Scapegoating other countries allows us to ignore Canada's issues

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As North Americans, we love to blame China for our problems.
 
From propaganda to Chinese companies’ “alarming” presences in major North American industries, we seem to be scared of a nation that’s no different in their economic and political objectives than any European country, or our own government. 
 
But this biased focus is only a ploy to distract us from our own country’s problems.
 
Facing global threats like income inequality and concerns about fascism, our world is clouded in political fear. As a result, Canadians, feeling helpless, seek out scapegoats—like China—to ease our worries. 
 
We’re convinced Chinese tech companies are pushing a surveillance state, but we ignore that, years ago, we learned that Canadians are already living under mass surveillance
 
We claim Chinese billionaires are driving up real estate prices, though our fiscal conservatism has widened income inequality and a lack of rural Canadian infrastructure investment. 
 
It’s important in this political moment to question how global powers threaten our social progress. However, scapegoating can cause us to lose track of our own country’s transgressions.
 
In Canada, we see the Chinese government as a threat to democracy, but we continue to turn a blind eye to our own country’ political flaws. Our first-past-the-post electoral system devalues individual votes, one of our major political parties’ former leaders has been tied to neo-Nazism, and our Prime Minister actively drives war through multi-billion-dollar arms deals.
 
While there isn’t any conclusive reason why our focus shifts to certain countries over others, it’s hard to believe race has no part in directing that focus. 
 
Disrespect for non-white majority nations is a dark reason why we in the West disproportionately focus our criticism on nations like China, India, and Brazil. It’s a result of the ‘white saviour’ ideal we hold close: The West is good, the rest of the world is bad, and that will never change. 
 
Degrading the image of people of colour (POC) nations, even when it’s fair to do so, is an easy way to perpetuate the stereotype that white-led nations are the only ones with hopes for prosperity. 
 
When a country like Canada exploits its natural resources despite climate change, we believe we do so to provide clean energy. When Saudi Arabia continues to do so, they’re corrupt and insistent on selling dirty oil. 
 
This racist rhetoric distracts from political problems within our own country.
 
Ultimately, scapegoating allows our own society’s progress to deteriorate. It’s hard to keep your own country running smoothly when you’re more concerned with pointing a finger at your neighbors. 
 
No government should ever be free from criticism, but our political reckonings should start at home first.
 
Aysha is The Journal’s Opinions Editor. She’s a second-year Commerce student.
 

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