Saturday, 24 June 2017

Overt Racism, Hidden Racism and the Negation of Canadian Values in Favour of "Accommodation"

This past week, a video surfaced of a woman in Mississauga demanding that her son be seen by a white doctor. I think that most Canadians would agree with me that this woman's behaviour was absolutely disgusting and has no place in our society. But inasmuch as we would like to condemn her racist rant, perhaps we should take a deeper look at ourselves, because I think we'll find that many of us are guilty of the same kind of prejudice that she was extolling.

Why do you think, for example, major Canadian cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver have so many so-called ethnic neighbourhoods? The simple reason is that many if not most human beings feel more comfortable being amongst people who are of a similar ethnic, racial, religious or linguistic background. This is especially true of people who are newcomers to a country. In fact, for new immigrants to Canada, so-called ethnic neighbourhoods help these people make a smoother transition to Canadian life, although I would argue that sometimes they can do just the opposite when members of those communities ghettoize themselves and refuse to inter-mingle with the rest of society. It's just basic human nature. People often want to be with other people who they view as being more like them. And it's not just about where you live. It's also about who you work with, where you shop and who you choose to provide you with certain services. Yes, we may all want to chastise this rude woman in the aforementioned video, who went into a racist tirade demanding to see a white doctor, but how many of us have doctors or other professionals who we choose to serve us in part because they belong to the same ethnic, racial, religious or linguistic group that we do? Let's be honest, folks. At some point or another, we would all rather be with the people we call "our own". Does that make us racist? Yes, it does. Hence, the only difference between the woman in the clip and most other people is that she chooses to make her racism explicit and public, whereas the rest of us try to hide it and pretend it isn't there.

I should also add that whereas most of us think of someone explicitly demanding to see a white doctor as being offensive behaviour, many Canadians don't seem to mind when someone insists on seeing a male or female doctor because of their religious beliefs. In fact, rather than characterize this kind of insistence as sexism, we call it accommodation. So basically, respecting and accommodating someone's different beliefs means negating gender equality, which is something that I would consider to be amongst Canada's fundamental values. And this is just one example. How about when public schools are used as prayer spaces where males and females are segregated? Or, when we allow a woman to take a citizenship oath while wearing a veil over her face in deference to a sexist religious doctrine that dictates that women must cover their faces while men don't have to? My point is that in attempting to accommodate other people's differences, we fail to adhere to some of the fundamental values that are supposed to define Canada. Demanding to see a white doctor due to a racist bias is offensive, but demanding to see a male or female doctor based on sexist religious doctrine isn't!? I just don't get it.    

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Trudeau's Refugee Policy: It's All About the Votes

Toronto Sun columnist, Candice Malcolm, has used some of her latest columns (which can be found at the bottom of this post) to hammer Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his reckless policy as it regards bringing refugees into Canada. And I'm behind her one hundred percent. At least someone has the courage to overcome political correctness and hold our federal government to account for their incompetence.

The Trudeau Liberals won the last federal election in part thanks to their seemingly compassionate response to the plight of refugees fleeing Syria's civil war. Indeed, during the election campaign, the Liberals promised to bring in more Syrian refugees than any of the other federal parties. But Trudeau's refugee policy, not to mention his immigration policy in general, has never been about compassion, regardless of what the Liberals and their friends at The Toronto Star or the CBC would like you to think. Rather, it's been all about the votes. How do I know this? Because as Candice Malcolm reveals in her Toronto Sun columns, the feds don't seem to care how well the recent refugee arrivals integrate into Canadian society. That's why they have preferred to take in government-sponsored refugees over privately-sponsored ones, even though privately-sponsored refugees are more likely to find work, more likely to have basic knowledge of English or French and more likely to find suitable housing. After all, government-sponsored refugees will be eternally grateful for the assistance that Trudeau Jr. and his bunch give them, as meager and as haphazard as that assistance may be. And that gratefulness will no doubt translate into votes for the Liberal Party from the refugees who become citizens and from their respective communities. So why should the Trudeau government care whether or not the refugees find jobs, learn our official languages or find decent housing, so long as they and their communities will vote Liberal come election time? The simple answer is, they don't care. They just care about the votes.

