“Never assess the many by the few”–Jim
What would you say if your son walked up to you and asked you point blank, “Hey Dad are you a racist”? I’m imagining most people would say ‘no’ and be rather uncomfortable even thinking about it and yet it really is an honest question. But as a parent you are duty bound to give him an honest response. Until we figure out how to treat each other with dignity and respect and at the same time honour each others way of life, this issue will remain with us. The underbelly of this beast is all about ‘being treated with fairness’. What is happening in our country, and many others it seems, is not fair. If I were a finger pointing person that finger would be directed at those who were elected to make sure such unfairness doesn’t happen. Political agendas should not play a part in this but unfortunately they do.
When I think about it I don’t consider myself a racist. I love people for who they are and the wealth of knowledge and experience they contribute to our society be they non-Canadians, First Nation Canadians or those who been here for awhile. I accept the idea that we are all brothers somehow and that we share certain identities and heritage. I’m good with that until the demands, expectations and ideals of someone or some group threatens MY very way of life and does not honor the history, heritage, sacrifice, customs and values of the people who founded this country. My country. The only country and way of life that I have ever known. Now it is my natural cultural identity that is being threatened by those who have no stake or claim in the struggle, sacrifice and pain it took to build and protect this country from those who would do her harm. So, as anyone would, I would fight to keep what is rightfully mine. It is not so much the demands to discard or negate our customs and values but rather the willingness of our own government to grant those demands with little or no concern for those of us who live here. This esteemed group has granted customs and values that have little to do with our founding fathers visions for our country. Sadly this golden opportunity to learn about all the other groups of people that inhabit the planet with us has been perverted into something other than what multiculturalism was meant to be. It has become political and hateful based almost completely on unfairness and simple-mindedness. If these thoughts and words make me a racist then perhaps I need to rethink what that word really means.
The colour of people’s skin seems to be a problem unfortunately. If I call a black man-a black man-I’m a racist and yet I am called a white man and that’s OK?? I meant no disrespect and I’d like to believe that the person who called me a ‘white man’ didn’t mean any disrespect either. If we celebrated a White History Month we would be branded as racist but Black History Month is applauded. Why can’t we each celebrate our race if it is important to celebrate it? There are clubs, groups, special days, organizations, beauty pageants, scholarships, colleges, universities and banks to name a few that have been dedicated to specific racial groups only. People with white skin are not welcomed to join, participate or be a member of any of these. If white folks did that we would be called racists in every instance. Why is it that only white people can be racists? If I question ‘why’ certain things happen the way they do does that mean I’m a racist? How very confusing it all is and how unnecessary.
If people who have difficulty assimilating into our way of life don’t like being here because it is uncomfortable for them perhaps they need to re-think their decision to stay here. Perhaps there are other places to live with customs and values that are more suited to what they are looking for. I’m assuming people come to this great country because of the freedoms and opportunities that are offered them. Perhaps these are not available to them in their native country. Fair enough–welcome–come and enjoy all that we have to offer. We are a generous and sharing people. But if it is not what they hoped it would be then they have the right to change their minds. They are free to come or go. It is not OK for our elected officials to give away that which is not theirs to give away in order to entice people to stay. I speak of my ways of living–my cultural identity–my values and my beliefs and my freedoms and my customs. I don’t see that as being racist but I do see it as me fighting back to retain my cultural identity because once we lose that–we have lost it all.
So when your son asks you if you are a racist sit him down and talk to him about what it means to be a man in this world today. Help him understand what is expected of him and how important his values, customs and beliefs are. He also needs to understand that they may need to be fought for and protected and honoured in order to maintain them. That said we need to make sure that we aren’t taking away someone else’s right to celebrate their culture as well.
That’s the way I see it anyways, Jim
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD SAY IF YOU WERE ASKED THIS SAME QUESTION. PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS–I’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM THEM AS WELL–THANKS