Monday, October 01, 2007

Who is channelling whom?

I can't decide if Michael Coren is channelling Craig Chandler or vice versa.

This week, Coren's whine du maison is immigration - or rather immigrants:

But all that was being said here was that the immigration equation requires balance. On the one hand Canada opens its doors and provides help and safety to newcomers. On the other, immigrants should thank their new homeland and imply that gratitude by moderate, yet necessary, adaptation to our ways.

Like Chandler's asinine tirade against newcomers to Alberta, Coren is using an incredibly broad brush - one that is tainted with what I will politely call a form of "cultural racism".

He doesn't quite come out and say it, but what most of Coren's tirade boils down to is "don't ask me to adapt to your customs". What he is hinting at, of course, are those highly visible, but relatively rare cases such as Sikhs wearing Turbans in the RCMP - where someone from a minority steps forward and demands that Canada apply its own laws.

As such newcomers have a duty to learn one of them. We shouldn't expect miracles but we should expect effort.

It's very difficult to live in Canada and not develop at least a pidgin knowledge of English. That doesn't mean that there aren't those who try to hide in a cultural enclave of sorts, but they are a relative minority of new immigrants to Canada. Most are hard working, diligent people that do their best to become net contributors to our society.

Do remember, however, that most of Canada's cultural demise and decay has to do with old Canadians. White, privileged, liberal people who decided long ago that they despised everything for which this great country stood.

Ah - herein Michael returns to his favorite tactic - blaming the evil "liberals" for every ill he experiences. Of course, one of the key cornerstones of a liberal democracy (and Canada is a liberal democracy - no matter how much that makes conservatives like Coren cringe) is that our laws periodically force us to re-examine our own assumptions about what they mean. Sometimes, those laws provoke some deeply unsettling conclusions when tested. Such was the case with the "Sikhs, Turbans and the RCMP" discussion, and numerous other topics where the assumption of a dominance of Judeo-Christian belief turns out to be problematic when held up in the light of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantees equal treatment for all Canadians, regardless.

Conservatives tend not to like trying to answer tough questions like that.

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