Canadian Racism that Is Largely Ignored
The Canadian concept of the cultural mosaic was supposed to be an inclusive method for cultures to interact. What could possibly go wrong?
So it's often heard that Canada and the USA have two different mentalities when it comes to immigration. This is a little bit of a hot topic in the USA right now. It's made me think of the different ideologies of how we interact with new immigrants. Canada is known for their cultural mosaic ideology and the USA is known for their melting pot ideology. Canada's cultural mosaic was supposed to be the antithesis of the melting pot model. Although they are two vastly different ideologies, we're all human and we tend to act certain ways when interacting in a new atmospheres.
Canada's cultural mosaic is based on all cultures co-existing with one another. This can seem rather confusing because it should be obvious that all the different cultures will co-exist with one another eventually. Canada's pride in its cultural mosaic stems from the fact that the country tries to encourage cultural traditions to continue down family lines. There are pros and cons with this ideology.
Canada has a plethora of different cultures and traditions. Yes we have all benefited from the cultural mosaic model because all of these beautiful cultures and traditions are out in the open. Citizens from different backgrounds have less difficulties finding groups of their own cultural backgrounds. The assumption is that this will allow immigrants to comfortably integrate into Canada. I know what you're thinking: how can this be bad? Well, a strength in any country is how unified their citizens are with one another. Having groups of citizens segregating themselves from other groups has its drawbacks.
It's great that Canadians don't have heavy cases of xenophobia but there are areas of Canada where you don't sense as much Canadian pride. Don't get me wrong, I think a majority of immigrants are Canadian proud but nowadays you can see a lot of Canadian citizens cheer against Canada when it's up against their mother country for particular events. There is a different form of racism that has evolved in Canada because of our cultural mosaic ideology. Different cultures will segregate themselves from and avoid interactions with other cultures. Now I know that people will argue, "Oh that's just the old generation." It really isn't because older generations will teach the next generation their own prejudices.
You can't really blame them either. The older generation of immigrants have come to Canada to escape persecution or horrible living conditions. Some immigrants can bring with them their anger towards certain cultures and ethnicities. For example, Croatians and Serbians have a deep adversarial history. Some Canadian Croatians and Serbians have been taught not to like each other in Canada even though back in their home country tensions aren't as high anymore. The same goes for the other groups such as Chinese and Japanese.
In this day and age we are getting more relaxed and realizing that there really is no reason to be mad with one another. So we see isolated cases of this but these situations aren't really studied too much so we don't have too much data on it.
Another issue we have are naturalized Canadians fearing immigrants. They fear immigrants of patriarchal societies. They don't want them to bring their cultures and traditions over to Canada but as a cultural mosaic, Canada is inclined to encourage them. Canada can't simply pick and choose the cultures and traditions that they allow into the cultural mosaic can they? If it goes against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, I can understand why Canada will not allow it but there are tons of traditions that can be rooted in some sort of oppression. Is Canada okay with picking and choosing? Or is this a step toward the American melting pot model?
In the end we will always identify with a group. Canada is a multicultural nation so unless we're aboriginal we are all immigrants at one point in time. I don't like the fact that Canadians segregate themselves into separate groups and avoid interacting with other groups. We don't learn from each other this way. I understand it's a necessity to avoid assimilation; however, there should be a nice balance where everyone can keep their own traditions while interacting with each other to learn and accept one another.