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Anti-American Bigotry Is Not The Answer

posted 12/3/2009 10:42:41 PM |
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tagged: rant, life, politics

I've lived in British Columbia now for 8 1/2 years. When I first moved here from Oklahoma, I was met with a variety of changes. Because this city is touted as one of the best places to live, new immigrants are constantly flocking here from numerous countries. British Columbia is a melting pot of different cultures, religions and political views. It's also has a surprising amount of bigots.

I was first met with this ugliness in September of 2001 but it did not truly rear its ugly head until sometime in the fall of 2002. I will forever remember this day. It started off as any ordinary day, and then sometime around lunch time, I received a call from my son at school. He was so angry that he could barely contain himself on the phone. He proceeded to ask me if I could call the office and have him excused from school for the rest of the day. Now I persisted and demanded to know what had happened, as I was starting to become concerned. He finally said to me, "Mom, I've never asked to come home unless I'm sick and I'm not sick now. I'm just so angry that I'm afraid if I stay at school, I'm going to start a fight". he really had my attention. After a long pause I told him to walk home and I would call the office. When he arrived home, it took me several minutes to get him to open up to me. This was his story.

"My school is full of bigots and I don't know if I can continue to attend this type of school". He was apparently sitting in history class when the teacher decided to let the kids take part in a round table discussion about the events and conspiracy theories leading up to and during the events that took place on 9/11. Now Zack was quite popular with his classmates and the teacher felt that because Zack was looked up to he would be able to represent the American viewpoint of this tragedy. Not so. The teacher sorely misjudged the situation, as a lot of Zack's classmates were quite vocal. Zack told me the last straw was when a classmate boldly stated that “the idiots that lived in Oklahoma and gave limited flying lessons to terrorists caused the whole event". Well as you can imagine this did not sit well with Zack at all. Zack is about as patriotic as they come. He's loyalty and his integrity are two of his strongest points...and this kid just badmouthed his country. According to Zack, the teacher couldn't move fast enough. Zack was out of his chair so fast and in this kid's face before anyone could move.

According to the teacher, Zack didn't touch the kid but got up in his face and asked him to repeat what he had just said. Of course, the kid didn't and Zack promptly kicked his chair, turned on his heel and stormed out of the classroom. Later that afternoon when I spoke with Zack's history teacher, he told me how surprised he was at the children's statements...and how Zack kept his cool under the worst of circumstances. In the end, Zack didn't get in trouble and did go back to school the next day, but I don't think he ever spoke to that student again.

This was not the last time I've witnessed anti-American bigotry in Canada. I wish it was. I've had it happen to me at grocery stores, doctor's offices and shopping malls. It's also happened numerous times in the media. I'm sick to death of hearing Canadians slam Americans...I really, really am. It's ridiculous, uncalled for and pointless. I mean who do the Canadian's turn to in times of real crisis? Hmmm…I wonder…

The U.S. is not perfect. I will be the first one to admit this. But please don't tear my country down, just to show how great your country really is. Yes, the U.S. has crime and we can be a bit arrogant and hugely patriotic and yes, we even allow our citizens to own guns, but Canada has had its problems too. We are not the only country with gun violence.

How smug can Canadians get? And how short their memories are. In gang-infested Metro Vancouver they've just witnessed one of the most sickening outbreaks of gun violence in North America. And they’re lecturing their neighbors to the south about their gun problems!

Have we forgotten so quickly about the murder of four Mounties in 2005 by Alberta psychopath James Roszko at his property near Mayerthorpe? Or how about the Montreal massacre of 1989 in which crazed gunman Marc Lepine opened fire on a classroom of female engineering students at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique, killing 14 women?

How really did those Canadian gun sprees differ from that involving alleged Tacoma-area cop-killer Maurice Clemmons?

What happened in Tacoma, Washington on Sunday could have just as easily happened in British Columbia. With its own catch-and-release justice system, criminals are in and out repeatedly. Oh… and don't even get me started on life sentences. Good gosh...10 to 12 years for a life sentence...are you freakin kidding me?!

What really gets to me is when people use gun tragedies in the U.S. as a launching pad for a tirade about how much of America is obsessed with the "right" to carry guns...and how Sunday was "an almost typical madhouse in the U.S.A. in terms of killings, shootings and mayhem."

I'm open to constructive ideas to deal with the situations that occur on both sides of the border, but anti-American bigotry is not the answer.

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Dec 3 @ 10:57PM  
I remember talking to a Canadian about ten years ago. He said, "The biggest difference between our countries is that in the 1800's you killed off your native population, we married ours."

