Is Canada's New $100 Bill Racist?

Martine Warren, a scientific advisor for the Bank of Canada has a close look at the bank's new circulating $100 bill in Toronto. Photograph by Nathan Denette/AP Photo

The Bank of Canada simply wanted to give its citizens some snazzy new bills that would be more durable and harder to counterfeit. But when it came to the images that would grace the currency’s faces, it was not so simple. First, focus groups felt the draft art on the new $100 bill was racist because it featured an Asian woman looking into a microscope, which they felt reinforced the stereotype that Asians excel in science. Some believed other ethnicities should be represented. The bank eventually released the bill last year, replacing the figure with a Caucasian woman, only to be called out recently by Chinese groups for bending to racism and not representing minorities on currency.

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