A Black Man's ParadisebySamuelx©
The name is Ray Pierre. A big and tall young Black man of Haitian descent living in the City of Ottawa, Ontario. I'm currently studying Business Administration at Carleton University. When I'm done, I'm thinking of moving to the United States of America. The real land of opportunity. The glass ceiling doesn't hang as low down there. In Canada, men and women from minority backgrounds with College and University degrees don't get the respect and recognition they deserve. It's because of systemic discrimination in the Confederation of Canada. That's just the way things work around here. I don't like it but whatever.
A lot of people think of Canada as a land of opportunity for immigrants. Lots of people from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East move to Canada, thinking life around here will be easy. Canada is a deeply racist country under its veneer of socialism and multiculturalism. If you want equal opportunity, America will be your best bet. In America, you hear about Black folks with college degrees climbing the corporate ladder and some of them end up running corporations. That doesn't happen in Canada. Only white guys get the promotions around here. Smart women, along with people of non-European backgrounds get passed over time after time.
Take my father, Rene Pierre, for example. He moved to Canada from the Republic of Haiti twenty five years ago when he was barely twenty years old. Since then, he's attended the University of Montreal, graduated with a degree in psychology and become a patrol officer with the Ontario Provincial Police. He's now a sergeant. The Ontario Provincial Police frequently cites him and a handful of other Black men as proud examples of their ongoing diversity efforts. The truth is that the Ontario Provincial Police is dedicated to staying a White male bastion. You'll only see women and members of racial minorities in entry-level positions, never near the top. They don't like our kind of people in certain positions. That's because at their core, most Canadians are racist and can't stand to see people of color succeed in the Great White North.
My mother Elsie Renaud Pierre teaches Economics at Saint Joseph Academy, a private Catholic school in Orleans, a suburb of Ottawa. She's recently gotten promoted to the position of vice principal. Do you know what that means? She gets all the stress of being principal without the benefits of prestige and actual recognition. The proud holder of a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Manitoba, my mother is more than capable of running Saint Joseph Academy. Will the bastards and bitches on the Catholic Schools Board of Directors ever let her do it? Doubtful! Welcome to life in the Confederation of Canada, folks. Are you having fun yet?
Yeah, I am well aware of what I'm up against. And I'm definitely not going to let them stop me. The way I see it, if Canada doesn't want me to succeed, then it doesn't deserve my talents. My older brother James graduated from the University of Ottawa with his Master's degree in Business Administration three years ago. Nowadays he's working for the Hawthorne Corporation in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. He's a permanent resident of the U.S. now, even though still technically a Canadian citizen. We're all very proud of him. James always understood the game in Canada. He knew that in order to succeed in business, he had to leave the Great White North. Canada is pretty inhospitable to ambitious, college-educated young Black men. America isn't much better but down there, you at least stand a chance. In the Confederation of Canada, you don't stand a snowball's chance in hell. The fake-smiling, super-polite bigots work day and night to prevent you from reaching the top. It's what they're all about.
I have ambition to spare, folks. I really do. Don't buy into the 'comfort myth' that Black men in North America are lazy, criminally inclined or lacking ambition. I work hard because of that stereotype. That's why I'm attending Carleton University on an academic scholarship. In order to beat the bigoted naysayers at their own game, I've got to stay one step ahead. Sometimes, I worry so much about doing well academically that I forget to enjoy the simple things in life. Like having some fun. My peers find me kind of cold. I guess that's why I decided to travel to the city of Boston for the summer. My brother describes is a big, diverse town. He tells me there are lots of Black folks there. I looked up facts about Boston online and from what I saw, I liked it already. People of African, Asian and Hispanic descent outnumber Caucasians in the city of Boston. I like the sound of that! Man, the only cities in all of Canada which come close to having such fantastic demographics are Vancouver and Toronto.
My brother rents this lovely townhouse in the Back Bay area of Boston. It's a very pricy area. I took a plane from Ottawa to Boston on the sixth day of June 2010. The moment I set foot in Boston, I fell in love with the city. One of the pilots working for American Airlines was a stunning Black woman. My brother James came to pick me up. He was wearing a Black silk shirt over Black silk pants and Black Timberland boots. My older brother looked fantastic. We hugged, and he drove us from Long Airport to his townhouse in the Back Bay. Man, I was glad to see my brother. He was looking good and doing well. I was really impressed when I saw the bright red Mercedes convertible he was driving. Wow. A brother with a University degree could do really well for himself in America!
My brother's townhouse was simply magnificent. Four bedrooms. Two living rooms. Three bathrooms. And a posh library. I was simply amazed. Our family lives in the quietly affluent town of Orleans near Ottawa. We proudly own our two-story, two-bathroom and four-bedroom house. However, we weren't rich people. James stunned me with the revelation that he wasn't paying much for the townhouse. The Hawthorne Corporation basically handed it to him. American corporations really took good care of their executives. And they seemed to value European and Canadian executives as having more style and panache than American ones. How about that? In Canada, they're impressed by anything American! I guess it's true that the grass is always greener on the other side.
My brother James was leading a life like no other. He showed me around the townhouse, and I was even more impressed. I saw his pictures taken with important people like the first Black man elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts, the honourable Deval Patrick. Wow. James was a proud supporter of African-American politicians, and supported the first openly gay African-American man elected City Council member in Brockton, Massachusetts. Man, my big brother was doing big things. I did the right thing by coming to Massachusetts. It didn't occur to me how much my brother's life had changed, until I met his leading lady.
Two nights after I first arrived, James took me to a nice restaurant in downtown Boston and we were joined by a tall, curvy and absolutely gorgeous young Black woman. James smiled at her and introduced her as Valerie Brown, his girlfriend. I stared at her, stunned. She was so beautiful. Kind of reminds me of that Hollywood actress Gabrielle Union. Valerie was absolutely charming. As we sat and had dinner together, I learned a bit more about her. Valerie and James met while he was walking through the Boston Public Library. She was studying for a test in Civil Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Valerie smiled as she admitted to being intrigued by the tall, handsome brother from Canada. He asked her for a coffee date and that's how it all began. A year later, she was working on her Doctorate's degree in Civil Engineering and he was taking corporate America by storm. They were a power couple if I ever saw one.
Man, that's when I knew. What do I mean by it? What it's all about. Looking at my older brother with his fancy car, his gorgeous girlfriend and his comfortable townhouse, I found myself feeling mixed emotions. I felt envious, and kind of inspired. I looked at Valerie. A five-foot-eleven, curvy and absolutely beautiful young Black woman. Standing next to my six-foot-two, lean and athletic older brother. They looked absolutely perfect together. When she graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, I can see her working for a big company and making some serious money. These two were definitely going places. They're sexy, smart and totally fabulous together. Folks, that's definitely how I want to live! Someday, when I'm done with my studies at Carleton University, I will come to America, find a sexy, educated Black woman and take this American corporate world by storm. If my brother can do it, then so can I. Damn. I think I'm going to enjoy my vacation in Boston. If the Black ladies of Boston are half as sexy as my brother's girlfriend Valerie, then I might not make it back to Canada!