A Comment, Whilst I Struggle to Find Words

Working on a Project right now with some promise, and I wanted to do a life update post. But, for now, a reactionary comment.

Jeet Heer deserves accolades for accurately identifying the insidious bigotry espoused by Maclean’s writers and editors. What was presented in the Maclean article was not proof and evidence of an insidious Asian influence in Canadian academies, nor evidence that “mere” meritocracy was insufficient means. All it was evidence of was that cream does rise to the top – that in any immigrant-tolerant culture, it’ll be those that know first-hand the driving impetus to the improvement of their livelihood, or those raised by those who know, that find themselves in the breeding grounds of power and influence. And it just so happens that, with few exception, immigrants tend to start with nothing – they have nowhere to go but up, and all the reason in the world to go up.

If the Caucasian-Canadian culture is finding it hard to compete for spaces in U of Toronto and other academies, perhaps the finger of blame is not to be directed outward. Is life for Canadian’s Caucasian population so lacking tension, so lacking ambition, so privileged, that they need to be coddled by their educational institutes? Is there some tangible advantage Canadian Asians have in terms of capability or intellect that lets them con the predominately white administration of Canadian universities into unknowingly favoring them over everybody else?

Or is Maclean simply full of fucking bullshit? Is this simply the whining of overprivileged brats and unknowing bigots unwilling to live up to their own personal responsibilities towards self-improvement, blaming instead the blameless for their own shortcomings?

Intelligence and capabilities aren’t zero-sum games. If you lack it in comparison to your more successful peers, they didn’t take anything from you – you simply fell behind their pace. The seventh-generation Asian-Canuck probably has as much resource as to those two whining brats unwilling to attend UoT because it’s too “Asian.” The Hong Kong transfer student that barely has food money enough for ten-cent ramen got in off not by abundance of resource and a full network of help, but a driven ambition to make a better life for himself. That Hong Kong student never did shit to deserve being treated as some alien threat… except, perhaps, by being measurably better and more productive than a pair of elitist, stuck up Daddy’s Girls. Damn right they should be afraid of him – in ten year’s time, they’ll be working for him.

And rather than being his fault for being so awesome, it’ll be their’s for thinking that partying every night and going to every hockey game is what college is “about.” And it’ll be Maclean’s fault for propagating the idea that a culture of leisure, privilege and bigotry is at all excusable, least of all competitive, in this modern age of global competition.

But, hell. It’s not as if you can expect much better from them. They’re just following a long-standing and contemptible tradition of persecution and racism. In fifty year’s time, they’ll be complaining about the next poor buncha immigrating bastards that have to listen to incessant and asinine demands that they “assimilate” by sad aping mimicry of the current-culture-in-power. And in fifty year’s time, they’ll be just as wrong to do so.

As will be anybody, anywhere, and especially here in America, who treats the successful results of hard labor and diligence by the underprivileged with anything short of the reverential respect it deserves.

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~ by Gonzo Mehum on November 17, 2010.

2 Responses to “A Comment, Whilst I Struggle to Find Words”

  1. I’d seen the front page of this particular edition of MacLean’s. Should go check it out next time I’m at work.

  2. It’s all politics, little substance. My friend, you are right to say that Maclean’s articles show bias. But honestly I am with the xenophobes on this one. The reason is painfully simple. Meritocracy is a flawed ideal. To be more specific, meritocracy is dead. Once you begin to understand that the whole notion of meritocracy is merely a structure put in place to maintain power with the elite, the conclusion is that bandying the word meritocracy is mere lip-service. The world is an unfair place, and I am sure no one will assert otherwise. There is no such thing as meritocracy because all peoples, oraganisations and entities suffer from the inescapable cancer known as the human condition. Putting structures into place doesn’t reduce the amount of bias or colouration, it directs it in a manner that is less obvious. Open prejudice and callousness leads to retribution, so the powerful elite craft the rosy comforts of meritocracy and transparency to insidiously direct power to structures that attract less ire. For Maclean and its contemporaries to speak out against Asians is not a bad thing. In fact, I appreciate the fact that they are open in displaying their biases and prejudices. It is, by far, better than the insidious means by which power is stored in hidden structures, so hidden where you cannot call them out for their bigotry. It is those who claim to be politically correct, claim to value meritocracy or fairness, that you should truly be hateful towards.

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