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Alleged Institutional Racism/solutions in CAF (merged)

OldSolduer

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Eye In The Sky said:
I'll call BS on the part in yellow.

That was my reaction EITS.

The first Orthodox Sikh was enrolled in 1986. He was not well received at that time. Since then CAF has made several changes to ensure its an inclusive military.
 

Remius

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I would add that NO ONE is fair game for harassment for any reason no matter how you couch it.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Hamish Seggie said:
Or carnies

Small hands, smell like cabbage.....

And Newfies....

Common, everyone loves a good Newfie joke!

"A Newfie is hanging from a tree by one arm, how do you get him down?"

"That's easy!  Just wave at him"

;D

Also, Newfies basically make up the majority of the CAF, so like you can't really knock someone for making fun of them.  They are liable in turn, to get ganged up on!

 

Remius

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Ok, so the Dutch, carnies and I assume Dutch Carnies as well as Newfies.

Anyone else?

Narnians?

What about what side we support on the Planet Cheron? (You really need to google this if you want to catch the reference...)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_That_Be_Your_Last_Battlefield

 

daftandbarmy

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Every organization has implicit biases in operation. Here are some ideas about how to get around that:

https://hbr.org/2018/10/two-powerful-ways-managers-can-curb-implicit-biases
 

Jed

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All I know is we have to stop picking on those Fantasians.
 

observor 69

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Excellent article :
Defence minister says joining military taught him 'how intense racism can be'

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/defence-minister-says-joining-military-taught-him-how-intense-racism-can-be-1.4973407
 

daftandbarmy

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Baden Guy said:
Excellent article :
Defence minister says joining military taught him 'how intense racism can be'

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/defence-minister-says-joining-military-taught-him-how-intense-racism-can-be-1.4973407

Unlike the Vancouver City Police, of which he was also a member?  ;)
 

PuckChaser

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You would think as the MND he'd want to pick his words carefully about the institution he's responsible for? Hard to see how that headline is going to help attraction and recruiting of minorities in the CAF...
 

MilEME09

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PuckChaser said:
You would think as the MND he'd want to pick his words carefully about the institution he's responsible for? Hard to see how that headline is going to help attraction and recruiting of minorities in the CAF...

Better story would of been, if he experienced it, and is now head of the department. What has he done to combat the issue.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
Better story would of been, if he experienced it, and is now head of the department. What has he done to combat the issue.

I recall a couple of Sikh soldiers joining our Reserve infantry unit in the Lower Mainland, in the mid-90s. They were good soldiers, and looked to units like the BCRs (Sajan's unit) as an example of racial integration, which gave them the confidence to join up.

I had a good discussion with one of them who approached me wondering about career progression and other prospects 'just because I wear a turban'. He hadn't experienced any racially motivated incidents in the unit, we beasted everyone equally :), so I pointed to that as an example of what he'd likely encounter further on in his career. There's always the chance of some kind of incident but, if it happened, it was more likely due to individual issues than an institutional bias.

He had checked out the police (can't remember which one) as well and wasn't as happy with their track record of racial tolerance. He was pursuing a professional designation of some kind, and I pointed out that the time he'd require to do that successfully might be more of a barrier to his military progression interests.
 

Jay4th

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Eye In The Sky said:
And I say BULLSHIT.  I am a white guy from a relatively small town, and I've had subordinates that are from minority groups and I treat them the same as anyone else...how they perform and get along with other people.  If they are awesome, they are awesome.  If they are hammerheads, they are hammerheads.

I didn't need any special training and surveys, I had a really simple thing back in the day called 'The 10 Principles of Leadership' to guide me on how I conducted myself as a Jnr/Snr NCO (the 3 Ms...Mission, Men, Myself).  My recruit serial in Cornwallis 27 years ago had people from all across the country and different backgrounds, some of them Native/Aboriginal, and guess how they were treated?  Depended on how they performed and got along with people.  Wow.  With no special training either!!

