White people dislike Asian people attending Canadian universities.

Maclean’s thinks that top Canadian universities are “too Asian”. I didn’t even know how to begin to address the many ways the article fails, but wildunicornherd sums it up pretty well:

The best universities are “too Asian”? How about you’re too racist.

I just love this bit:

To quell the influx of Jewish students, Ivy League schools abandoned their meritocratic admissions processes in favour of one that focused on the details of an applicant’s private life—questions about race, religion, even about the maiden name of an applicant’s mother. Schools also began looking at such intangibles as character, personality and leadership potential. Canadian universities, apart from highly competitive professional programs and faculties, don’t quiz applicants the same way, and rely entirely on transcripts. Likely that is a good thing. And yet, that meritocratic process results, especially in Canada’s elite university programs, in a concentration of Asian students.

Emphasis mine. Like, “we” realized that racism is wrong so we abandoned the policies that kept out the Jews…which meant we were forced to let in the Asians! God damn you, political correctness! Because we have nothing to fear from a lot of Jews (who are all white Europeans, of course), but a majority of Asians (who may not even be born in Canada! who may *clutches pearls* speak Mandarin!) is a problem that needs to be fixed.

I also love how Asian students associating mainly with other Asian students is a HUGE PROBLEM HOW CAN WE STOP THIS but White students who go to Western because there’s too many icky Chinese at U of T is understandable, y’know?

And by “love” I mean SMASH WITH RAGE.

More coherent commentary from Angry Asian Man.

The article also continually creates a false dichotomy between East Asian students and Canadian-born students (i.e., the Perpetual Foreigner stereotype), as if all East Asians are immigrants, and all Canadian-born Canadians are white:

Sweet’s latest study, “Post-high school pathways of immigrant youth,” released last month, found that more than 70 per cent of students in the Toronto District School Board who immigrated from East Asia went on to university, compared to 52 per cent of Europeans, the next highest group, and 12 per cent of Caribbean, the lowest. This is in contrast to English-speaking Toronto students born in Canada—of which just 42 per cent confirmed admission to university.

Hey, I’m an English-speaking Toronto student born in Canada! Shouldn’t I be applauded for being of the 42 per cent minority of my group—English-speaking Toronto students born in Canada—who attended university? Oh snap, I’m Asian instead of white, so I’m the wrong kind, the kind they don’t want attending university.

Seriously, if you think that my race makes me not fully Canadian, or if you think my race means that I must have the same personality as others who happen to share my race, or if you think that white Canadians are more deserving of Canadian privileges than other Canadians, then you are racist.

Update 2010/11/12: Maysie addresses more reasons why the Maclean’s article fails.

42 Responses to “White people dislike Asian people attending Canadian universities.”

  1. AfroCan Says:

    Great post Restructure…

    I would like to seek out the MacLean’s article for myself.

    But get ready for another big whiff of eugenics/IQ White Supremacist flatulence from your Trolls!

  2. fred Says:

    This is an example of the kind of discrimination that AntiRacists TM should be concerned with — the over representation of ASIAN students at elite universities. Clearly, this is a case of yellow privilege. No wonder People of (nonyellow) Color can’t get ahead.

    muahahahahahahahahahaha

    ========

    But seriously. You’re the one whose been arguing that whites should be discriminated against in order to make room for under represented groups. You thought affirmative action was great as long as it was whitey getting screwed. Now that it looks like asians might be getting screwed, too, you don’t like it. Well, what did you think was going to happen?

  3. Restructure! Says:

    You’re the one whose been arguing that whites should be discriminated against in order to make room for under represented groups. You thought affirmative action was great as long as it was whitey getting screwed.

    This is so ridiculous and typical of what a racist white person thinks of affirmative action. My views on Affirmative Action are pretty consistent for the past few years, but you just think that because I’m an anti-racist I just want to discriminate against whitey.

    I think Affirmative Action–it’s called something else in Canada–should be used where there is subjective evaluation in the admissions/recruitment process, to counter implicit bias. Top Canadian universities tend to admit based on high school transcripts, which is quantitative. I think this is the most fair, better than in U.S. schools where they require details of the applicant’s personal life, which makes the process vulnerable to implicit bias. If it’s purely numerical, they can’t use race, and they shouldn’t. If it involves subjective evaluation where racial markers come into play, they need to pay attention to race to counter implicit bias.

  4. Canadian White Person: “He might be a Canadian citizen but he’ll never be a real Canadian.” « Restructure! Says:

    […] White people dislike Asian people attending Canadian universities. […]

  5. 31 years later, White Canadians are still racist and learned nothing from 1979. « Restructure! Says:

    […] White people dislike Asian people attending Canadian universities. […]

  6. fred Says:

    This is so ridiculous and typical of what a racist white person thinks of affirmative action.

    And that is so ridiculous and typical of what a racist chinese person thinks. See, anyone can play the ad hominem game. *shrugs*

    But let’s get past the ad hominems and look at your actual response.

