Black Canadians have long understood and contended with a covert racism, one much more subtle than it's Amerikkkan brethren. In Canada the word ni**er is not used quite as often, but the discrimination and hatred are still powerfully evident in other areas. Employment is a prime example. "According to a Statistics Canada study prepared by Milan and Tran (2004), about one-fifth of foreign- and Canadian-born Blacks of prime working age (25-54) has a university education - the same proportion as other Canadian-born persons of the same age group. Despite these similarities, there are disparities in earned income. For example, the average employment income of Canadian-born Blacks ($29,700) was substantially lower than all Canadian-born workers ($37,200). Furthermore, the unemployment rates of Canadian-born Blacks (7.9%) and foreign-born Blacks (9.6%) are higher than those of other foreign-born (7%) and Canadian-born workers (6%)." "In 2002, almost one in four visible minority workers reported that they had experienced racial harassment or discrimination in the workplace (Canadian Labour Congress, 2003). Two years later, the Conference Board of Canada released a study on visible minority contributions to Canadian economic growth. It indicated that a main barrier to labour force entry is the applicant's “fit” within an organization. For many visible minorities, the phrase “lack of fit” is rooted in a racist assumption to preserve the status quo." This phrase was actually used on me when working for a Chinese computer parts store in Calgary. When I was first hired I had my hair blown out and wavy. However it's not chemically relaxed so it doesn't stay that way unless I do it everyday with an iron. The moment I started wearing my fro, I was confronted by a white employee who suggested that I visit his girlfriend to get my hair done in braids. I thought yeah okay whatever and ignored the ****. Within 2 weeks I was let go because I "didn't fit". My last position had me dealing with more ignorant comments from my boss and the other employee than I can mention. When I came aboard I sold a $3000 table on my first day. I was told by the manager that we would ship it to her for free to Calgary. After the sale was done, and the table arrived in Calgary I was told by the Calgary manager that we would have to charge her $200 to deliver it to her home and I was to tell her. Within 2 months I outsold the full time employee, with my sales beating his even though I only worked 2 days a week. When he quit instead of being offered his full time position with benefits I was told the store would have to cut back it's hours. The nitpicking became increasingly more constant as my clientel began to build until I was fired. The truth is that I slipped up and missed a shift that I was not usually scheduled to work but had agreed at the last moment to do. All the same, I've seen white folks miss a shift and get a slap on the wrist. That's my rant.