Cultural Sensitivity in our Time - Macleans.ca
 

Cultural Sensitivity in our Time


 

Honestly, what is up with the Mounties:

Known as “Project Samosa,” the RCMP investigation reportedly began with intelligence passed on by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.


 

Cultural Sensitivity in our Time

  1. As has been noted many times in the past few years, they have no deep thinkers.

    Probably figured they were being multi-culti after a snack somewhere.

    • That would be crueller.

      • BOOOOOO!

        LOL

  2. OMG! Send those Mounties to sensitivity training!!! Not being sensitive towards terrorists, whatever next?

    • I'm not so sure it's sensitivity towards terrorists that we're worried about in this case. I'm pretty sure it's sensitivity towards samosas. They're so delicious.

    • Samosas are terrorists?

    • so you are suggesting that everyone from the region, who may be offended, is a terrorist?

    • Okay Berg, don't be offended when the next takedown is named "Operation Bagpipe-Haggis-Tartan."

  3. I assume everyone agrees that now that we have seen the tell-tale signature moves of a terrorist, it is best to assume both Ignatieff and Harper are threats to the country.

    • Harper's moves are harmless at this point. He won't be ready for terror dancing for quite some time. Ignatieff, however, has showed alarming improvement over the summer …

        • But wearing a helmet? C'mon …

          • I was a little disappointed by that as well. However, it is genuinely a pleasure to see him enjoying himself.

  4. In the world of project management, operations are often titled after what the project manager happens to be eating, reading, or listening to at the time.

  5. I'm trying to figure out if this is even offensive or not.

    What if they were investigating a suspect of Mexican origin, and they called it "Operation Taco"? Or a French crime family, and they called it "Operation Baguette"? Or the Mafia, and it was "Operation Meatball"?

    I'm kinda leaning towards not "really a problem" but I'm just not sure.

    • it entirely possible it's not a deliberate slight. But the argument for the other side can definitely be made. And when you have a public organization which not only deals with people of all backgrounds but has sometimes been known to drag native teenagers to the edge of town in winter where they sometimes freeze to death, it's best to err on the side of non-dumbassery.

      • "best to err on the side of non-dumbassery" would that we all might aspire to such lofty standards!

      • It is instructive to persue the online journal "The Samosa"…run by south asian journalists, reporting on matters of human rights, and regional import, touting 'spicy commentary'….Score one for the 'not a problem' side.

        • I fail to see any relevance.

    • Seriously. Of all the things to pick on the RCMP for, what they name their operations seems awfully petty.

      After all, they've also named operations as project GRACE, OSAGE, Takeout/OJAVA…are we really going to try to nail them for choosing a food this time?

    • But wait until they investigate his lordship with Operation Tea and Scones, then you'll get nervous.

      • The Earl was killed in 1916, so I don't think the RCMP are going to open any investigations into him any time soon.

        As for myself, I'm half Scottish, so it's Operation Haggis I'm keeping an eye open for.

        • These days, it will probably be Operation Deep-fried Mars Bar.

  6. I need to perform operation "Lamb Saag" soon.

  7. precisely. I also like that one who went to Chicago with his dog, and I don't like the ones who betrayed Maher Arar.

    • Yes. I also like the one who appeared on the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons but I don't like the ones who burned barns in Québec

  8. I think all of you are missing the BIG issue here.

    Is too much Avril Lavigne a root cause of terrorism or is simply a byproduct?

    • Maybe it just is.

    • It is as chutney to a samosa; Lavigne is the saccharine dip that brings it all together.

    • I was thinking more a "weapon of"

    • I could be persuaded to consider a ban

      • If we're going to ban Canadian musical acts, Avril Lavigne doesn't even make my top 3 candidates.

        • nickelback and then….?

          • I'd give away Bieber and Dion before Lavigne. And I feel like there are a half dozen or so pseudo-punk boy bands I'd like to kick first too, but their names always run together in my mind, so I don't really know who the are.

          • all fair enough, LKO, all fair enough. no one of sound mind could complain about any of those choices.

    • Too much Avril Lavigne IS terrorism

    • The look of dissapointment on his face when Ben didn't show up.