    I think Affirmative Action–it’s called something else in Canada–should be used where there is subjective evaluation in the admissions/recruitment process, to counter implicit bias.

    That sounds nice. Who wouldn’t be in favor of “countering implicit bias” where there is “subjective evaluation”? But hang on– if the evaluation is subjective how do you know there actually is “implicit bias”? Whose to say? Why those promoting affirmative action, of course! How convenient.

    Top Canadian universities tend to admit based on high school transcripts, which is quantitative. I think this is the most fair, better than in U.S. schools where they require details of the applicant’s personal life, which makes the process vulnerable to implicit bias. If it’s purely numerical, they can’t use race, and they shouldn’t.

    I agree that quantitative admission is more fair than personal details. But regardless of how “quantitative” Canadian admissions criteria are, if there is affirmative action then there will be discrimination against more qualified candidates. Because AA relies on proportions rather than merit. And my spider sense tells me that there is quite a bit of affirmative action in Canada. Even if it is given alternative names such as “employment equity”, etc. it still stinks just the same.

    If it involves subjective evaluation where racial markers come into play, they need to pay attention to race to counter implicit bias.

    And there you go again. On the one hand, you tout “fairness” and “quantitative” admissons. While on the other hand you depend on “subjective evaluation” to determine “implicit bias”.

    No wonder you support discrimination against whites but get pissed off about discrimination against asians. It’s because you’re depending on “subjective evaluation” to determine “implicit bias”. In other words, you’re depending on your own self interests and prejudices.

  7. Restructure! Says:

    fred,

    Masking the gender and race of job applicants increases diversity in hiring.

    You should also check out the Related Links section at the end of that post.

  8. Restructure! Says:

    fred,

    There is Employment Equity for government jobs, but since the job application processes involves interviews–which involve subjective evaluation–then it is appropriate. There is no “Employment Equity” for Canadian university admissions as far as I know, as they rely on transcripts. My alma mater admitted based on high school transcripts (i.e., your grades) only, because that’s what you had to submit for the application process.

  9. fred Says:

    I messed up the formatting so I’m reposting for clarity. Please delete the 6:56pm comment.

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

    restructure-

    Regarding the link to your previous article. I have no objection to redacting demographic information from resumes. Government agencies should do that. And if a private company wants to do that then that’s fine by me. But there is a big difference between opposing discrimination and what I’ve heard advocated by those barking about “white privilege”.

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/07/22/affirmative-action-review.html

    There is Employment Equity for government jobs, but since the job application processes involves interviews–which involve subjective evaluation–then it is appropriate.

    I don’t think it is appropriate. One shouldn’t assume discrimination has taken place unless one can show that discrimination has taken place. Otherwise one ends up with a quota system like what I just linked to above.

    There is no “Employment Equity” for Canadian university admissions as far as I know, as they rely on transcripts.

    I’m no expert on the Canadian admissions process but it’s a sure bet that if there is de facto affirmative action to create a gender balance in medical schools its not a stretch to think it’s being used to balance out other numerical disparities as well. For the record, I strongly oppose publicly funded AA regardless of who benefits.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/failing-boys/part-5-is-affirmative-action-for-men-the-answer-to-enrolment-woes/article1766432/page2/

  10. fred Says:

    I screwed up the formatting again. I have a lot of distractions at the moment. Oh well.

  11. Restructure! Says:

    fred,

    I’m one of those people barking about white privilege, but I do not agree that someone should be barred from applying to a government job because they’re white.

    I’m no expert on the Canadian admissions process but it’s a sure bet that if there is de facto affirmative action to create a gender balance in medical schools its not a stretch to think it’s being used to balance out other numerical disparities as well.

    Applying to post-graduate studies is different from applying to undergraduate studies. Professional programs such as medicine and law do have some kind of affirmative action that is listed publicly. I know someone who applied to med school, and they mentioned that race was taken into account, which was different from our undergrad application system.

  12. fred Says:

    I’ll take your word for it. But I think they should both be based on merit. And you should appreciate that I’m morally consistent. Because if AA comes to Can the way it came to the US then Chinese will be hardest hit. Maclean’s is just giving you a preview of what the policies you’re promoting will mean.

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



  13. Restructure! Says:

    fred,

    Anyway, given that you understand the need to redact demographic information from resumes, do you agree that white people have white privilege? After all, employers are unconsciously discriminating against names with racial markers.

  14. AfroCan Says:

    fred Says:
    November 13, 2010 at 12:27 am

    …But I think they should both be based on merit.
    ………

    Once again, a White person has mobilized the discourse and myth of meritocracy…?

