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Canada, Are We Truly as Xenophobic as You Lead Me to Believe?

 

I’m not sure what else Canada is, other than a melting pot of immigrants-settlers if you will, who’s homelands are scattered across the globe.

My entire family is from Portugal, and unless you are of First Nations descent, you too are a settler in Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and many more countries around the world that have been colonized.

A great number of Canadians around me are now objecting so strongly to foreigners entering a country that used to be known as one of the most welcoming in the world. Sadly, it no longer holds that title. Canada is now becoming extremely xenophobic.

It is an interesting disconnect to observe, when over 95% of the people I come in contact with are first or second generation Canadians, meaning that their parents, or grandparents wanted a better life than they had in their place of birth, so they immigrated to Canada.

Their families were also considered foreigners when they arrived.

I have absolutely no problems with immigrants. I mean how could I when my entire family immigrated from Europe?

I love that Toronto is considered the most multicultural city in the world. I enjoy walking through Chinatown on Spadina, and feeling the busy energy, I feel fortunate that I am able to pick up an authentic Masala Dosa 5 minutes away from anywhere, I look forward to visiting and seeing my mother’s lovely muslim neighbours greet me with a smile, asking how I am doing, and what country will I be visiting next.

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And how amazing is it, that I can attend the Hot and Spicy Food Festival at The Harbour Front Centre, where I can enjoy Jamaican Lime Chili Corn on the Cob, Indian Samosas, Portuguese Potatoes, and 100 different varieties of hot sauces, marinades, and dips from all over the world, all in one day, all in one place?

What’s not to love?

Without immigrants in this country, it would be a bore.

What I do have a problem with is the ignorance, the Islamophobia, and the racism.

There has been a recent wave of xenophobia all over the internet, and it is concerning. People who think Islam is a country, and that ISIS represents all muslims really need to educate themselves properly.

Sadly, most people who are exhibiting signs of prejudice are the same people who have either, never left the country, or have never been to a muslim country. How do you claim to know so much about people, cultures, and ways of living, when you have never experienced any of the above?

The media is not helping this way of thinking as it exaggerates this fear, and helps to maintain negative stereotypes.

Canada, Are We Truly as Xenophobic as You Make Me Believe?

Not all muslims are terrorists. Why is this such a difficult truth to believe?

They too want to live a life free from war. They too want to give their children an education. They too want to live in peace.

They too are human beings.

If people want to immigrate to Canada for a better more peaceful life, it is their right to do so, just as it was your grandparents right to also do so.

Canada, Are We Truly as Xenophobic as You Make Me Believe?

Very often we hear complaints about immigrants “taking all of the jobs”

I would like to know, what jobs are people talking about, and are they planning on applying? These complaints are usually targeted towards East Indians, or brown-skinned people.

These immigrants, including your family, have the right to try to create a better life for themselves and their family. These immigrants work their asses off at jobs (sometimes 2) that are most likely beneath you, to save as much money as they possibly can to bring their sick mother over from India, to give her a peaceful and restful last few years of her life.

Or maybe it is their daughter from Pakistan,  who doesn’t have much of a chance being female and from a tribe, but they know she has so much potential and want to give her an opportunity to shine, because after all, she is a person. No better, or worst than you.

Canada, Are We Truly as Xenophobic as You Make Me Believe?

It is shocking to me how many Canadians are unaware of Canada’s Multiculturalism Policy, but then again, I am well aware that humans tend to conjure up their own ideas, and rules to benefit themselves, so it is not so shocking.

Canada is by law, a multicultural society. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act, is a law passed in 1988. This law aims to enhance and preserve multiculturalism in Canada.

In 1971 under Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the federal government declared that Canada would adopt an offical multicultural policy, and that Canada would recognize and respect its society included customs, diversity in language, and religions.

Equality, and inclusiveness of all people. Not some. All.

Canadian culture IS multiculturalism.

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I do not support any religion, but I do wholeheartedly support freedom. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to wear whatever you damn well please.

Hopefully 40 years from now, we will all be laughing at how obsurd the Islamophobia was. I say this, because 40 years ago so-called Canadians were discriminating against Chinese, Japanese, Ukrainian, and African settlers. The people, and culture may change, but the discrimination stays the same. It is embarrassing.

It is time to evolve, and cultivate empathy.

We all live on this planet, and in my opinion every single person who inhabits it has the birthright to try to live a happy life with as little suffering as possible, No matter what country they choose to live in.

Canada, Are We Truly as Xenophobic as You Make Me Believe?

Borders, flags, the financial interests of our governments, and the media, is what is influencing people’s views on other human beings. These views are mostly skewed, as they feed off of irrational fear. Be aware that the news rarely shares good stories to bring people together.

You may not like or understand other cultures, and really that’s your problem, but you are NOT above any other human being just because you refuse to try to understand or get to know them.

We are all deserving of dignity, peace, and a life free from harm.

If you would like this kind of life for yourself, allow it for others, think for yourself before you speak, focus on all of the good foreigners, and be a reflection of that good.

 

 

Comments To This Entry.
  1. Mindy October 23, 2015 Reply

    The xenophobia I experienced being back for a short visit in Canada recently was hard to swallow. I completely got the sense that racism in Canada was on the rise, and I no longer felt like the country represented my beliefs and morals. Thank you for this post 🙂 I just hope that Canadians, and people around the world, take the time to read it and let it soak in.

    • Giselle and Cody October 23, 2015 Reply

      Yes, since being back after a few years of travelling we too have noticed shift in the way Canadians feel. Perhaps it was always there and we never noticed it? But it is disheartening. There is this “us and them” mentally that seems to be growing.
      hHere’s hoping a new prime minister will slightly shift people’s consciousness.

  2. Angie October 25, 2015 Reply

    Beautiful post. I struggle living amongst these same types of attitudes and comments in the states.

    • Giselle and Cody November 8, 2015 Reply

      Thank you for commenting Angie. It is very sad the way people treat others. We are all humans who all want a better life.

  3. Safia irfan November 8, 2015 Reply

    Hi Giselle and Cody
    Thanks for sharing the picture and your comments. You have a strong understanding of other peoples cultures and there believe.one thing I can understand is no mater what religion you have and what language you speak ,there is one language which is spoken that by the smile of your face and softness in your eyes people understand all over the world .

    • Giselle and Cody November 8, 2015 Reply

      Hello Safia,

      Thank you so much for your comment. We appreciate your kindness, and are happy to have you and your family as good neighbours. We are glad that you are in Canada and that it is your home. Hopefully one day, compassion, and love will overcome fear, and the whole world can all live together peacefully.

  4. Karyn Jane November 12, 2015 Reply

    Excellent post guys. The same thing is happening in Australia too. There was always casual racism, which many of us found shameful, but now there’s this whole other thing going on. It’s based on a different kind of fear than racism in previous years. I’m not sure quite how to describe it but fear is the right word, and it’s usually coming from people who have never stepped outside of their own comfort zone. They are standing up and saying awful things and of course the media is giving attention to it and the whole cycle is just getting perpetually worse.

    I don’t understand it. I really don’t. How can people be so willfully ignorant?

  5. Lucia Pereira December 31, 2015 Reply

    I love my beautiful daughter and wonderful son (in-law) who are so loving and inclusive of every one on the planet. They have hearts as big as the earth and their minds are open enough to include our dear animal friends….I Love You Both, Very, Very Much!!

  6. Miranda February 3, 2016 Reply

    It´s just not Canada. This happens in Australia as well and it makes me sick.

    I wish people would just understand that we are all human and we are in this together.

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