      Is that what radicalization looks like?

    • Is too much Avril Lavigne a root cause of terrorism or is simply a byproduct?

      Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?

  9. One of the U.S. DEA's biggest seizures of drugs from Mexico was called "Operation Zoro II"

    Although I belive that ws the 90s so it certainly doesn't qualify as 'in our time'

  10. The tag here confuses me a bit. "all asians are the same, basically"?

    Are you thinking that samosas are uniquely Indian, and that therefore the perceived slight is naming an operation focused on a person with Pakistani ancestry after an "Indian" dish? 'Cause, they make and enjoy samosas in Pakistan too. In point of fact, Wikipedia says that Samosas originated in the 10th Century in CENTRAL Asia (say, Kazakhstan maybe) and made their way to the Indian subcontinent by way of traders some 3 or 4 centuries later. They are described in the Wiki article as "a popular snack in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, throughout the Mediterranean (Greece), Southwest Asia, the Horn of Africa and North Africa".

    The name may be insensitive perhaps (I'm still torn) but I don't think the insensitivity is with regards to any misassignment of an Asian food from one culture to the name of an investigation into a person who's ancestry is from another Asian culture. Unless of course Khuram Sher's ancestry is Chinese or Japanese, I suppose.

    The name may be insensitive in a general sense of the insensitivity of assigning ethnic food names to the investigations into people of that ethnicity, but I don't get a sense of the prejudicial "all Asians are the same" meme here at all. It's not like, say, remaking The Karate Kid with the lead being changed to a Chinese teacher who teaches the "Karate Kid" Kung Fu.

    • There's always nuance in this kind of discussion, but on the other hand if it's a piece of interesting trivia that samosas are eaten in certain muslim countries rather than a generally known phenomenon, then it wouldn't trump the fact that they're commonly associated with Indian food.. The cultural insensitivity would still be there.

      • I think that yes, there's still an argument that the name is culturally insensitive, for sure. It just doesn't really fit an "all Asians are the same" theme of insensitivity, imho. It's a subtle difference, sure, but if we're going to call the naming insensitive, I just don't think it's insensitive for the reason that the tag implies. Treating all Asians as though they come from one homogeneous mega-culture is an oft observed and criticized form of prejudice. I just don't think that this case is necessarily an example of that.

  11. Maybe it's just an acronym?

    Yeah, yeah, ok, maybe it isn't…

    • Wondering why my suggested acronym didn't ultimately take, even though ID made it look like it did…

    • Will try again:

      Strike Against Men Organizing Seditious Activity.

      • Wait a sec. The operation was only targeting seditious MEN???

        I'm offended by that.

    • Silly Acts Made On Singing Auditions

    • Secret Agent Man Offended by Stupid Audition

    • That's the spirit! Keep 'em coming, everyone! I can see Scott Feschuk trembling at this amateur wiki-comedy in evolu– well, ok, not really…

    • It was the RCMP/GRC, so we need the spirit of bilingualism:

      Stupidité Angoissante au Maximum chez des 'Osties de Sales Arabes

      You see, Potter, it's just an acronym. Not a problem with cultural sensitivity among our Dudley Do-Rights at all! Yep, just an acronym…

  12. How DO they come up with the names for operations do you think?

    Committee brainstorm?
    Top cop gets to pick?
    Whoever's turn it is this month?
    A Nomenclature department?

  13. Of course the RCMP are a bunch of red neck white supremacists who can't tell one Asian from the next, that explains why they let Tamil terrorists illegally occupy downtown Ottawa for 8 days, making zero arrests and banking hundreds of thousands in overtime. This would be the same RCMP which has a hiring policy which actually favours Asian recruits over white recruits, and the same RCMP which warned one of its officers who was planning on running for the Conservatives that some of their platform included hate speech.