    How can meritocracy be gaged / monitored if all the mangers/personnel doing the hiring are predominately White…

    Beyond the qualifications of education, skills and experience, employers or admissions to post-secondary institutions, search for other non-professional criteria (“soft skills”) in the applicant’s background in making their choices for an interview or granting the job. Recruiters look consciously and unconsciously at the applicant’s volunteer work, social and cultural affiliations, etc…

    Is that not an exercise in “subjectivity” for potential bias in itself…

    So, if the predominately White manager say doesn’t “like” or “agree” with an applicant’s religious, cultural or political affiliations or community work, how do we know that won’t be used to “disqualify” the qualified POC applicant?

    We are dealing with human beings who all bring “cultural baggage and experiences” with them to the table, they are nameless/faceless commodities to be traded.

    Why is it White folks are always coming from the hidden assumption that the person of colour is not qualified but the White applicant somehow is qualified/entitled for everything he applies….?

    While “colourblind meritocracy” is a nice ideal—there truly is no way to constantly monitor and determine that no bias or discrimination will occur…that’s why some sort of legislation or active policy was developed / implemented.

    It is unfortunate that it appears so arbitrary.

    Also, why do Whites always seem to construct the Affirmation Action – Employment Equity principles of leveling the status quo / the “business as usual” practices of admission/hiring as an issue of “quotas”….?

    Quotas aren’t an ideal either—how does say having two or three POCs in comparison to say 10 – 20 White European people intervene or “balance” out the universe…?

  15. fred Says:

    restructure-

    Your comment’s implied assumption is that the person doing the hiring is 1)white and 2) has a preference for whites. I don’t make that assumption. For all I know, the person screening the app’s could very well be a fan of Lil Timmy in which case I don’t think a white applicant would get a fair shot at all. I also think people could be influenced by any number of irrelevant factors which may or may not have anything to do with race. Indeed, I think many of those factors may very well work against whites. Or even canadians for that matter. But, really, most people are just too greedy to care about irrelevant factors. Does it look like these guys give a squat about anything other than a buck?

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

    afro writes, how do we know that won’t be used to “disqualify” the qualified POC applicant?

    How do we know that won’t be used to “disqualify” the qualified white applicant? We don’t. But most people have different prejudices for different reasons. And just as one manager may have a prejudice against “X” another manager may have a prejudice for “X”. Fortunately, market forced tend to limit prejudice.

    Why is it White folks are always coming from the hidden assumption that the person of colour is not qualified but the White applicant somehow is qualified/entitled for everything he applies….?

    There you go with that “person of color” bs again. It’s not the assumption that the white person is qualified of the “person of color” is not qualified. It’s that those benefitting from AA tend to be less qualified. And that assumption is statistically correct.

    While “colourblind meritocracy” is a nice ideal—

    Yes. It is.

    there truly is no way to constantly monitor and determine that no bias or discrimination will occur…that’s why some sort of legislation or active policy was developed / implemented.

    The first part is correct but the second part is incorrect. Still, the point is moot because in the absence of regulations market forces will necessarily limit discrimination.

    Also, why do Whites always seem to construct the Affirmation Action – Employment Equity principles of leveling the status quo / the “business as usual” practices of admission/hiring as an issue of “quotas”….?

    Because they are.

    Quotas aren’t an ideal either—how does say having two or three POCs in comparison to say 10 – 20 White European people intervene or “balance” out the universe…?

    How does having two or three unqualified people “balance out the universe…?

  16. Restructure! Says:

    fred,

    Your comment’s implied assumption is that the person doing the hiring is 1)white and 2) has a preference for whites.

    The person doing the hiring doesn’t have to be white. North Americans in general have a preference for white people.

    https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/takeatest.html
    http://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/background/faqs.html#faq19

  17. fred Says:

    restructure-

    That “implicit” test doesn’t mean what you imply. It measures a conflict between two different parts of the brain which process information at two different speeds. The “incorrect” answers being used to “show” implicit bias are based on information that may be statistically and/or experientially correct for the person taking the test. The test only appears to show a bias because the part of the brain required to process the “correct” answers works slower.

    Moreover, an hr manager isn’t sitting there with their fingers on two keys trying to screen apps as quickly as possible. Therefore, the conflict seen in the “implicit bias” test isn’t relevant.

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

    Many of your postings regarding “science” remind me of something you wrote over a year ago. I’ll be kind and leave it at that.

    https://restructure.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/scientific-findings-are-not-public-service-announcements/

  18. Flaw In The System Says:

    “How can meritocracy be gaged / monitored if all the mangers/personnel doing the hiring are predominately White…”

    I think you just othered all White people who aren’t racists or even allies.

  19. AfroCan Says:

    Flaw In The System Says:
    November 15, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I think you just othered all White people who aren’t racists or even allies.

    _______

    Not othered….But rather I called the invisible privilege of White people into focus / under scrutiny….even those Whites who don’t consider themselves “racists” or “allies”.

    And notice I deliberately used the word “predominately”, to acknowledge that in some fields (usually the social services / public sector) there have been strides/gains in bringing POC individuals onto hiring committee, etc. Whether they have the final word on the applicant is open to question.