This "from top to bottom, systemic" line is utter BULLSHIT.  Are there people in uniform that don't act IAW our Military Ethics/Ethos?  There are, there is no doubt.  But what people like me, Average Joe White Guy in Uniform, are tired of is being told we are all rapists, racist hunks of trash who can't use common sense and have had parents and communities who didn't bring us up as decent Canadians.

Make the message accurate and I'll stand behind it; there is a problem with SOME people in uniform who have actions and attitudes that do not follow the ones demanded by the CAF.  I've got 27 years in, serving in Army, Air and Navy units, both Reg and Reserve, and this 'systemic top to bottom' message is false.  Have I witnessed racist comments, harassment, etc?  Yup...but I can count those on 1 hand over 27 years in the mob. 

The worst one I witnessed personally was a superior (NCM) who referred to a group of about 5 of us (Snr NCOs on a course) as 'you $#(&* white guys', the year was 2003.  He was an Aborginal / Native Canadian.  Should that = 'all Aboriginal/Native service members are racist toward @&(*@#@ white guys?  It didn't, and doesn't to me to this day.  That wouldn't be fair to the rest of the Aboriginal/Native service members, would it? 

Should there now be a survey and public outcry because I would answer the survey truthfully and state I was on the receiving end of a racist comment by a Native Canadian superior at least once, and suggest it "is top to bottom, and every Aboriginal / Native service member is part of it"? 

Full stop;  it is not top to bottom, systemic and 'everyone'.  I am tired the wide brush crap, pointed at ANY group in the CAF.

I know this is a bit of a necro-quote, But I must say that I feel exactly the way EITS described back in 2016.  Especially this week after reading the "Defence Team Message" Monday morning at work. Felt like we were all being called racists.
I expect a new "Named Mission" similar to Operation Honour, new training sessions etc.
 

Kilted

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Jay4th said:
I know this is a bit of a necro-quote, But I must say that I feel exactly the way EITS described back in 2016.  Especially this week after reading the "Defence Team Message" Monday morning at work. Felt like we were all being called racists.
I expect a new "Named Mission" similar to Operation Honour, new training sessions etc.


I've been thinking about that. I think that it would actually have the potential to have more negative consequences then positive ones. Maybe there would be fewer incidents. However, I worry that it may erode trust to a certain degree. Troops may become worried about talking to troops that are different then them in case something they said might be taken the wrong way and they would be kicked out of the military because of it.  And then the potential issues on courses, where sub-par troops might have one more option to unjustly go after an instructor.
 

Jarnhamar

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NavalMoose said:
Frankly, that message from the Deputy Minister is insulting

Emails that open with "team"  ;D

"I'll/we'll do better" has become an automated response.
 

daftandbarmy

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A great example of an organizational culture that is probably not resulting in optimal levels of employee motivation, largely because of indirect motivations (like 'the letter') as described in this article:


How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation

Academics have studied why people work for nearly a century, but a major breakthrough happened in the 1980s when professors Edward Deci and Richard Ryan from the University of Rochester distinguished the six main reasons why people work. We built on their framework and adapted it for the modern workplace. The six main reasons people work are: play, purpose, potential, emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia.

The work of many researchers has found that the first three motives tend to increase performance, while the latter three hurt it. We found that the companies most famous for their cultures — from Southwest Airlines to Trader Joe’s — maximize the good motives, while minimizing the bad ones.

Play is when you are motivated by the work itself. You work because you enjoy it. A teacher at play enjoys the core activities of teaching — creating lesson plans, grading tests, or problem solving how to break through to each student. Play is our learning instinct, and it’s tied to curiosity, experimentation, and exploring challenging problems.

Purpose is when the direct outcome of the work fits your identity. You work because you value the work’s impact. For example, a teacher driven by purpose values or identifies with the goal of educating and empowering children.

Potential is when the outcome of the work benefits your identity. In other words, the work enhances your potential. For example, a teacher with potential may be doing his job because he eventually wants to become a principal.

