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This is one of the sillier things I have read in a while. Canada has been designing new money that is supposed to deter counterfeiters, last longer, and be more environmentally friendly in its manufacture.

New Canadian $100 Bill

An image of the new Canadian $100 bill with a woman seated at a microscope

They have also been designing new graphics for the notes. The Bank of Canada held focus groups to see what people thought of the new designs. Some people in the focus groups complained that one of the images looked like an Asian woman. The Bank of Canada decided to withdraw the notes and redesign them so they looked more “neutral.”

The bank immediately ordered the image redrawn, imposing what a spokesman called a “neutral ethnicity” for the woman scientist who, now stripped of her “Asian” features, appears on the circulating note. Her light features appear to be Caucasian.

“The original image was not designed or intended to be a person of a particular ethnic origin,” bank spokesman Jeremy Harrison said in an interview, citing policy that eschews depictions of ethnic groups on banknotes. (Source: The Financial Post)

This is ridiculous. Caucasian features do not represent ethnically ‘neutral’ features. Furthermore, it is completely impossible to put an image of a person on a bank note  without depicting an ethnic group. There is no abstract non-ethnic person that could be represented. There are only people who belong to one ethnic group or another. Caucasian people, too, belong to an ethnic group: namely the ethnic group of Caucasian people.

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