    Once again, one or two POC recruiting personnel / managers doesn’t begin to intervene on the overwhelming presence of Euro-Canadian White people in charge the private and public sectors and Admissions within educational institutions.

  20. fred Says:

    Notice that with afro it’s never about any real discrimination. For him it’s about getting enough cohorts in position to throw merit under the bus and replace it with quotas.

  21. AfroCan Says:

    Restructure,

    This has been a most lively and truly educational experience for me. I have learned so much more about privilege and racism from these blogger discussions.

    I wish one day this info could be used for a larger purpose—that is, if Michael Eriksson doesn’t steal it all first! Better Copyright it.

    In analyzing the rhetorical responses from “White people dislike Asian people attending Canadian universities”, “Hidden Job Market” and a few others I have come to the following conclusions about Affirmative Action / Equity in Canada. None of it is probably new…

    Here it goes:

    1. The only individuals who are “qualified” or entitled for post-secondary education admissions and/or employment are White (presumably straight) able-bodied males…Any challenges to this assumption is constructed as “reverse victimization”.

    2. There is a vague admission that discrimination exists. But that isn’t institutional or systemic and that is only “isolated” in nature.

    3. There is an assumption, usually coming from a position of privilege that Admissions Officers / Employment recruiters are “colourblind” and “neutral” in making decisions of oppressed POCs and/or Women, disabled people.

    4. There is an assumption that “Equal opportunity”, a level-playing-field already exists, so legislation, government state policy becomes an imposition on the “individual’s rights” and the “free market”. Everybody has a shot at success in his/her chosen field. There are NO systemic barriers…

    5. There is the theory that the “individual” comes first in a true democracy. “Group rights” are seen as “special interests” and even “Communistic” or “totalitarian” because they dismantle notions of democracy and “take away” gains from entitled people (usually Whites).

    6. Equity / democracy will happen by osmosis and “good will”. “Merit” / equal outcomes will prevail simply by treating everyone the “same”—whatever that means? In what political context and social circumstances?

    7. Any legislation or progressive initiatives meant to lessen or dismantle built-in privilege, re-distribute resources, or create social opportunity for anyone other than those identified as White, is a “threat” to these democratic ideals.

    In conclusion, since Anti-racists don’t agree with many of the above ideas, wouldn’t that make us “subversive Commies” and Orwellian group thinkers who want to dismantle Democracy as those in already power wish to conceptualize and sustain it…?

    Where did I put my multicultural bag of tricks?

    What do you think Restructure—-or are have you been re-programmed to think otherwise…? I hope not.

    Keep up the good work!

  22. Sheelzebub Says:

    LET ME TELL YOU INTERNETS! IT’S HARD TO BE WHITE!!11!

    Lordy.

    This post rocked, BTW.

  23. LeBlair Says:

    On behalf of all the White people reading this who aren’t racist trolls, sorry about fred.

  24. fred Says:

    Why do AntiRacists TM always resort to blind assertions and namecalling rather than support their arguments?

  25. AfroCan Says:

    fred Says:
    November 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Why do AntiRacists TM always resort to blind assertions and namecalling rather than support their arguments?

    ……..

    Why is it that White trolls don’t want to read North American history or critical works on White privilege – Anti-Racist Thought…?

    But you know, I’m actually growing very fond of you and sweet White Daddy Sam—you’re the “Archie Bunker” in-laws/ family I never had…

  26. fred Says:

    Archie Bunker? That’s a little before my time gramps. LOL!

  27. Cel Says:

    As an Asian attending UBC.

    What people don’t understand is that neither the authors nor Maclean’s are promoting the racist position that we need less Asians at university. As an Asian attending the University of British Columbia, I do not support that position.

    The article points out the FACT that there are people who believe that some universities are “Too Asian” and thus avoiding them.

    That is a worthy story that needs to be told.

    It also points out the FACT that US schools discriminate against Asians – which I obviously feel is wrong.

  28. Cel Says:

    Also, Affirmative Action, by definition, is racist. Anything that discriminates by race is racist.

    But racism in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s the consequences of racism that are either good or bad. Scholarships for Aboriginal people only is racist. Favouring certain races for certain jobs is racist (I.e. Aboriginal people for positions in Department of Indian Affairs).

    The consequences of Affirmative Action (hiring less qualified people) are bad, thus AA is bad.

  29. fred Says:

    Cel writes, What people don’t understand is that neither the authors nor Maclean’s…

    You’re right. I read the original article before I posted my first comment. But it gave me a great opportunity to parody restructure so I went with it. :)

    It also points out the FACT that US schools discriminate against Asians – which I obviously feel is wrong.

