VANCOUVER SUN COLUMNIST : CANADIAN OLYMPIC TEAM “AS WHITE AS SNOW”
As the 2010 Olympic Winter Games ended, Vancouver Sun columnist Pete McMartin took the immigration industry’s notion of “reflecting Canada’s Diversity” a step further.
In his February 27 column, McMartin said that not only should the Olympic Ceremonies have been representative of Canada’s population but so should the Canadian Olympic team. Before Canada takes his advice to make Canada’s Olympic team “diverse”, let’s think. Most recent Asian immigrants are unfamiliar with winter and winter sports such as skating. Although some have learned since they arrived, imagine requiring, for example, that Canada’s Olympic hockey team consist of 20% Asians so that Canada’s hockey team can “reflect its population” and so that Canada can tell the world that its team was “Diverse”. Can Canadians imagine our national hockey team having to satisfy a quota that 20% of its players be vsible minorities? Can Canadians imagine a scene where these new arrivals are falling over one another because they are unable to skate? Do we need a better scene to illustrate how absurd the immigration industry’s “Diversity” (Affirmative Action) argument is?
Here are 3 points for Mr. McMartin to consider :
(1) Canadian methods of dealing with winter have evolved since the First Nations arrived thousands of years ago. French and English traditions have adapted to them since those groups came in the 1600’s and 1700’s. Contrary to what Canada’s immigration industry implies, Canadian winter sports, like Canada’s history, did not begin 20 years ago when most of Canada’s Asian immigrants arrived. It is nonsense for McMartin to imply that the Canadian Olympic team should consist of Asians proportionate to the numbers of Asians in Canada’s population. It takes years for immigrants to learn these sport traditions. If Canadians of recent immigrant background want to represent Canada, they have to qualify for the winter sports team, not be given a Diversity (Affirmative Action) advantage.
McMartin’s statement leads, of course, to an even bigger issue. Recent Asian immigrants should also have been required to get into the employment line-up if they wanted to be considered for jobs in Canada. The blunt truth is that because of unjustified “Employment Equity” laws for “visible minorities”, tens of thousands of recent immigrants have been placed at the front of the job queue. They have been hired solely because of their skin colour and have displaced Canadian-born. Most Canadians who are aware of this gross injustice want redress. If McMartin wants to write about an important issue that he and his fellow Canadian journalists have been asleep at the wheel for in the past 25 years, then employment redress is it. How about it, Mr. McMartin?
(2) If Mr. McMartin wanted to have the views expressed in his column represent a realistic sample of Canadians, why did he devote so much of his column to an unrealistic sample of Canadians : the views of a high-immigration advocacy group called SUCCESS and its CEO, Tung Chan. That organization has chosen an appropriate name for itself because for almost 20 years, it has “successfully” duped McMartin and all other Vancouver Sun reporters into thinking that its role is to help immigrants.
Most Canadians would have thought that after a year or two of hearing the nonsense that Tung Chan and his predecessors proclaim, McMartin and others at The Vancouver Sun would have tuned into SUCCESS’s real purpose : to lobby for money and for continued high immigration levels. SUCCESS’s ultimate goal is the same as that of UBC History Professor Henry Yu and that of CBC Diversity Manager Alden Habacon : to erase Canada’s history, to marginalize any claim that the majority population has to set immigration policy in Canada’s interests, to transform this country racially, to re-colonize it, and to dupe McMartin and others into helping them achieve their goals. So far, SUCCESS and its supporters have “succeeded”.
(3) If Mr. McMartin wants the Olympic ceremonies and the Canadian team to represent Canada’s population, then let’s look at a much more significant matter : Why don’t The Vancouver Sun and most other newspapers in Canada represent the immigration views of most Canadians? As the comments on McMartin’s recent column demonstrate, most Canadians see the immigration issue differently from the way he sees it. Most see that strong criticism should be directed at the immigration industry.
However, most of the immigration-related articles that appear in The Vancouver Sun and other Canadian newspapers cheerlead the immigration tsunami. Most Canadians (including journalists) are aware that hundreds of thousands of Canadians have recently lost their jobs. So why do those journalists say almost nothing when Canada continues to permit over 250,000 immigrants to enter Canada each year and another 250,000+ Temporary Foreign Workers to work in Canada every year? Even some of the most ideologically-driven Canadians can see that it is absolute madness to continue these policies. Canadian journalists add to the blunder they have committed by feeding Canadians stories about the wonders of immigration and “Diversity”.
McMartin may not have lowered himself to the level of our grossly sycophantic CBC, particularly CBC Radio in Vancouver. But like our CBC, he and his colleagues seem to think that nonsense such as “Diversity” should be elevated to the level of a supreme national goal for Canada. Should we live in hope of redemption for Mr. McMartin and his fellow journalists?
