Inequality is one of the greatest challenges that is as the result of racism. The differences can be perceived not only economically, but also politically and is one of the major global challenges. Studies show that inequality can result in poverty and the creation of social classes in societies. This situation can be elaborated by Marxist theory of the Communist Manifesto. The theory states that states that those who own the means of production ‘capitalists’ take advantage of the poor ‘proletariats’ and amass wealth which causes the social class issues.
In this essay, I am going to discuss the inequalities that result as a consequence of racism in Canada. I am going to base the discussion on the economic and health aspects. Several research performed relevant to the subject will be included to give elaborately a clear understanding of the topical issue.
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Immigration into Canada totally transformed the racial diversity in Canada. In their In their work, Racism, Self-Interest, or Perceived Social Injustice, Jensen & Sharpe state that since the onset of European immigration and settlements, the Canadian society has been structured by not only racial but also on the ethnic aspects (p. 19). The ethnicity propels racial discrimination, and it has occupied a critical position in Canadian's increasing level of inequality. Entry into the Canadian elite class was racially categorized, and income was the determining factor with 'ethnic prestige,' and professions that a person held. With this, the pyramid had -Canadians at the top, and following closely were the French-Canadians. Next was the European-Canadians and at the bottom of the pyramid were the Blacks and Aboriginals-'visible minorities'.
What has changed?
The people in the administrative positions and those who have power in organizations are still discriminating and treat each other unfairly. Additionally, organizations are still involved in total discrimination, as the debate regarding racial issues within police forces proposes. Nonetheless, there are few circumstances where discrimination and uneven treatment is officially sanctioned in the constitution. Part of the transformation in explicit discrimination can be linked to the inception of legal bans against discrimination and unfair treatment. Jensen & Sharpe narrates that, “The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the hate laws constitute a crucial piece of the changed perspective. None of these methods are impeccable, and all could be enhanced. This new legal situation does not make it any easy for people and organizations to go without being questioned with racist practices and other types of prejudice and discrimination (p.35).
There is a change in the symbolic directive of race and ethnicity. The ‘landmark’ of the historically prevailing ethnic elites is still apparent in several of the ways under the organization of the Canadian society. There is still a way to appear before people of varied backgrounds and totally identify themselves in the symbolic, organizational and power domains of the nation. However, the markings on the landmarks are fading, and social organizations are shifting in ways that accept that Canada is currently not comprised of majorly of “white” Europeans.
Thirdly, some changes have occurred in regards to racism in the sector of immigration policy. As are all aware, racism had a significant role in the control of the flow of worker force and potential citizens (immigrants). Conversely, the legislated preferences for the white, and European immigrants has ceased to exist. Additionally, the more unashamedly racist phases of the immigration-policy sector have been in a mess. Still there exist racist loose ends on the policies of immigration policy, and some policies affect immigrants and potential immigrants in diverse ways. Nonetheless, they are a situation around the 1960s, when race, skin color, nationality and a variation of understatements for “race” had a decisive role in who took part. Arguably, the educational background has surpassed “race” in the situation of examining the suitability of potential immigrants.
What has not changed?
According to Cannon (1992), “Some people still have the perception of racist views, asserting racist things, treat people unfairly and do not offer employment, promotions, housing, and other resources to an individual by their complexion. This implies that there are still several ways through which opportunities, societal status and identification of people in Canada are embarrassed by racism (p. 79)”. There will not be a level in which racial deprivations do not take place. But it has emerged not to be any easy for people and organizations to affirm and do racist things without social contempt. The current generation’s public argument of “race” and racism and more public ways of resistance to racism will make sure that the next four decades will be soaking with “race”.
Regardless of drastic changes in policy, concerning the racial discrimination and the economic growth of Canada, aspects of racial inequality is prevalent in Canada. Well-researched areas regarding this subject are inclusive of the income inequalities and disparities in occupations. Observable minorities in Canada experience higher levels of poverty rates and as compared to the incomes of the ethnic Canadians with European ancients. Neubeck, in his work, Economic Rights in Canada and the United States affirms that, “Recent research on ethnic/racial alignments of income disparities reveals that household incomes of Aboriginals and observable minorities are lower than those of Canadians with a European origin (p. 37). This takes place despite the fact that such studies have been undertaken by various researchers at different times and using different racial classifications and control constraints. The studies show that racial differences in the household incomes of European in Canada Canadians have closely reduced. Also, they also found signs demonstrating that Canadians of southern European origin receive lower incomes than those from Britain. While Canadians of French Origin had much better incomes.