    I agree. I’ve made the point on previous threads that asians and whites both get screwed by AA. The following excerpts are from a review of a new book by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade and his colleague Alexandria Radford.

    http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2010/07/how_diversity_punishes_asians.html

    The box students checked off on the racial question on their application was thus shown to have an extraordinary effect on a student’s chances of gaining admission to the highly competitive private schools in the NSCE database. To have the same chances of gaining admission as a black student with an SAT score of 1100, an Hispanic student otherwise equally matched in background characteristics would have to have a 1230, a white student a 1410, and an Asian student a 1550.

    When lower-class whites are matched with lower-class blacks and other non-whites the degree of the non-white advantage becomes astronomical: lower-class Asian applicants are seven times as likely to be accepted to the competitive private institutions as similarly qualified whites, lower-class Hispanic applicants eight times as likely, and lower-class blacks ten times as likely. These are enormous differences and reflect the fact that lower-class whites were rarely accepted to the private institutions Espenshade and Radford surveyed.

    To summarize, on average asians get screwed the most. But poor whites get screwed the hardest. I don’t think anyone should get screwed. But that’s what AA is all about — punishing more qualified people for the sake of lesser qualified people. So of course lesser qualified people are going to try to justify AA. And the way they do that is by accusing others of discrimination.

  30. AfroCan Says:

    Cel Says:
    November 16, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Also, Affirmative Action, by definition, is racist. Anything that discriminates by race is racist.

    ……..

    Oh, Cel…how could you..! You gave the Trolls a feast of raw meat to devour….I can hear them now ripping the flesh apart…

    You must clarify the above statement….Do you mean that AA or Equity can be “racist” when there is no commitment to
    fully training/developing or retaining the POC worker or student because it becomes a form of Tokenism?

    In effect, what you are saying is that as an Asian person you therefore aren’t qualified or worthy of anything you have achieved…What makes you feel White Euro-Canadians somehow view you any differently from other members of your group…?
    ……….
    Favouring certain races for certain jobs is racist (I.e. Aboriginal people for positions in Department of Indian Affairs).

    This needs clarifying as well…. So I guess only White Euro-Canadians should manage/dominate Indians Affairs—maintaining the line of White Paternalism that Euros know what’s “good” for Aboriginal Peoples because they can’t manage their own affairs ever…

    I don’t Euro-Canadians have a great track record so far….

    As an Asian-Canadian person do think you should have a shot at working in a something as race/cultural specific as the Dept of Indian Affairs…? No matter how qualified you think you may be…? Are you entitled…? Cause that’s how many White folks feel they are.

    So, I guess White folks are the “universal” and ‘supreme” race after all, and have a divine right to cross and dominate all racial / cultural boundaries.

    In effect, this is what you saying; Or is it because we POCs give them that power to dominate…

  31. Cel Says:

    What I mean is simple. Anything that discriminates by race, is by definition racist.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/racist

    Therefore, simple logic follows that AA and other measures, which do discriminate by race, is racist.

    Unfortunately, you are not intelligent enough to understand this simple logic as evidenced above.

    But like I said, something being racist is not bad or good in itself, only the consequences can be good or bad.

    Unfortunately, you are not intelligent enough to understand simple statements like that, as shown above.

    Now, actions like refusing to hire blacks because of their race, is obviously bad. The consequences are that black people get screwed over, no matter how qualified they are.

    AA is bad as well, as it leads to hiring people of X race even if people of Y race are more qualified.

    I’m putting it as simple as possible, in hopes you can understand.

    “As an Asian-Canadian person do think you should have a shot at working in a something as race/cultural specific as the Dept of Indian Affairs…?”

    If I am as experienced in Indian culture as a Native person, then yes. However, in practice that is uncommon.

    So I do think it’s a good thing that positions in the Dept of Indian Affairs are favoured towards Aboriginals, for that reason. Because Aboriginals just by being Aboriginal are more likely to do a better job, as they have more incentive.

  32. AfroCan Says:

    Cel Says:
    November 16, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Therefore, simple logic follows that AA and other measures, which do discriminate by race, is racist.

    Unfortunately, you are not intelligent enough to understand this simple logic as evidenced above.

    ……….

    Thanks for your words and I DO understand the “logic” of racism…But do you understand the corollary workings of White privilege…? As your words are buttressing it…

    And I do get your point…

    “The consequences are that black people get screwed over, no matter how qualified they are”.

    In the past have been the recipient of a racist “screw” and I have also witnessed other Blacks get f-over because they were “set-up” for failure through improper training & under-development, with no commitment to retaining them, or poisoning their working environment…

    So ultimately, the “affirmative action” was “bad” and “racist” as perpetuated by White management.

    I think I our definitions of racism might be a little different…I’m trying to interpret you…which is hard gage from the printed word…

    …………

    I agree with the following.

    If I am as experienced in Indian culture as a Native person, then yes. However, in practice that is uncommon.

    So I do think it’s a good thing that positions in the Dept of Indian Affairs are favoured towards Aboriginals, for that reason. Because Aboriginals just by being Aboriginal are more likely to do a better job, as they have more incentive.