We are copying below Mr. McMartin’s column. Below it, we are copying over 50 comments made by Vancouver Sun readers about that column.
An Olympic Games As White As Snow—-Nation’s ‘Multicultural Community’ Appears To Have Been Missed From The Opening Ceremony And Is Missing From Team Canada
By Pete McMartin
February 27, 2010
If one had to go by our opening ceremony — and how long ago that seems now, forgotten in the hangover of the World’s Largest Street Party — then foreigners to our fair land would be forgiven if they came away thinking Canada’s population consisted entirely of: (a) colourfully dressed aboriginals, whose marathon dance-a-thon suggested some sort of amphetamine at work, (b) deranged punk Maritime step dancers into nose-piercing and kilts, (c) fur-clad Inuit fleeing the global-warming disintegration of the polar ice cap, (d) a fiddling Batman in a canoe and (e) orcas. Hard to say what conclusion they would come to at the sight of a barefoot k.d. lang in white tuxedo. Probably that Canada might not be Republican territory.
And who did we not see represented?
How can we put this delicately, since everyone in this country gets the vapours at the mention of race?
Ah, yes, here’s the euphemism we use: The multicultural community.
Canada is a not a white country any more; it’s not even tartan. It’s a Crayola box ranging from Shocking Pink to Eggplant. And it has been so for some time.
But did anyone see any evidence of that multicultural fabric represented in the opening ceremony? If you did, let me know. I missed it.
And I wasn’t the only one.
“It was a wonderful show,” said Tung Chan, president of Vancouver’s immigrant service society S.U.C.C.E. S.S., “and something all Canadians can be proud of.
“At the same time, it was meant to be a family portrait of Canada, but there were some family members missing.”
I’ll say. No Chinese. No Japanese. No South Asians. No blacks. (I wasn’t close enough to see the faces of all those ushers down on the floor clad in snow-white suits, but as Stephen Colbert observed, they danced like white people.) In fact, there was no sense of the multicultural fabric of the country at all.
This may have been intentional. This being the Winter Olympics, maybe Vanoc thought it more to the point to impress upon the world that Canada is still a land of ice and igloos, and that the only cultural heritages worth inclusion are either aboriginal or fiddle-folksy.
But the glaring absence of minorities in the ceremonies, especially in Vancouver, caused a buzz in their communities, Chan said.
Letters to the editor were written, bloggers blogged about, it was the subject of a lot of conversations. I got several e-mails about it.
“The feeling in the community? Not upset [but] disappointed,” Chan said. “Not angry, but sad. After so many years of being proud Canadians, to say that we even have to raise it as an issue is disappointing, and so was the fact that people in the organizing committee are not even acknowledging it.
“But I hasten to add,” Chan said, “that this is a time for celebration.” (I hasten to add, too, that Chan’s voice mail ends with the message “Go, Canada, go!” Which is more than this white boy can say for his.)
The closing ceremony may incorporate multicultural references and mollify matters somewhat. We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, there’s another aspect of this multicultural representation that is even more glaring.
And that is on the Canadian Winter Olympic team itself.
As best as I could determine, there are a half-dozen non-Caucasians among 206 Canadian athletes. That’s less than three per cent. Winter sports would seem to be the last bastion of the white man.
Why this is so remains in the realm of conjecture; I couldn’t find anybody studying it. Time, obviously, has something to do with it: Immigrants don’t expend their energies on luge. And maybe cultural preferences have something to do with it. How many kids are taking violin and piano lessons when they could be out breaking their necks on a halfpipe? Or, do some
cultures place less importance on sports than others, and see them as unworthy of dedicating a lifetime of work to them?
The Canadian Olympic Committee argues that it, rightfully, doesn’t target certain communities: Its job is to encourage athletic excellence and participation regardless of skin colour or background.
“It’s not that simple,” said Steve Keough, president of the COC, “to say that just because Canada is a multicultural society, then the team should be like that.”
He is absolutely right. It isn’t the COC’s job. And this column is not suggesting there is any design or forethought to the team’s cultural makeup. It is what it is. The best athletes make the team.
But time, I hope, will change that. There are great athletes out there of all colours and cultures waiting to be discovered. The country only has to find them, or vice versa.
This is a very interesting and thought provoling article Pete and I thank you for having the insight and focus to review the situation.
Note is taken on the strengths of the event. this is of great interest to me as a Phd Candidate desirous of migrating to Vancouver and have noted that 6 years ago the percentage of blacks was reported at 2%. In 2008 levels were informally reported at 10%. My view is that by 2011 Vancouver will be organized and socialized to accept a “visible minority” with 2 black boys who welcome a healthy and fun lifestyle in a beautiful city and country!
