But this has never been the case for POCs—who cannot easily assimilate and slip in and out of identity. We are always “marked” by skin-color, culture and the VALUES
    still ascribed to race. WHITE = GOOD, INNOCENT, NORMAL.
    Any other social group–is suspect and has to PROVE its worthiness and “content of character’.

    You so are right it is messed-up now. Since the colorblind ideology has not worked in the USA as a policy that produces equitable outcomes, anti-racist theorists/ educators have discovered and proposed is best to become “race-conscience”, critically aware in acknowledging both the historical and political meanings of race rather than obscuring / denying their existence BECAUSE Whites will ACT on them anyway. They mobilize newly coded language and rhetoric—words such as “universal”, “mainstream” and “normal”—designed to specifically IDENTIFY and target White subjectivity only. White people still see RACIAL and cultural DIFFERENCE in separating “them” from “us”.

    The same rhetorical and policy conflict of colorblindness exists in Britain, parts of Europe and Brazil, a country that had a history of slavery and Black exclusion more violent than the US.

    Even Obama, one of the great exponents of Colorblind ideology (a product of post Civil-Rights Era educational system) has tripped up badly in mobilizing its contradictory language and meanings. Even when Obama drafts social policy such as “Universal Health Care” in an appeal to liberal Whites, he is still attacked for “serving” Black interests.

    The irony now is that Whites like Glenn Beck and his crew would rather GO AGAINST their own social interests than to see Blacks potentially helped/ uplifted with such funding programs even though such initiatives would also help poor/working class Whites as well. You see Blacks are still perceived as “undeserving”, “unworthy” of the government intervention. And where do these feelings come from…?

    These are the contradictory and even tragic consequences of the mobilizing colorblindness as a policy.

    Claiming Colourblindness is even paradoxical for Blacks who assert Black History, culture and identity politics, as it DISALLOWS those experiences, perspectives and grievances, as you so rightly stated it.

    I implore you, please seek out a BOOK on the subject.

    Colorblindness was only Dr. King’s “ideal” for the world and racial healing at the moment….I am sure he is rolling in his grave for having written it and of course he couldn’t follow it up….But the question remains, have we indeed reached that ideal when the policymakers who are STILL predominately White work to undermine and destabilize the implementation of these goals?

    I am afraid that one day you will have to reconcile yourself to the reality that not all Whites are good, have the “best of intentions” or that even the “good intentions” can fall flat because someone has not read their history.

    But I actually applaud Sam here…He has made a small anti-racist breakthrough in raising questions! But you need to do some more work. Dig deeper. Read a book or two on the Colorblindness and its kissing cousin WHITENESS.

  24. AfroCan Says:

    SAM WROTE:

    So perhaps you’re right that we don’t “have to” have awareness or understanding. It’s actually kind of liberating for us to know that nothing we do will make any difference with you folks anyway.

    ………..

    I actually believe there is some hope for you…because even as you wrote this cryptic comment, you displayed your despair, frustration and hopeless over the situation.

    I feel your conscience has been tweaked.

    But rather than feeling guilty or despairing over a complex situation that you personally did not create…..if you truly desire that genuine “liberation” that you seek as a White person—read!

    It is not about “blaming” Whites and making them feeling “guilty” but making them part of the process and accountable for change because they still hold the power for change.

  25. AfroCan Says:

    Sam:

    Another excellent and accessible book for you to work through
    discussions of race, privilege and social inequality.

    Privilege, Power, and Difference
    by Allan Johnson

    Good luck in finding an authentic liberation.

  26. Sam Says:

    “‘So perhaps you’re right that we don’t “have to” have awareness or understanding. It’s actually kind of liberating for us to know that nothing we do will make any difference with you folks anyway’

    I actually believe there is some hope for you…because even as you wrote this cryptic comment, you displayed your despair, frustration and hopeless over the situation.

    I feel your conscience has been tweaked. ”

    No, dear, my point was that whatever whites do to accomodate you, whatever barriers we remove, whatever advantages we concede to you it will never be enough for you. It is clear that your end goal is for whites as a group to effectively commit suicide so that you can take over. “Equality” and “justice” have nothing to do with it.
    Apparently you thought you were reeling in yet another moronic “white ally”, AfroCan. Not so, but I enjoyed your exposition.

    Bored now. Ta.

  27. AfroCan Says:

    FRED SAID….my point was that whatever whites do to accomodate you, whatever barriers we remove, whatever advantages we concede to you it will never be enough for you.

    In effect, I see that you just angry because POCs are not accepting your PATERNALISM as substitutes for “equality” and “justice”.

    Ta

  28. AfroCan Says:

    The Oxford dictionary defines “paternalism” as “the policy of governing that limits freedom and responsibility by well-meant regulations”, or behaving in a condescending manner to one’s subordinates or perceived “inferiors”.

    When I originally wrote “Hidden Job Market”, paternalism and the “good intentions” of “liberal Whites” was a central theme I tried to call-out, in speaking to Whites like yourself who often see themselves as being “sincere” and so “good” to the unfortunate “mud people”.