Hell, they don't even care if the refugees they bring in may be a security risk, which is why, as Candice Malcolm has also revealed, the screening of refugees from Syria has been lax to say the least. Meanwhile, anyone who sounds the alarm about the potential hazard of having refugees and other newcomers to this country who can't find work, can't speak our official languages and who may even be a threat to this country's security, is usually labelled a racist by the country's liberal media. The same goes for anyone who dares to speak of the notion that Canada is a country of values that are worth protecting. You know, things like democracy, free speech, gender equality and the rest of that good stuff. I'm just glad that there are still people like Candice Malcolm out there who are willing to challenge the obscene doctrines of political correctness and multiculturalism without limits.

Candice Malcolm's Latest Columns:

The real legacy of Trudeau's Syrian refugee program (June 16, 2017)

Syrian refugee process bungled by Trudeau (June 14, 2017)

Trudeau policy causes major backlog of private refugee sponsorships (June 13, 2017)

Refugee background checks may have been flawed (June 12, 2017)

Privately-Sponsored Syrian refugees More Likely to find work: Document (June 12, 2017)

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Kurdish Independence Long Overdue

During a recent news conference, the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider Al-Abadi, criticized the decision by leaders of the country's Kurdish Autonomous Region to hold a referendum on independence in late September. He was quoted by Al-Arabiya as saying that, "The referendum at this time was not opportune." In other words, it wasn't the right time to hold a vote on Kurdish independence (see: Iraq PM Abadi says Kurdish referendum untimely). You know what? He's absolutely right. Such a referendum should have been held a century ago!

In fact, after the First World War ended, the Kurds of the former Ottoman Empire were promised a referendum on independence in the Treaty of Sevres. But of course, that referendum never happened. Instead, the Kurds were given no state of their own and were forcibly included into the new European constructs of Iraq and Syria, as well as the new Republic of Turkey. To their credit, however, the Kurds have never accepted the injustice that befell them after WWI and continue to fight for independence in several Middle Eastern states to this day.

In Iraq, the Kurds won autonomy after the Gulf War in 1991 and managed to consolidate that autonomy after the American invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. In the last few years, the Iraqi Kurds have led the struggle against the so-called Islamic State, liberating Kurdish territory from the grip of the genocidal terrorist group. They are now in a stronger position than ever before, which is why I'm not surprised that they would push for independence now. And I support them 100%!

Kurdish independence, not only in Iraq but also in the other parts of Kurdistan is long overdue. It's a hundred years overdue! Yes, I understand that the idea of an independent Kurdistan has a lot of people trembling - people who now occupy the presidential palaces in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, all of which are occupying powers on Kurdish land. I say let them tremble. Let them be scared, for the day of Kurdish liberation is drawing nigh.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

End the Arab Occupation and Genocide in Darfur

Well before the Syrian civil war began grabbing headlines, the most talked-about part of the world in which genocide was being committed was a place called Darfur, an arid region located in the west of the Republic of Sudan. For well over a decade, the Sudanese government has been brutally murdering the indigenous African inhabitants of Darfur, punishing them for rebelling against their Arab overlords. The Sudanese president, Omar Al-Bashir, has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, but right now there is little chance that he will face justice. Indeed, efforts to stop the genocide in Darfur have been severely curtailed by the same people who protect Syria's Bashar Al-Assad. I am referring of course to the dictatorial regimes of Russia and China. 

