So just received a DM asking me, in very certain language, why I was so "engaged" online wrt Don Cherry's comments

Notwithstanding the language of the DM the question is valid and so unlike the DM I thought I would answer transparently

1/ X
I listened carefully and although he now claims his comments were about Poppies what his words were actually focussed on were visible minorities who he claimed did not conform to his view of what should be

Here are my issues

The CAF deployed experience since the early 90s has been in places that have been characterized by ethnic divisions and the demonization of targetted groups

CAF members have literally given their lives to fight against this type of bigotry

History clearly indicates that this demonization starts with people in positions of public influence inflaming tensions through promoting narratives that focus on the negatives of differences and how those that are different are not equal or good enough to be citizens

Don Cherry not only furthered that narrative but did so based on his ability to determine who was a new immigrant merely by what he saw as he drove to work

Let me summarize that: They didn't look like him so they had to be immigrants

Those organizations with whom I have served have immigrants and children of immigrants

Dedicated Canadians

They & 2nd, 3rd, 4th Generation Canadians ( and so on) as well as First Nations have served in places where it was impossible to determine status based on appearance

What I want to believe the CAF represents is the very best of Canada

Sometimes the CAF has stumbled and it certainly has a long way to go in dealing with minorities and sexual harassment but there is a determination to do better

So in order to do better you have to be willing to speak out early when these moments appear

We need only look south of the border for what happens when voices don't speak immediately and effectively

So I choose to speak out

I choose to dismiss the after the fact defence of using the wrong words of "you people" vice "everybody"

"Everybody who comes here for milk and honey" is no better a sentiment

Time and again every validated study of immigration has demonstrated that not only do immigrants add to our economic viability but are necessary

Equally I am unaware of any ability to determine who is an immigrant based on visual cues

Even if we could it shouldn't matter

The CAF serves to represent all Canadians and this means respecting they will make different choices

Shamed compliance makes a travesty of this

I want to Canadians whatever they look like to be inspired to wear poppies not shame them to compliance

So ...

11 / x
Allowing Don Cherry's comments to be dismissed as just Don being Don or merely misintrepreted allows his brand of racism to continue

We should expect better of ourselves

12/ 12
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