I am a first-generation Polish-Canadian and happen to be bilingual. I also happen to be the target of racism, which seems to be a more frequent occurrence.
Whether I am at a job interview or running errands, I have experienced a definite hostility and aggression towards myself, simply because I am Caucasian.
Five years ago at a job interview, I would have never been questioned as to whether English is my first language, how long have I been in Canada, or heard the comment that I have “an accent.” I have also experienced more bizarre situations, such as getting off a bus and thanking the bus driver, only to have him or her completely ignore me, yet when someone of a different ethnicity thanked the driver, they received a “you’re welcome.”
The argument that Metro Vancouver is a multicultural region as a possible explanation holds no ground whatsoever. When it comes to the dialogue on racism, most folks tend to easily point fingers at Caucasians. No one bothers to analyze, let alone discuss, how other ethnicities can be quite hostile toward Caucasians.
I believe it is time to address the fact that Caucasians are being treated as second-class citizens, whether that be in applying for a job, receiving customer service in various businesses, or attempting to have a conversation with non-Caucasian neighbors.
The issue of who is racist, and who is not, no longer pertains to the old-school notion that Caucasians and only Caucasians are full-fledged racists. Perhaps reverse racism does not exist at all. Perhaps it is just racism.