Multiculturalism displaces anti-racism, upholds white supremacy.

Dr. Sunera Thobani, of the University of British Columbia, criticizes the discourse of multiculturalism in Canada (transcript):

I think multiculturalism has been a very effective way of silencing anti-racist politics in this country. Multiculturalism has allowed for certain communities—people of colour—to be constructed as cultural communities. Their culture is defined in very Orientalist and colonial ways—as static, they will always be that, they have always been that. And culture has now become the only space from which people of colour can actually have participation in national political life; it’s through this discourse of multiculturalism. And what it has done very successfully is it has displaced an anti-racist discourse.

You know, I teach and I have young students of colour, they come, and they completely bought into this multiculturalism ideology. They have no language to talk about racism. They know that if they talk about racism, they will get attacked.

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Canada is multicultural, not anti-racist.

Mollena sells actual RACE Cards (TM) to play. (Photo by Colm McCarthy)Canada is an officially multicultural country, but multiculturalism does not address racism.

The Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Institution shows six stages from being a monocultural institution to becoming an anti-racist multicultural institution. Canada appears to be at Stage Three:

3. Symbolic Change: A Multicultural Institution

  • Makes official policy pronouncements regarding Multicultural diversity
  • Sees itself as “non-racist” institution with open doors to People of Color
  • Carries out intentional inclusiveness efforts, recruiting “someone of color” on committees or office staff
  • Expanding view of diversity includes other socially oppressed groups

But…

  • “Not those who make waves”
  • Little or no contextual change in culture, policies, and decision making
  • Is still relatively unaware of continuing patterns of privilege, paternalism and control

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Auto-exoticism is Asians performing Chinese New Year for a non-Asian classroom.

Once a year, dmp and her mom performed Chinese New Year for her 98% non-Asian elementary class. Afterward, she went to her grandparents’ house and celebrated Têt, the real New Year’s.

dmp writes:

I learned a new word today. Auto-exoticism (n.): the idea in which the minority culture accepts and internalizes perceptions of itself from the dominant culture. It is performance intended for consumption, it is a sign given to minorities to express their minority status. It is touting Chinese take-out (that isn’t really Chinese) over your family’s home cooking and tossing around fortune cookies (and those weren’t actually Chinese either) and associating yourself with being “Chinese” (even though you aren’t) because it made you more understandable, and calling your family’s most important holiday Chinese New Year because it’s a catch-phrase that everyone understands.

Link: At Home We Called it Têt

(via Who I am When I’m (not) With You)

Vancouver 2010 pretends indigenous people have institutional power over Canada.

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies were skillfully-done Canadian propaganda. The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) did so many things right for the opening ceremonies with respect to indigenous-related symbolism. However, the main problem with the opening ceremonies were that they gave the impression to the rest of the world that the Canadian government respects the rights of indigenous people, when indigenous peoples are the most marginalized ethnic groups in Canada.

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Racist white man attacked Asian Canadians with pickup truck.

Ontario man jailed for attack on Asian anglers (CBC News):

[A white] Ontario man has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail Friday for attacking a group of Asian anglers and their friends in 2007.

Justice Alfred Stong also sentenced Trevor Middleton, 23, to three years’ probation after he has served his sentence, and 240 hours of community service helping seniors and people with mental disabilities. Middleton will also be required to attend a cultural awareness course, and he’s been banned from driving for 10 years.

According to Justice Stong, since some of the victims were Asian Canadians, what made them stand out visually in the overwhelmingly white town must have been their “culture”, which was made conspicuous by the fact that they were trying to fish from a dock in Lake Simcoe, Ontario, alongside their white friends.

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Canadian White Privilege: Having the Canadian government consider you Canadian

A black and Muslim Canadian woman, Suaad Hagi Mohamud, was falsely arrested in Kenya for identity fraud and stranded for three months, because both Kenyan and Canadian officials claimed that she was not a Canadian citizen. Even mainstream Canadians blamed the Harper government for discriminating against her because she was not white.

Now Mohamud is suing the Canadian government.

Kenyan stranding triggered by skin colour: Mohamud:

A Toronto woman who was stranded in Kenya over false claims she was an impostor said she believes the colour of her skin played a role in her ordeal.

In an exclusive interview with the CBC’s Diana Swain, Suaad Hagi Mohamud was asked if she thought things would have been different if she were white.

“I wouldn’t be stopped at the Kenyan airport if I’m a white,” Mohamud said.

“The Canadian High Commission wouldn’t be treating me the way they treat me. If I’m a white person, I wouldn’t be there in one day. I wouldn’t have missed the flight.”

Mohamud, 31, who was visiting her mother in Kenya, had been stranded in the country since May after Kenyan authorities said she didn’t look like the picture in her passport photo.

Mohamud, who filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the federal government on Friday, said the reaction by officials to her situation was “really frustrating” because “deep inside I thought we all the same.”

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Second-generation visible minority Canadians are more likely to report discrimination compared to their parents.

A higher proportion of second-generation visible minority Canadians reported experiences of perceived discrimination than first-generation visible minorities, according to a 2007 study.

Perceived Discrimination by Race and Generation (graph)

(In my graph, Generation 0 refers to recent immigrants, and Generation 1 refers to earlier immigrants.)

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