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Old 06-09-2012, 07:52 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I've heard seemingly paradoxical answers to this question. On the one hand it seems that Canada seems to put a lot of importance on embracing different cultures and celebrating diversity, yet I've also heard that there's this dichotomy in Canada, like Australia, where while this is the case, many speak of 'Canadians' as only being white or European Canadians. While a Jamaican or Chinese Canadian is still considered 'Canadian', in some contexts if that person dates a European Canadian, the latter is often referred to as a 'Canadian' while the other person is spoken of as a Jamaican or a Chinese person.

In the US, by contrast, it seems that one's Americanness is not in any way compromised or lessened by their race or ethnicity, except in certain more racist areas or in the eyes of a few racial supremacists.

I've often heard Canada along with the UK called the 'least racist country on earth', and while this might be true, how strong are ethnic communities in Canada vs the US? Especially among second and later generation?

Toronto has a surprisingly large Italian population, for instance, yet this does not seem to be a major part of it's cultural fabric (at least to outsiders who've never been). Whereas cities in the Northeast are well known for their Italian communities and culture. In contrast, the Asian, particularly Chinese, communities seem well-known in Toronto and Vancouver. Is it merely because Europeans have assimilated more into mainstream Canadian culture? I don't think Ukrainian communities stand out much anymore but I may be wrong.

Overall, however, do you feel it's easier for an immigrant to be accepted as a Canadian or an American? Would it vary by region (e.g. Newfoundland or rural West Virginia vs Toronto and San Francisco).
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:10 AM
 
396 posts, read 729,556 times
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In canada there are ethnic canadians(me), and there are hyphenated canadians. Jamaican-canadian, sino-canadian, ethnic-canadian, aborigional-canadian etc. It's a useful distinction because calling someone, who's family has been here for 200 years an irsh/scots/french/english canadian, don't make alot of sense. Sure people don't always say it like that but we all know what they mean.

In america, they are all americans, who happen to have different racial and immigrant backrounds.

As far as the noreast being Italian, I think it's more a product of television and stereotypes in alot of ways. Toronto is definitely very italian.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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It really depends on where in America and where in Canada, usually the large cities are multicultural and tend to be more open minded and tolerant.
Overall I'd say Canada is less racist than America but there are tolerant and racist people everywhere..
Check these out:
America
C.N. Immigration Agency - immigration to Canada from Israel - Canadians most tolerant

The 1st link is a rank of America’s most tolerant cities and the 2nd is a study about most tolerant countries- Canada was ranked 1st in the world.

I think it's easier for immigrants to fit in the Canadian society.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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"Canadian" has nothing to do with race.

In my office, there is a Japanese Canadian who is the 6th generation living in Canada, longer than any of the Irish Canadians, British Canadians, Italian Canadians, German Canadians etc. All the white folks agree he is more Canadian than everyone else.

You either think all of them are just Canadians, or they are Japanese Canadians, Italian Canadians, and Irish Canadians. Being white doesn't make anyone more Canadian than others.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
"Canadian" has nothing to do with race.
That would be a nice sentiment if it were true.

Many immigrants who use the word "Canadian" really mean a white Canadian. "She's dating a Canadian"...etc. I don't have a problem with it at all, but don't try to imagine it isn't out there, because it is.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Toronto
3,338 posts, read 5,788,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I've heard seemingly paradoxical answers to this question. On the one hand it seems that Canada seems to put a lot of importance on embracing different cultures and celebrating diversity, yet I've also heard that there's this dichotomy in Canada, like Australia, where while this is the case, many speak of 'Canadians' as only being white or European Canadians. While a Jamaican or Chinese Canadian is still considered 'Canadian', in some contexts if that person dates a European Canadian, the latter is often referred to as a 'Canadian' while the other person is spoken of as a Jamaican or a Chinese person.

In the US, by contrast, it seems that one's Americanness is not in any way compromised or lessened by their race or ethnicity, except in certain more racist areas or in the eyes of a few racial supremacists.
That's strange. My perception/intuition would be the other way around. I think Canadians are very quick to accept immigrants and newcomers as "one of us" relatively quickly, assuming the sentiment is reciprocated, and something as trivial as skin colour is no big deal. The hypenated identity and identity politics seems actually stronger in the US (eg. Italian-American, Chinese-American, African-American are far more commonly heard terms in the US than Canadian equivalents).

Last edited by Stumbler.; 06-09-2012 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Toronto
3,338 posts, read 5,788,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zortation View Post
That would be a nice sentiment if it were true.

Many immigrants who use the word "Canadian" really mean a white Canadian. "She's dating a Canadian"...etc. I don't have a problem with it at all, but don't try to imagine it isn't out there, because it is.
Oh, I think I know what you are talking about. But that's due to certain immigrants often with very conservative views, such as not wanting their children to mix/mingle too much with mainstream Western culture, not seeing themselves as belonging to the country, not on the end of Canadians' attitudes to the newcomers.

Also, a number of newly arrived immigrants to Canada don't plan on staying. Some eventually move to the United States (though this was more true in the past than now). Some might be here for an education and might be going back to their home country etc.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:59 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,250,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumbler. View Post
That's strange. My perception/intuition would be the other way around. I think Canadians are very quick to accept immigrants and newcomers as "one of us" relatively quickly, assuming the sentiment is reciprocated, and something as trivial as skin colour is no big deal. The hypenated identity and identity politics seems actually stronger in the US (eg. Italian-American, Chinese-American, African-American are far more commonly heard terms in the US than Canadian equivalents).
however, we don't seem to hear German-American, British American much.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:01 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,250,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zortation View Post
That would be a nice sentiment if it were true.

Many immigrants who use the word "Canadian" really mean a white Canadian. "She's dating a Canadian"...etc. I don't have a problem with it at all, but don't try to imagine it isn't out there, because it is.
Depends I guess.
For me, absolutely nothing. She is dating a Canadian. it might be a white, or Indian, or black. "Canadian", unlike something like "French" or "Italian", is just a nationality rather than origin.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Canada
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I think that in the US, your race isn't a barrier to being accepted as an American, BUT as the society is obsessed with race and race is conflated with culture, you're expected to associate wuuth others of your race and be part of a common asian-American culture, or Hispanic American culture etc. I think this comes out of their historic situation with Blacks and Whites and how they view the divisions between ethnic groups. In Canada, people don't care about race, but culture and community are still very important categories. I think in practice there isn't much difference between the two countries despite differing rhetoric. In relation to Australia, I think we can integrate immigrants better because we don't have the same national psychological experience of being isolated in the middle of Asia.
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