Racism a la Canuck

I’ve had a few e-mails and tweets and comments over the past handful of weeks asking me some version of the following question: “is racism as bad in Canada as it is in the United States?” Many people have heard of Canada as being a place where racism is not really that big a deal, and people like in relative peace and harmony. Then they come to this blog and read about all the horrible racist shit that goes on here, and it shatters the illusion.

I hope you’ll forgive me for skipping ahead to the end of my long-winded and professorial answer when I tell you that I would much rather live just about anywhere in Canada than just about anywhere in the United States. While neither country is perfect, and I have only anecdotes to inform my opinion, I can say that despite Canada’s flaws, the kind of racism we have here is, on the whole, far less violent and extreme than our southern neighbours. And when something racist does happen, it is cause for national consternation:

A Royal Canadian Legion in Cranbrook, B.C., is in the middle of a controversy after it printed a so-called “joke” in its newsletter that described hunters killing aboriginal men, then getting arrested — not for murder, but for using beer as bait. Cranbrook legion member Shirley Green — a Cree and Ktunaxa woman — says she was shocked when she read it in the newsletter and called to complain.

Because so much of the discussion about racism is imported from the United States, it focuses on black and white issues. I am not immune to this, for reasons I’ve explained before. The unfortunate and often tragic consequence is that we often lose sight of the fact that the victims of racism, both personal and systemic, are predominantly members of First Nations groups. Many First Nations Canadians live in shockingly deplorable conditions, and are subject to the most brutal and dehumanizing treatment by non-Native Canadians of all hues. The above story is remarkable only because of where it happened – in the print of a Canadian Legion hall.

The response to the ‘joke’ was, in my eyes, appropriate:

Among those saying “not funny” is Inga Kruse, the head of B.C.’s legion command. “This is not the legion,” she said. Kruse says the joke was appalling, and was used as filler mistakenly by one volunteer. “I feel that our organization needs to be heard that we do not stand for that sort of thing,” she said. Kruse says usually legions are autonomous, but this time she’s had to step in and advise against jokes in newsletters.

But at this point the damage is already done, and the retraction is not sufficient. The fact that anyone would have even thought this was an appropriate thing to put into print (or even say, or even think) means that there are some serious problems lying nascent in the community in Cranbrook. These things do not happen in a vacuum, and they do not happen by accident.

And to be sure, they do not always happen in such remote circumstances:

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 bank immediately ordered the image redrawn, imposing what a spokesman called a “neutral ethnicity” for the woman scientist who, now stripped of her “Asian” features, appears on the circulating note. Her light features appear to be Caucasian.

An animated .gif of Johnny Depp looking incredulous

Now to be sure, there was no good way out of this. The Bank of Canada had painted (drawn?) itself into a corner by trying to be more inclusive and reflect a multi-ethnic Canada. Indeed, the original drawing was supposed to be seen as a blend of all ethnicities, suggesting no background more than another. Apparently the focus groups – several of them in fact – found that drawing to be ‘too Asiany’ for their tastes. And yes, there probably would have been some irritated discussion about using an East-Asian scientist to promote the myth of the ‘model minority’.

The correct response would have been “Canadians come from all over the world, and we avail ourselves of our first-rate education systems in order to realize the dream of our children growing up to pursue noble fields like science, technology, and medicine. This image reflects the realization of this very Canadian ambition, and pays some small tribute to the contribution that Canadians of all colours have made throughout our history. You’re damn right we’re keeping her on the bill.”

Instead, they chose the stupid response, which is to say that white people are “neutral” and “non-ethnic” (these are direct quotes, incidentally. I invite you to avoid the comments section unless you want to make yourself physically ill). Of course that’s a lie, but it’s one borne of rampant and unchecked white privilege. White people are only “neutral” if you assume that whiteness is the default, and all other groups are just derivatives thereof. Apparently that is the position of the Bank of Canada.

So I can’t say that racism in Canada is “better” than in the United States. It’s based on the same antecedents and flawed logic that American racism is. It still otherizes and ghettoizes its ‘undesirable’ groups, and is still awash in white supremacy. That being said, for whatever reason (and I can offer nothing but idle speculation), we are perhaps “better” at seeing it and identifying it. At the very least, we are gun-shy enough to at least be ashamed from it. Who knows? Given time, we might actually learn something from it. I plan on sticking around and trying to help that process along by highlighting it whenever I can.