Sudan is a textbook example of Arab, Muslim occupation and oppression of indigenous populations. The country is ruled by an Arab-dominated Islamic Fundamentalist government. Like all the Arab-ruled states of North Africa, Sudan has a large population of indigenous peoples, who lived there long before the Arab, Islamic conquests took place. Darfur is one of three regions in the country chaffing under the Islamist, Arab rulers based in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. The name Darfur literally translates as house of the Fur, who are one of the indigenous, non-Arab, African peoples currently rebelling against the central government. The other two regions are the Sudanese coast, largely populated by the Beja, another indigenous, non-Arab, African people, and northern Sudan, largely populated by the Nubians, whose territory is split between the Republic of Sudan and the Arab Republic of Egypt. Sudan's Islamist Arab government also once controlled what is now the Republic of South Sudan, home to an indigenous African population of largely Christian and animist peoples. But six years ago, after decades of bloody struggle, the people of South Sudan finally gained independence and the Islamist Arab occupation of their land ended. It can end in Darfur, too.  

I would argue that ending the conflict in Darfur does not just mean ending the genocide. It also means ridding the region of the Khartoum-based, Islamist Arab oppressors who are responsible for that genocide in the first place. The indigenous African people of Darfur deserve no less than what the people of South Sudan got - Independence.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Israeli Communities in Judea and Samaria: Build, Build and Build Some More!

Prime Minister Netanyahu has once again reaffirmed his commitment to Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, the so-called West Bank. And I'm behind him 100%, as should all Israelis be. My message to our leaders is simply this: Build, build and Build some more! Let know one tell us, the Nation of Israel, where we can and cannot live in the land of our forefathers. The international community wants so much for us to ghettoize ourselves in the territory that falls within the pre-1967 armistice lines. But as we mark the 50th anniversary of Israel's great victory over the petty dictators of the Arab states, I say that we must never waver in our commitment to resettle all of the Biblical Land of Israel.

Critics of Israel call our presence in Judea and Samaria an occupation. They say that we wrongfully stole the land from the Palestinian Arabs. Nothing could be further from the truth. We didn't steal the land that comprises Judea and Samaria. We took it back! We reclaimed what was rightfully ours. That which was stolen from us by a series of conquering powers. I would actually contend that the Palestinians are the occupiers and we the Jewish people are the occupied. The Palestinians are as a matter of fact descendants of the Arab and Muslim conquerors who swept through the Middle East and North Africa from the seventh century onward. The way I see it, they've been illegally squatting on Jewish land and it is our right to reclaim this land from them.

Now of course, no one among us who is of rational thought expects the Palestinians to completely vacate the Land of Israel. Indeed, ethnic cleansing runs contrary to Jewish values and anyone who advocates such an idea deserves no hearing. We reclaim our land in a just manner by resettling it. By building homes, businesses, schools, roads and everything we need to live and prosper. Hence, I would not call Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria the "settlement enterprise", but rather the resettlement enterprise, because we are not settling it as if we were new to the land. We are resettling the land in which we were the original inhabitants. 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Immigrants Must Integrate, But Not Under the Threat of Bigotry

I just saw a video someone took on his phone that was shown on a CTV News Toronto broadcast. In the video, which you can view here, a woman is seen berating Chinese employees at a food market because they didn't speak English, telling them, "Go back to China!" My stance has always been that any immigrants who come to Canada and want to live here need to do their best to integrate into Canadian society. Part of that integration means learning to speak English or French, depending on where in the country you live. I really resent the fact that there are some people who come to this country, live here for years, and still can't communicate effectively in either official language. That being said, what this woman in the video did was way out of line.

For one thing, she appears to have been looking for a confrontation, assuming witnesses to the whole thing gave an accurate account of how everything transpired. Still, the video itself doesn't lie, and judging by that alone, what she did was unbecoming of a Canadian, at least in my opinion. Telling people who don't speak your language to go back to their country of origin doesn't help anyone. If anything, it makes things worse for people who are trying to integrate into Canada, because a new immigrant who encounters racism may become discouraged from taking steps to integrate and retreat into isolation within his or her own community.

There are a lot more constructive ways of promoting the successful integration of immigrants into Canadian society and they certainly don't involve berating people for not speaking English. For example, instead of yelling at employees in a grocery store and telling them to "go back to China," perhaps the woman in video should instead protest our federal government's easing of language requirements for potential new citizens. Whereas the old rules required people aged 14 to 64 wanting to become Canadian citizens to demonstrate language proficiency, the Trudeau Liberals have shrunk that group to people aged 18 to 54. This recent change means that more immigrants to Canada are going to become citizens without even being able to speak either of the country's official languages effectively. Now how can we blame immigrants for not integrating when we have a government that discourages them from integrating in the first place?

