Yesterday, I went to the Hothouse Cafe's brunch buffet with my friends, May, Holman and Jackson. I've always enjoyed the brunch there. It's bright and sunny and you have fresh waffles and made-to-order omelettes admidst the sounds of a live jazz band.
I was just through my first satisfying plate of sausages, eggs, bacon and mussels, when I noticed something very unsettling. All of the busboys were brown! Of either Indian or Pakistani descent, I can't say for sure. I can say for sure that all the waiters were white. I ranted to Holman a bit about discrimination, and being the calm Aquarius that he is, he started looking around the restaurant for evidence of this fact.
Holman: See look! There's a white guy in a black shirt. He's a busboy too. They're not all brown.
Me: Where? Are you sure?
Jackson: Um, no. I think he works behind the dessert table.
So unfortunately, I was right. Every single waiter in the restaurant was white and every single busboy was brown. And I'm sure this sort of division plays out across the entire restaurant industry. I'm guessing that there are plenty of short order cooks, dishwashers and busboys that are visible minorities. They are always behind the scenes, cleaning up, cooking, essentially being servants. This discrimination plays out in high end restaurants too...except of course in that situation, you can be 90% sure that your waiter will be a man.
I am constantly amazed by the subtle caste system we have here in Canada, and frankly, I find it very disheartening. Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, yet this sort of thing still happens. And is in fact, prevalant. And if it can happen here, what is happening in places that are less liberal, less multicultural?? It's a frightening thought.