    But suppose you were White, feeling you were qualified and didn’t get it…? Would you cry “reverse discrimination”…? Knowing this Dept./field of work is race and cultural specific.

  33. Yan Shen Says:

    It’s interesting how liberals are generally outraged when whites are overrepresented at elite universities at the expense of blacks and Hispanics, but are perfectly fine with the situation when Asians are overrepresented at elite universities relative to whites. What this suggests to me is that many liberals aren’t necessarily concerned with fairness per se, but rather just simply dislike whites. Case in point, if an article had argued that a school was too white and had too few blacks and Hispanics, no one would’ve complained. In fact, this kind of discourse is common throughout the United States.

    By the way, I support a strict meritocracy. Those with the best academic credentials deserve the lions share of the spots at top schools, regardless of the eventual racial distribution of the student body.

  34. AfroCan Says:

    Restructure,

    I sought out and read the Maclean’s article, “Too Asian” for my self—-Very intense and provocative. I wish we could discuss it face-to-face, as there are issues we can’t capture in print / internet blogging alone.

    The pro and anti-AA discourses aside, you’re right—Asians are not welcome in Canadian universities because such institutions have been historically constructed as White spaces for so long that they’re are still trying to cope /manage with the immigration / demographic changes.

    Even the whole Maclean’s magazine itself appeared so predominately White in its representational imagery, one would think POCs never attended post-secondary institutions. Maybe that’s a social reality, cause so few POCs can afford it anyway—and gravitate more to the community colleges.

    In the article, there appears a new manifestation of “White flight” is occurring where Euro-Canadian students seek out traditional White enclave institutions where the academic competition becomes minimized and where Euro-Canadian students can party and socialize more, as those pursuits/interests are the “real priorities”. For them, university is more about personal growth and development and self-expression/ actualization.

    Obviously, Euro-Canadians conceive higher learning in an “individualist” way, as one having little to with family commitments / obligations, or uplifting / giving back to one’s community. It’s “about me” not my community.

    Whites claim they don’t wish to “sacrifice” their time and freedom—another perennial discourse of privilege—why White folks have historically (especially in colonialist/Ante Bellum discourse) liked to dump the burdens of domestic work (housekeeping, childcare) onto Pocks.

    Nothing must interfere with their leisure and party-going.

    In short, Whites conceptualize Asian presence as a “buzz kill” and “guilt trip” to their campus social life / networking affairs. So they don’t want to see Asian bodies / the salient reminders of why they are at university.

    There is a fear of Asian presence because of their so-called hardcore intensity and academic drive to succeed intimidates and alienates White people—i.e they now have to work harder for gains/entitlements that have traditionally fallen into their lap.

    While there is the ubiquitous tactic denial of “Racism” in university admissions and campus life, nobody in the article (especially White students) seems to interrogate the overwhelming Culture of Whiteness that dominates these institutional spaces. But isn’t mere fact that Whites can run-off and create these contained all -Whites spaces—-Western and Queens University are identified as those vanguard White spaces, far away from the “contamination” of “undesirable” non-White others, a privilege in itself?

    I notice that university presidents/chancellors prefer to invoke the “great diversity” presence on campus although they timidly confess it hasn’t resulted a great deal of interaction.

    UBC president Stephen Toope says, “there are groups that never find a way to participate in the broader community…I don’t want to present that just because you have people from different background they’re going to interact. We have to create mechanism, programs and opportunities for people interact”.

    Case in point—like all Equity, Human Rights, Integrationist ideals—they demand policy and implementation work and commitment, otherwise the “business as-usual” practices of Whiteness will reproduce / perpetuate themselves.

    Yet, and I know I must tread carefully because I’m not Asian and can only speak from similar Black struggles of assimilation in White spaces, I feel there might be some valuable lessons to international Asian and Asian-Canadian students in this article.

    The article seems to call into the question the ways in which Asians “self-segregate” in forming their own alliances/social circles (a survival strategy, maybe), because they’re aware they’re not attending university to party till they drop, as parents make huge financial investments and therefore have high expectations from them. That must be a tremendous emotional burden. Most importantly, Asians know they’re not fully welcomed / accepted in White social spaces anyway. So what the fxxk?

    Asian cultural behaviours appear alienating to Whites perhaps because they don’t understand the pressures and context.

    The article both amused and drained me…

    Clearly, there are no easy solutions…but at least one recognizes the ways in which social privilege / Whites operate in their need to preserve entitlements/dominance within institutional spaces.

    Ultimately, I think Whites implicitly know they don’t have to work hard and will garner the top careers anyway—-gratis all those influential and elite social connections they made in the White “Old Boy’s” network, don’t you think…?

  35. Restructure! Says:

    In Toronto Chinese Youth Organizing, Maysie brings up important issues, especially in the Micro.

