When I speak at anti-war rallies the audience is usually all White, when I speak at immigration rallies the audience is usually all Brown… Global warming, usually White, police brutality, usually Black, and so on. The progressive movement is segregated, and race is the tripwire that prevents us from coming together. Not only do I find this to be very discouraging, it is self-defeating.
Diversity is inefficient.
At least, it is inefficient in the short run. In the long run, to repeat myself, we are not going to win anything anymore if we can’t build racially inclusive coalitions and organizations.
Why are all the cool, environmentally-correct places gentrified?
The restaurants listed for Down to Earth Week feature ethical eats and sustainable practices. Wonder why the selection has no ‘ethnic’ restaurants or venues that draw mixed crowds – I’ll leave it up to you to define mixed, and it’s not necessarily a Benetton ad. It’s the same old dilemma; hipster places where pro-integrationists gather, are very homogeneous and far from being diverse. While the more colourful spots, though popular, aren’t even on the radar.
Just curious, are you a student? What gave you the idea for doing a tumblr on diversity and inclusion? It kind of sounds like something that is part of a bigger project of some sort...
I’m not a student but someone who believes in lifelong learning. Diversity and Inclusion (D & I) is definitely a bigger project, perhaps a lifetime project – that is why I encourage input from the community and I’m learning lots. I will only be out of a job when we are all assessed and valued for who we are, without paying any attention to weight, height, racial background, gender, physical ability, age, handedness, how we part our hair and so on. If I do my job right, I will work myself out of a job.
No problem. I find your tumblr quite interesting as well, especially the idea of “linguistic inclusion” and posting comments in a person’s preferred language. I admire that. I’m currently doing grad school to become an ESL teacher and one of the major issues that I’m trying to figure out is how to incorporate the use of an ESL student’s native language into the classroom curriculum. Many teachers too readily impose an “English Only” policy, which I find ridiculous because no one learns a second language without taking into consideration their first. I think if teachers took the extra effort to take advantage of a learner’s native language when learning English, they would find that the native language can be used by the ESL student as an infinite resource for language learning that they can apply in their own independent learning outside of class. So I guess that’s my lengthy way of saying that I appreciate the idea of linguistic inclusion and recognizing a person’s voice through linguistic choice. :)
Thanks Eric. I really look forward to the multilingual posts, no one yet.
Many an aircraft has been saved by a sharp, junior, inexperienced crewmember. Often it is because of this lack of experience, and the complacency that may come with experience, which makes them able to see what others cannot. This is what diversity is all about – it’s about maximizing the service’s potential by involving different sets of eyes and hearing everyone’s voice. Diversity is more than gender and race, and we cannot discount what this type of diversity brings to the table and why it needs to be encouraged.
Tzara, who has been at CAIS since pre-kindergarten, said she didn’t realize she was Caucasian until she grew much taller than her classmates in fourth grade. “I never felt like I was different,” said Tzara, who also plays volleyball, basketball and soccer.
This is one of the many paradoxes of the gentrification generation - the “coolest” places in our cities, the most “authentic”, tend to be white and middle class, while the “cheesiest” and most touristy are far more diverse.
As hipsters, the most self-aware generation ever, with generally pro-integrationist politics, we are acutely aware of this fact, and I would argue it is at the root of some of our collective ennui.
Thank you Alexandra Wallace. The video got so many ‘eyeballs’, raised fuller awareness about racism, reaching so many including those who might not have shown interest in the topic. Reactions from far and wide remind us how far we have come and how much more work needs to be done. Thank you for making us think harder.
The greater the ethnic diversity in Amsterdam neighbourhoods, the lower the sense of well-being of its residents. They feel less at home there, or say they are more concerned about future developments.
The research shows that a higher number of non-Western immigrants leads to a reduced sense of security and well-being among residents. A larger number of Western immigrants leads to increased trust in the quality of life and future of the neighbourhood.
As a generation 1.5 Canadian, I didn’t know how to respond to that. Cantonese is an oral language spoken in parts of Southeast Asia and by some Chinese diaspora – a written language it is not. As someone who navigates as an Anglophone in Canada, the question took me by surprise.
I was talking in English with a Canadian (read ‘white’) about my plans for writing when he posed the question. Imagine if the word “Cantonese” was replaced with say “Yiddish” or “Moorish”, how would that phrase sound?
In multiracial/multilingual Canada where language and race are mutually exclusive elements, it is the ‘Canadians’ who often have difficulty with such a concept.
Sometimes perceptions of inequality can be just as influential as reality, she added.
“If I think I’m going to be treated unfairly in an environment, that’s going to change my behaviour,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether or not I’m actually going to be treated fairly, it’s what I’m thinking, and leaders need to understand that.”