In the context of occupations, reveal that -Canadians continue to be at the top in the category of Canadian elites, regardless of the fact that Canadians of other ethnicities have attempted to be part of the elite class over time. Neubuck, continues to state that, “The relationship between racism/ethnicity and occupation could be examined in two different ways. The first is by setting the basis as to whether some of the ethnic clusters are more in the specific professions (by the division of labor). The second way is by assessing the position of 'racial groups' in the Grading or strata of 'high-status occupations.' (p. 48-50)”. Using the first technique, and taking the male gender, research reveals that Aboriginals are the leading in the construction and building industries with a proportion more than twice that of the Canadian male populations. They are extremely not well represented in administrative and management positions. The women counterparts gave a good representation in the service jobs. As a result, the conclusion is that the Canadian labor force is based on the gender than racially based. In the context of occupation prestige, Jewish, and Chinese Canadians are at the top of hierarchy. The Blacks, Greeks, Aboriginals and Portuguese Canadians are on the lower part of the pyramid in that sequence. In the scenario of the female gender, there is no change in the outlook. Subsequently, ethnicity and racism overshadow gender.
Employment and Home Ownership
The major economic difficulty that ethnic minority immigrants experience in Canada is acquiring enough employment. This is in association with the friendly reasons such as the 'entry effect'-associated with immigration problems and changing to the new environment (urban settlement), academic level and racism. Ethnic minority immigrants face more of the challenges than immigrants from Europe.
The situation is the same in the case of home ownership. The outlook is the same strata as that seen in the income levels of families and occupations. In spite of the fact that, studies has disregarded the role of interest rates, wealth distribution, and household incomes of the wealthy and given more attention on earning tendencies. Currently, Canada has a lot of data on economic and other social inequalities, and extensive summary is deceptive. The conclusion is that the information reveals an increase in economic inequality in Canada.
Globally, one of the basic needs and requirement for a human being is the ability to get better health care regardless of the place that a person is living. Low household incomes are regularly associated with poor health. Cannon (1992) asserts that, “Despite increased research and studies on health inequality in Canada, no much attention has been directed at ethno cultural inequalities on health. In certain cases, studies revealed that some current immigrants, despite their race or ethnic group had better health than the ancient Canadian (p. 96)”. This 'healthy immigrant effect' was however linked to the health requirements of the Canadian immigration law that let in immigrants that were suffering from chronic health conditions. Research came to the conclusion that Canadians whose native language is not English or not French are not favored economically. Recent 'visible immigrants are similarly deprived. The analysis of this situation made known of the crucial inequalities in 'health status' and 'utilization' dependent on country of origin of the immigrant and language. The status of the health situation of recent immigrants reduced as their years of living in Canada increase. This is because they do not often report for medical checkups, because of the fear of being discriminated upon, prejudice, and low incomes of the household (Cannon, 1995, p. 57)..
Perceptions of Discrimination and Prejudice: An Obstacle to Social Cohesion
Racial and or ethnic inequality can be less influential if it is attributable to the circumstances agreeable to the 'visible minority”. This refers to the status of new immigrants, disparities in the spoken language, academic and technical qualification that is not compliant with Canadian laws. In other words, inequality would not be a danger to social cohesion if it were viewed as authentic and appropriate. The thought of discrimination, prejudice is another concern all together. A study conducted in 2002, called the Ethnic Diversity Survey, which tempted to get views of individual experiences of racial discrimination, revealed that 35.9% of all the respondents 'consisting visible minorities' reported cases of discrimination (Cannon, 1995, p. 40). The report showed that the level of prejudice was at 10.6% as compared with of all Whites who were respondents in the Survey. Out of the observable minorities, blacks recorded 49.6%., which was the highest as reported. Also, the minorities also said circumstances of perceived discrimination of their racial and ethnic group.
Regardless of improving the economic position of immigrants as they tolerate the Canadian environment and society an ethnic division in views of racial discrimination is prominent among immigrants who have stay longer in Canada and have had a lot of experience in the country. This is even diligent among the kids. Circumstances of no recognition of immigrant qualifications also thrive, regardless in some situations being relevant to those of the ancient Canadians. Lack of not recognizing foreign qualifications and experience are some of the obstacles that 'visible minorities' experiences in situations of looking for employment.
Satzewich, (2011) says that, “In Canada, racial discrimination is looked at with skepticism in Canada. However, the agreement is that racism is prevailing and dominant, and it cannot be ignored (p. 62). For a fact, one of the consequences of racial discrimination of minorities is its effect on the social cohesion of the people of Canada. Social cohesion can be explained as the capacity of society to articulate, execute and obey the policies that act as guidance to the issue. The result of the no existence of social cohesion can lead into to conflicts and civil disorders as it took place in France and the . Also, failure of a group to be involved in the process of decision making could be the other effect of lack of social cohesion. This can further result in people not giving support for some decisions or societal dogmas.
