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Old 05-03-2012, 10:05 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,166,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grmasterb View Post
The point made by many non-Americans on C-D is that Americans are a people obsessed with race, and they point to the voluntary questions on application forms as an example. You just provided us with an example of a Canadian government form asking similar questions. I'm merely turning the tables.
Ah I see. Well I can't speak for anyone but myself and personally I think "obsessed" would be way off base for either country. But what about you? Do you think Americans are obsessed with race?
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,692 posts, read 6,547,132 times
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Before I get back to real life, the NYT recently ran an interesting article on immigration in Manitoba.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/13/wo...anitoba&st=cse
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,014,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Once again, the history of the aboriginals in Canada is most comparable to the history of the African Americans. The history of black Canadians is not. The aboriginals were here long before any white or black man stepped onto this land and it is their homeland in the truest sense of the word.
Personally I would much rather compare First Nations in Canada to Native Americans in the US.

Quote:
For those who say that the First Nations ought to just get on with it, and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, I say it is hard to pull yourself up by your bootstraps when your boots have been stolen.
Agreed.

Quote:
The Canadian black community, many of whom do not even identify themselves first and foremost as black on census forms, but as British or French, etc, unlike the African Americans in the US, mostly came here voluntarily. That is a huge difference. You cannot reasonably compare the US situation to the Canadian situation when our histories are so different.
This is a problem many Canadians run into, thinking that America does not have a large Foreign born and 1st generation Black Community as well. almost 10% of all Blacks in the US are foreign born now and that does not include many others who are 1st generation American. So why can we not compare the situation foreign born blacks in the US have to Canada?

There are many cities in the US where the share is even greater. For example in the city across the river from where I live (Boston) 7% of the population of the city of Boston self identifies as "West Indian" then Black second. So it would be reasonable to compare that segment of the Black community with Canada and their participation in Political and Business life.

Quote:
What you mistake for racism is indifference, and as Bimbam pointed out, an ethnic prejudice.
You can twist the wording any way you like, but racism is racism at the end of the day. Are you telling me that when you look at the Justice System for example and see that Black Men are more than 4 times more likely to be stopped by police officers in certain cities in Canada than whites or Aboriginals more than 7times more likely it is because of "ethnic prejudice"? Does the police officer differentiate between that man who is from Ghana and the other from Jamaica? No they are both black.


Quote:
There is such a thing as self-segregation. My people, the Mennonites, practised that for years, as did the French and the Ukrainians around here. I disagree a little bit with Bimbam, in that the primary motive of these people was the continuation of their old world communities and cultures in the new world.
I agree. Much of our issues are self inflicted and self segregation is a major reason.

Quote:
Immigrants don't integrate overnight and sit on city councils.
What are you basing this on? There are many examples of immigrants sitting on city councils and their numbers properly representing the community they serve. Look at the Miami-Dade City Council for an example.

Quote:
If many in the black community do not even identify themselves primarily as black, it would suggest to me that they do not see a major problem associated with their colour.
See above. Many in the US do the exact same, including myself and I see no connection between the two. I identify as Jamaican first and Black second.

Quote:
I have half-Jamaican and half Mennonite nieces and nephews. For different cultural projects and such at school, they have been there, done that in terms of representing Bob Marley and other aspects of their Jamaican heritage. At a recent school "What don't people know about me" thing, my participating nephew had as his project, "People don't realise I'm half Mennonite."

He is in no way ashamed of his black Jamaican heritage. He knows perfectly well that in the eyes of the world he will always be identified as black. But in his wise-little-boy way, he was pointing out that people are more than they appear to be, and he himself would choose not to lock himself into one identity.

And I have no doubt at all that he can be anything the hell he wants to be in this country.
I can relate to your nephew, having a Jewish Grandfather myself and while being 3/4th African heritage I do identify with my White-Jewish culture as well. But identifying yourself as black in no way is locking yourself into an identity, it is embracing the life you will live as your nephew will be seen as a Black man in society rather than Mennonite as I am sure you agree.

