Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where the fire of bigotry burns hottest

I made the terrible mistake today of purchasing a copy of the Sun, for entirely narcissistic reasons.

I made the further mistake of reading beyond what I sought from it.

The very dregs of bigotry drip like tar from its pages. You discover its xenophobic reflection on your hands as the black print stamps itself on your fingertips.

I'm talking, this time, about this call to arms by anti-immigration commentator Pat MacAdam.

Typical fear-mongering claptrap, it recalls specific cases where immigrants "abuse" immigration, and concludes that "the time has come to return to our traditional sources of immigration - Europe and the British Isles," so that Mr. MacAdam, an ag├Ęd Caucasian male, may be free of such terrors as:
"when I shop at Food Basics or Produce Depot, I am very much a visible minority and it makes me feel uneasy."
A curmudgeon and a miser; what an unfortunate combination. Pray he never discovers how it feels to experience true racism.

MacAdam's inspiration for these neurocidal ramblings is the continuing Tamil protests outside Parliament Hill. He compares their peaceful protest--literally--with a different protest in Berlin, where "hundreds of squatters, demanding housing, trashed a city block just off the Kurfurstendamm." The worst words MacAdam could muster to describe the effects of the Tamils' Ottawa demonstration was "traffic disruptions," juxtaposed against descriptions of the violent and orthogonal Berlin protests: "plate glass store windows not smashed by protesters were taken out by water cannons. Police drove the mob back with wooden batons."

MacAdam says that Ottawa's police are handling the peaceful Tamil protesters with "tact and diplomacy, and Chief Vern White may be proud of them." To how low a standard does MacAdam hold our police if they deserve commendation for letting peaceful protesters be? True, Ottawa's Police does deserve credit for putting themselves in harm's way by confronting those fearsome hunger strikers.

But MacAdam's beef is not with the hunger strikers, not even with the Tamil cause (and even he has the good sense not to falsely relate this group with the Tamil Tigers terrorist group). No, it is with his precious pavement.

Calling it an "occupation," MacAdam says
"the Tamil protesters should know they are encroaching on our streets, sidewalks and patience.... As taxpaying residents, we demand unimpeded access 24/7... Police permits to stage parades and demonstrations should be compulsory."
Who is this "our" MacAdam suggests these streets belong to, to the exclusion of the Tamils? These streets and sidewalks are public property. And foot and motor traffic flowed freely when I visited last Wednesday:

These Tamils, whether they are Canadian citizens or not (and I suspect most are) have every right to use them. If they are Canadian citizens, MacAdam laments that, too. He demands reform to restrict immigrants to "Europe and the British Isles" (the British Isles aren't in Europe?!?), and that any others surrender their former citizenships when they come to Canada:
"Immigrants to Canada must understand that acquiring landed immigrant status or Canadian citizenship is not a carte blanche to fire salvos back at their former countries from a safe lifeboat. They came to Canada to seek a better life or as part of the "fifth basket" family reunification program... Immigrants must fish or cut bait. If they want Canadian citizenship they should be required to renounce any other citizenship... The experience in rescuing Lebanese-Canadian citizens from a war zone should have been an object lesson."
Yes, because renouncing their citizenship would somehow prevent them from still having family in their former home country that they may visit.

Whatever Utopia MacAdam seems to think Canada is to those who wish to come here--or which he thinks it would be without them--simply would not exist in the police state he envisions. If he doesn't like living in a country with freedoms of speech and assembly, he should consider emigrating to one where he won't be bothered by them.

- RG>

Postscript: I was directed to the site


xup said...

Ya, I read this too. He's not the only one who seems to think that this whole Tamil thing is a bunch of foreigners coming in and taking over our precious sidewalks demanding stuff from us for their country. On the other hand, there hasn't been very much real information about this whole situation in the media either

RealGrouchy said...

Come to think of it, you're quite right. There's been a lot of coverage of the protest, but only superficial coverage of the issue.

- RG>

Hannah said...

"They should renounce any other citizenship?" Excuse me? WTF?

My mom is European born and has dual citizenship and I do as well. I am a proud Canadian but I'm not going to turn my back on my family still living overseas and my heritage.

What an asshole! He's still not as bad as Earl McCrae though. He's a real ignorant and hateful bastard!