Thursday, April 03, 2008

More from the Pallor Studies department

What does it mean to be a "visible minority"? Apparently this means something in Canada, where presumably no one Caucasian has a tan, so judging minority status by skin tone might actually make sense.

The question of invisible minorities has seemingly endless possibilities. An all-white university or workplace wishing to advertise its diversity could print brochures proudly advertising its high percentage of students or workers 'of color,' with a footnote to some small print about how these people are, in fact, invisible. 'But they're here, I promise!'


Anonymous said...

I suppose French-speaking Canadians are an invisible minority.

schMaltzLover said...

schMaltzLover is Canadian! So here's some relevant value added without snark.

Visible minority is a Canadian term of art, similar to what "minority" means in the US, with important some differences. It generally includes all people of non-european origin. To get Phoebecentric, Jews are not visible minorities, unless they are immigrants from Israel.

There are minorities that are not visible minorities -- like Greeks, Italians, Ukranians etc. They are not officially categorized in the census, as their presence no longer arouses anxiety they way it did in the 50s. (English Canada was traditionally British-settled, and like in Australia.)

Finally, French Canadians are not a minority group, visible, audible, or otherwise. They are a founding nation. And Aboriginals, despite being non-white minorities, are not visible minorities. Nor are they a founding nation.

It's complicated. But you're still white.

Dr. Psycho said...

My all-time favorite minority group is "Hispanic-surnamed", because it's one group which literall anybody can join. You don't have to color your skin or misrepresent your ethnic background or change your religion -- just change your last name, and no-one can dispute that you are a genuine Hispanic-surnamed person.

Of course, you will then also be subject to the very real discrimination practiced against the Hispanic-surnamed....

-- Dr. Anton Psychotierrez