The whole concept of political “correctness and diversity” for the purpose of inclusion and non-discrimination has taken race to a whole new level.
Who are more diverse? people who look racially different but are all born and raised in Canada who would in fact make a fairly homogenous group culturally yet visibly different or people who are actually from other countries, heritages, religions but happen to share the same color of skin yet not be Caucasian for racial identification purposes.
If I am Hispanic or Latina (or whatever you wish to call a person born and raced in Central America) and a new proud Canadian does that make me a minority? one that would qualify for “diversity quotas” or “inclusion” for political correctness? You would think so.
What if I told you my skin is white and my hair blonde – not a “natural blonde” a not so well kept secret- not in a desire to “whiten “myself I just happen to have a nasty shade of brown as my natural hair color.
Where does that leave me? Does the color of my skin wipes away my heritage and culture? Working on a recent collaboration my team was told we had not brought diversity into the initiative we were organizing yet amongst us were Jewish, Hispanic, Italian backgrounds to mention a few let alone the fact that many of us are new Canadians.
I have been nothing but welcome anywhere I go anywhere in the world regardless of my background, accent or religion. I am not naïve to think that is the same for all Hispanics or for a people all over the world as we see in the current racial tensions in many countries.
I am currently completing my masters in Interdisciplinary Studies and we are discussing the topic of “white privilege” as it relates to leadership within organizations. I must honestly confess I had not come across or heard the term prior to this course. I do not think that I have ever benefited or suffered because of my perceived white skin or my non-white Latin background.
All I know is that I was deeply offended at being told we were not being inclusive when my accent and difficulty pronouncing certain words like “Massachusetts” lol is of constant amusement to my friends and colleagues which I don’t mind I join along in the laughter something Charo and I share.
I look at little ones first, second, third generation Canadians kids from parents from all over the world who do not see race. It gives me hope that the labelling and skin deep constructs and assumptions will one day be a primitive historical reference taught in school along with the fact that long ago people thought the world was flat.