Involving 'ethnic minorities' is a significant concern in Canada. Social integration and social cohesion are mutually exclusive and are highly dependent on each other. Suitable social integration of ethnic minority groups in Canada is the way for a peaceful and successful nation that is perceived by its citizens and immigrants as a way to attain their needs. This will be pivotal for Canada as a country to elevate the spirit of inclusiveness, civic and voluntary involvement in activities that are relevant to the human race.
Solutions for Racism
People have talked about racism for years. Unfortunately, people still continue to be racists. This begs the question, wow do we solve this social problem that has resulted in concerns like inequalities. I think that almost everybody, either directly or indirectly has dealt with racism. Satzewich (2011) says that, majorly, people who are looked upon as politicians, spiritual leaders, community activities, and the problems of racism is still prevalent. First, we have to accept that racism is a psycho-social problem (p. 76). I think racists and alcoholics are similar. People have to come clean and acknowledge that they have a problem. Declare they are stubborn alcoholics accept they are raging gamblers before they can come to a solution to a problem. The problem with racism and racialism is that everybody does not want to acknowledge the problem. Everyone is in a denial state, at least in their minds. There are many ways to solve racism, not only in Canada but around the world:
Debates can be organized to talk about the racial issues without fear of being publicly and enduringly condemned as racist. For an example, we can discuss this issue at our learning institutions with teachers or friends and or with our parents. This solution can be of assistance to expand our awareness regarding racism. The other solution is it is embraced that all races are proficient of both acceptance and prejudice. We believe that character, not the complexion of the skin, defines a person as acceptable or not acceptable, trustworthy or dishonest. We should not judge and treat individuals just because of the skin color. We do not jump to conclusions regarding the other person’s bad manners or poor character. Additionally, and we should avoid using racism as a justification for our being.
We have to stop differentiating ourselves by random and inadequate racial perceptions. Also, we do not hastily come together with like-labelled learning institutions or in ‘cultural’ projects and relations. We accept the substantial role the media is doing in spreading the conflict, and we sabotage to accept their reports as the truth. We learn, as columnist William Raspberry once wrote, ‘To accept that ours is not the only reality; to comprehend that others can come to various conclusions without being any less appropriate and considerate than we are.’ We use the similar principles entirely on all the races deeds, and we can presume those principles without fear of being referred to as a racist. According to Satzewich (2011), “Personal ability and the market determine the success; no one is ‘summoned to apply’; and what is ‘just’ is by what is just to the person, not the group (p. 92)”. Our laws are the reflection of the assurance in each other rather than cynicism. Instead of enacting laws because ‘people are racist,’ we pass laws lest a person is confirmed to be unjust.
Inequality is a social evil, and nobody can encourage its evil nature. The above work shows that types of inequality embedded on ethnic concerns exist in Canada. This is a key issue to racial minorities. It does not only pose a problem to the racial group that experiences it, but also to the entirely Canadian people regarding deceiving a serene and inclusive society that is embraced by all the people.
The practice of socially bringing together the ethnic minorities into Canadian society is usually a slow process as compared to that of European immigrants. This is often connected with their thought of segregation and alleged discrimination. The economic integration and social inclusion should always go hand in hand.
Prevailing Canadian laws and the legal structures are respectable against racial prejudice and economic inequality. This is probably because of the global conventions and pressure to eradicate universal racism and ethnicity. It is not clear if they are adequate in discussing the issues that have an effect on the ethnic minority groups for the Canadians. However, may accord is that racial prejudice and discrimination is a social issue that can only be altered by the unconscious minds of people -the way we reason and view other people. We should come together and fight racial inequality. We should not judge people by their skin color, country of origin but rather the judgment should be based on the individuals’ competence and content of their minds. There is no optimal solution to the racial issue problem until we can all bear the thoughts of liberty in our minds.
- Cannon, M. (1992). Racism in Canada. Mississauga, Ont.: Random House of Canada.
- Cannon, M. (1995). The invisible empire: Racism in Canada. Toronto: Random House of Canada.
- Jensen, G., & Sharpe, D. (n.d.). Racism, Self-Interest, or Perceived Social Injustice: Explaining Public Opposition to Aboriginal-Targeted Policies in Canada. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e625942009-001
- Neubeck, K. J. (n.d.). Chapter 5. Welfare Racism and Human Rights. Economic Rights in Canada and the United States. doi:10.9783/9780812204780.87
- Satzewich, V. (2011). Racism in Canada. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press.