Hyphens Separating Canadians

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Black people, Canada Pages: 3 (1010 words) Published: April 12, 2013
Hyphens Separating Canadians
African Canadians have seen themselves as lower class citizens by mainstream society and their own racial communities. Neil Bissoondath’s a Canadian teacher that came to Canada from Trinidad at the age of eighteen and went to York University to earn his Bachelor of Arts in French. Bissoondath writes stories and essays focusing on economics, the cultural mix of Canada and social problems that are linked to multiculturalism. Bissoondath’s essay “Marginalization” focuses on the controversies central to multicultural policies in Canada. Through various examples and stories, Neil Bissoondath’s work “Marginalization” argues that the hyphen separating an individual’s ethnicity and place of settlement can be separated and demonized by society when it is seen fit. For example, reverting back to an individual’s ethnicity when there is a social controversy, need for aid or help for the in the individuals ethnic country and to take advantage of one’s ethnic perks. Society always reverts back to an individual’s ethnicity when there is a social controversy. A hyphen that includes indentified as Canadian claims, a person a Canadian when it is convenient to Canadians society. Such as when a person has the knowledge and respect that is suitable for Canada they are viewed as Canadian. If the individual gives Canada a good reputation, the media reports them as a Canadian and not as an immigrant. For example, in Bissoondath’s “Marginalization” he says “Dr.John Polanyi, born elsewhere is the Canadian Nobel-prize-winning chemist. Michael Ondaatje, born elsewhere is the Canadian Booker-prize-winning novelist.”(Bissoondath, 1994,p.308) Instead of stating where they were born before saying they are Canadian, the media only reported them as Canadian, giving Canada a good reputation. A person is only stated as an immigrant to Canada when they are inconvenient. When a person gives Canada a bad reputation they are reported in the media...
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