I believe he can achieve anything as well, but I have news for you, he will face many obstacles. The only way to break down those barriers is to have an open discussion and I find that Canadians are afraid to admit that racism is alive and well in their country. Ignoring the realities are just exasperating the problem.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:06 AM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,014,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stats1 View Post
rubbish...of course racism exists in all countries, it's human nature...a relative issue...Canada is LESS racist than just about any country on earth..notice i didn't say it doesn't exist....just less than anywhere else (any country that is not homogeneous, ie Finland)...we openly support multiculturalism (mosaic, not a melting pot) and immigration...no other country does this to the degree we do....racism isn't openly discussed as much here b/c it isn't AS MUCH of a problem as other countries....i have lived in downtown TO for many yrs and there are people from all over the world here, all colours, all languages and we seem to get along pretty well...far from perfect, but BETTER than just about anywhere else
Stats, how many countries/cities have you lived in? Because I have lived in quite a few and would say that Toronto is by far the most racist city I have personally lived. Interesting how people have different views based on their experiences.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,692 posts, read 6,547,132 times
Reputation: 8193
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardsyzzurphands View Post
Personally I would much rather compare First Nations in Canada to Native Americans in the US.

Agreed.

This is a problem many Canadians run into, thinking that America does not have a large Foreign born and 1st generation Black Community as well. almost 10% of all Blacks in the US are foreign born now and that does not include many others who are 1st generation American. So why can we not compare the situation foreign born blacks in the US have to Canada?

There are many cities in the US where the share is even greater. For example in the city across the river from where I live (Boston) 7% of the population of the city of Boston self identifies as "West Indian" then Black second. So it would be reasonable to compare that segment of the Black community with Canada and their participation in Political and Business life.

You can twist the wording any way you like, but racism is racism at the end of the day. Are you telling me that when you look at the Justice System for example and see that Black Men are more than 4 times more likely to be stopped by police officers in certain cities in Canada than whites or Aboriginals more than 7times more likely it is because of "ethnic prejudice"? Does the police officer differentiate between that man who is from Ghana and the other from Jamaica? No they are both black.

I agree. Much of our issues are self inflicted and self segregation is a major reason.

What are you basing this on? There are many examples of immigrants sitting on city councils and their numbers properly representing the community they serve. Look at the Miami-Dade City Council for an example.


See above. Many in the US do the exact same, including myself and I see no connection between the two. I identify as Jamaican first and Black second.

I can relate to your nephew, having a Jewish Grandfather myself and while being 3/4th African heritage I do identify with my White-Jewish culture as well. But identifying yourself as black in no way is locking yourself into an identity, it is embracing the life you will live as your nephew will be seen as a Black man in society rather than Mennonite as I am sure you agree.

I believe he can achieve anything as well, but I have news for you, he will face many obstacles. The only way to break down those barriers is to have an open discussion and I find that Canadians are afraid to admit that racism is alive and well in their country. Ignoring the realities are just exasperating the problem.
I don't know how to do that stuff where you can split the quotes one is responding to, so I apologise if this response isn't as clear as it should be. In answer to your first point, so would I but you keep referencing the black population in Canada in the same context as the Native population.

I am not in the least bit unaware that there is a large foreign-born black population in the US. That is not my point of reference. My point of reference is historical. And that is where you are comparing apples and oranges.

For historical reasons again, what I see when I look at the justice system in Canada is the very great proportion of aboriginals there in comparison to whites. I have a brother who is in the RCMP and his spouse is also an RCMP officer and a Treaty Indian. I also have a sister who is a lawyer (with a Jewish partner) and therefore I hear it from all sides (makes for interesting family gatherings).

I'm in favour of self-segregation if people want it. As a Mennonite I don't seem to have shed that notion it is all bad. I have no particular desire to assimilate. Not everyone wants to be a spokesperson for this or that cause, or has the ability to be that. You may not intend it this way, but what I get from your posts is that every single person should be some kind of spokesperson on the national scene.

Some people have a talent for that and some don't. The one thing everyone can do is call people out when they make racist comments and let them know it's unacceptable. For my part, after several attempts in the past, I've come to the conclusion that older, and older native-born Canadians who are blatantly racist are uneducable. All one can do is wait for them to die out like the dinosaurs.

I think this is the question I have about you - you have the passion, you see the injustices, so would you not better represent your people and any issues my nephews and nieces might face if you had stayed in Canada and encouraged the black population to run for the offices you see as under-represented?

The problem I see is that in a truly unracist society, there would be no question of what colour one is, and therefore no one would so much as think of identifying themselves by the colour of their skin. I am not and never have suggested that there are not racists in Canada - I have heard it for myself from immigrants, and shortly thereafter turned into Auntie Bear.

I think that children the world over, before they are taught to think of themselves as anything but children, would prefer to live in a world where they are identified by who they are as people, not as a colour. So, yes, colour (no matter what colour) locks you in unless you live in a homogeneous society, which this is not.

