It isn’t uncommon to hear Canadians express their concerns over the growing menace of racism, even in a Liberal province like Ontario which is generally regarded as progressive. But I’ve encountered similar sentiments being expressed here in Saskatchewan where white Canadians express their dismay over how racist Canadian society is. According to the Canadian Race Relations foundation almost half of Canadians feel racism is on the rise:
“This survey, of about 1,700 Canadians taken in September, showed 46 per cent feel racism is on the rise. Slightly less — 45 per cent — disagreed. The results were considered representative of the Canadian population within 2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. “
The results of this survey are a symptom of a larger problem: that most Canadians don’t really understand what racism is, for if they did, they would express views to the contrary of what the survey reported. But now that the question has been raised, lets examine it. Is racism on the rise here in Canada? I don’t think so. Racism is an ideology which divides human beings into racial groups and then grades said groups hierarchically. It implies that some races are inherently superior or inferior in relation to others. Do Canadians feel this way? Hardly. There are very few whites that are bona fide racists today and I believe that their number is so small that they are politically and culturally insignificant. However most people tend to confuse xenophobia for racism and hence it would seem that ”racism” is on the rise. The mainstream media does its bit in sowing confusion by deliberately using both these terms interchangeably. The result of this confusion is as obvious as it is distressing: self righteous liberals pontificating on tolerance followed by pathetic self flagellating white guilt.
So what does a truly racist society look like? Too find an answer one needn’t look further than the UAE. I spent over 10 years in Dubai and I can tell you that this society is racist to the core. In this society (like no other) privilege is a function of race and the races are ranked hierarchically. On the highest rung of the ladder are the Emirati nationals, spoon fed, spoiled, and as A.A Gill pointed out: born retired. White expats from North America and Europe occupy the next level, enjoying the highest possible pay for any job they do in addition to receiving softer perks like getting better customer service and all around etiquette. The expat Levantine Arabs from Syria, Jordan, and Palestine are just below the whites followed by the lowest ranked race: South Asians; exploited and underpaid. Racial discrimination is legal in Dubai and it isn’t uncommon for newspaper classifieds to explicitly demand a “European national” or an “Arab national” for a job. An employee’s pay is also subject to discrimination with certain employees making more than their co-workers (doing the exact same job) due to racial factors.
I’m not trying to excuse racism or xenophobia in this post as xenophobia affects me as well. I have a foreign sounding last name that does me no favours when applying for white collar jobs. My intent however is to point out that white guilt undermines western society by robbing western civilization of its legitimacy. And besides, all humans are xenophobic to some degree; it’s the group survival mechanism that every human being comes pre-programmed with. A tiny amount of xenophobia is essential for group cohesion. Western societies however have done a remarkable job in mitigating the effects of xenophobia on their minority populations. That is the difference between the civilized west and the rest.