People of colour are not born with racial identities.

Some white people appear to think that non-white people have a strong ethnic or racial identity by default. They may think that if a non-white person is unaware of her race or ethnicity, it is a result of white interference. However, ethnic and racial identities are socially constructed, not genetically inherited.

Infants of colour, for example, are born without knowing their race, their ethnicity, their culture, or their history. These things are learned. Learning culture may involve learning skills, learning history may involve learning knowledge, but learning racial and ethnic identity often involves the internalization of social categories of difference and otherness.

Perhaps white adults have a weak sense ethnic and racial identity—if they have any at all—because they have not had the same experiences with being othered and being different.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

White people think that ‘racism’ means racial conflict.

For the overwhelming majority of white people, if racism is completely eliminated, the ideal situation is symbolized by the image of people of all colours holding hands in peace. The worst-case outcome of racism, for most white people, is a “race war”. However, unlike institutional and systemic racism against people of colour, only the “race war” scenario would directly hurt white people. That is, when white ‘antiracists’ focus on preventing racial conflict over correcting racial inequity, they are acting selfishly to protect their racial group.

In reality, the image of a racism-free utopia should not be associated with peace. The image of a racism-free utopia should be associated with equity. Peace is better than war, but true antiracist efforts should not give priority to peace over equity. Sometimes conflict and confrontation* are necessary to bring about equity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Most Japanese Canadians are Canadian-born.

If you ask an Asian in Canada, “Where are you from?”, the person may be take offense at being assumed a foreigner because of her race, or she may be happy to tell you about her motherland. Foreign-born and native-born Asian Canadians are different. They should not be lumped together and treated the same.

Although you cannot tell if an Asian individual is foreign-born or Canadian-born by looking at his physical features (being born and raised in a Western country does not change small, slanted eyes into large, round eyes), we have data on Asian Canadian visible minorities as an aggregate and where they are from.

2 in 3 Japanese are Canadian-born:
Canadian-born, 63.2%. Foreign-born, 36.8%.
1 in 4 Chinese are Canadian-born (“Canadian-Born Chinese” or “CBCs”):
Canadian-born, 25.5%. Foreign-born, 74.5%.
1 in 3 South Asians are Canadian-born (so-called “Canadian-Born Confused Desis” or “CBCDs”):
Canadian-born, 29.3%. Foreign-born, 70.7%.

On average, 3 in 10 visible minorities were Canadian-born. The breakdown of the Canadian-born percentages across the individual visible minority groups are shown below.

Visible minority group Percentage Canadian-born Canadian-born occurrence
Japanese 63.2 2 out of 3
Black 44.3 9 out of 20
Southeast Asian 31.2 1 out of 3
South Asian 29.3 1 out of 3
Arab 27.0 3 out of 10
Filipino 25.6 1 out of 4
Chinese 25.5 1 out of 4
Latin American 21.1 1 out of 5
Korean 15.0 3 out of 20
West Asian 14.8 3 out of 20

(The “Canadian-born occurrence” column is an extrapolation from the percentage, not explicitly listed in the analysis series article.)

Sources: