Sadly, political correctness afflicts much of the world; in particular the Western world. At its inception in the counterculture of the sixties and beyond it was a force for good. It moved us to examine our hatreds, prejudices, values and words. It reminded the British and the French that their prosperity had been driven and depended partly on the plunder of their colonies. It brought home to the Americans that their reach in the world wasn’t always benevolent; sometimes it was born out of their economic dominance of the world and exploitation of the resources and peoples of the world. The US blacks and the counterculture made the world pivot towards a fairer, more just and compassionate understanding of the inequality and unfairness in the world. The world began to understand gender equality, freedom for gays and lesbians to be themselves, the ugly reality of racism in the world and how North America had oppressed and marginalised the indigenous peoples and the rampant unfairness in international relations.That extremely timely and necessary overhaul of our approach toward others made us change our language, expressions and how we addressed and viewed people who were different, and possibly weaker and poorer than us. Minorities became bolder. Equality became the buzzword underpinned by longing for social justice.In Canada that hunger for social justice and equality manifested itself in Trudeau’s just society; the egalitarian foundations of which found themselves enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter justly included a constitutional right of self government for Canada’s historically abused and exploited indigenous peoples.Canada continues to make important strides toward more equality.But there are storm clouds on the horizon that endanger the continuing pursuit of true equality.What started as a legitimate change to bring about equality and transformation of how we viewed, treated and spoke about each other has now ossified into a rarely breached wall of silence; a silence reinforced by the onset of the West’s indifference to its own – good, bad or ugly but – distinct societies, their values and norms; call it white man’s burden or guilt; a guilt for the sins of the past now manifesting itself in the white man’s fear.This fear has habituated many Western leaders in their frailty to speak the unvarnished truth about the need for the refugees and immigrants welcomed into these societies to fully integrate in them. It is not about changing one’s religion or bleaching one’s skin to make it paler. It is about learning the moral, ethical, social and political anchors that, in this case, Canada is rooted in.Is Canada perfect? No. It has its own past shame of the indigenous cultural genocide, Chinese head Tax, Concentration Camps for the Japanese Canadians, turning away in the middle of the Second World War a ship full of Jews from the Atlantic coast and much more. But Canada has confronted many of its demons and continues the important task of reconciliation with its indigenous peoples.But the real need for equality and social justice for all has also spawned the much despised political correctness preventing us from being honest with each other. Politicians afraid of ‘ethnic backlashes’ revel in silence policed by the so called multiculturalists who might be more appropriately called multicults – the practitioners of a fierce brand of exclusivist Multiculturalism that ought to be renamed Multicultism. Under these circumstances when politicians do speak they utter non sequiturs,simply bromides.Amongst the Western leaders Angela Merkel has been an exception. She has welcomed close to a million refugees into Germany in 2016; generous indeed, more than any other Western country. At the same time she told them to learn the German language, German values and integrate into German society, calling multiculturalism a sham that creates parallel societies. We can debate her position but I would caution that the parallel societies she speaks of are quite discernable in many provinces in major urban centers in Canada too.But out of fear many of our leaders continue in their silent bliss.This guilt cum fear was quite evident in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s broad brush swipe at those who had sought assurances of thorough security checks on the refugees to be let into Canada. Instead of arguing we must welcome refugees but after proper security checks, her words implied that these security concerns were a mask for racism.Such remarks stultify and intimidate honest debate; many voices are unnecessarily compelled into silence. A recent study by Andy Yan looked at multimillion dollar mansions on Vancouver’s West side that are being bought with foreign money. He argued it was about recent foreign money not race. Yan, an urban planner and adjunct professor at UBC was hurriedly excoriated for ‘fanning’ racism.Another study of multimillion dollar mansions on the West side of V
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.