Burlington is a city in the US state of Vermont. It is just 151 km south of Montreal.
In 2019, 87.5% of the 42,819 citizens of Burlington were “White” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burlington,_Vermont).
Keeping the above statistics in mind, the city considered that “Minority-owned businesses in Burlington significantly impacted by the pandemic may soon receive financial assistance from the city”… The City Council voted Monday to approve the distribution of $50,000 in grant money to local businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs”(https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/money/2020/09/22/city-council-approves-grants-bipoc-owned-burlington-businesses/5857778002/).
To try to describe the situation, imagine that Sackville Town Council decides to provide such grants to Goya’s pizza and Aida’s Café BUT NOT TO Patterson’ Family Restaurant or Mel’s. Can you imagine the absurdity?
Would that make any sense to you? Would that be fair? Wouldn’t that be racist because it is ONLY based on race, instead of merit (or financial needs, if it was a charity donation)?
Mind you, Bambi is asking the above whilst being a regular customer of all our fantastic restaurants in Sackville. She is saying so and she may be sharing genes and a mother tongue with the owners of one of the restaurants mentioned above. More significantly, she shares with them their cherished friendship.
Even if she would be happy for her friends to get a grant simply because they happen to be so-called BIPOC (the funny acronym justifying the grant), she would surely tell them what she thinks about this dangerous clientelism. They would compare it to Lebanon most likely and she would tease them about their both funny and insulting grant. They would be laughing together because so-called BIPOC have a sense of humour (she bets it is more pronounced than “woke” city councillors from Burlington 😊).
OK, seriously now, this is a dangerous policy, that is sadly similar to what Mr. Trudeau did to us here in Canada with his loan program for “Black Entrepreneurs” (see earlier posts further below).
Of course, Mr. Trudeau and the municipal politicians, are most likely well-meaning… deep inside. They just do not take the time to think before addressing a problem as serious as racism. Their programs and policies defeat their noble purposes. They are dangerous to a society (and not the wisest for the economy).
It is Bambi’s hope that Mr. Trudeau et al. as well municipal decision-makers (abroad and at home) will realize that programs like that are a slippery slope… unless they secretly aspire to eventually become the Lebanon of North America. Highly NOT recommended!