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  1. jamessweet says

    Man, the bank-note thing is tough. I’ve said on numerous occasions, in a society plagued by racism, misogyny, etc., sometimes there are problems for which there is no good answer. The solution you suggest, while probably the best course of action, would surely still have drawn some amount of protest from Asian advocacy groups — and not that they’d be entirely wrong. That’s my whole point, is that sometimes in a poisonous atmosphere of prejudice, there’s just no really good answer. 🙁

  2. embertine says

    Ugh. White people are the default, oh yes we are, that’s why we never ever ever have to think about it and any of you uppity minorities who are constantly nagging about racism just need to stop upsetting the applecart. Or should that be the meloncart? SNARF SNARF SNARF

    Aaaand now I need to wash my brain out with Dettol.

    Luckily my colleagues in the new job, unlike in the old place, are also very anti-racism, so hopefully there will be no need to get out the Plastic Flyswat of Righteous Indignation. Again.

  3. says

    I read about the banknote thing on a German website (we were clever when we still had the Mark: we used images of people long dead before any of those filthy immigrants became uppity and were allowed into polite society)
    Yes, when I read that the woman now was supposed to be ethnically “neutral” I had a headdesk moment, too

  4. Katie says

    I live right in the middle of downtown Toronto. It’s one of the most multicultural places in the world, and also one of the safest cities in the world (at least per capita).

    That said, I can’t help but notice the homeless people who are mostly Native American. I can’t help but notice that there are times when security guards give me a pass (say by not examining my bags like the signs say they should) because as a white female I don’t look threatening.

    And I really couldn’t help but notice some of Rob Ford’s comments on the recent gun violence.

    But… I think the problem we have is that we import racial narratives from the States, when we really have our own, uniquely Canadian, narratives based on our history. That’s not to say racism isn’t racism…but the reasons for it and the results thereof are different from the States.

  5. ibbica says

    Ugh. Well, that’s… embarrassing, to say the least.

    Can’t we go back to landscapes or wildlife? I liked the birds series, couldn’t we do Canadian (non-human) mammals or something?

    Or we could just display plain ol’ objects (e.g. a microscope) without including a person, who could never be entirely inclusive anyway (even if you put a ‘diverse’ group of people on a bill, I guarantee you’ll still be leaving *someone* out…).

    Or, you know, folks could take solace in the fact that the flip side of the bill still proudly displays an old white dude.

  6. Michelle says

    About the banknote controversy: the original image was of a South Asian woman. The Bank’s policy of neutral enthnicities basically is a ‘whites-only’ policy. This told me, that as South Asian, I am only good for representing the ‘outsider’, that I am a token. White Canadians can represent everyone – not me.

    My colleagues did not understand why I was so offended by this whole scenario until I said the above; I think they get it now. And it opened my eyes to priviledge – I knew it existed but this was just so blatent.

    As my co-worker says (he’s 32, white, and obviously, male) “Everyone listens to me – I am an 18-45 year old white male!”

  7. Pen says

    I’m really glad you went beyond black/white relations for your examples here, because they do tend to dominate our thinking. That seems especially true in the US, even though it is also a country comprised of many racial groups. One thing I noticed as I was traveling through the US is that race relations are quite regionalised – there are areas where the main population groups are white/Native American and that’s the relationship the people who live there think and talk about. In New Mexico, there are black, white, Hispanic and Native American groups, much more mingling, and a whole different culture.

    Of course, it’s the most horrific stories that make the international news, but the thing I noticed on a daily basis is that race relations in many parts of the US are tense and a source of somewhat resigned unhappiness to many of the (mostly white) Americans I talked to. It seems like people virtually avoid meeting people of other groups because they expect to have negative experiences. Then they often reinterpret whatever experiences they do have in the most negative terms. That’s how it felt to me anyway. I think the measure of racial tension is quite a different thing from the measure of actual racism, and I’m not sure if they’re as linked as I would have thought. Anyway I guess it’s pretty obvious why racial tension affects white people more than racism does, but what’s sad is the resignation factor that seems to block some of their motivation to do much about the latter.

    *Disclaimer: in Britain we are in about the same boat as Canada, I think. Plenty of bad stories and systemic discrimination, but pretty low racial tension. So I’m not setting out to criticise the US out of any sentiment that we do vastly better. I actually developed a lot more empathy than expected while I was there.

  8. Doug Alder says

    I live in the Kootenays – the Cranbrook episode did not surprise me at all. Disgusted me, yes, surprised, no. When I read the banknote episode on CBC my first thought was BoC was – first mistake, using a focus group, second mistake not sticking with it and doing like you said. It was a heads I lose, tails you win scenario for the BoC as soon as they listened to the focus group. The other way out for them would have been to send the decision to parliament and let the CRAP party reveal their inherent racism to all.

  9. Ryan says

    I’ve noticed plenty of racism in Canada. My own girlfriend frequently practices it while driving. Partly she does it just to bug me, but I don’t think that’s an excuse for saying awful things, just because the target can’t hear it. My friends in Alberta, especially those who work in the house-building industry (which is everybody), are definitely more quick to throw around the slurs and slanders. Every one of them hates immigrants outright. Hate against natives is pretty common where I live. I’m ashamed whenever I hear it from people who are otherwise pretty nice and polite. And they should be ashamed too.

  10. astro says

    I guess the answer then is just simply to keep representations of humans off of public spaces and currency altogether. That might not be a bad idea, since clearly there can be no solution when even an attempt at inclusivity could be interpreted as racist (and maybe even rightfully so, i really don’t know) Another solution could be to have a “stay in school- don’t do drugs” campaign featuring Asian and Indian teens in order to help dismantle the sterotype that they work harder at school and therefore have higher success rates than average. ((snark(?))

  11. says

    Apparently that is the position of the Bank of Canada.

    No. A spokesperson for the Bank said that, but the Governor made a press release that states that *isn’t* the position of the Bank. Still not absolution for the white privilege displayed by designers and original spokesperson (wow that floored me), but you should be clear that the Bank is not maintaining that position.

    It’s also worth noting (well you noted it, but perhaps didn’t emphasize it enough) that part of the reason, presumably, that this happened is because some people of the original focus groups were concerned because of potential stereotyping of people of Asian descent. In trying to avoid appearance of racism, the Bank ended up doing something even more racist.

    Also of significance is the fact that Canadians were largely upset (“outraged”) by this (“debacle”). As you say, ‘we are gun-shy enough to at least be ashamed from it.’ It’s like the whole sexual harassment issue. The first step is making people aware of it, the second, having people shun it and refuse to tolerate it when it happens. That’s how culture changes.

    (And, finally, can we give kudos to them for making the scientist a woman?)

    But… I think the problem we have is that we import racial narratives from the States, when we really have our own, uniquely Canadian, narratives based on our history. That’s not to say racism isn’t racism…but the reasons for it and the results thereof are different from the States.

    This is so, so true. We do have *a lot* of racism floating around, especially against First Nations people. There’s quite a bit of xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment. There’s still a lot of Francophone/Anglophone tension and division between Quebec and English Canada. And we have a government that is constantly stirring all that stuff up for its own gain. And then we’ve got this strange imported racial narrative that doesn’t apply to our history but actually causes racism and a defence thereto that wouldn’t otherwise exist–kind of like an invasive species.

  12. says

    See, I don’t agree that the answer is to erase any trace of people from bills. Just say “yes, the stereotype is unfortunate, but fuck it.” Or say “fine, the scientist is now Native.”

  13. kraut says

    I live in BC’s north, we several years ago had settlements with native bands regarding mineral rights and access rights to their territories which poured hundreds of millions into their communities.
    One effect was that everyone turning eighteen receives a good some of money from the band council, somewhere in the tens of thousands. Substantial sums went also into economic development, housing etc.

    One Native had the bright idea to paste a sticker on his new fancy truck, reading: “Thank you, white man, for this new truck”.

    Unfortunately for him, he suffered a severe beating and some damage to his vehicle.

    Stupidity can cut both ways, methinks.

  14. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    One Native had the bright idea to paste a sticker on his new fancy truck, reading: “Thank you, white man, for this new truck”.

    Unfortunately for him, he suffered a severe beating and some damage to his vehicle.

    Stupidity can cut both ways, methinks.

