The growth and end of head tax in Canada

No doubt, the prejudice based on a negative judgment of individuals or a group of people resulted in ethical or religious racism. The division of people based on inherited racial consideration would lead to inequalities in the society.The xenophobia is a part of the human race over a very long period. Though the word has come into being in the English language in the 17th century, the term crept in the scientific domain of North Americans in the 18th century. It is a misconception that racism is confined only to Caucasian groups since this is prevalent among other ethnic-racial groups.

Core beliefs of racism

The belief is based on the premise that human beings can be divided into groups who share similar physical features such as skin color and hair structure. This, in turn, has a discrete inclination towards the behavioral pattern, economic or political success within the ethnic group. The fundamental belief of racism results in a hierarchical superiority of the group over the remaining. The superiority is considered an absolute assertion and unconditional inequality.

Racism in Canada

The dogmatic approach resulted in denial of fair and equitable treatment between the groups.Canada has a history of racism against the Chinese and partially against the Jews.

With an influx of Chinese immigrants growing in the mid of 19th century, the Chinese Head Tax was introduced in the year 1885, where the Chinese immigrant was to pay $50 to $500 between the years up to 1923. This is a classic example of institutional racism.

Subsequent upon the repeal of the Chinese Head Tax, the immigration of Chinese was prohibited until 1947.

The tax thus collected was utilized on the health inspection of the Chinese and for the establishment of a joint tribunal for close monitoring the Chinese in Canada.

Restriction in immigration

In contrast to one person for every 2 tons of ships with European immigrants, the limit was one Chinese passenger for every 50 tons.In spite of these restrictions, the Chinese population was growing and therefore, the immigration was banned subsequently.

Other restrictions

The Chinese Immigration Act stipulated 100+ policies of discrimination against the Chinese population. These include the right to vote, holding any public office, practicing medicine or law profession. The Chinese had no right to own crown land or could seek employment in public works to name a few.These restrictions resulted in the gender imbalance of Chinese men and women to 28: 1.

Apology by Federal Government

In the year 2010, the City of New Westminster apologized for the Head Tax and announced payment to the surviving 50+ head tax payers.