Tag Archives: discrimination

My parents are hypocrites

Dear globalcounselor,

I am 20-year-old girl. I am muslim – a faithful practising one who believes in what this religious stands for. Unlike in Pakistan, I attend a mixed mosque. There are muslims from all over the world who I interact with and make friends with. I am in love with a beautiful soul from Ethiopia. We love each other very much and I was sure my parents would have been happy to hear that I have found someone to marry and who wants to marry me and start a family. I have been faced with more stumbling blocks than a Brahmin hindu girl who wants to marry a Dalit boy.  Both my parents are not in favour of this union even though my boyfriend has all the qualities of a good man – he is well-educated, respectful, honest, God-fearing and all that but he is also black. They are not saying it is because he is black, but because we are different and he is not the right person for me. I spoke to the Imam and he said to listen to my parents because they are wiser. What do I do? Should I give up the love of my life to please my racist parents and hypocrites because the religion clearly  forbid  this practice  Arabs before Islam used to look down upon others specially blacks. The Prophet repeatedly contrasted the believing Africans versus non-believing Arab nobles. Arab nobles.  What are my options here!!!

disappointed

Dear Disappointed,

Cultural habits are hard to break and if religion cannot change people’s hearts against racism and discrimination, I do not know what will.  If as you say this man is perfect, then his only imperfection appears to be the colour of his skin. I think you are of age, you can choose your path or you can convince your parents to warm up to your boyfriend. Ask your boyfriend to speak with your father to get to know what his concerns are while you work on your mother. Somewhere in these discussions the truth will come to light and if it is race then you can convincingly argue your case by quoting from the Koran.

 

Discrimination in the Workplace

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a newcomer to Canada and am working in a macho male-dominated environment. I am highly educated but because I am a newcomer I cannot find work in my field and so I have to do manual labour to feed my family for the time being. I do not intend to be stuck in this pit, I’d rather return to my country  in West Africa.  I work with a lot of idiots who do not have education but the privilege of being born in a rich country. I am among a handful of minority workers. I feel very uncomfortable working close too white people. I feel their energy is negative towards me. I do not feel safe. They watch me from under neath and whenever I look at them they turn away. I hear comments such as  “too many of these people are coming in”  “we won’t recognize Canada in a few years, it’ll be like a shitty third world country”.  I have heard my co-workers using the word “nigger” in their conversation amongst themselves. It makes my blood boil but I have to be quiet, I have to get my citizenship and think of my family but sometimes I am pushed to the brink. What can I do to contain myself how can I handle this situation”

Disappointed

Dear Disappointed:

There are lots of ignorate people i n the world who needs to be educated and it is not fair that the target of the discrimination should be the ones to constantly educate ignorant people. I know there are many Canadians who embrace diversity, equity and  and human rights ideals who are in the majority.

    What you are experiencing appears to be harassment in the workplace and you do not have to put up with it. You can tell someone e.g. a supervisor or manager to speak to these people  and if they fail you can take your case to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and they will guide you through the process.

Everyone deserves to work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment and it is the job of the employer to provide such an environment, if not, they are violating the human rights code.  I hope you find some relief through this department.

Torn between race and love

Dear globalcounsellor,

I am a torn black man. I am pro-black.  My life’s work is fighting against discrimination and racism. I love my black sisters and I think they are the most beautiful women in the world. I used to frown of my black brothers who chase after or marry white women. I am not racist but I thought that was a slap in my black sisters’ face.  Our women are strong with their own unique beauty that threatens other men. I used to think that the man who can tame a black women is truly a man because he has been tested.  My dilemma is that I am utterly and totally in love with a white girl. She is a beautiful blonde at that.  I am not that kind of guy who fall for TV image of what beauty is.  Sometimes I wonder if the good Lord is trying to teach me a lesson by making me fall in love with with a white girl. I am embarrassed and so conflicted as well as afraid. If I don’t act properly I am going to lose this woman who means everything to me.  How do I come out of the closet to my relatives and close friends without being seen as a hypocrite.

The girl is white but blacker in her ideas that some black women. She understands systemic racism and she is fighting against all forms of discrimination. This is her mission in life. She is smart, articulate, kind and very generous.

hypocrite?

Dear hypocrite:

It would be a shame if your pride stand in the way of your happiness. Falling in love is personal though some might argue that it is political. The heart is a borderless, raceless and expansive landscape. You’re at a cross-road of enlightenment. You can choose to return to the darkness of ignorance, racism, discrimination or enter the light of freedom of choice, freedom from racism and discrimination to judge a person by the content of their character as opposed to the colour of their skin or hair. It’s up to you to confirm that you are a hypocrite or to confirm that you are serious about fighting against the isms. Good luck.