    Personally, I found the article to be draining, like a huge Demotivation poster. I already blogged about the stereotypes that the article invokes and different aspects of it, so it’s like I already said what I had to say, but nothing matters, because this is the same shit again, different day.

  36. Jayn Says:

    Afrocan, I wonder how much of that has to do with class rather than race? I’ve said this before, but I know I hit a bit of ‘culture shock’ when I went to university. It wasn’t race-based (the school I chose is so predominantly white that if I saw a POC on campus I was confused–I wish I was joking), but many of my classmates were upper-class students from Ontario–being a 2003 grad may have skewed this a little, but…–and I found it was hard to relate to them.

    One other thing I did notice was that when I did see groups of Asian students (from other schools), they were usually speaking a language other than English. I wonder if there’s a comfort thing going on, being able to relax into something more natural. Spending time with Euro-Canadian students possibly wouldn’t allow that.

  37. AfroCan Says:

    Jayn Says:
    November 19, 2010 at 9:39 am
    Afrocan, I wonder how much of that has to do with class rather than race?
    _________________

    Jayn,

    I’m not certain what you mean or to whose comments you’re referring…Was it something I, or Restructure stated?

    Nonetheless, I noticed something critical in your comments.

    1. It’s imperative when discussing issues of White identity / privilege that we don’t conflate them into issues of Class. The two social categories intersect but the category of class only “mediates” race. For instance, middle or even “upper-class” POCs can negotiate / assimilate into the mainstream / White social circles much easier because they have “rehearsed” in White cultural and lifestyle practices from an earlier age, through upbringing, elite education, or their parents’ economic status that granted them relative privilege, access and mobility.

    However, because Class status is relative, it only holds so much power. Class status cannot always insulate the middle-class POC from blatant racism or subtle forms of exclusion. i.e. if a hyper-racist White cop wants to humiliate or administer a beating to a POC, the POC’s class status isn’t going to help. The “middle-class” POC can still find him or herself excluded from the “upper-echelons” of White society.

    2. In your comments, you unconsciously disavow that “it” (your university campus) wasn’t “race-based”, yet at the same time, you claim you went to “predominately” white school, projecting / displacing White identity onto the category of “class” alone.

    I think this is great quandary about discussing / deconstructing White identity and privilege. They refuse to be “pinned down” for cross-examination. Being White never wants to articulate itself as a “race” and wishes to remain an “invisible” social category.

    Curiously, you only “recognized” race, only when a darker-skinned POC came into focus / crossed-over into the homogenous White space.

    So we much ask ourselves, what does White identity mean and what historical/cultural/immigration forces shaped and determined that “raceless” identity?

    In its refusal to be interrogated for social meanings, being racially White some wants to displace/represent itself onto issues of “class”…Even when probed for an answer, it might only describe itself in terms of nationality/territory or European ethnicity and language.

    How many times, have you heard a White person state, “I have no race or culture, but my ancestors came from Ireland, Scotland, or Wales”; or “I’m just “Canadian” but my folks came from over Greece or the Ukraine..? Is that person still not racially White, belonging to a member of that group?

    Whites like to remain “invisible”, “colourless”, and “race-neutral”; they cannot be identified. This complex language issue prohibits them from being nominated / marked by race. It is only when they perhaps feel “threaten” or “outnumbered” that Euro-Canadians invoke the politics of White solidarity.

    Unfortunately, POCs (Blacks and Asians) who also possess ethnicity through national and linguistic differences, cannot always walk in and out of ethnic categories when they choose. We are always “racialized”, or “marked” by skin-colour and/or culture no matter where they are from. One of the best paradoxes I can think of is Black Brazilians. Although, they speak Portuguese (a European – Latin-based language/ Christian-based culture), yet they are never thought of as being from the Europe.

    Likewise, there are also Portuguese-speaking Blacks from Angola; Ethiopians who speak Italian and who are Catholic! Ah, the historical legacies of European colonialism!

    Yet, People of Colour remain “static and crystallized” in their race and some White/Euro-Canadians unfortunately don’t always bother to make those ethnic / Diaspora distinctions. This is a big facet of Racism!

    Going back to the “Too Asian” article, I see this as a big discursive issue—being racially White and what it means socially is never interrogated; Also, the myriad ethnic Asian – Diaspora distinctions are not always made, and people get lumped together in a faceless monolithic way that takes away certain freedoms and humanity/ individuality.

    You also commented on Asians speaking their own languages on campus, “I wonder if there’s a comfort thing going on, being able to relax into something more natural”.

    Yes—and what’s so disturbing about that? I’m not saying it’s always a great thing (remember I was once an ESL instructor and this behaviour often frustrated/undermined my work efforts) but try to contextualize the issue as a “comfort zone”, “resistance” or survival strategy when one is in a new country or in a predominately / sometimes unwelcoming White institutional space.

    Euro-Canadians also accuse West Indian Blacks of these same behaviours whenever they lapse into “patois” or heavy Caribbean – English dialect. I guess White European people can find this “threatening” and “alienating” and/or POCs mightn’t be conscious of it.

