May 17, 2015

Read this article on a new report from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign about "microagressions".

Since before starting a blog, I've toyed with the idea of writing about what I see as problems with Canada's immigration system, based on my personal experience, and this article highlights a lot of those problems.

Over the last 15 years, I've seen minorities from all nationalities and ethnicities very quickly learn to play the victim card once they arrive in Canada: "That cop pulled me over for speeding! Racist pig!", "That teacher didn't give me an A, the bastard hates <insert minority name here>".

Caucasians in Canada learn to be very afraid of any accusation of racism, but in my experience, on average, they're the least racist, most tolerant group in our "mixing pot" society. While I find their liberal attitudes toward minorities very noble, I see a bit of a problem with it: minority groups who come here from outside of the Western, liberal world, on average, couldn't care less about these noble values. And when they learn about this fear of being accused of racism, they often try to leverage it to their advantage.

Furthermore, this hypersensitivity around race is a disservice to minorities themselves. The widespread concern over the most minute possibility of racism (or, to use the latest jargon, "microaggression" - instances of racism where the victim feels "uncomfortable" but the "perpetrator" isn't even aware of having done anything) teaches members of minority groups that they are victims. It teaches them to relinquish their self-responsibility over their own affairs and instead blame external factors when they get an undesirable result: why become better at your work when clearly the reason you don't get a job is racist hiring managers? Why learn to drive better when obviously the reason why you have a collection of traffic violations is because cops are racist? And so on.

The reality is wherever you live you will come across a few assholes who don't like you for one reason or another and are willing to be very mean about it. I don't think we need to dissect the reason behind their nastiness. Nor do we need to look for aggression in obscure places or worry about how we're making others uncomfortable without knowing it. We make our own path in the world. Instead of teaching minorities (or anyone really) to cry foul every time something doesn't go their way, we should be emphasising the importance of taking individual responsibility for dealing with unpleasant situations.