VANCOUVER - Remembering the 1997 Blanche Royal Commission on the Status of Translucent-Canadians, Anemia Wan grows pale with anger. “That report solved nothing,” says the White Rock-based albinism activist, a past president of Albinos From Nanaimo: “It was a total whitewash.”
Over a bowl of White Spot chowder, Wan is reflecting on her three decades’ advocacy for the Canadian unpigmented. “In this supposedly colour-blind society,” she notes, “we albinos are a nearly-invisible minority.”
Wan, 38, says the controversial Earl’s human-rights case, wherein the restaurant chain stands accused of selling albino-themed food, proves that pro-pallidness campaigners can’t give up. “What are we supposed to do,” she asks, “just stand on equality’s battlefield, waving some kind of defeat flag? We albinos refuse to be the missing pieces of the cultural mosaic.”
Wan’s own life suggests that, if it’s hard to be white in rainbow Canada, it’s harder to be whiter. Raised in the village of Snowball, Ontario, of mixed African-Asian and Algonquin-Scots heritage, she remembers the childhood embarassment of attending weekend ECHL hockey games, carrying her prescription parasol. The home team’s name? The Whiteout.
“Their goalie was black, and so were their home uniforms,”...More >>