Monday, November 19, 2012

HOT TIP: Your multicultural gestures just may be tokenism.

It's a tough gig, working in the arts in Canada. We don't get paid enough for the education we have or the work we have to do, and in order to earn our meagre salaries we sometimes have to jump through bureaucratic hoops. Like box checking multiculturalism.

It's a tough gig, trying to be inclusive, and diverse and equal opportunity and all that. But you know what? Here's a hot tip: it doesn't always help us (visible minorities) if you're just using our names to further your careers. It doesn't help us if you're just slotting us in like boxes that need to be checked without considering the fact that maybe some of us may be better than others, that some of us need more time to be more interesting, that some of our work isn't actually that great and that it doesn't help us to keep pushing us forward without support, criticism, and contextualization. That maybe, just maybe, like the rest of you, some of us are good and some of us are just awful and borderline offensive. And that maybe, just maybe, giving us all these hermetic opportunities is holding us (the human race) back. That maybe some of us (visible minorities with skillz) really deserve opportunities but you need to get off your lazy rears and find new and interesting people rather than showing the same names over and over again. The worst part is that we are hardly in a position to say no to your god damn offers because we are still considered second rate and we'll take whatever we can get. So instead, why don't you work harder for us?

It's like a box of Pot of Gold. Just because they're all chocolate doesn't mean they're all delicious - the good ones are just the square caramels in the corners. The cherry cordials don't deserve caramel status because jesus, those things are outdated and offering nothing to the contemporary chocolate conversation. You know what I mean? Of course you don't, go down to a Canadian Tire, buy a box, and figure it out for yourself.