The notion of “diversity” should never be defined strictly in terms of race or ethnicity. Diversity doesn’t have to look like a United Colors of Benetton ad, or a picture in a brochure of a black man, a Hispanic woman, their white friend and an Asian thrown in for good measure.
Real diversity comes from a full spectrum of perspectives, and color is hardly the end-all, be-all deciding factor in what kind of perspective people can bring to the table. Rather, students should seek diversity in all forms. Entrusting 10 kids with the concerns of nearly 40,000 means seeking the widest range of personal experiences possible.
The spread of social networks and web communities is making English exchange among non-native speakers the new norm. At the same time, such technology is changing perceptions about “standard” English.
“Very soon, businesses and individuals will increasingly move away from a deficit model of ESL speech to the realization that speaking English as a second language means that the individual comes with an asset. They must be familiar with another language and culture, and therefore be able to offer new perspectives and innovative insights to the workplace.”
In sum, diversity is actually not a matter of political correctness (although the concept can be perverted to be just that). It is a way of bringing together people into an organization that helps to ensure that the whole is more, rather than less, than the sum of its parts.
If we think of what are Canadian norms today and what they were a hundred years ago, we realize that such norms have evolved for the better. There is a mistaken belief that what we define as ‘culture’ or ‘norms’ are fixed or unchanging and mutually exclusive categories, thus removing any notion of how culture in diverse societies is created through dynamic intermixing, social interaction and fusion.
In popular parlance ‘culture’ in multiculturalism is code for ‘non-western’ and non-white, much in the same way that ethnicity or ‘ethnics’ typically refer to non-whites. The erroneous assumption is that new immigrants in Canada (mostly non-white) have culture or ‘ethnicity’ in contrast to the ’mainstream’ or ‘normal Canadians’. In this social construction, those belonging to non-western cultures are socially produced as not fully belonging to the nation, as not fully Canadian.
As noted in the Globe & Mail article, Philip Oreopoulos’ study found those with non-English sounding names missed out on interview opportunities. When such barriers to getting an interview exist, and opportunities hard to come by, then one may settle for lower wages to make ends meet. It is often assumed that a non-English sounding name equates to an audible minority - someone with a non-Canadian accent and a visible minority, a double whammy.
Mind the ‘sticky floor’, it is attributing to the brain drain in North America and beyond. Young visible minorities have seen their parents’ careers impacted by the ‘sticky floor’ and choose to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
Warning: the following post contains offal language, reader discretion is advised
I was at the Cultural Centre Restaurant on Family Day and Oscar Sunday. Only six days apart and the dimsum was markedly different, and a favourite rice dish was taken off the menu.
The shrimp dumpling was much smaller, more refined like Hong Kong-sized portions. Or one could argue it reflects cost cutting. The mixed tripe dish was not the mixed tripe that I tasted only days ago; which is beef honeycomb tripe, spleen, lung and intestine cooked in soy brine with star anise. But rather it consisted of honeycomb tripe and some tendon cooked in a totally different manner, skipping the more expensive ingredients and labour-intensive process.
Something’s wrong. I enquired about the tripe dish to make sure there was no mix up with the order. The server actually anticipated my concerns, and before I could finish the question she offered to remove the dish. Well, the problem is not with the food itself but the misrepresentation. “It’s okay, let’s leave it,” I told her and asked whether there’s a new chef. While looking away, she confirmed with a slight nod and barely audible whisper.
That explains a lot. You see, the soy brine or marinade stock is often a closely guarded device for a Chinese chef. It is never thrown out but replenished with added ingredients so it is truly the result of years or decades of slow cooking. Such a prized asset literally goes with the chef. Hence the switcheroo with the tripe dish – not cool. Later on, a dimsum cart gal pushing the same dish also found it odd. Even though she is telling customers it is mixed tripe, she boldly commented it isn’t.
Another item I ordered was the lo bok radish pastry. It is typically a swirl of a pastry that blossoms with strings of lo bok at the first mouthful - a vision to behold. What I got looked like a fried golf ball with puréed lo bok.
Barely opened five months and the dimsum chef is gone, coupled with indifferent attitude from both the manager and host towards guests. Ambiguous ads in Chinese-language newspapers offering undated promotions; other patrons and I have found that management use this loophole to renege on ‘specials’, on the fly.
On one occasion, the host actually enquired about the tip when I used a credit card for payment and I had to point out that a cash tip was left on the table. So why are people flocking to the Cultural Centre Restaurant.
One of the biggest centrally-located dimsum restaurants in Calgary.
Offers a promotional discount on most dimsum dishes.
Schools need to focus more attention on preparing children from a dizzying assortment of cultural backgrounds for a new generation of jobs, so high-tech employers don’t need to import highly skilled workers from overseas, Morrill said.