In the article below (with videos) “Canada is ‘awash in systemic racism,’ says Green Leader Elizabeth May”, the CBC journalist (Mr. David Thurston) asks Ms. May & Mr. Singh the following questions: Are we racists, as a country? In other terms, do we have systemic racism?
Both Ms. May & Mr. Singh replied: yes, we are.
Ms. May talked about her “white privilege” and how “Canada is awash in systemic racism”.
As for Mr. Singh, he talked about how our Government is racist (i.e., mainly toward First Nations due to water issues and cut in funding, etc.).
Despite the crying issues pointed at, it is a bit ironic how both politicians replied yes to the question.
Indeed, May, who has American origins, is the leader of a growing national political party.
Singh, who wears a turban, is the leader of yet another respectable national political party.
Bambi feels like sarcastically saying: How racist Canada is. YAK ?!
Perhaps Bambi should invite them both, at the end of their campaign, on a vacation trip to the Middle East. Upon their return from their touring trip, we will ask them if they still think if Canada “is awash with systemic racism”.
In Bambi’s opinion as an old immigrant who lived in three different provinces, in their over-zealous virtue signalling or genuine guilt feeling, Canadians of today tend to forget the following:
1. Immigrants also have a responsibility/duty in their adjustment to a country, not just the host society.
As Canadians, we tend to over-question ourselves and our values (because we are eager to welcome and accommodate newcomers; in and by itself, this tells us how much Canadians are NOT racist).
Stated differently, immigrants are supposed to play an ACTIVE role in their OWN adaptation to society. They also should take responsibility of their actions or cognitive processes in order to integrate into the new society. They are not babies completely dependent on their parents. So, let’s not treat them as such.
For instance, they must learn to let go of cultural or societal traditions that are sometimes incompatible with our Canadian ways of living. In some cases, some new Canadians may have to learn to be tolerant like their adoptive country, leaving behind hate or racism toward certain groups (e.g., LGBTQ or people of other faith, etc.). In yet more extreme cases, they have to say good-bye to shocking cultural habits like female incisions, forced marriage, and… honour killing.
This can be done by embracing the Canadian beautiful values of freedom, tolerance, equality of men and women, equality of all under the law, etc.
2. Similarly, despite the tragic abusive past ☹, Indigenous Canadians also must take charge of their own lives (decisions, choices, etc.).
Not everything is the fault of the *racist* “privileged white man”.
Plus, why are we now so obsessed with the colour of our skins? Since when?
Bambi does not recall having observed such an obsession in her first 20 years in Canada.
Related to this, she does not know the colour of her own skin, mind you. In those national surveys on diversity and inclusion or whatever they are called, she skips those questions ?.
In research surveys, she often does not know in which box to put a tick: Caucasian? Other? Sometimes, there is a long list where she could click on Mediterranean or Middle-Eastern or whatever else.
To come back to the First Nations, to use the words of Mr. Blanchet, “no Nation should put its fate in the hands of another one”. First Nations and Inuit can avoid doing this whilst being proud Canadians.
Loving our country (= being proud of whom we are collectively) is what would unite us all.
Bambi will also add that perhaps it can sometimes help not to put our fate too much into the hands of some of our own leaders. Bambi sees a similarity with Lebanon where some community/political leaders can become entitled or corrupt (while others may be decent).
Thank goodness Canada has been engaged in a process of mutual human discovery and healing. May peace prevails in everyone’s hearts…
May decent shelters, clean water, and better psychosocial and economic conditions become the norm from now on.
May all Canada’s children live in dignity and achieve their full potential!
May citizens take the right decisions for themselves, find and be able to keep jobs, whether they live on reserves or outside, in metropoles or smaller towns.
Regardless of the outcomes on October 21st, Bambi hopes that Canadians will stop this weird habit of collective self-flagellation.
Why don’t we begin to learn to jointly reconnect with our pride as a nation for a change?
This reconnection could take place whilst working on concrete solutions to the critical issues raised by Mr. Singh. It can also co-occur with all our efforts of remembering the tragic past in order to avoid repeating it.
All this can be part of the healing process of mutual and self-forgiveness as well as a renewed unified Canadian pride.
This learning process will likely be more inspiring than self-flagellation for all of us: First Nations, older Canadians, newcomers, and all those dreaming of immigrating to our beautiful Canada.
To conclude, here is a song tribute to Canada from the heart of Lebanon by Fairouz. It is called “my little house in Canada” (Bambi’s dad shared it with her recently).