Montreal, December 15, 2004  /  No 149  
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Jayant Bhandari is an entrepreneur. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
by Jayant Bhandari
          The Department of Fisheries and Oceans recently advertised a 100,000-dollar-a-year position that was restricted to non-whites. "DFO believes it is important to ensure that our senior management team represents diversity," they wrote. "Competitions such as this one are aimed to help increase the involvement of Canadians within specific demographic groups…" Call it whatever you want: racism, reverse racism, or corrective racism.
Everyone's a racist 

          "We – the black – will rule the world in the next century," said an acquaintance, assuming that, as a racial accomplice, I would agree. She defined "black" as all races other than the white. She then asserted the superiority of non-whites. All whites crave for darker skin, thicker lips. She rambled about rampant racism in Canada. She had been thrown out of several places she had stayed at. Why? Because, she said, they were all racists. But then, why did they rent her an apartment in the first place? She blamed anyone who is rude or not helpful for being a racist. Could the person who was rude to her not be rude to others? 
          Her self-righteousness blinded her to what I eventually gave up trying to make her see: by believing that only white racism was racism, she had mentally accepted a victim's position that allows her to externalize the cause of her problems. Her racism goes unchallenged, as no white will dare to debate her. Much later she told me – in a different context – that she had been raped by a "black" friend and molested by her own uncle. 
          A similar approach leads a lot of non-whites to claim that the system is so unfair that they cannot get a job, which gives them a reason not to try. They prefer to stay in their ghettos with the belief that they would not be accepted outside. 

     “It is almost invariably assumed that racism is racism when the victim is not white. And then, today's political correctness prevents any contrary opinion.”
          My acquaintance mentioned above is, however, really a minority. According to a recent survey done by Statistics Canada, 80% of people who were part of a visible minority did not report discrimination or unfair treatment or said it had occurred only rarely(1). In a way the visible minorities are saying, "Thanks, but no thanks – we are fine and do not need to be condescended." 
The concept of racism 
          It is almost invariably assumed that racism is racism when the victim is not white. And then, today's political correctness prevents any contrary opinion. And if you did express any contrary opinion, you could be assured that your social and professional life will hit rock bottom. The same Statistics Canada report says that 5% of those not part of visible minority said they had been discriminated against or treated unfairly sometimes or often. 
          Imagine as a title of a book: Stupid Asian and Black Men. It would sound very racist, and it is unlikely that anyone would dare to buy it, let alone read it. But somehow the dishonest political correctness of today means that Stupid White Men is all right as a title. Actually, there is such a book on the bestsellers lists. The author – Michael Moore – is seen as a hero, and his readers as believers in equality and diversity. 
          Most areas outside the Western world have yet to even start conceptualizing the concept of racism. The major democracies of India, Thailand, and Russia officially charge non-citizens higher admission prices in museums, accommodation and transportation. Racism is written into their laws. The Indian government refuses to admit that the caste system is racist, but adopts a lazy way out: an affirmative action policy to reserve university places and jobs for the "lower" caste. 
          The consequence that follows there is not very different from what happens in Canada (and the USA): achievements of a person from a favoured minority are viewed with suspicion, for he could have got his position because of affirmative action. It is here that affirmative action policy makes the society racist. 
          Alas, instead of recommending that we nudge out of the affirmative action policy, Canadian Race Relations Foundation, a federal government funded foundation, says: Employment equity measures should move beyond recruitment to "focus on retention and promotion"(2). 
1. Statistics Canada, Ethnic Diversity Survey, conducted from April to August 2002.  >>
2. Canadian Council on Social Development, Unequal Access: A Canadian Profile of Racial Differences in Education, Employment and Income, page 4.  >>