    An important tenet White privilege, paternalism assumes that POCs need to be “grateful” for the crumbs and sops to social justice and equality that people like yourself throw us in exonerating themselves from accountability.

    Perhaps the most insidious paradox of paternalism, as a co-opting policy, is that it falsely represents and masks itself as caring, benevolent and liberally concerned with the oppressed groups’ needs and concerns.

    Paternalism wears a duplicitous mask because it feigns “empathy” for the social issues, yet trivializes and discounts the subordinated groups’ lived social experiences with institutional oppression. At the centre of “White benevolence” fantasies, lays a lack of critical awareness—-a tunnel vision in perception, an aversion to listening, a false assumption of “knowing” the marginalized group better than they know themselves, that results in a contempt and ridicule for the dominated group’s challenges and efforts in “making it” and changing their condition.

    Paternalism has been the Euro-Canada’s strategy in maintaining dominant-subordinate relationships—keeping subjugated racial groups dependent and powerless.

    Nowhere, is Canada’s paternalism obviously demonstrated than in the control implemented over territory ownership and political affairs towards its indigenous Native peoples in providing another example. In the eyes of the dominant Europeans, “self-determination” and government are never an option for the colonized peoples or their land.

    The paternalism you have displayed in your comments is yet another strategy in obscuring and discounting the workings and mechanisms of White-skin privilege.

  29. fred Says:

    Afrocant-

    You incorrectly attributed Sam’s comment to me. But I don’t mind because it sounds like he’s got you figured out.

  30. AfroCan Says:

    I recognized that error.

    Nonetheless, again you underscore my very point about White paternalism—the idea that you’ve got me and other POCs “figured” out….

  31. fred Says:

    Slow down Rochester. First, I attended a majority black school in a majority black city so I do indeed have a very good handle on black mentality. And, second, it’s hypocritical of you to dismiss my observations as “parternalism” after all the armchair psychoanalysis you and the other cultists on this blog engage in.

  32. Sam Says:

    “In effect, I see that you just angry because POCs are not accepting your PATERNALISM as substitutes for “equality” and ‘justice’. ”

    The folly of that argument, AfroCan, is that it assumes that I want to be your daddy. I have absolutely no interest in that, so “you just angry” is both ungrammatical and nonsensical.
    I say again, it is clear that the real objective of all your pseudeointellectual tail-chasing is to talk “whitey” into jumping off a cliff, with a side agenda of creating an image of “whitey” as “defective” in as many ways as you can fantasize.
    And fred is right. You can cry “paternalism”, racism”, or any other “ism” you like. You can quote your army of PhD’s in racial navel-gazing, (why didn’t they get an education in something useful?), and you can call me a blue-eyed devil.
    Your true motives are obvious and you are simply not credible.

  33. AfroCan Says:

    An Open Letter to Paternalistic White Daddy,

    I cannot engage you any longer…

    And NO, I don’t want to sit upon your knee…I and other POCs have been molested and even “raped” by your hate and twisted sense of homoerotic humour long enough.

    We can SEE you….

  34. fred Says:

    Does that mean afrocant now opposes “white daddy’s” affirmative action programs? Naah, he just wants the goodies without the lectures. He should change his name to Peter Panhandler because he’ll never grow up and pay his own way. He’ll always demand special treatment and then invent excuses for why it’s “owed” to him.

  35. Restructure! Says:

    Stop saying “afrocant”. That’s ad hominem, and now a banned word.

  36. fred Says:

    You’re just mad that I called you for having a potty mouth.

  37. fred Says:

    Nicks aren’t ad hominem. You don’t even if know what ad hominem means. If you did then you would ban half your own comments and all of afro’s.

  38. Sam Says:

    Oh, an answer.

    “I cannot engage you any longer…”

    Exactly what I said to you. At least we can agree on THAT.

    “And NO, I don’t want to sit upon your knee…”

    GOOD. As I said above, I don’t want you there. If you want to find paternalism, go to the liberals and the socialists. It is they who want to “take care” of you.

    “I and other POCs have been molested and even “raped” by your hate and twisted sense of homoerotic humour long enough.”

    “Rape”? “Homoerotic humor”?
    You’ve really gone off the deep end there, AfroCan.
    You must be a man. Only a guy would take a social/political discussion and make it about sex.

    “We can SEE you….”

    I can see THROUGH you.

  39. AfroCan Says:

    In The Ethics of Comment Moderation
    October 18, 2010

    Fred Wrote:

    Still, I acknowledge restructure has, for the most part, tolerated dissenting viewpoints. I give credit for that. My recommendation for moderation is that most comments be allowed with the exception of certain behaviors which show a lack of good faith such as profanity, ad hominems / identity epithets, double standards and circular logic.

    ……

    Well….?

  40. fred Says:

    Well?

    Well what? If you’ve a point to make then make it.


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