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ah, the Joys of Parenting!

Today, I read a news story about a 9-year old girl in New Brunswick who was hospitalized after drinking vaping fluid called "Unicorn Milk", believing it was candy. Now the child's mother wants government regulations to ban the use of "child-friendly" names on such products. My first reaction to this was to ask, why didn't the mother think to keep her vaping fluid out of the reach of her young child? Many if not most product-makers already have labels on their products advising buyers to keep them out of reach of children. I obviously don't know if this "Unicorn Milk" had such a label, but even common sense tells me or any other rational person that you shouldn't keep such a potentially harmful product within the reach of a young child. Now of course, no person is perfect and parents make mistakes like any other human beings. But my sense is that this mother needs to be more careful in protecting her child rather than asking government to do it for her.

Now just to be fair, I'm not a parent. I have no children of my own, so it's very easy for me to tell parents how they should go about looking after their children when I don't have any myself. Nevertheless, I was a child once too, just like every other adult in the world. And I was fortunate enough to be raised by two loving parents, so I know what it's like to be parented. We live in age where it seems that more and more parents are demanding that governments at all levels do more to protect their children when they as their children's parents are the ones that should be doing the protecting. For example, some streets have a seemingly endless number of speed bumps and stop signs because of parents concerned about speeding cars hitting their children. This is certainly a legitimate concern. I've heard too many stories about children being hit by cars and sometimes killed. At the same time, however, I think that some parents need to do a better job of making their kids streetwise. I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I was taught to look both ways before crossing the street. I was also forbidden from crossing the street alone when I was young. Perhaps if parents drilled these rules into their kids' heads a little more, we wouldn't need so many speed bumps and stop signs that when overused can result in traffic jams that lead to road rage, which could ultimately end catastrophically with an angry, frustrated driver accidentally running over a small child.

Sometimes, however, I can't help but feel sympathy for people who are parents nowadays. The reason is that parenting isn't like what it was when I grew up. For one thing, it's a lot harder. When I was a child, families where one parent worked and the other stayed home did reasonably well in the economy. Unfortunately, that's not the case today. The economy of 2017 is one in which even when both parents work full-time jobs, they still might have trouble providing for their children and making ends meet. And if you're a single parent with kids, the odds are really stacked up against you. So if you're wondering why parents want government to do more for their kids, maybe it's because after a long, hard day at the office, they have a lot less time and energy to be parents.   

Terrorism is Terrorism, No Matter Where It Takes Place

Just over a week ago, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people. People all over the world expressed their anger, sadness and grief at this heinous act of terrorism all over social media. Some even held vigils for the innocent people that lost their lives in the attack. Fast forward to yesterday, when a terrorist blew up a large truck bomb in the centre of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, killing 90 people; a death toll more than four times higher than that of the Manchester attack. You would think then that the Kabul bombing would get at least just as much attention in the international press and social media as the attack in Manchester did. But you'd be wrong.

Whereas the attack in Manchester was front and centre in the press and social media for days, the attack in Kabul barely merits a mention only hours after it took place. I obviously don't see everything people post on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, but I still have yet to see anyone post something conveying their solidarity with the victims of the Kabul attack. No words of condolences, no hashtags, no anything. Even Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, which are news outlets based in the Muslim world, seem to have relegated the Kabul massacre to the sidelines. Why is this?

Why is it that when Islamist terrorists launch attacks in the Western world, there's a huge outcry, but when Muslims kill other Muslims in great numbers, there's a deafening silence? The fact of the matter is that many people who post condolences and hashtags of solidarity for the victims of the Manchester attack won't do the same for the victims of the terrorist attack in Kabul. And I hate to say it, but I'm just as guilty of this double standard as many others are. It's time we ended this double standard and express the same level of support to all victims of terrorism, wherever they may be. Because terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it takes place.