In a speech to the House of Commons in 1995 Bill Clinton once said “In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. ”(President Bill Clinton House of Commons Address).
In Canada today, Racialization and Culturalization play an important role in how one views and acts towards minorities. By using Yasmin Jiwani Race(ing) The Nation: Media and Minorities and the Maclean’s article Too Asian by Stephanie Findlay and Nicholas Kohler one will be able to show how racialization and culturalization contribute to problems with working in conjunction with minorities.
Racialization, Jiwani believes is the defining of persons through race, in the context of the article the Asian students are seen as threats and deter Caucasian students from enrolling in the University of Toronto solely on the defining stereotype that is placed upon this community, “Too Asian” is not about racism, say students like Alexandra: many white students simply believe that competing with Asians—both Asian Canadians and international students—requires a sacrifice of time”(Findlay, Kohler Too Asian) .
The Caucasian students see all Asians as too hard to compete with and therefore it is not worth it in the long run to compete. Asians are grouped together as smarter, more driven and “buzz kills” This notion of Asians through the eyes of Caucasians is a major factor in creating a wedge in the educational and social aspect of the University life because Caucasian don’t feel they can compete which thus causes a type of resentment and a notion of Asians, as being superior and better than other races.
The stereotypes that the Caucasian community place on the Asian community can be converted over to the stereotypes that the Asian community have on Canadian Caucasian students. Asian students gravitate towards other students of the same race simply on the perception that Caucasian students are less driven and more willing to go to parties that will have drinking involved, “There’s a lot of just drinking. It’s not that I don’t like white people. But you tend to hang out with people of the same race. (Findlay and Kohler Too Asian). Jiwani’s concept taken from the idea of Fleras and Kunz is one that is based on the expression of minorities as stereotypes and one does this not only through Caucasian views and thoughts, but through minorities, or in the case of the article Asian views and thoughts as well.
The hatred that one places on the Asian students is also a categorization of Jiwani concept of seeing minorities as problems. Frankie Mao says “At graduation a Canadian—i. e. white’—mother told me that I’m the reason her son didn’t get a space in university and that all the immigrants in the country are taking up university spots,” white students and parents alike in Canada and in the United States see foreign Asian students and Asian students that already live in these countries as taking away the opportunities of the white students, because of their discipline and being “ single-minded in their approach to university”(Findlay and Kohler Too Asian).
One chooses to see other minorities in a negative light simply on the basis that white students cannot compete or live up to the standards, thus the controversy over the idea that one needs to limited the enrolment of Asian students into Canadian Universities and probably Colleges as well. Jiwani also notices that because white students see themselves as superior they choose to see themselves as entitled to spots in University before other minorities, “The importance of race lies in the fact that in a white dominated society, the colour of your skin is the single most important factor in determining life chances,” (Jiwani 272).
Consequently, saying that one of European descent categorizes the Asian people as a problem in Canadian society. In addition, to the problems that are seen through racialization, culturalization is also among the methods of keeping a diverse nation divided. Jiwani says that “Culture becomes the framework used by white Society to pre-empt both racism and sexism in a process that I refer to as culturalization” (Jiwani 277) in this manner meaning that one categorizes minorities into groups by race or sexism.
In the article Findlay and Kolher go into the idea that Asian students are more likely to state out loud that they are Asian when introducing themselves to others for instances, ““I’m Asian,… I do have traditional Asian parents. I feel the pressure of finding a good job and raising a good family. ” (Findlay and Kolher Too Asian). Susie Su does not even think twice when she was introducing herself to mention that she was Asian, without even thinking about it she already placed herself into a category that Jiwani labelled culturalization. The ain problem that one is able to find is through the discourse that people chose to converse in. What is it that causes people like Susie Su to feel like the proper way to introduce one’s self is to start by introducing ones race? In Canada it is effortless to define oneself by race and religion simple because one feels that it defines them. By allowing this type of discourse in Canada Jiwani believes we, “highlight those immigrants who were racially different (from white society) (Jiwani 278) and giving rise to a more dangerous level of racism.
If one is to continue to participate in culturalization things are only going to escalate, for example in the case of Reena Virk who was brutally murdered merely on the basis of race. As a Canadian, if one wishes to truly be known as a nation that is able to work together in peace then one must be able to put the preconceived notions aside and strive to model change. The change that one seeks must begin with one’s self and the elimination of the use of racialization and culturalization. Through these types of discourses one is creating a world that is filled with discrimination.
In Too Asian, the debate over Canadian universities not allowing a student access into a school solely on the basis of race or creed is only going to cause problems for Canada in the sense that it broadcasts Canada as a multicultural country that does not accept all multicultural students. In the Charter of Rights and Freedoms it clearly states that all peoples are equal and deserve to be treated as such, therefore saying that all people should be given the equal right to go to the university or college of their choosing.
The view that is still being held in today’s dominant culture is one where Caucasian students should get the priority over other minorities because white has always been the most dominant in Canadian culture nevertheless, The Asian people are just as much Canadian as a white Canadian and one must be willing to find some equal ground if one wishes to live in peace and harmony together. If one is living and making a life in Canada, one should be considered part of the nation.
The problem that is going to hold the white race back from accepting all races as equal and a part of the nation is how one is willing to use the gift of freedom of speech, all peoples must choose to view others as equals. If this goal can be accomplished, then one will be able to see the existence of a true multicultural nation working together and living together in a complete diverse community. The second problem that will need to be dealt with is the concept of viewing the media and the ways that we chose to report news.
As a society one should be encouraging the idea of a successful student, not stopping them from participating in higher education purely on the perception of a student’s race. The final factor that would encourage a peaceful united nation would be the support of media that presents theses minorities in a positive light, one that inspires people to be united and see through differences. An example is the show Glee, where all the characters are different and yet are able to have true friendships with one another.
Conclusion, through the analysis of Jiwani, Findlay and Kolher one is able to see that racialization and culturalization affect the majority of Canada in ways that create stereotypes, and hatred towards minorities. The types of problems that are created in the presence of these terms in the past, have led to dangerous consequences and threats to human life through racism. When the country separates into groups by race or ethnicity one begins to learn to hate the other because of misunderstandings and disrespect of the opposite race.
If the nation wishes to truly become one diverse nation then one must watch how we chose to uses the gift of free speech in ourselves and in the media. If humans gain the aspiration to examine the discourse that is used in everyday life then Jiwani believes that there might be a chance for humankind to live and work together without the threat of discrimination or racism, thus proving Bill Clinton right in the sense that people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect.