Friday, February 29, 2008

Jumping Through Hoops – Or Fishing for The Right Name?

Recently I sent in an application for a potential client’s contract bid. Typically this involves sending a covering letter, along with other supporting documentation.

A week after I sent in my application, I receive an email back, from the editor of the publication, informing me that although the parent company was mentioned in the initial posting, the actual name of the publication wasn’t.

Furthermore, this editor says, after mentioning who and what this publication is, she says if I’m still interested, to please re-write another cover letter, explaining my continued interest.

The whole gist of her email was offensive. Not only is she asking me to jump through hoops for a contract which I may or may not actually take, she’s fishing for something more.

The publication, as it turns out, caters to recent Canadian immigrants. By the tone of her email, I’m thinking she’s fishing for specific people only to fill her writing needs – immigrant writers.

Now, I’m not an immigrant – I’m a proud Canadian. But as far as I can tell from the initial posting for this gig, anyone with a solid background in writing, and the experience to back them up, should be able to excel in this role.

The publication is published in English, so it isn’t as if I’d need to have a specific language under my belt to do the job. But I guess I just don’t have an immigrant enough sounding name, so she sent me this email, asking me to justify my desire to work with her.

I bet if my last name was Mohammad, Chan, or Szabutuko I wouldn’t have received such an unusual request – the email was sent directly to me. And that’s where I take exceptional offense to being singled out – for being a Canadian.

When Canadian’s can’t get work in this country because we aren’t the right skin color, or we just don’t have the right last name, then we might as well pack our bags and move someplace else. We aren’t wanted anymore. Maybe we should go to another country, that values our skills and abilities, our education and our values?

Wait a sec . . .

Why the hell should I be forced out of my country, so that someone else from someplace else can take all that I have worked for in the past?

Why indeed?

We’ve reached a tragic point in our history, where those who are born here are now second-class citizens. Discrimination against anyone is wrong, but to specifically target people of a different background and exclude those who were born here, because they were born here, is far more dangerous a crime against humanity.

When we turn the tide on racial discrimination towards the original offenders of that discrimination, it is no better than sinking to the original repressors level.

In other words, long ago, generations ago, we did live in a more culturally repressive state – where those who weren’t born here were discriminated against. Times have changed, and we no longer discriminate against people because of their ethnic backgrounds. But, there are some sadistic people, influencing those same ethnic backgrounds to now discriminate against those who were born here.

What goes around may come around – so this tide of reverse racial prejudice will probably reverse itself once again. And we’ll all suffer because of it.

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