    Nice victim blaming you’ve got there.

  15. katiemarshall says

    That’s not funny. Putting a sticker on a truck in no way deserves physical assault. What’s wrong with you??

    Racism against First Nations is one of the biggest race-related issues here I think. And hell, it -is- complicated. I think the problem for most of us average joe’s is that we have massive confirmation bias. For instance, I wake up most nights hearing the homeless First Nations people on my street drunkenly yelling and fighting with each other.

    But, on the other hand, those few individuals do not represent all First Nations people. And I’m sure the First Nations people who are quietly living middle-class lives are invisible to me. And why are the people on my street homeless and clearly alcoholic? I’d bet it’s got something to do with residential schools, poor education on reserves, untreated mental illness in either them or close family members, or some combination.

  16. Iain says

    Of course white people are the default, from which other groups are derived. You have heard of the “Out of Sweden” theory in anthropology, haven’t you?

    Seriously, though, I think the whole bank note scandal is another illustration of how much better things are in Canada than in the US. Apart from the fact that the US has the world’s crappiest banknotes, can you imagine them even considering putting a picture of a female asian scientist on one of their banknotes? There would be complaints if they chose someone who was female, asian, OR a scientist – and I don’t think the debate would have any of the subtlety that there has been here.

    I think it is noteworthy that the picture is supposed to be of a generic scientist. The other pictures in the series are of specific entities, and the image here shows an insulin vial. So the natural choice would have been to have a photo of one of the discoverers of insulin. My guess is they didn’t do that specifically so they wouldn’t have another photo of a dead white guy.

    Given the level of sensitivity generally shown by Canadians to issues of race, the treatment of First Nations Canadians is all the more shocking. In my union work, I came across blatantly racist attitudes and actions directed at aboriginal people and their beliefs. The University of Toronto, for example, has faculty from all over the world, but almost none of them are from the First Nations. And, in at least some cases I know of, that is the direct result of overt discrimination.

  17. says

    Focus groups are a plague. And whoever said that white people are “neutral” does not see the human race from an orbital platform. I was disgusted by the change and the witless immorality of the people who made the change.

  18. says

    I am curious as to whether or not your criticism extends only to the bumper sticker, to the payments made to individual natives, or to the settlements themselves?

    We have similar issues here in Alaska, and to some degree also in the lower 48. I live in Barrow, which is an interesting mixture of Inupiat, White, Filipino, Tongan, Samoan, with a variety of East Asians, …and those are just the identifiable groups present in sufficient numbers to form a sub-community of their own.

    At any rate, the Inupiat generally have shares in native corporations (a village and a regional corporation) as a result of the Alaska Native Claims settlement Act. Often these folks will receive payouts due to membership in those corporations. And that is a subject of great resentment among the non-natives. Folks often complain about the unfairness of it all, or they will go on about entitlements, or comparing it to some kind of government welfare program.

    Somewhere in all that, the point seems to be lost that the money is payment; it’s what’s owed for all the native lands and resources ceded by Alaska Natives in that settlement. And if a corporation wishes to dispose of its funds by making payments to its shareholders, that is business, good or bad policy, it’s business.

    Anyway, my point is that such settlements are NOT a gift or welfare payment from the non-native population; they are what is owed for the loss of specific resources, and if there is an injustice to that it probably lies in the inadequacy of that compensation.

  19. says

    Represntativeness is an interesting problem, and there are some interesting patterns in the public perception of Indian drinking.

    I don’t know as much about Canada, but in the U.S. the association of Native Americans with alcoholism is very strong. What a lot of people miss is that while rates of problem drinking are very high in the Native population, so is the rate of complete sobriety.

    This is compounded by the fact that non-natives are more likely to encounter (and actually notice) natives drinking in the border towns than they are their sober relatives. As reservations are usually dry, this policy effectively exports problem drinking to the border-towns and increases the incidents of public drukenness in those areas. People travelling through towns like Gallup or Farmington then imagine the entire reservation communities as though they must be filled with the same thing.

    They aren’t.

    There is also an odd sense in which Indian drunkenness tends to trigger more revulsion in a lot of people than drunkenness by members of their own ethnicity. Sitting in a bar in Flagstaff I remember seeing perfectly peaceful Native Americans bounced because they were drunk, even as college kids got shit-faced and wild in the same establishment. (Ironically, the latter included Native Americans, but their dress and companions made it easier to think of them as college kids – it was the loners who dressed native that got the bouncers’ attention).

