Seems to be the new buzzword these days. It sounds like an excuse to me…
This morning I was talking to a friend who is an immigrant from the UK and has spent 2/3′s of her life in Canada. This person is fully engaged in Canadian life, issues, politics. She is a part of the fabric of this country. Today, for the second time recently, she was told on a comment thread that she should “go home”.
Part of the reason for my recent silence on this blog has been my complete disgust with public opinion, as it is represented in the newsmedia and on public forums like comment threads on the internet.
While I can attribute some of the vitriol to the kinds of astroturf oranizations that pass themselves off as “Citizen” groups, often associated with highly ideological “grassroots” organisations that are so often linked to The Manning Centre, National Citizens Coalition, Real Women and many other groups and an unknown amount that are contractors to the CPC Party, the PMO or any other conservative propaganda arm, there is an element of that hatred spilling out into the general population, sometimes uncomfortably close to home.
When I see Canadians engaging in division and blame for eachother, resorting to stupid strawman arguements and blame for blameless segments of society, well, I just get a bit tongue tied. I freeze, like a deer in the pitlamp, my face turns red with indignition, but I am tongue tied. How do you address such stupidity in a constructive way, in a way that diffuses the hate and reflects it back in a useful way, like a mirror?
It doesn’t seem to matter whether we are discussing immigration, unions, pipelines and tankers, poverty, minimum wage, these haters gonna hate.
Phrases that I keep hearing include, “Get over it, it’s in the past” to the genocide committed by our government in the name of the Crown. These same people seem to think that their “taxpayer dollars” are subsidizing lazy indians. This is a sin of ommission on the part of our government in that they cover up the facts about the Treaties that allowed Canada to become a State, with the provision of royalties paid for the extraction of resources from Treaty and unceded lands. By Royal Proclamation.
“You don’t have the right to protest the pipelines/tankers/oilsands because you drive a car/use electricity or own a computer.” This is a classic. You are a hippy/hypocrite. You are a white hat or a black hat. You are against Jobs and Growth! It’s right out of Mein Kampf. Next, they’ll come for the solar panels! Seriously, as a civilised society could we not explore alternative options? Most Canadians are by necessity trying to curtail our energy footprint. We are being squeezed by energy companies for every dime we have, even as we contract our energy usage as quickly as we can. Petroplastics could be replaced with hemp fibre in one growing season, if we had the political will.
The other thing that bothers me about this arguement is the simple fact that Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan pipelines to the coast are not destined for Canadian consumption, so how does that affect my oil consumption anyways? We will bear tanker traffic in the Graveyard of the Pacific (plied by offshore tankers flying flags of convenience) for China to pollute the entire northern hemispere supplying North Americans with useless plastic shit that we can no longer afford because we no longer have jobs…and who will clean up the spills that will happen? Who will bear the cost?
It reminds me of the War in the Woods, when the “hippies” were trying to save one of the great old growth forests on Vancouver Island, Clayoquot Sound. First, the media and the government ignored them. Then, they laughed at them. Then, they brought in the police. But finally, the protesters won.
Please, let us be civil, until it becomes necessary for us to become radical…