    On the flip-side, remember when Europeans colonized certain Asian countries like China and India, they deliberately went about IMPOSING their language and cultural practices/legal systems on the colonized POC. Africans frankly had no choice in learning “broken” /non-standard English from their Welsh, Irish and Cockney slave and colonialist masters, developing over the centuries into a hybrid culture.

    ………………………………

    Since I see you as wanting to do the critical Anti-racist work in educating yourself, can I suggest three solid book titles:

    Taking Responsibility, Taking Direction: White Anti-Racism in Canada by Sheila Wilmot (A Canadian author / context)

    White Men on Race: Power, Privilege, and the Shaping of Cultural Consciousness by Joe R. Feagin and Eileen O’Brien

    White by Richard Dyer (1997). One of the SEMINAL WORKS on the subject.

    Keep asking the QUESTIONS and seek out the Anti-racist readings for yourself.

  38. Jayn Says:

    I was mostly just trying to figure things out by comparing race issues to some of the class issues I’ve encountered (certainly not the same, but while I don’t feel unwelcome, I do feel like an outsider at times). I’m not saying that race isn’t an issue, but if the non-white students come from lower classes than their white counterparts–and I’m certainly not saying this is always the case–that may be an additional barrier.

    Secondly, I wasn’t trying to turn the ‘native language’ thing into something bad. My mother’s family are mostly bilingual, and while they do speak fluent English, they tend to revert to using some or only French when they can. And these are people who have spoken both languages since childhood. (Likewise, I usually don’t use French around them–I’m not that fluent so while it’s an option, I prefer to stick to my primary language).

    Thirdly, the Canadian education system could stand to spend more time on non-Canadian history. I got tired of hearing every year about my ancestors getting kicked out by the British, and it’s always bothered me how little I know about other cultures and their histories. As fortunate as I often feel my upbringing was, the very narrow slice of society that I was exposed to has always driven me nuts. (Exhibit A: I think I was in my teens before I realised there was a difference between Jews and Christians)

  39. AfroCan Says:

    Jayn Says:

    November 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm
    I was mostly just trying to figure things out by comparing race issues to some of the class issues I’ve encountered…
    …………..

    Class is an important social category. But it’s critical to remember it doesn’t “trump” race or gender. Class is something that people can mediate and even transcend. But one’s can’t change/transcend one’s race and gender—although some would dispute the latter with sex-changes. Homo (Sexuality) is another category that can be “masked” and repressed and mediated.

    …………

    Jayn Says:

    Thirdly, the Canadian education system could stand to spend more time on non-Canadian history. I got tired of hearing every year about my ancestors getting kicked out by the British, and it’s always bothered me how little I know about other cultures and their histories.

    ……

    Please, I’m not accusing / blaming you for the “language” issues. It’s just you made an interesting point that needed to be interrogated more. Also, European languages (especially English and French) are also “valued” more with the power to dominate. Non-European languages are usually held in suspect.

    And yes, as a person of Francophone heritage, it would be good to explore the entho-cultural conflicts between the French and British in depth. But be critically conscious that the French also had a long history of imperialism, colonialism and slavery…so, they are not entirely “innocent”. Native lands weren’t theirs to conquer and settle. It’s just that the British were more strategic at the colonizing – conquest game.

    Keep asking questions….Two more books for you:

    Racism in the Canadian University: Demanding Social Justice, Inclusion, and Equity [Paperback]
    Frances Henry (Editor), Carol Tator (Editor)

    exposes and critiques the prevalence of institutional racism in Canadian universities and the equally prevalent denial of its existence….examining the ways in which the institutional culture of the academy privileges Whiteness and Anglo-Eurocentric ways of knowing.

    The Great White North? Exploring Whiteness, Privilege and Identity in Education.
    Paul R. Carr (Editor), Darren E. Lund

    …. the first text to pay critical and sustained attention to Whiteness in Canada…. Naming Whiteness and White identity is a political project as much as an intellectual engagement, and the co-editors of this collection must be commended for creating the space for such naming to take place in public and academic discourses.

  40. africanblackmilitant Says:

    Restructure

    You write from the Tim Wise school of racism, kind of a *Dummies Guide To Racism* so white people don’t like too many Asians at universities ? erm…NO S**T…..I could have told you that.

  41. Dumme Mädchen, benachteiligte Jungs « kiturak Says:

    […] Fakten belegt), wird plötzlich nach weniger kompetitiver Atmosphäre geschrieen, wie sich an den „zu asiatischen“ kanadischen Universitäten zeigen […]

  42. Anonymous Says:

    What all asian people can’t seem to accept is that white people don’t like them or other races. White people want to be left alone to be with other White people. Problem is asian people can’t accept this and you force yourselves down our throats. It isn’t wrong for White people to want a White country.


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