  20. left0ver1under says

    Yup, bigotry is everywhere. Just because it’s not as visible or because there are no lynchings doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The RCMP are infamous for their “Starlight Tours”, which have led to numerous deaths (murders, really) of First Nations men and teens, but no convictions of cops:


    During the 1980s, there was a lot of anti-Indian bigotry toward sikhs joining the RCMP and wearing turbans. In some places there was open anti-sikh and anti-hindu hate speech and insults. I thought finding an article was going to be difficult, but this one appeared immediately:


  21. kagekiri says

    The whole “whiteness as default or non-ethnic” bit reminds me of Better Off Ted:

    “Brody: How ya doing? I’m Brody. I was assigned to this office… with this beautiful exotic lady.

    Lucy: I’m not exotic. I’m Asian. There are more of us than there are of you, so statistically, you’re the exotic one.

    Brody: What? Wait… what?

    Lem: You heard the statistically average lady!”

    Ah, I wish that show was still around. They didn’t really pigeon hole Asians or other minorities into stereotypical roles (though upper management seemed all white, they made jokes about the white male dominance of the company).

  22. says

    I loved that show. Did you ever watch Andy Richter Controls the Universe? Similar sense of humour, many of the actors were the same too.

  23. Holms says

    The unspoken thought behind the rebranding of the $100 bill seems to be that if anything deviating from caucasian is ‘ethnic’, then then the word ethnic simply means ‘non white’ or worse yet ‘foreigner’. I’m sure the focus groups will deny this, but it follows that they strive to maintain an ‘us vs. them’ status quo, where white skin is the gold standard and any deviation is, well, deviant.

    Fuck those arseholes.

  24. kraut says

    Where for fuck’s sake did I say it was funny? Projecting by chance? I said it was stupid.

  25. kraut says

    I have absolutely no problem with the settlements.

    But what seems to me happening here is about the same reaction one gets for criticizing fascist tendencies in Israeli politics. You just cannot critique someone who has been a victim, a victim can apparently never do any wrong.

    Therefore my mentioning of settlements is apparently already a critique of them.

    My point simply was that racism is not unilateral, and implied in that sticker was racism. A counter racism that I have met with from a lot of younger natives, who want to exclude from access to certain hunting areas all “whites”, an expansion of territory that was not part of the settlement and not part of the treaties in our area. A tendency not to live peacefully together, but assert rights that are superior to the rights of any other citizen, white and non white.
    That might be explained as a reaction to treaties that were only barely fulfilled by the letter, but not necessarily by their spirit.
    This reaction however will lead to conflict, as we saw in the past were some natives from reserves blocked access roads to the oilpatch, despite settlements having bee agreed upon with the band council. Those protesters were so far lucky to only have their tires slashed.

    Regarding blaming the victim: if you live in an environment that is generally negative in the attitudes towards natives, yes, you have the right to provoke by posturing. But from a survival strategy it is rather stupid to do so. Not to be aware of your environment is a problem under any circumstances.

    It is wrong for bullies to physically attack, no excuse there – but you know the bullies are there, and if you know that you at least after such posturing have to make sure to protect yourself.
    You don’t go to a bikers bar either and before entering you kick down a Harley. And unfortunately – resource boom towns are a lot like biker bars.
    And our area has been booming more or less since the middle 90’s.

  26. tariqata says

    When I first heard about the new $100 bills, and read the quote about how the Asian-looking woman had been replaced with a “neutral”, Caucasian-looking woman, after I stopped head-desking, I also argued that if the Bank of Canada really can’t figure out a solution, they probably should just stop putting people on our bills altogether.

    Then it occurred to me that it probably wouldn’t be all that hard to have a few different versions of the bill, in order to represent a broad cross-section of Canadian identities. I can think of a few drawbacks, though; it would be costlier, people would complain about not knowing what the bills are supposed to look like, etc.

    And then I read a comment from someone arguing that the Caucasian-looking woman is of “neutral ethnicity” because “she’s a caricature”. That’s when the real inspiration struck. Animals, as already noted, aren’t automatically perceived as belonging to human ethnicities, and the goal is a caricature anyway … Who wouldn’t be in favour of depicting a beaver* in a lab coat gazing into that microscope?

