Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Canadian Money Maker Makes Multiculturalism Missteps

Fosetti links to an interesting news story.

It appears that placing a female scientist on the back of the new Canadian $100 polymer bill is being found to be both objectionable and racist.

Bank of Canada bans image of Asian woman from $100 bill

The Bank of Canada purged the image of an Asian-looking woman from its new $100 banknotes after focus groups raised questions about her ethnicity.

The original image intended for the reverse of the plastic polymer banknotes, which began circulating last November, showed an Asian-looking woman scientist peering into a microscope.

The image, alongside a bottle of insulin, was meant to celebrate Canada’s medical innovations.

But eight focus groups consulted about the proposed images for the new $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 banknote series were especially critical of the choice of an Asian for the largest denomination.

“Some have concerns that the researcher appears to be Asian,” says a 2009 report commissioned by the bank from The Strategic Counsel, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

“Some believe that it presents a stereotype of Asians excelling in technology and/or the sciences. Others feel that an Asian should not be the only ethnicity represented on the banknotes. Other ethnicities should also be shown.”

A few even said the yellow-brown colour of the $100 banknote reinforced the perception the woman was Asian, and “racialized” the note.

But even removing the image and de-ethnic-contenting (if there is such a word) the image is causing a problem:

The Bank of Canada apparently took seriously … racist comments and feedback from the focus groups and withdrew the image,” said May Lui, interim executive director of the group’s Toronto chapter.

“That was upsetting simply because of the history and longevity of Chinese-Canadians in this country.”

Lui demanded the bank “acknowledge their error in caving to the racist feedback.”

Victor Wong, the group’s national executive director, called on the bank to amend its policy of not depicting visible minorities.

“You’re erasing all of us,” he said from Toronto. “Your default then is an image with Caucasian features.”

When you play racial politics and choose imagery for diversity's sake rather than for merit, you're going to offend someone.

Look, let's assume the bottle is indeed insulin as described. Instead of a composite fictionalized female with objectionable Asian or objectionable non-Asian features chosen for the sake of fashionable multiculturalism, how about they put an actual Canadian hero actually involved with the creation of insulin - Dr. Frederick Banting on the bill?

How the heck did they miss that opportunity?

After all, Dr. Banting has saved or made livable millions of lives and will go on to save millions in the future. The composite multicultural character, not so much.

Of course, Dr. Banting was one of those now dead old white males the multiculturalists are now trying to get away from, but at least it would be both historically accurate and a celebration of a true Canadian hero rather than a composite drawn by committee to celebrate the diversity of the easily offended.

1 comment:

NotClauswitz said...

The camel's nose of Identity Politics is already well under the Canadian tent and institutionalized.

I don't think Harper (or Canucks) can win that battle without a wholesale re-education, and the Left-leaning education that produced the current outcome has been in the works for thirty years or more.