Racism...in Canada?

pretty sea anenomes.  however you spell them.
Two of my lovely friend, Katie and Jenette, and I went to Vancouver this past weekend. It was... an experience?  The three of us and 2 other friends did couch surfing in Portland a few months ago and had a fabulous experience.  So we decided to couch surf in Vancouver as well.  The experience didn't live up to the Portland trip sadly.  But we made due.
Aw sweet dolphinJenette gazes at the dolphins
We stayed with a dude (I'll just call him Dude for the rest of the story) in Vancouver in a little apartment with 2 kitties. Dude really should have cleaned before we arrived because it majorly smelled like cat in there in a not cute way.   He seemed like a pretty nice guy, accommodating with a good attitude.  But I think his mind only revolved around beer.  Also, he was about 30 with speckled grey and black hair but looked like he still hadn't grown out of his 15 year old pop punk days.  The entire time we were there in the apartment with him, he was BLASTING punk/pop-punk music.  It's pretty hilarious trying to hold conversation with someone you don't know over super loud music in a tiny space.
He had us bring him a bunch of beer from the States because its about double the price in Canada.  So, sleepy us, Saturday night we just decided to stay in and chat and drink some beers instead of going out.  He seemed pretty disappointed that we weren't in party going out mode.  Whatever dude.
jenette loves Michael Kors.jenette and katie
As the night went on, everyone had a few beers in them.  I stopped after 2 because beer just makes me feel sick...sad.  So I wasn't tipsy or anything.  Just exhausted from the day running around the city and driving up from Seattle.  As dude got a few beers in him, he started saying some really strange things.  There were plenty of awkward silences in our group conversations because of his weird statements, well, basically because of his obvious outright hate of certain people groups...
Racism isn't cool.  And this guy definitely had some racist moments.  For example, he apparently hates hates hates Australians.  Why?  We couldn't figure it out even after asking him a million questions as to why.  I said, "Well all the Australians I know are actually genuinely nice and sweet."  Didn't matter to the dude.
Most racist statement of the night coming from this guy, "All Asians are ugly after the age of 15."  Whaaaaaat?!?  Who the hell thinks that?  Are you kidding me?  We tried to laugh it off hoping that he was just joking or something, but then he gave us this stoic look and said, "No, seriously."  Wow... Racism.  I would dare to argue that my friends who are Asian or part Asian are some of the most GORGEOUS people I have ever met so that statement he made has to be coming from a crazy point of view.  What is his issue with Asians?
After that statement, I just felt completely cold and didn't really want to talk to him anymore, didn't want to spend the night there, and wished the apartment wasn't so damn small so I could at least just escape the idiocy of this dude.  But nope.  I was stuck in there.

Next he moved onto religion.  Now, Jenette is hardcore Atheist, Katie is somewhere between Agnostic/Aethist/Spiritual Humanist, and I am Christian/Liberal.  The beautiful thing about my friends is that we can all have totally different views and opinions, different faith or non-faith, but we still completely respect each other and never think less of one another for our differences.  We love each other and support each other.
I feel like this guy would have just straight up hated me if he knew that I were Christian.  He started talking about the types of girls he likes and he went into talking about the last girl he dated who happened to be religious.  He bashed on her and her beliefs so much and it made me sooooooo uncomfortable.  He basically just wanted a hot girl version of himself.
Being around those sorts of people, people who claim progressive and liberal beliefs, but are actually just really judgmental, cold hearted and hateful, make me so uncomfortable and sad for humanity.  Are most people mean and judgmental?
Why do people use this defense mechanism of hating on others because they feel threatened?
Saturday night in Vancouver was a bust.  And we ended up having brunch with him on Sunday at a pretty delicious little spot.  But he departed ways from us when we decided to go to the Aquarium instead of going on a Beer tour.  I thought that Jenette and Katie liked him a lot, but after he left they were like, "Well...that was interesting.  He has some intense opinions.  Not particularly nice."  Phew, thank God they heard some of the hateful things he said the night before.
jenette, katie, and moorea's giant forehead.
So, other than the racist mean dude, it was an ok trip.  The aquarium was fun and i will post more photos of the beautiful sea creatures this week.  I am happy I got to spend some time with friends outside of Seattle, outside of the states.  Though, I kinda thought Vancouver was more fun during the Olympics :)  Can't beat that!

Question: I have a question for my Canadian friends.  Is there a lot of racism and hate towards Asians and Australians in Canada?  It really threw me off and made me sad.  Here in the US, people can be really racist and rude towards Mexican immigrants, especially on the East Coast and along the South.  Breaks my heart.  Is there a quiet culture war in Canada?  All my Canadian friends are super duper nice so I just don't understand!


P U R P L E - D E E R said...

OMG! Yeah bottom line, ignorant racist...as alwasy. Lucky that's a dying breed.

leannebehrns said...

Oh dear. Please don't judge Canadians based on this ignorant jerk. I promise we're not all like that.

Sarah said...

I've never heard of someone hating on Asians or Australians so I think that was an isolated case. Maybe change your title to racism in Canadian dude? Haha.

The only thing widespread here I would argue is a general French vs. English, but that's been going on for hundred of years and tends to be a joking thing (for most people anyway).

But I'm on the opposite coast, there is quite a large Asian population in B.C. so maybe that sort of racism is more prevalent there? I doubt it though, I have a lot of friends who've been there and have never encountered such a thing.

Sad you had your trip ruined by an asshat. <3

Brigid said...

I think you just encountered a random weirdo. I'm Australian and have lived in Canada twice and find that people generally fall over themselves to be nice to me. You'd be hard pressed to find more open and friendly people anywhere than the people you meet in Canada. 'Dude' being the exception!

