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How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Old Mar 2nd 2008, 2:13 am
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by oldbag View Post
I'm white, English, reasonably intelligent and articulate, reasonably well educated (60's grammar school and college), held fairly demanding and responsible jobs in the UK, but cannot get work - at all, of any kind - in this town, and have been told to my face that I "should lose my accent", and "the Brits are not very popular here" (although I'm not told why)......is this racism?
yes.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 2:59 am
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by oldbag View Post
I'm white, English, reasonably intelligent and articulate, reasonably well educated (60's grammar school and college), held fairly demanding and responsible jobs in the UK, but cannot get work - at all, of any kind - in this town, and have been told to my face that I "should lose my accent", and "the Brits are not very popular here" (although I'm not told why)......is this racism?
That's horrendous. Yes it's racism. Come to Calgary. I for one have never encountered anything like that here!
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 3:27 am
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by oldbag View Post
I'm white, English, reasonably intelligent and articulate, reasonably well educated (60's grammar school and college), held fairly demanding and responsible jobs in the UK, but cannot get work - at all, of any kind - in this town, and have been told to my face that I "should lose my accent", and "the Brits are not very popular here" (although I'm not told why)......is this racism?
It is certainly horrendous as Morwenna said. It is stupid, ignorant, bigoted, small minded and intolerant. It is also not typical of the Canada I have experienced. However, unless you are a different race from the townsfolk, it's not racism.

Have you ever thought of moving?
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 4:11 am
  #154  
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by JonboyE View Post
It is certainly horrendous as Morwenna said. It is stupid, ignorant, bigoted, small minded and intolerant. It is also not typical of the Canada I have experienced. However, unless you are a different race from the townsfolk, it's not racism.

Have you ever thought of moving?
now you're just being pedantic for the sake of it.technically not racist but prejudiced against the nationality in the same manner as if it were the colour of her skin or race,which in fact in this case her race being British.please don't point out my lack of grammar and capitals,I am typing this on my itouch and can't be added shifting all the time as it's of something which slows things down on a tiny screen.

Last edited by Tangram; Mar 2nd 2008 at 4:14 am.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 5:21 am
  #155  
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by JonboyE View Post
It is certainly horrendous as Morwenna said. It is stupid, ignorant, bigoted, small minded and intolerant. It is also not typical of the Canada I have experienced. However, unless you are a different race from the townsfolk, it's not racism.

Have you ever thought of moving?
I think you will have gathered simply from the fact that I post on BE (which means Britsh expats, doesn't it?), and live in Canada, that I probably am a different race from these townsfolk! You surprise me with your pedantry - tut tut. Yes, it does feel like racism to me and my OH, and it's difficult not to feel embittered by it.......however, by plastering a smile on my face and being pleasant, even though it kills me, I feel I'm being better than they are. I was told, just after we moved here, by another British Expat that we would never, ever get work here because we are Brits - the same thing happened to her and her daughter, so they opened a business, which the "good" townsfolk have been tying to shut down ever since! I've said it before, and I'll say it again - it's like something out of a Stephen King book; I keep expecting him to creep out of a dark corner one of these days!
This is not the Canada we experienced back in the 80's. Yes we have thought about moving.....eastwards by a few thousand miles!
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 6:06 am
  #156  
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

It is hard to tell from your post whether it is not more a matter of ageism than anything else. I assume you are part of the over 50 crowd, thus 'good for the rubbish heap'.

I too am white and a product of a grammar school in the sixties.

Perhaps it is a matter of sounding Canadian. For instance that actor Hugh Laurie, who is on that medical show 'House', does quite a convincing job of coming across as a yank.

Seems to me you had better move to the big city where accent is not an issue.

Is it racism? I very much doubt it. More likely prejudice. In the long run it amounts to the same thing.

PS .. I first encountered prejuduce at age 5 in 1948 in Middlesex. Got hit by a stone as I was called filthy f.cking foreigner. I still bear the scar. My dad was East European although my mum was born in Stepney, East London.

Last edited by montreal mike; Mar 2nd 2008 at 6:15 am.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 1:11 pm
  #157  
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by montreal mike View Post
It is hard to tell from your post whether it is not more a matter of ageism than anything else. I assume you are part of the over 50 crowd, thus 'good for the rubbish heap'.

