Political Correctness Gone Mad At UN And in US

Immigration Watch Canada presents two news stories on the topic of political correctness.

One is from Canada’s Macleans magazine. It states that the UN has criticized Canada  for using the term “visible minority”. According to the UN, that term implies that  white people are the majority. Therefore, white people are  the standard which determines who belongs to a visible minority.

The UN has ordered Canada to appear in Geneva in 2012 before its Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Our view is that this is one more absurd example of how organizations like the UN as well as Canadian groups who support high immigration and multiculturalism have conspired to undermine Canada’s sovereignty and ignore Canadian historical facts. One of these facts is that France and the UK started modern Canada and that Canada’s European-based majority population has the right to set Canada’s national policy on immigration and all other matters.  It is also clear that this UN move is an effort to have Canada bend to the demands of Canada’s immigration industry, some recent immigrants and their politically-correct supporters.

In addition, this example again shows how diversity programs all across Canada and the visible minority section of the Employment Equity Act allow visible minorities to jump to the front of the employment queue. As has been demonstrated, there never was a justification for including “visible minorities” in Employment Equity legislation. In fact, many of the people referred to as visible minorities should never have been brought to Canada. Bringing them here was an extremely serious mistake. Giving them preference for jobs compounded the mistake.  “Diversity hiring” and the Employment Equity section for visible minorities  should be terminated.

The other news story is from the Center for Immigration Studies in the U.S. It describes how some immigrants have abused affirmative action legislation to acquire highly profitable government contracts and become very wealthy. (Affirmative Action was intended to protect American blacks and aboriginals and is similar to Canada’s Employment Equity Act.)  Immigrants have also used the same affirmative action laws to secure entry to post-secondary institutions, “particularly in a time of high unemployment, shrinking government spending, and cutthroat competition for entrance to elite colleges and universities”.


Political Correctness Gone Mad
The UN Upbraids Canada For Its Use of the Term ‘Visible Minority’

By Alex Derry, Macleans, Friday, August 12, 2011

Canada, despite a reputation for being an inclusive society that celebrates diversity, will have to defend itself  against UN concerns about racial discrimination—-all over a term designed to combat racial discrimination. Next year, for the second time in five years, a delegation from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage will appear before the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to answer criticisms over Ottawa’s use of the term “visible minorities’. The committee deems it to be out of step with the ‘aims and objectives” of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Canada’s use of the term “seemed to somehow indicate that whiteness was the standard, all others differing from that being visible,” says committee member Patrick Thornberry, a professor of international law at Keele University in Britain.

“That ‘s just crazy,” says Tom Flanagan, a political scientist at the University of Calgary and former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “It’s the internal logic of professional bureaucrats gone amok.”

Canada was last brought before the 18-member UN committee in 2007. Comprised of diplomats and academics tasked with monitoring member states’ implementation of the convention, it found the term itself discriminatory. And it didn’t stop there, faulting Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act and its potential for racial profiling of ethnic groups, as well as the country’s treatment of undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers, systemic discrimination of aboriginal people, and a disproportionate force used by police on African Canadians. But the objection to “visible minorities” topped the list  of concerns. While the committee (which doesn’t include a single Canadian member) was quick to rebuke Canada’s use of terminology, it refrained from recommending alternatives—it asked that Ottawa “reflect further” on its use.

After the 2007 rebuke, Ottawa went to work consulting experts and holding workshops. The result was a 74-page report examining “visible minorities” through the years. It said the term is “specific to the administration of the Employment Equity Act,” designed to protect visible minorities, women, Aboriginal people and the disabled against workplace discrimination. While the EEA interprets Visible minorities” as persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour,” it also specifies that only employees who wish to identify themselves to their employer need do so. Flanagan traces the roots of the term to “the identity politics of the 1970s and ’80s,” when neologisms like multiculturalism entered the bureaucratic lexicon.

The EEA itself emerged from the 1984 Abella commission establishing the principle that employers must use practices that increase minority representation. Nearly 5.5 million Canadians self-identify as pat of a visible minority. “I don’t see the point of replacing it. It’s not a pejorative term,” says Flanagan. The government concluded no other category adequately addressed the labour market disadvantage faced by these groups. Further, it encourages proactive accommodation of diversity in the workplace. The report also said that Canada has “no plans of changing its standard usage,” a position it will defend when it appears before the Geneva-based convention again in early 2012.

