I admin the YouTube channel of a Canadian immigration company. Every few weeks, we get a comment or two about how the immigration company (or immigration in general) is destroying Canada’s economy or society or both, and the term “cultural genocide” is often thrown in there.
I am, perhaps, not a typical YouTube admin. I humour these people and ask them to explain themselves. They usually get very frustrated very quickly, believing their beliefs to be so obvious, they should be held by everyone else. When they try to explain themselves, I attempt to systematically pick apart their assumptions, asking them to defend each one (as there are usually numerous assumptions in each individual comment). They get mad and call me names. When I ask for sources, they usually tell me to “Google it” because they figure this information about “cultural genocide” is so easy to find that I should have no trouble finding it. When I tell them that this is not how things work and that they are responsible for backing up their beliefs with evidence, and how it’s not my responsibility to prove their beliefs for them, they get mad and call me names.
When they do provide sources, these sources do not say what the commenter alleges; for example, a man once told me there was a direct causal link between ethnicity and crime and, to back it up, directed me to a decades-old report about aboriginal youth gangs in western Canada. The report not only made no such claim but also cautioned against making wild claims about the “link” between ethnicity and crime. When I pointed it out to the poster, names were called. (It’s also worth noting they usually assume that a) I’m an immigrant and b) I’m a woman, so you can imagine the kinds of names they call me.) All these “arguments” usually end with them further insulting me, claiming I’m brainwashed because I dared ask them to prove their points and then giving up and no longer responding. They cannot believe that what they see as so obvious is not obvious to me.
These people are so angry – and, usually, so (willfully) ignorant – that they don’t seem to understand a basic fact about how society works: if there is a problem – such as, ahem, a “cultural genocide” – the way such a problem is handled is that data would need to be collected and then policy would then be created to attempt to solve that problem. It may not solve the problem – few if any policies completely solve problems, we live in an imperfect world – but it might alleviate it. If these people can’t be bothered to try to convince other people that there is a problem in the first place – calling others names is not very convincing – or to provide data, what do they think is going to happen? (This really perplexes me on one level. I understand that these people spend time in echo chambers on the internet, repeating each other’s thoughts and agreeing with each other about the state of the world, but what do they hope to achieve if they never convince anyone outside of their internet forum echo chamber or their “news” site that their “race” is in danger? It’s hard to change the world when you never change any minds outside of their fringe group.)
Now, I am charitably assuming that there is something happening. Of course, there isn’t a “cultural genocide.” Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people, with ‘people’ usually implying a shared ethnic, religious, national or, ahem, “cultural” identity. There are at least two important ways in which the “cultural genocide” against “white people” is not happening:
The first is that white people are not being destroyed. A quick look at the demographics of Canada or the US or any other country with a majority Caucasian population is proof of this. Self-identified Caucasians make up 77% of the Canadian population. That is not a minority. It is not even close to a minority. It’s hard to understand how 77% of the population could be a persecuted minority. It’s even harder to understand how people could feel that this group of people (more thanthree-quarters of the population) is getting destroyed.
The second is that there is no intention to destroy white people. You might think this claim is harder to disprove but the point is that they have to prove it first; it’s not our job to disprove the intention of our government(s) to end the “white race.” That is such a ridiculous claim on its face but, regardless of how ridiculous I might find it, they need to put forward actual evidence of it to be taken seriously. But nobody I encounter who makes these claims can ever put forward more than a YouTube rant or a report they completely misinterpreted (if they even read more than the headline of the report). For the claim of a “cultural genocide” to be true, we’d not only need to see demographic changes, but we’d have to see intentional policies and practices which are reducing either the existence of a particular ethnicity or the ability of those in the group to continue living their identities.
But I’m not writing this to prove or disprove the existence of “cultural genocide” against Caucasians in Canada or any other country. Rather, I want to talk about why people have talked themselves into the idea that their government is pursuing policies which will eliminate their “race,” when that ethnic group makes up 3/4 of the population (as it does in Canada), and when they cannot muster any evidence in defense of their beliefs.
A key component of this “cultural genocide” thing is “status anxiety”; so many of these people are less well off than their parents (relative to society at large). Alternatively, some of these people are just as well off as their parents but grew up, as I did, with the implicit belief that I would be more well off than my parents because my parents are more well off than my grandparents, etc. These people see The Other – women, people with different skin colour, etc – in more positions of power than when they were young. They fear living until 90 but not having enough money or not being able to pay for medical bills, or any number of other things. They want an explanation as to how they could be financially worse off than their parents but Others – the few they are aware of – are apparently better off. Something must account for their lack of success and the apparent success of all these Others. (They ignore all the people who aren’t like them who are doing as well or worse than they are, of course.)
Some of this status anxiety is just plain old fear of the unknown – the future is unknown and it must look more unknown than before to these people who believe they have lost position relative to others. But it is also being fueled by something else, a belief that the world was fair when they were kids and when their parents were working age but now the world has been made unfair.
What has made it unfair? The Globalists! (As an aside, I’ve always wondered why so many people fear the disappearance of international borders. I know why I fear it – a lack of borders would likely cause a significant decrease in my standard of living eventually – but I’m not sure that’s why everyone fears no borders.) I am barely joking. The people responsible for the “cultural genocide” – the people who have made the world unfair – are most often some kind of conspiracy theory boogeyman, such as Globalists. (I usually see Globalist as a 21st-century name for the Illuminati, Rothschilds, etc.) When I hear a group blamed for “cultural genocide,” I want to channel David Crosby “What are their names? On which streets do they live?” but I know that various public people – Justin Trudeau, for example – will be named as part of the cabal.
Of course, the world isn’t fair. We know that. Unfortunately, we have evolved to believe that it is secretly fair and that we all get what we deserve. When unfairness or perceived unfairness confronts us, we come up with explanations as to why it exists. In the case of the perceived unfairness of 77% of the Canadian population not being as represented as they used to be in government and business. The important thing to these people isn’t accurate representation – most minority ethnic groups are not fully or overly represented in politics and private industry at this moment – but representation has visibly changed from when they were young. And not just representation in power but everywhere: The Tim Hortons at one end of town is now staffed by Indians rather than people who look like them, and they have accents that are sometimes hard to understand. Many of them are undertrained, in part because the Service Sector is where many new immigrants are forced to go initially when Canadian employers refuse to hire them for jobs they are actually trained for due to their lack of Canadian work experience. It’s the presence of these seemingly unqualified Others on TV, at work and even where we buy our coffee, that feels unfair. Not only are Others influencing government policy, the practices of big companies, the practices of my company, but they’re doing a bad job of getting me my doughnut and coffee. There is something personal about this – it feels like an attack.
The reason for the perceived deliberate unfairness – this personal attack – is some mystical group which has hijacked one of our political parties, and the “downtown elites” of cities like Toronto and Vancouver who love these Others for reasons that cannot be understood. (Full disclosure: I am one of those “downtown elites” though I barely make enough money to live in Toronto and I have no disproportionate political power.) In some ways, the “elite” also become Others, because of their different politics and their seemingly irrational embrace of untalented strangers who are hard to understand and can’t do anything right.
It’s not just that these people feel that they are losing status, it’s that they feel the status they used to have was deserved and that the status these Others have is undeserved. There must be a cause. It must be deliberate. Whether it’s the Globalists or the Downtown Elites or some other boogeyman, some group has to be blamed for the new unfairness (because the world was fair when we were young).
The result of the belief in targeted unfairness is claims of “cultural genocide.” Regardless of which boogeyman is picked, it appears to these people that they are factually being driven out of existence, even if they are not actually ever being physically harmed or persecuted in ways we would normally describe as persecution.