I too am white and a product of a grammar school in the sixties.

Perhaps it is a matter of sounding Canadian. For instance that actor Hugh Laurie, who is on that medical show 'House', does quite a convincing job of coming across as a yank.

Seems to me you had better move to the big city where accent is not an issue.

Is it racism? I very much doubt it. More likely prejudice. In the long run it amounts to the same thing.

PS .. I first encountered prejuduce at age 5 in 1948 in Middlesex. Got hit by a stone as I was called filthy f.cking foreigner. I still bear the scar. My dad was East European although my mum was born in Stepney, East London.


I doubt if it's ageism - which is also illegal, especially in connection with employment - otherwise comments regarding the unpopularity of Brits would not be made. As you say, it amounts to the same thing and it saddens and disappoints me; we don't seem to have come far as a species; Racism, prejudice,bigotry, whatever label you give it is born out of ignorance and fear

Oh - and by the way, Hugh Laurie's fake American accent makes me cringe!
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by oldbag View Post
I doubt if it's ageism - which is also illegal, especially in connection with employment - otherwise comments regarding the unpopularity of Brits would not be made. As you say, it amounts to the same thing and it saddens and disappoints me; we don't seem to have come far as a species; Racism, prejudice,bigotry, whatever label you give it is born out of ignorance and fear

Oh - and by the way, Hugh Laurie's fake American accent makes me cringe!
Actually I think his accent is quite convincing especially when I think of what he really sounds like, English upper class.

Yes ageism is illegal but it is subtle, widely practised. How often in the last 15 years or more have I been told I am 'over qualified' for a well paying position ($75K) or, even more creative, that it would 'not be much of a challenge' when all the while I know, and so do they, that I would take the job in a second if it were offered.

Even more appalling were a few instances back in the UK, circa 1999, where one had to provide ones date of birth of the job application form plus, worse still, had to fill in this government imposed ethnic origin questionnaire (I wrote in 'white - european').

To clarify, I had then considered going back, me and the whole family, but it was not to be. Just as well!

Racism and prejudice are part of every day life, part of the human condition. One can not legislate 'love thy neighbour'. Some nasty habits still prevail. Makes me think of female genital mutilation (circumsion of young girls) and satee (widow jumping on hubby's funeral pyre in India). Both despicable. Both outlawed. Both still practised.

Last edited by montreal mike; Mar 2nd 2008 at 3:36 pm.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Its discrimination.

Racism is a misnomer anyway as we are all only one race, human. The rest is ethnicity, what makes up different socially, our behaviour, values, etc.

Prejudice is judging without any knowledge.

Discrimination is acting on it, selecting by differences, such as ethnicity, "race", gender, disability, religion, age, shoe size. To judge someone better than another on these grounds is morally wrong and often illegal. It is in Canada and the UK.

Well, thats how I see it.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by daft batty View Post
Its discrimination.

Racism is a misnomer anyway as we are all only one race, human. The rest is ethnicity, what makes up different socially, our behaviour, values, etc.

Prejudice is judging without any knowledge.

Discrimination is acting on it, selecting by differences, such as ethnicity, "race", gender, disability, religion, age, shoe size. To judge someone better than another on these grounds is morally wrong and often illegal. It is in Canada and the UK.

Well, thats how I see it.
To continue ... the explanation I was given as to this 'ethnicity form' in the UK was that some little bureaucrat would do the rounds from time to time to ensure that people of different races/ethnicities applied, were interviewed, and some actually got hired.

In other words if a town had 15 percent of people from this background/race/country of origin than one in seven got hired so as to reflect the ethnic make up of the neighbourhood.

That in itself may have been noble in intent but whatever became of the notion that the most qualified suitable person gets hired?

The bureacrats call this 'positive discrimination'.

Go figure!
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by montreal mike View Post
To continue ... the explanation I was given as to this 'ethnicity form' in the UK was that some little bureaucrat would do the rounds from time to time to ensure that people of different races/ethnicities applied, were interviewed, and some actually got hired.

In other words if a town had 15 percent of people from this background/race/country of origin than one in seven got hired so as to reflect the ethnic make up of the neighbourhood.

That in itself may have been noble in intent but whatever became of the notion that the most qualified suitable person gets hired?