Since these three motives are directly connected to the work itself in some way, you can think of them as direct motives. They will improve performance to different degrees. Indirect motives, however, tend to reduce it.

Emotional pressure is when you work because some external force threatens your identity. If you’ve ever used guilt to compel a loved one to do something, you’ve inflicted emotional pressure. Fear, peer pressure, and shame are all forms of emotional pressure. When you do something to avoid disappointing yourself or others, you’re acting on emotional pressure. This motive is completely separate from the work itself.

Economic pressure is when an external force makes you work. You work to gain a reward or avoid a punishment. Now the motive is not only separate from the work itself, it is also separate from your identity.

Finally, inertia is when the motive is so far removed from the work and your identity that you can’t identify why you’re working. When you ask someone why they are doing their work, and they say, “I don’t know; I’m doing it because I did it yesterday and the day before,” that signals inertia. It is still a motive because you’re still actually doing the activity, you just can’t explain why.
These indirect motives tend to reduce performance be

These indirect motives tend to reduce performance because you’re no longer thinking about the work—you’re thinking about the disappointment, or the reward, or why you’re bothering to do it at all. You’re distracted, and you might not even care about the work itself or the quality of the outcome.

We found that a high-performing culture maximizes the play, purpose, and potential felt by its people, and minimizes the emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia. This is known as creating total motivation (ToMo).

https://hbr.org/2015/11/how-company-culture-shapes-employee-motivation
 

TCM621

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Jay4th said:
I know this is a bit of a necro-quote, But I must say that I feel exactly the way EITS described back in 2016.  Especially this week after reading the "Defence Team Message" Monday morning at work. Felt like we were all being called racists.
I expect a new "Named Mission" similar to Operation Honour, new training sessions etc.

In the last couple of years, I have been called a racist and a rapist by my leadership just for the act of being a part of the organization they lead. I must have missed that principle of leadership.
 

Underway

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Jay4th said:
I know this is a bit of a necro-quote, But I must say that I feel exactly the way EITS described back in 2016.  Especially this week after reading the "Defence Team Message" Monday morning at work. Felt like we were all being called racists.
I expect a new "Named Mission" similar to Operation Honour, new training sessions etc.

Tcm621 said:
In the last couple of years, I have been called a racist and a rapist by my leadership just for the act of being a part of the organization they lead. I must have missed that principle of leadership.

I'm not sure how to respond to this without being personal, as it relates to personal feelings.

If you got that you were personally being called out for being racist from that letter then you've done some significant mental gymnastics or have strong confirmation bias tendencies.  There was an acknowledgement that there is institutional racism in the CAF. 

If you haven't seen or heard a racist joke, comment or behaviour since you joined then you either don't know what racism is, or you've had a blessed career.  If you haven't stepped in to say something or stop something that you've seen then you are complicit in racist behaviour. 

To avoid "the throwing of the stones" I have been complicit to racist behaviour. Over my 20+ years, I have seen the email chains with jokes that I just deleted and didn't say anything.  I've overheard conversations with racist elements and said nothing to avoid rocking the boat. Anyone who deployed to Afghanistan has def'n heard racist comments/names regarding the Afghans.  It was impossible to avoid them.  I didn't take action every time for various reasons.  Valuing a relationship, not wanting to rock the boat, chain of command issues, I was busy, maybe I was a coward etc...

Does that make me personally a racist?  Not by the traditional definition, no.  But by the definition further down in the dictionary which describes racism as "a system of advantage based on skin colour", yes.  Because I have the ability to ignore that stuff without it effecting me.  Which is something very hard to acknowledge, because I pride myself on treating everyone based on their personality and performance.  I'm bothered by racist behaviour and the colour of your uniform is more important than the colour of your skin. But it does make me one of the people who propped up institutional racism.  Because doing nothing allows the system to continue to exist.

I can do better.  So can all of us.

As for leadership principles, perhaps a suggestion.  Less worrying about personal hurt feelings and more worrying about your team and the institution.
 
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