Once again, Thank you.
St.Andrew, Jamaica, West Indies
As an Asian Canadian born and raised in Coquitlam, I never once felt that the asian community was under represented in these games. Furthermore i personally know 4 people who performed in the closing ceremony, all of whom are of asian descent. Please author, do not allow your white-liberal guilt (I can’t believe I’m saying that) to detract from what was an amazing olympics.
We Canadians ALL stood together and we ALL did an amazing job showcasing the beauty of not only Vancouver, but our country as a whole.
GO CANADA GO
Don’t we get 100 points for our Governor-General and another 100 for the gold-lamet Diva with purple lips from Montreal belting out that horrid Olympic Anthem (I love you Misha). As for poor minorities not having a chance to play sports, I suggest you check out the MBA program at SFU and UBC then write about equal opportunity.
Watching the closing ceremonies. Oh, no. Did you notice the Chinese team is almost entirely composed of Asians!
These Olympians are the best of the best who EARNED their right to compete.
What do you want to MAKE diversity?
Affirmative action, giving points for color, awarding points for a “poor and disadvantaged” childhood?
Should we “dumb down” the Olympics so all people (even those not qualified for it) can participate, and maybe even add sports like basketball to the Winter Games using a cold lot that has been vandalized?
The US now has diversity in the White House, and look at the mess it’s resulted in, instead of elections based on ability.
Wouldn’t this be more of a class issue than a race issue. Parents with money and the luxury of time can afford all the ski lessons and equipment to entertain their children. Certainly some of these children wind up taking up these sports seriously all the way to Olympic level spending money and time. The reason perhaps that minorities aren’t better represented isn’t because the color of their skin but a lack of money and time to pursue them. Canada’s greatest 50M skier might be a Native American but without time and money who is going to find out?
Tryouts and qualification to be on the Olympic Team is open to all – but they have to work hard to achieve this.
Oh – now I understand the lack of color in the team!
Black History Month is over, but when does White , Yellow, Red, etc. History Months start?
I would be really mad if the national hockey team started a quota of how many non-whites there should be on the team. It’s about the best team, not who is on it.
Discussions based on the amount of melanin people have are 20th century, and those people should stop dragging their knuckles.
To you who live near the reserve–you’re clearly a racist and just the kind of no-mind m.oron who loves the olympics without ever giving it a critical thought. and by the way, i.diot, they are native Canadians.
I can’t believe what they have done to the Canadian hockey jersey’s. The crappy pictures they stuffed into the maple leaf look retarded. I am tired of seeing all these native american pictures all over the Olympic games. I agree they should have gave a bit of acknowledgement to the natives, but to centre the games around them is so far off of what this country is made of. Let’s be honest and say that native americans give far less to this country than they get back. They have hundreds of pathetic land claims and beg for money from the government. I live next to a reserve and if you drive through it you can see how they choose to live. I love the olympics and am very excited that they are in Canada, but I wish they would give credit to the people who make this country great. And that is not native americans. If we didn’t have to be politcally correct the games would do the right thing and change the hockey jersey along with many other venue appearances at the games. GO CANADA GO!!!
just want to point out that there are plenty of white Canadians who also value intellectual/creative pursuits over athletic ones. fitness is one thing, spending your life learning to become a bobsledder is quite another. Every time I hear all this mindless “go Canada go” “we’re number one” stupidity, I thank God I have intelligent children who can do something to actually help the world rather than earn medals as a prelude to getting fame and fortune by shilling useless products for big corporations.
I could not agree more with this assessment!
Not just Canada, too. The Winter Olympics were lily white, with a hint of Asian. And the American press made a complete spectacle of the few black and latino athletes in the games. It was so blatantly obvious, like “Look! See! The Winter Olympics have diversity!” The worst was Jenna Bush, NBC correspondent and daughter of W, interviewing a skier from Africa that has been offensively dubbed the “Snow Leopard” and during her story wrap-up she says, “He is changing the face of the winter games [emphatic pause] literally!” I don’t necessarily think the lack of non-whites is intentional, but certainly the cost and exclusiveness of winter sports reserves them for more wealthy and privileged people, which too often continues to be whites.
There were certainly a lot of Asians in the skate show yesterday.
Wake up, Pete. The correct percentage of races? Deliberate exclusion of non-whites? You are the racist.