“Some people consider affirmative action and quotas as racist,” says Jason Maghanoy, a Filipino-Canadian playwright in Toronto, “but sometimes you have to force diversity.” Maghanoy says it’s a matter of choice that he identifies himself as part of a visible minority when he applies for arts grants. “I always identify myself as Asian and I don’t feel discriminated against when I do.”

While many Canadians might dismiss the committee’s concern, it doesn’t mean the EEA couldn’t stand to be updated. Flanagan admits that while “visible minorities” doesn’t need to be replaced, “as a working term, there are problems with it.” Michael Bach, national director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at global accounting firm  KPMG, supports the UN recommendation and says that while the legislation was a benchmark for progress in the workplace 25 years ago, he has never been a proponent of “visible minorities”. It’s archaic, he says, and reinforces the view that white is the norm. “We should be asking ourselves what is the right term,” says Bach. One proposed alternative is “racialized communities”.

But this makes many people on both sides of the debate uncomfortable.” it’s either an example of political correctness gone too far or it reinforces racial stereotypes. Ultimately, says Bach, the government should be involving minority communities in the process.

And real inequalities still exist today. “Decision-makers, those in positions of power,” says Maghanoy, “are still predominantly white men.”


Failed Campaign Slogan #108: ‘Affirmative Action for Immigrants!’

By David Seminara,
Center for Immigration studies
August 17, 2011

Have you ever heard a politician admit that they support affirmative action for immigrants, legal or illegal? Even the most zealous open borders advocates like U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez would rather not talk about this thorny issue. But every once in a while we are reminded of the fact that immigrants can and do benefit from affirmative action programs in areas such as employment, college admissions, and government contracting.

A front page story in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-enclaves-reap-rewards-of-contracting-boom-as-federal-dollars-fuel-wealth/2011/06/27/gIQAWQC5HJ_story.html ) which tells the immigrant success story of Anita Talwar, an Indian immigrant who became very wealthy after founding a company which “shrewdly took advantage of programs for minority-owned small businesses and rode a boom in federal contracting,” is just such a reminder that in some arenas, immigrants actually have an advantage over most Americans.

A recent story in The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/us/14admissions.html?_r=1) on affirmative action and college admissions highlighted the absurd trend of students scrambling to mine their family trees for ancestors that might help them get into the college of their choice. One mother, posting on a college admission site, “wanted to know if her children’s French great-grandfather, born in Algeria, would qualify her family as African-American.” The consensus was no, but the sentiment — though fanciful – illustrates how eager people are to find some sort of advantage.

But the notion that immigrants could step off a plane and immediately qualify for preferences that were created primarily to redress past discrimination against members of minority groups is deeply unsettling, particularly in a time of high unemployment, shrinking government spending, and cutthroat competition for entrance to elite colleges and universities.

To lump high-achieving Asian immigrants like Ms. Talwar – who often have higher household incomes and educational achievement than native-born Americans – together with the descendants of slaves and Native Americans into one stew of marginalized citizens only serves to undercut the legitimacy of the entire venture of affirmative action.

Certainly Asians have suffered from discrimination in this country – the internment of Japanese Americans during WW2, for example, stands out as one of the most shameful episodes in recent American history. The whole exercise of trying to rank and categorize which groups have suffered the most is unseemly. But in the debate over what do about America’s huge population of illegal immigrants, discussion of the affirmative action issue is nearly always absent.

An amnesty wouldn’t just allow non-European illegal immigrants a chance to compete for jobs, government contracts, and places at universities, among other things, on a level playing field. In some cases, it would actually propel them into a decided advantage over white, and in some cases Asian, applicants. (Many affirmative action programs, including admission to universities, provide no preferences to Asians)

Immigrants come to the United States by choice. Providing them with gift-wrapped preferences upon arrival for historic injustices they weren’t here to experience is a farce. Clever, industrious migrants like Ms. Talwar are bound to succeed, with or without preferential treatment. So let’s let them do it on their own.