Chickens and Xenophobia

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The chickens have come home to roost; there is a poultry crisis in Canada, as reported by the CBC. It seems there is a shortage of ethnic chickens, specifically Chinese Silkie (烏骨雞) and Kosher birds.However there is a plentiful supply of Halal, so Muslims are not crying fowl.

As of this writing there are 400+ comments mostly anti Muslim and some anti Asian. There are no virtually no anti Semitic remarks as I suspect it is both unfashionable and politically incorrect unlike Islam which is in dire need of better p.r.

Here is a sample…
“Ethnic Canadians are foreigners living in Canada. The Chinese never assimilate. Let them breed chickens so they can all get avian flu together just because they don’t like Canadian chickens”
“As far as the Chinese specialty chickens, get a life, you are in a new, different, country; adjust or leave.”
“To be a Jewish chicken or a Muslim chicken do they have to be circumcised or does it simply mean their heads and necks must be slowly sawed off while they bleed out not unlike what happens to ISIS victims?”
“Does the bird have to face Mecca while the head is being sliced?”
“I’m sick and tired of that outdated religion. (Islam). I think many people are. Especially the Japanese at this moment”.

Canadians may be polite but xenophobia is prevalent. Like any other phobia, or it’s more virulent cousin racism, psychoanalysis and anthropology offer etiological understanding.
First phobias and it’s predisposing panic state, (fight or flight) are evolutionary imprinted survival mechanisms-a normal protective response.  e.g. I live in my village. Over the hill is a dark skinned fellow in his village. He speaks a different language and has different customs, music and food. Except he is running out of food and is getting aggressive about it. Options: 1. Start trade negotiations  2. Go to War  3. Discuss immigration-he can move in with me.

How should this work? By accommodation? By that I mean we can live together but he has to try to learn my language and I try to tolerate his fondness for fried wombat liver and onions. In the spirit of free enterprise I can even sell him some of my wombats and some onions that I grow as a nice side dish. This is the pluralistic Canadian way.

Or he assimilates. This is the “melting pot” USA model. He drops most or nearly all vestiges of his culture of origin to assume the identity of the dominant one. American first, Italian or Armenian second and so on.

If in scenario one however, he appears to be doing better than I at wombat husbandry and prospers, then I might become envious. I might feel inadequate due to narcissistic injury. The next step to prevent depression is denial of my relative inadequacy and projection of anger. After all that’s easier than acknowledging my failures-he is responsible for the diseases wiping out my herd or for the bad weather ruining my crops. Maybe he should go back to where he came from, the ingrate that he is. After all I was nice enough to let him live here. Those black (or yellow etc) hordes can’t be trusted. Maybe his annoying nocturnal chanting  are evil spells and he is really  out to get me (paranoid thinking) and I better deal with him first.

These are the thinking errors that underscore racist ideation.
Envy/jealousy of the Asian work ethic were obvious in Belize, a highly diverse multicultural mix that get along well only on the surface. The blacks (Creoles) ran government and judiciary, the Mestizos did most of the labour, the Mennonites grew the food and the Chinese sold it plus hardware. The latter work long hours, never closing for lunch or holidays. They do not associate with other ethnic groups,nor do they not speak English or Spanish.

In Canada it is not that much different. There is little or no assimilation. Immigrants may not speak either official language. They don’t eat Timbits (unless assimilated) or play hockey. The goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs is not named Mohammed or Li Qiang.
There is of course racism in the USA but it’s origins are based  on ethnocentricity and the remnants of racial scientific classification- read white supremacy. A gift from the British.
To regulate the atavistic in human conduct and advance civilization and it’s more mature traits like mercy and empathy requires a major paradigm shift. To do that requires a social and political philosophy that definitively overrides the id. That means creating a homogenous culture like Finland or one ruled by a philosopher king and that brings us to the city state of Singapore. This is a benevolent dictatorship run by an intellectual agnostic. From what I can tell everything works. Efficiency and productivity are shared cultural value systems. An obsessive Type A society. No xenophobia allowed. No jaywalking or spitting on the sidewalk either.

Furthermore you cannot raise poultry in apartments and the best chicken is Korean or Arnold’s (halal) fried. They never run out of hens and everybody gets along. There is an old Singaporean proverb that sums up their political philosophy quite well and explains their utopian social harmony : “The person who can see a house in China is unaware of the elephant on his nose.”

 

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