Thursday, July 13, 2017

Canadians Need More Open Dialogue About The Issues That Divide Us - HUFFINGTONPOST

by Clare Beckton 
Originally published: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Huffingtonpost.ca

At an event on diversity, I listened to a young woman speak about white privilege and how she had it and could not really understand the lives of others from different races and cultures. A few days later I saw that Pride parades did not want uniformed police officers to march-and some police officers chose to ignore the request. Vandalism against synagogues and mosques as well as some recent verbal assaults on some Muslim women; and a recent incident in Halifax where an Indigenous ceremony was disrupted by a group of young men carrying a Red Ensign flag -- Canada's former national flag.

Even though Canada as a nation that prides itself on diversity and inclusion is often held up as an example for the world, we cannot rest on these laurels when we see and hear of these kinds of incidents.

Canadians are a very polite nation so we are told. Politeness is a good thing, yet that politeness can also feed political correctness which does not permit open dialogue around issues that trouble us as a nation. I do not think terms such as white privilege further any dialogue or understanding nor does issuing dictates about behaviour such as police wearing uniforms or attacking someone of a particular culture or faith because of the actions of others. We have a perfect example now for a rich dialogue around the decision to award Omar Khadr a $10-million settlement because his Charter rights were violated.