    Come on, fella, you're reaching. One of the suspects was from India, and as others have noted the samosa is not specific to any religion. But let's talk about race and Asia: in India, Sonia Gandhi gave away the position of PM that she won fair and square because it was generally agreed that it was inappropriate for a white Italian woman to be running India:

    "After the election result, the defeated NDA protested once against her 'foreign origin' and senior NDA leader Sushma Swaraj threatened to shave her head and "sleep on the ground", among other things, should Sonia become prime minister [15]. The NDA also claimed that there were legal reasons that barred her from the Prime Minister's post.[16] They pointed, in particular, to Section 5 of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955, which they claimed implied 'reciprocity'. This was contested by others"

    Caste system, dude! Laws barring immigrants from public office! And you're on about samosas? I say we nuke them – at a minimum – until they change their apartheid race laws.

    • Are you planning on "nuking" the U.S. too?

      • I wonder if Chalk River has started gearing up for this exciting new program.

        • You just think Chalk River was "offline" for a year and whatever. That's what we've been told

          • Actually that is fairly convincing proof.

      • Pssst…LKO…Not sure if you heard but they elected a black dude as president. Back to 1964 you go…

        • Not sure if you've heard SHWM, but not allowing immigrants to be President is WRITTEN INTO THEIR CONSTITUTION.

          • Asshat. It wasn't the constitution which prevented Sonia Gandhi from becoming PM, it was, as I clearly explained to you, because the people and members of the legislature were outraged by an "outsider" becoming PM.

            The American constitution was written in the 1700s, the Indian constitution in the 1940s, after the formation of the UN and declaration of human rights. No comparison here.

            Now, instead of losing every single debate and being on the wrong side of every single issue, why not just become a conservative LKO? It has to be humiliating for you to be forced to make these awful moral equivilency arguments.

    • " the samosa is not specific to any religion"

      It really IS a tasty multi-faith morse?! So all that penance and self-flagellation for ordering from Biryani House was for naught?

  14. Operation names are usually selected at random from a list. The purpose, ddodle bugs, is to hav a distinct word that will not be confused on radio transmissions.

    • So, the RCMP investigation into one man of Indian background and another of Pakistani background just happened to be named "Project Samosa" by COINCIDENCE!?!?!?

      Wow. The Mounties really are the unluckiest police force on the planet if that's the case!

      I'm not at all convinced that this operation's name is offensive. I'm pretty convinced it's not worth much thought. However, the idea that this is just some odd quirk of fate is LAUGHABLE.

  15. I cringed when I read it.

    I've talked to a lot of police who are tasked with dealing with things like racism and racial profiling and they generally say the same thing: Even if the force has no real problem with racism, being perceived as racist is a real problem. So avoid the perception.

    This sort of thing feeds the perception.

    (feeds it with samosas, which are delicious).

  16. Hmm, point taken in that one cannot advocate a good nukin' whilst insisting others take one seriously. it's just that I wish you would join me, comrade, in solidarity (will these codewords work, I wonder?) in responding to anti-Canadianism and related isms by pointing out that India and pretty well every other place on this planet is orders of magnitude more xenophobic/racist/etc./etc. than Canada and Canadians.

    One explanation is that a "Food Liberal" (a Food Liberal is a capital L Liberal who supports mass immigration because OH MY GOD HAVE YOU TRIED THE ROTI IT IS TO DIIIIIIIIE FOR!!! of the food) senior police officer who has sat through over 9000 diversity seminars wanted to show his multicult cred by dubbing this project Samosa, a sort of "second level" multiculting (multiculting, verb, to say stupid sh!t like "Let's celebrate our differences!") where a minimum of third level was required, in which case Potter sort of does have a point: it is at best poorly executed over pandering. Next operation will be "Operation Halal Leg Of Lamb With A Sweet/Spicy Yoghurt-Chahala'hchach Sauce And Roasted Breadfruit" and will be overseen by a more advanced ethnic panderer.

    • I was with you up to "comrade" and then you lost me…

  17. Oh, look! A brown envelope! I wonder what's ins– oh, look, a photocopy of an internal RCMP Document marked "EYES ONLY." Hmm…

    Wow. Looks like Operation Ramadan-A-Ding-Dong lost by a single vote in committee. Kudos for cultural sensitivity. Major fail for the concomitant loss of accuracy. The holdouts, it seems, just knew they'd be ringing doorbells of some Ottawa homes during the holy month. And they were right!