Donna said...

Not that I've lived in Canada before, but I've visited more than a handful of times and have never encountered anything like that. But then again, I stayed in BC, which has a high population of Asians. I agree with Brigid -- you probably encountered a weirdo!

I love Canadians! :)

Kyla Roma said...

That's so strange! How did you guys find that guy? Canadians come in all shapes, sizes, and types... including some jerks. But he is definitely not the norm. Canada is a hugely multicultural place and extremely diverse! You can't get along spouting opinions like that.

I would say that this is just one of his charming personality quirks, like being upset that you didn't want to party and judging people by their religion. I wouldn't take his ideas about race any more seriously than you took his other ideas, but it's super lame you had to be around him the whole time :s

Suzanne said...

Yikes! Please don't assume all Canadians are like that because of one idiot!

Unfortunately racism exists in Canada, like anywhere else. (Although I have to say - I am Canadian so I may be biased, but I do feel that generally Canadians are probably one of the least-racist folks around... does saying that make me racist towards non-Canadians?) Anyhoo, I have lived in a few different areas of the country (including BC) and found that racism is simply is directed and whomever the non-white majority may be - so in Vancouver apparently that would be people of Asian descent. (Just like Americans in the South may tend to be racist against people of Mexican descent.) Sounds stupid - but that's what racism is, right?

konner said...

Google "racism in Canada today" or "history of racism in Canada against Asians" or even "tolerance in Canada."

konner said...

I should add... I suggested you google those things because after reading this post I started looking things up myself, and what I found definitely opened my eyes. We can probably all agree that racial tensions in Canada are nothing compared to the US, but they're not nonexistent, as you saw with Crazy Host Dude.

It would be interesting to get responses to your question from a Canadian person of color to hear their perspective.

Suburban Sweetheart said...

So lame - & disheartening. But don't just a country by one or two of its crummy inhabitants!

Lune Vintage said...

This is the only time I've ever head of anyone hating Australians. I didn't think that was a thing. As for the asian population, it's quite large in vancouver/bc. Whenever a minority is substantial, predjudice raises. Especially when there are clear cultural differences, and strong cultural and family bonds and traditions. It makes people who are not part of that group feel insecure, like they're out of the club and are being secretly conspired about.

No matter where you go, what country or what part of the world - racism and religious predjudice is a reality. No country or group of people is free of it.

I love Canada. There are so many things to be proud of in this beautiful country, but we are not perfect, just like everyone else.

Although I'm pretty sure Canada and Australia have a great friendship, we are both part of the commonwealth.

loopholeblog said...

Hey lovelies! It was a very strange experience. I was in utter shock when he said the lines about asians; most of my life has been spent in envy of the drop dead gorgeous asian women I see around me. To qualify one note- dude did note one seemingly reasonable reason he had a distaste of Australians. He said that all the Australian guys he had met were horrible to women- condescending, sexist, whatever. I can back that- but in the end there is a still a big difference between having a working stereotype (we all have them, its the way our brains function) and assigning value statements to different races (which is completely wrong and downright silly).

where to next ladies? Lets redeem the couch surfing community and find our next portland-eske host!


Leigh-Ann said...

That's really strange... Canadians are usually very friendly (in Manitoba, it's on our license plate!) and I've never met a Canadian that hated Asian and Australian ppl. I think it was just THIS guy... I hope he doesn't give you that impression of all Canadians.
xoxo, LA

thursday said...

Oh boy, as soon as I read the title of this post I thought "oh, Moorea visited Vancouver." Maybe I shouldn't say that but I'm just going to be honest here - I have had several outright racist experiences in Vancouver and with people from Vancouver. This by NO MEANS suggests that I think that everyone from is racist - no way, not at all - but if you were to ask me where I experienced the most racism in my country I would automatically say Vancouver.

When I returned to Canada from China I was mortified, embarrassed and ashamed of my country when I saw how we treated people visiting from other countries. I stood in a line where anyone and everyone were treated as a suspect if they were Asian. I felt sad and sickened as I was rushed past the customs officers while they screamed in the faces of men who clearly did not speak or understand English.

I won't pretend that this is a problem only found in Vancouver. This is just where I've had the most concentrated number of issues.

I'm sorry you had an experience with one of the crappier Canadians. But hey, I think you know a few pretty spectacular ones already, right?

Holly Knitlightly said...

I completely agree with Jill's comment! I haven't heard of anyone hating Australians! Sounds like you guys just got matched up with a crazy dude... what a bummer. Sorry that your experience wasn't better!

Mich said...

I'm Canadian and seriously this post made me so sad! I would hope that everyone has an amazing experience when they come to visit Canada. Obviously that can't always happen... I agree with other commenters - I really think you met a unique guy. Most Canadians are known for being very tolerant and VERY nice. I hope this doesn't taint your view of Canada!!

Lynn said...

oh no! i saw the title of this post and read the whole ordeal. what sad times this "dude" is going through. it's definitely more about him and his dismal take on things. how askew can you be? so sorry this was part of your time here in BC.

i'm a born & raised Vancouverite and have also lived out East too. i agree with some of your other commentators; unfortch racism is out there and whether it hides itself in the mind or speaks out soap-box style it is such a poisoning element in the world. i'd hazard to say this isn't the norm in Van. and dude is just sippin' a bit too much hatorade for my taste.

i've come across prejudiced people on various travels too, when it happens i cringe, so awful. funnily enough i found Italy to be the friendliest place i've been, i loved seeing all the mixed couples and wasn't really expecting it to be like that at all. my boyfriend at the time was Filipino and we had faced some difficult sitchs and dirty looks at times but in Italy we were like normal, it was awesome.

hope if you come back you'll have a better option to crash with! ♥