    *Although given that the beaver, caribou and polar bear have already been used, I suppose this might just be setting ourselves up for an uproar over a properly representative Canadian animal.

  27. tariqata says

    My flip answer aside, though, I do think that Crommunist’s answer is the one that the bank should have given, if multiple versions of the bill representing different people and activities isn’t possible.

  28. katiemarshall says

    Ah. Sorry, I was pointing out your flippancy, and that you seemed to be telling the story for amusement’s sake.

    You’d be one of those “women who wear revealing clothes deserve to be sexually assaulted” types then? If so, I think we’re done here.

  29. eric says

    Is there some reason why Canada chose not to do what most countries do, and pick a real person to print on the bill? If the goal was ‘female Canadian scientist,’ then why not honor one of Canada’s actual female scientists? It doesn’t even have to be someone famous; having a lottery would be pretty cool.

  30. kraut says

    The turban is a religious symbol. Why the fuck do I as a citizen want to know what religion the officer attending to my problems believes in? What for fucks sake has a religious symbol to do on a uniform?
    Who is the bigot here? The officer pushing my nose into his religious beliefs or I as a citizen who do not want to know what religion he adheres to? Why do we not permit orthodox jews to wear the kippa if they want to become officers? Why do we not have christian officers sport big crosses on the front and back of their uniforms, for fucks sake?
    Do you really think it is appropriate for a officer of law enforcement to shout out what religion he believes in?

    Fuck off arsehole, and go to a country where religion can be proudly displayed by those who clobber you for non compliance to a religious based law – maybe you realize why I do not want any public employees pushing their fucking religion down my throat.

  31. kraut says

    and while I am at it: why don’t we go bright ahead, and permit any public officer to display his or her political affiliation? Why not a few cops that proudly wear the swastika, with a nice”fuer gott und fuehrer” on their belt. Why not permit your Police president to have a “I love and adore Harper” poster in his office, maybe covering up that picture of the old Queen?\Eh we have freedom, of speech, why do we not have biker colours on police bikes?
    Do you – maybe – get now how stupid that decision was to permit wearing a turban as part of a duty uniform?
    I guess not, you are so politically correct that it oozes out of your arse.

    It is almost beyond belief – unfortunately the evidence is right there, so I don’t have to believe – that someone who I assume calls himself an atheist – defends any official that gets paid by the taxpayer to be permitted to display his religious or any other affiliation that might influence in any way those having dealings with him or her.
    Or he is actually no atheist at all, but someone closer to the accomodationist camp? or even a religionist in disguise?

  32. kraut says

    Now to the last point, which really exposes the nonsense of religious symbols worn by government officials as the utter lunacy defended by a nincompoop:

    Remember flight Air India 182? In relation to the population as many Canadians were killed there as US citizens in 9/11.

    Now imagine, you having lost a family member by this attacks by Sikhs, which was likely supported by more than just a few of the religiodiots that directly planned and executed the bombing, supported even more so by their silence during the investigation.

    Years later you see a clearly as Sikh identified RCMP officer knocking at your door…what do you think you feel? Disgust? Rage at the blatantly identified member of what has become your enemy?
    Shame for a government that allows such blatant display? Intimidation? – you tell me, and maybe you realize how inappropriate display of any religious affiliation is.

  33. tariqata says

    I read somewhere that the idea was to depict “medical innovation” in general, rather than a specific medical discovery, but can’t seem to locate an actual quote indicating that was the BoC’s intention.

  34. left0ver1under says

    I stopped reading anything posted by slc1 because he proved himself to be a raging loon and a racist. Apparently he’s not the only idiot posting on FtB.

    It seems “kraut” chose to live down to his name and isn’t worth reading either. How stupid does someone have to be to claim that I’m “not an atheist” because I choose not to spew hate at someone?

  35. ik says

    I DON’T LIKE being the default, even if it didn’t hurt anybody else. What is foreign to us should be what is outside our community, and we be foreign to those outside ours.

    This is just kind of ridiculous. I am white, and I want to be white. I didn’t ask for this pseudo-post-racial defaultness.

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