The bureacrats call this 'positive discrimination'.

Go figure!

I like positive discrimination. It might mean that as a deafened person I would get a job paying the same as a hearing person would get.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by daft batty View Post
I like positive discrimination. It might mean that as a deafened person I would get a job paying the same as a hearing person would get.

I disagree. I have never seen the logic of favouring one person to the detriment of another? I have always been a proponent of 'let the best man win'. If I were handicapped I would like to know I got the job because I was the best fit, not because I was filling some quota.

Idle thought: I notice that banks are mostly staffed by women. The odd man around is probably the janitor or the security guard or someone about to commit a hold up.

PS .. I guess that nowadays that should be 'let the best person win'.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by montreal mike View Post
I disagree. I have never seen the logic of favouring one person to the detriment of another? I have always been a proponent of 'let the best man win'. If I were handicapped I would like to know I got the job because I was the best fit, not because I was filling some quota.

Idle thought: I notice that banks are mostly staffed by women. The odd man around is probably the janitor or the security guard or someone about to commit a hold up.

PS .. I guess that nowadays that should be 'let the best person win'.
I would also like to know I got the job because I was the best fit. I also know that in real life people discriminate and so you have to legislate against idiots who discriminate.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by daft batty View Post
Racism is a misnomer anyway as we are all only one race, human.
I like that! I was going to say to Oldbag that in her situation racism is a probably a misnomer because small town Canada is predominantly white Caucasian, many of British descent. But I like your definition much better.

To Oldbag.

I am sorry if I came across as unsympathetic, because I am not. Your situation sounds intolerable to me, so I do wonder why your and your OH stick it out. There are lots of wonderful places to live in Canada where a British accent is not going to lead to discrimination. Most of it I would say. There are plenty of places where nobody gives a damn whatever your accent is.

I think life is far too short to put up with a place that is making you unhappy, but that you can change.

PS It is not the first time I have been described as pedantic. Usually with justification.
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Old Mar 2nd 2008, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: How do you deal with the racism in Canada?

Originally Posted by montreal mike View Post
To continue ... the explanation I was given as to this 'ethnicity form' in the UK was that some little bureaucrat would do the rounds from time to time to ensure that people of different races/ethnicities applied, were interviewed, and some actually got hired.

In other words if a town had 15 percent of people from this background/race/country of origin than one in seven got hired so as to reflect the ethnic make up of the neighbourhood.

That in itself may have been noble in intent but whatever became of the notion that the most qualified suitable person gets hired?

The bureacrats call this 'positive discrimination'.

Go figure!
Please excuse the simplistic nature of this post, but I am doing it to try and make a point.

Imagine a town where half the people are green and half the people are orange. Half the tall people are green and half are orange, half the short people are green and half are orange, half the sporty people are green and half are orange, half the smart people are green and half are orange and so on. In other words, green people and orange people are the same, apart from their colour. However, 90% of the green people are in well paying jobs and only 10% earn minimum wage. Conversely, 90% of the orange people earn minimum wage and only 10% have well paying jobs.

There is a problem. There may be a good reason for it. Maybe the major industry in the town was founded by green people and they employed “people-like-us” to run it. It is understandable, but it has led to a situation that is clearly unfair.

As well as unfair, it is sub-optimal. There must be many orange people better able to do the well paying jobs than the green people who currently have them. The overall output of the town is less than it should be.

So what is to be done? We can do nothing, say this is life and sh*t happens. So we continue with the sub-optimal output. And what happens in the future? The top 10% of orange people know that if they work hard they have a chance at the well paying jobs. The other 90% know they have no chance, however smart and hard working they are. So they stop working hard. The green people look at the orange people and think, “what a lazy bunch. They are not even trying. If we have the choice we’d better make sure that hard working green people get the best jobs, not the lazy orange ones”.

You can see a descending spiral. The end is a situation where the majority of orange people think, “all the laws are set made by green people, the police are all green, and the courts are all green. I have no future in a green world so why should I live by green people’s laws”.

So what’s the solution? Well, I think that doing nothing is not a solution. Positive discrimination is ONE possible way to go. At least the orange kids will know they have a chance at getting a well paid job if they are equally capable as a green kid. Doesn’t that make for a better town?
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