Self-hatred

Dear globalcounsellor,

I am  a 42 year old man in a wheelchair.  I had a terrible accident in my teens which left me handicapped. I have come to terms with my handicap and I am very independent. I have had several girlfriends all of whom are able-bodied women.  I love beautiful women and I have not had any trouble finding them just keeping them. They all say I am way too independent for them and do not leave room for partnerships.   That’s not my biggest problem, however. There is a woman, absolutely gorgeous woman who has been hitting me on the head to notice her and I have but I am ashamed to say that because she is in a wheelchair herself I do not want to go out with her. Globalcousellor, I am discriminating against women in wheelchair even though I am in a wheelchair myself. I just can’t find it in myself to go out with this woman or to even give her a chance. How can this be?

Ashamed

 Dear Ashamed:You are a conflicted person and you discriminate. You were able-bodied and your handicap has come about because of an accident. You probably feel superior to people in wheelchair who were perhaps born that way or became that way because of an illness. Yes, you are human and you have all the same biases as many able-bodied people have. You may be afraid to get to know this woman because you may fall in love with her and what would you do then? Besides you’ve had no problems getting able-bodied women to fall for you but your attitude is what drives them away.  Perhaps you are overcompensating for your disability. You want to prove something to the world that not because you are in a wheelchair that you need more help than the average Joe. Women love vulnerability. It one of the features women fall for in a guy and if you are going to be macho like the rest of then that might be a turn off and more trouble than it is worth to these women.  You have to humble yourself; put away your guard and act like a normal person not like a super normal and you might find you are able to sustain your relationship with women. With respect to your discrimination against women in wheelchair or with a disability you have to work on that you have to try to see past that wheelchair and to the woman in it and give her the same respect as you would a woman without a disability. Give her a chance if you like her, not out of pity. Get to know her better and leave yourself a little vulnerable. Chip away at the concrete wall you’ve put up around yourself and watch your life change for the better.

Age discrimination

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 62 year old Black man working in an office in a large insurance company.  I am healthy. I have a family of four and very outgoing.  We recently hired a new Manager for my department. He is a party guy.  He invites all the younger staff to evening get together where important information is transmitted, I suspect.  It can’t be all about partying and drinking and having fun.  I am never invited. When I asked him why he does not invite me with them he said that it’s usually past my bed time and he did not want my wife to worry.  I felt offended. I know it’s not because of my colour because he invites the younger Black workers so I’m guessing it must be because of my age.  I feel hurt and I feel I am being left out of the swing of things because of my age and I’m not feeling old at all. I  think I have about 13 or so more years of work and if this is the way I’m going to be treated, I don’t know how I’ll survive because I am feeling poorly.

Poorly

Dear poorly,

You are being discriminated in your workplace by your boss on the basis of your age.  You need to sit your boss down and tell him how you are feeling excluded from work-related events because of your age and that you would like to be included. If it is past your bedtime you would have the opportunity to gracefully decline but you need the opportunity. Tell him also that it is a human rights violation just to give him heads up in case you need to take this  into a formal complaint. Sometimes all it takes is sharing how you feel and people respond.  It’s sad when we are left out of things and when we’re discriminated because of something we cannot help. Take action to stop all forms of discrimination.

My supervisor is trying to fire me

Dear globalcounselor,

I am 19 years old and am pregnant with my first child out of wedlock. I have worked at this coffee shop in my town for 3 years and have done a great job.  I work hard, I am punctual and I  treat the customers well. I am well liked by the customers. I have had three  raises.  However when I found out I was pregnant, I was ashamed and tried to keep it secret until I was beginning to show. I told my boss that I was pregnant and he literally flipped out. He said he was disappointed in me and that I will not be able to serve anymore because he did not want his customers seeing me pregnant especially  due to the fact that I am not married.

I told him I don’t think he is being fare and that I do not think our customers would mind.  They do not know that I am not married. He said I could serve until “your bun in the oven”   gets bigger.    I told him, he is being hard on me, criticising everything I do and blaming everything on my pregnancy.  I am so stressed out that I feel I make some stupid mistakes.

 Last week I mixed up an order and my boss told me to go home and wait there until he calls me.  He has not called me yet but I received a letter with two weeks pay and he said to call him when I feel better in 10 months time.

I am so hurt and I feel so angry, it can’t be good for my baby. What can I do, how can I fight this man for being so  terrible to me. 

Terribly Upset,

Dear Terribly Upset

What happened to you is terrible.  You do have legal recourse Your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of your pregnancy and  perhaps because you are a single parent. The Human Rights Code protects workers against this type of discrimination. I urge you to find the nearest Equal Employment Opportuity Centre nearest to you or the office that handles human rights complaints and speak to a worker there.

There is something called accommodation under the human rights code and employers are asked to accommodate employees when they are pregnant not to fire them or make their lives into living hell .  You were clearly under a lot of stress because of your employer’s harsh judgement.   You were also a good worker  and received raises to prove it. The bad treatment happened after you told your employer so that is evidence. Hurry and talk to someone because there is a time limit to file for complaints.