My nieces and nephews will face many issues, some of which will be unique to them as black men and women, and some of which will not be. The point is, everyone has a different type of baggage to carry, and when my parents were growing up, there were no laws in place that prevented them from not getting jobs due to a non-anglo last name, or prevented them from being beaten in school for not speaking English.

That is a form of baggage that my nieces and nephews will not have. They will have different baggage. Everyone has some form of baggage. Nothing about racism is swept under the rug when it comes to my sister's family. They cannot prepare themselves internally if they are not prepared externally.

I would also like to point out that your experience is in the centre of the universe, aka TO, where there is a large black population. That is not true of much of the rest of Canada. Does that make it right? No, of course not. It is simply a fact of life that where you get large influxes of any group of people, at first they are welcomed almost as something exotic, and then later on, the so-called 'natives' resent them.

I appreciate your responses in this thread and I do appreciate genuinely your passion. No offence is intended in my exiting this thread - just time to get back to real life, which right now, involves mucking out the barn and trying to teach the mares that the gelding does not have to be the boss just because he was born male.

Last edited by netwit; 05-03-2012 at 12:59 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: London, UK
3,458 posts, read 4,014,859 times
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Thank you for your thoughts and participation Netwit. I am pretty much finished as well, enjoyed the discussion.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
6,495 posts, read 10,811,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshineleith View Post
Do you think Americans are obsessed with race?
I think we Americans incapable of having a rational discussion on the topic, and that's the fault of both sides (black and white).
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:25 PM
 
181 posts, read 446,534 times
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Most Canadians would say that they are not racist, and that the US is very racist (despite never having lived there).

However, one thing to consider is the United States has a significantly larger black community and hispanic community. Whereas most non-white individuals in Canada's big cities are either Asian or Indian.

Obviously the US has historically had issues with their African-American community, which is often the highest contributor to inner city violence.

The hispanic community also faces a similar situation. Furthermore, there are worse concentrations of poverty in poor communities in the United States, creating a stigma towards visible minorities. Asian and Indian immigrants in Canada (and probably the US) have a higher likelihood of social mobility.

With that being said, there is very little reason for people in Canada to contain racist beliefs towards Asian and Indian immigrants when they have entered the country legally and are productive citizens.

On the other hand, in the United States cyclical poverty and crime have created harmful stereotypes towards African-Americans, and the perceptions that many Mexican immigrants are illegal create a more hostile attitude.

But I think Canadians are just as likely to be racist and contain stereotypical perceptions of black people. The difference is both countries contain very different demographics.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:39 PM
 
5,196 posts, read 4,683,253 times
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As an American, especially given the climate in my country, I would advise caution in using my fellow compatriots behavior as a model example to follow. There has been much progress made since the Civil Rights Movement, especially the historic event of 2008, but there are still major dysfunctions and they don't just come from 1 side.

Outside of the U.S. military, I've (& just about every other American I've known who went) honestly never seen the degree nor ease of intermingling present in Canada throughout all my years in the states.

Traveling up to Canada has saved many an American from burnout & insanity, and quite frankly I feel Canadians can and should be able to independently develop their own solutions to their nations' problems.

Don't be like us, you might find yourself trying to fend off hordes of welfare enabled crack addicts claiming to be the descendants of nubian olmecs, asking for greater handouts, leaving yourself with few politically correct options of dealing with them.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:45 PM
 
29 posts, read 42,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movingwiththewind View Post
This is what I'd call rubbish - so called "mosaic" and endless comparisons with American concept of "melting pot". Both concepts don't exist in real life, and surely, saying Canada is a "mosaic" or a "rainbow" is pure rubbish, blah blah blah.

In reality, immigrant groups in each coutry co-exist, but never completely blend with each other, which is fine.

In addition, governments in both coutries are interested that immigrants integrate with local culture and economy as much as possible and promote such integration. After all, you want immigrants to feel at home and to relate to the host country and not to feel foreigners for the rest of their lives, although many of them do.

Although, Canadians like to differentiate the concept of "mosaic" from the concept of "melting pot", I think, it's a bogus, a need to say: Look, we are different from the US and we have a totally different approach and it works better. In reality, in both countries, people of the same origin tend to stick to each other and process of integration and assimilation is basically the same, if any.
Melting pot and mosaic are fundamentally different.....Canada's 'lack of national identity' is a direct result of our mosaic structure...it's real....maybe our greatest strength is tolerance but it is also a weakness b/c we have a weak identity....not enough 'Canadian assimilation'...it takes a couple of generations for immigrants kids/grand kids to feel 'Canadian'....true in my case anyway
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