Canada and Racism

Topics: Immigration, Culture, Immigration to the United States Pages: 2 (825 words) Published: March 1, 2013
Canada is perceived to be a tolerant country open to multiculturalism. In both stories “I’m not a racist but...” and “I’m a banana and I’m proud of it” we see that Canadians may stereotype immigrants just as easily as other countries. As much as we all would like to think we are not racist, it is only human nature to use stereotypes as a point of reference when thinking of races we are not familiar with. How many times have you heard something outrageous about a specific culture and wondered if it was true. This doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you ignorant. There are two types of ignorance, one that is malicious and has the intent to cause harm “a large person might be dubbed “stupid ox,” a small person “a little” whatever.” (Bissoondath, Pg. 76) and the other type of ignorance is one that is not wilful, partly due to not being properly educated, Chinese are the worst drivers in the world- “he was convinced this was so because of the shape of their eyes, as far as he could surmise, it denied them peripheral vision.” (Bissoondath, Pg. 75) To have complete bias free thinking versus preconceived notions regarding other cultures is more difficult than you think. This is something that we often do and should become more aware of when doing it. Using stereotypes to consider an entire race can lead to some serious misjudgements. The Canadian government welcomes diversity and with that come some unfamiliar territory for some Canadian citizens. This becomes the birth of assumptions. The story “I’m not a racist but...” tells us two great examples of how assumptions can leave us red in the face. The first example is when the oil company executive refuses to live in a building where east Indian people live because “ he was given to understand that cockroaches were symbols of good luck in their cultures and that, when they moved into a new home, friends came by with gift wrapped cockroaches.” (Bissoondath, Pg. 75). The second example is “do all people with...
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