Best to be colour-blind – under the skin we are all the same.
this is a lame article i just returned from mexico on the mayan riviera where this time of year is a festival akin to mardi gras every night in the streets the locals would come out to dance and sing and drum and spin fire all done in body paint and tradtional warrior costumes. did i leave there thinking all mexicans dress like that all the time NO! c’mon dude a celebration highlighting the historical costumes of the past is awesome it doesn’t mean everyone who watched will assume our aboriginals always dress this way.this is another example of the PC age and how wrong being PC is .and to that end not to be rude but i think the celebrations were meant to highlight the founders of the country and recognize the aboriginals. i know the asians played a part in this but how can canada possibly highlight every single race that now lives here? your article is suggesting we are a racist nation and that simply is not so.
What an idiotic article. The author speculates “This may have been intentional” and then offers no evidence whatsoever to back this up. In fact, his only “investigation” into the issue – his discussion with the COC – refutes this suspicion. There are many more talented journalists that deserve McMartin’s job.
Another indication that multi-culturalism doesn’t work. One country, one people. Doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like if you choose Canada as your home either embrace Canada and make Canada better or don’t come.
Actually, there were a number of women from Asian descent who carried the names of the country into the stadium ahead of the athletes but I only noticed this because there were so few in other areas of the arena.
My biggest disappointment was that they invited Steve Nash to light the flame. I would have like to see the sprinter Donovan Bailey. I know he isn’t from the BC area but Nash? Donovan Bailey was the fastest man in the world at one time and is a gold medal winner. Just don’t get why he wasn’t part of either carrying in the O flag or lighting the torch.
I’m a white, fifth generation woman but I also think we needed a little more colour in our O program.
Becoming an olympic athlete is based on skill – not colour of skin. Get real. This article is ridiculous. To suggest we are not holding up to our multi-cultural standards simply because only 3% of our Canadian team is non-Caucasian is absolutely absurd. Do you not have anything better to write about?
not this junk again…..people do what they want to do…if black people don’t want to ski or skate its none of our business….lots of people don’t play football or basketball….
some people have nothing better to do than to find fault…and complain….
Written by poor me Mr. Negative poor pete
The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius.” These three Latin words mean “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.”
All countries, all athletes have a grip on this. Spectators aspire……….
and when I say culture – I mean that there are alot of parents in traditional cultures who view athletics as a waste of time and money, and would prefer their children attend university and devote themselves to academic studies..primarily. Oh I’m sure someone will leap onto me about this, but..get a grip.
Pete McMartin must have alot of time on his hands. You are in the sport if you want to be in the sport. You go to the olympics if you are good enough. If our Olympians are primarily white, it is not due to racism, it is due to culture and the priorities each set in life.
The vancouver journalists are just a bunch of trolls who use this as a podium to have their name on the front page. They stir up a problem where there was no problem. If people..white, black, pink, yellow, purple with red stripes, want to work towards an olympic dream they will do so. If they choose not to, their absence should not be used as a platform for some pathetic loser of a reporter who has nothing better to do.
I would love to have a Canadian (white, black, yellow, brown, pink, etc) direct the ceremonies. surely we have people talented enough to handle the job.
instead of discussing the “issue” of not having enough minorities on the teams, look at the people in the stands. it was awesome to see people of all colours coming together to cheer on our athletes, to cheer for Canada. the patriotism on display in this city is unbelievable. go out and enjoy the last two days, folks.
As a second generation Chinese Canadian, I don’t believe it’s systemic racism at work here. It may be that many immigrant families place different values on sport.
Sport is something you do in your spare time. Being an Olympic calibre athlete requires full-time dedication; something most immigrants don’t tend to focus on. For my family (all Canadian born), it’s academics and career. Sports is for fun, not a profession.
That said: we like to cheer and certainly appreciate all the athletes.
Judging from the photos on this site the only think whiter than team Canada is the Vancouver Sun columnist staff.
Maybe they should do something about that.
Shut the heck up! What a bunch of worthless, finger pointing hypocrites! Just live life honestly and contribute to the good. Racism is not a major part of our society. There is some as there is in every corner of the world. But, it doesn’t exist inside of me or the majority of people I know. And none of us feel we need to be represented at any public display.
I was not personally represented. Either was my neighbour. We’re both mad as hell and don’t want to take it anymore. SOMEBODY’S not goin’ to be invited to our BBQ. THIS IS A BIG COMPLAINT IN CANADA?!?!?!?!?!?
Everyday of our lives we are all represented. We live well, we live long and we prosper. Please stop being so petty and me, me, me.
The more newspaper editorials I read, the more I am of the opinion they are a bunch of failed, miserable writers. Here they create controversy, then in an attempted to veil a lack of original thought, they contradict themselves in the last paragraph. McMartin presents 2010 as a racist white bastion then says “this column is not suggesting there is any design or forethought to the team’s cultural makeup.” Uh… which is it?
