Monday, August 13, 2018

Speaking of diversity

A lot of media types are implying that Maxime Bernier's tweet thread yesterday means he's anti-immigration/anti-immigrant, racist, nationalist etc.

Did anyone notice the video embedded in the tweet:

First in tweet thread with video of Trudeau at Taste of the Danforth
This is a short version of the video, but you can find others if you look. This is our Prime Minister at the opening of the Taste of the Danforth, less than two weeks after the shootings. Even the longer versions where he mentions the girls who were murdered, there is no solemnity, no sense of the gravity of what has happened to the victims or to the community. It's a stump speech, political in every way. It's rah! rah! Liberal values! But regardless of your values, your beliefs on diversity or multiculturalism, pluralism -- this wasn't the time.

Yes, it's wonderful that in the face of adversity that our city is able to rally around and come together and still feel a sense of community, but the ladling on about diversity being the *reason* for the resilience and what makes it great -- bullshit. Just bullshit. It has nothing to do with diversity -- people came together out of a sense of shared grief, shared horror, a shared need to find a way to find something good, to find a way to move forward from this. Diversity had nothing NOTHING to do with it. Did diverse types people come together? I'm sure they did, but it was their common need to connect, to respond, to make things right again. It was our shared humanity and longing for wholeness -- yes, there were people of many races, religions, genders, ages -- quite common in the western world. It's delightful when it's simple celebration, but in this particular instance, irrelevant I think or at least, not really what you'd expect to be the focus of a speech.

Perhaps if Bernier comes off sounding a little pissed off about diversity, it's less in response to what's happening at the border, or to the ethnic identity of the shooter, and more a reaction to Trudeau's using the Danforth tragedy to campaign about his superior values. The fist pumping political rhetoric had no place at an event like this. The city is still recovering from its shock, and the timbre of Trudeau's address did not match the atmosphere.

I agree with some of what Bernier said, but I cringe because saying it, in our current climate, is toxic. Those who are inclined to believe that all conservatives are racists, pounce on something like this as evidence. In my opinion, it was a man frustrated by the glib and unseemly politicking and blatant disrespect of the situation displayed by Trudeau in that video.



Frances said...

Actually, I agree with M Bernier. Diversity is fine until it results in ghettoization. Now, a lot of ethnic groups coming to Canada have tended to congregate with fellow-countrymen; just drive east from Edmonton and notice the historic markers commemorating the coming of the Poles, the Ukrainians, the Quebecois, etc., etc. And many other parts of the prairies were preferentially settled by different nationalities. But despite this diversity, there was an overriding commonality of purpose. All these people had been given a chance of freedom and the opportunity to succeed, and they were grateful for that. They worked hard; some made it, others did not. Take a look at the rural graveyards around the prairies, and you will see evidence of illness and accidents taking their toll, especially among the young'uns. But they all had a dream of a free, prosperous, and strong country to which everyone who could had an obligation to contribute (whether by paid or unpaid work).

That's not there now; our PM seems to prefer "gimmiegrants" to newcomers who want to work and succeed without government help, and he's showering them with largesse that is routinely denied to our homeless and destitute. Illegal behaviour is rewarded; demands that out society change to accommodate the newcomers are heard sympathetically. We Canadians need to get a backbone and say that - while we are a sympathetic and generous country - we have expectations that those admitted in as refugees will work to gain the language facility and skills necessary to become contributors and not just takers.

Anonymous said...

old white guy says--------------I for one am sick of diversity. People who will not assimilate need to go and go now.

canadianna said...

What I see in what both of you say, is not what people think we mean... neither of you cares the race of the immigrants. It's their willingness to become Canadian. That's what Bernier meant. It isn't what his critics heard.