This does nothing but stir controversy where there is none. I guess it sells newspapers and gives small minds something to write about. Because Canada is diverse and multicultural you cannot include every single contributing group. You can choose enough however, to represent that ideal. Sorry everybody, lets all stop giving these losers the time of day. Enjoy the games for what they are.
I can’t believe some of the redneck comments here like “if you don’t like it here go home”. Go home where? If you were born in Canada as a visible minority, Canada IS your home. As for the Olympics, I think the white demography is mainly due to the fact that non whites place different priorities on life as opposed to racism. I was born here to non white parents but I am not complaining that they steered me towards working on career/academic objective rather than sports. Indeed, I would not trade my six figure professional career which I will have for almost my entire life for five years of sports glory in my twenties and early thirties. But that’s me.
Just because a group of people have been in this country for a few decades doesn’t automatically make the culture of their homeland OUR culture.
My ancestors came from Ireland and Canadian culture still has nothing to do with shamrocks and blarney stones — do I complain? No… because I AM CANADIAN.
Maybe the culture section of the closing ceremony can be skipped and they can just spray the audience with maple syrup.
I do not care whites comprise the white sport team. It is genetic/heritage things.
What I concern is that the top-money cushy city government/school jobs are dominately held by “minority” in Richmond, Vancouver, or Surrey.
Did anyone tell people of Asian, Indian, African, etc. descent not to try out for the Olympic ceremonies? Did the casting calls say “White people needed. Preferably English speakers of north-western descent. Irish need not apply.”? Did any minorities make the effort to excel at winter sports activities but were turned away from training or from the Games? If so, these are serious problems that need to be immediately investigated. If not (as I think it’s safe to assume), it’s a non-issue.
If “white folk” are disproportionately attempting to be included, of course they’re going to be over-representative. It’s not their fault if people of other backgrounds don’t show up.
In the end, though, this issue (or lack thereof) tells us more about the finger-pointers…
By going out of your way to find “gaps”, you’re exposing your own biases and beliefs that people are somehow inherently different (and that those differences are actually important and worth noting.
I live in Vancouver, I’m white and I know and work with many non-white people. They’re just as Canadian as anybody who is of European descent.. And yes, most are very excited about the Olympics.
Some of these posts make me sick.Human beings are all the same, our skin color and enviroment we grew up in is what makes us different.This country is still by far mostly white people.How many people complained about the natives getting most of the attention when they represent such a small minority and most of them dont even want to be canadian.Not enough i think.Some people have no limit of what they will take and want no matter what color they are.
And we can turn our team into a giant CBC where racial quotas are filled not based on talent but on ancestry.
I am 74 yrs old. When I was young if you wernt British then you WERNT. Preferably English. The pecking order for jobs or anything else was English, Welsh, Scottish and [northern]Irish. Everyone else was a DP, except orientals and they did the laundry and grew the lettuce. Our society has come a long way in my time and if folks left it alone we will go a lot further. Walk down any street or visit any school in our city and see the mix.
Thank you for writng the article, Pete. I am disappointed that an aussie is hired as an artistic director for the opening and closing ceremonies. Don’t we have enough talent in Canada for this job? That he himself has to travel across Canada for three months to figure out what Canada is like so he can include a Canadian content for these shows. Enough said!!
I wonder what he will come up with for the closing ceremony!!!! Come to think of it why is it that most spokepersons I see on TV such as ICBC and west vancouver police, cbc weather person has a british accent. Are there a short supply of skilled Canadians for these jobs? Could anyone please enlighten me!!!
Who cares about the Winter Games. It’s all about the Summer games which Whites don’t dominate in which is quite sad. Non-whites aren’t interested in holding hands and dancing around on the ice, lol. And I can list a few other sports that no one outside of Canada gives two sh*ts about like CURLING. Let the whites have the winter games, we’ll keep the real games which are the Summer games and we’ll see what’s up in 2012.
out of those 206 athletes It seemed like most were from Montreal. What can we say, they re a passionate bunch who give 110% to their sport.
The writer of the article should have looked at all the athletes who participated in sporting events/competitions over the last years that could have possibly got them eligible to participate in the Olympics. Last I heard anyone could go if they were good enough to prove it in another competition.
to say 3 % sounds brutal enough to write an article about possible discrimination, but its really stretching the facts, even omitting important ones.
gotta go for gold with this article…go brains go!
Pete: hope you learned something here. You shouldn’t be surprised: your paper had and still has much to do with how minorities are perceived. If all stories concerning minorities are negative, are you at all surprised by the comments?