Dec 3 @ 10:58PM are not in America and as offensive as it feels to you Canadians are not going to feel American patriotism, nor should they;its not their country.

Was your son correct in his actions, absolutely but you will encounter the same bigotry in any state of our fine union against any foreign country. So who is right and who is wrong?

Dec 3 @ 11:11PM  
DesertSmile: I was talking about the bigotry I have personally encountered, as well as in the media and how it's escalated...not patriotism. I agree...patriotism is a personal thing and I don't expect Canadians to be patriotic about the U.S. And I will and do find bigotry in the U.S. I was also trying to convey it would be nice to stop the mud slinging, finger pointing and bigotry and find real constructive solutions.

Dec 3 @ 11:34PM  
Kit, of course you are right, but I wonder how much is ignorance and how much is bigotry. I often feel it's ignorance.

Dec 4 @ 12:22AM  
There was a long time ago discussion on here about this....was a canadian and myself if I remember correctly.

The gun thing is SO far overdone, I had had enough. And a simple google of the subject of gun crimes and canada was more than enough newsworthy stories to more than blow his argument out of the water.

Boils down to the fact that no country is perfect. Never have been either. Seems more and more nowadays everyone likes to point fingers in ANY direction but inward, just to keep from taking personal responsibility for anything. *Sigh*

Dec 4 @ 1:45AM  
Due to the lateness of the hour I will just post a couple of quick thoughts and follow up at a later date.

(1)What country is the largest importer of foreign oil?
(2)In regards to immigration policy and fostering terrorism which country is being closely scrutinized as posing the greatest threat to the United States?

"There is a growing body of evidence indicating that terrorist groups have been operating effectively in Canada by taking advantage of Canada's liberal immigration and political asylum policies and the porous Canadian-American border".

Is there a corellation to be drawn that might be pertinent to the bloggers question regarding anti American bigotry?

Dec 4 @ 2:42AM  
Well hopefully you will get some of the change we are getting as our president has promised to change us all and re make America! He is loved and admired all over the world so problem solved. I have a feeling by the time he is done the world will appreciate the old America and not be so quick to judge! By the way your son did great and kudos to him! Most bigots wet their pants when stood up to!

Dec 4 @ 7:38AM  
DS..Ignorance spawns bigotry

Dec 4 @ 7:49AM  
a classmate boldly stated that “the idiots that lived in Oklahoma and gave limited flying lessons to terrorists caused the whole event".

Kinda' show how smart and well informed the average Canuck kid is ..
Most of the 9/11 terrorists were went to flight school in Florida

Dec 4 @ 9:23AM  
When it comes to "finger pointing", I always remember that tho there is a finger pointing out, there are at least 3 others pointing in the opposite direction.

Dec 4 @ 6:13PM  
Strange thing is that I have had friends from many countries and the only bigotry I have run into is my own because I am part Native American. Everyone has their opinions of other countries. You are living in their country so it might be something you will run into from time to time. Just like you have a lot of people in this country who do not like the French and I have heard a lot of rude remarks made about Canadians by Americans. I blame the teacher for what happened at school, he used poor judgement in letting these kids talk about the events in an open manner since they are not adults and probably do not have an inrormed opinion.. That was just asking for a problem.

Dec 4 @ 9:42PM  
Hell, honey, there's anti-american bigotry here in america. I just slammed out of a site earlier where people were preaching again about how America is a Christian Nation.. and when I pointed out that the statement is inherently false as defined by the American Constitution... you got it.. I got booed and hissed in vulgar terms.

It all does boil down to ignorance and not educating oneself to the truth (or whatever version of reality is widely held to be the truth.)

Dec 4 @ 11:30PM  
Amazing how a lot of people can be rude in todays society in regards to trashing anything, everything, and anyone.

Dec 14 @ 11:06PM  
How much of it is the need to feel a sense of community. patriotism imo is really a way for some people to find identity. I live in the US and i'm not very patriotic. I know how corrupt our government can be. I know that the lobbying, the backroom deals and worse stuff happens. I'm definitely not a fan of Wall street over main street and giving billions to mega-corps that fuck themselves. Seriously, not cool. I support national healthcare because everyone should be as healthy and educated as they can/want to be. There are a lot of problems in America today and patriotism (blind patriotism I mean) I feel hides the problems we are facing. (bad english sorry). Instead of getting all heated up about having the "best country in the whole gotdam world" maybe we should focus on just fixing some of the broken things in this country. (healthcare, education, economy -- did you know our biggest creditor is China! oye, going green -- excess CO2 or any other greenhouse gas can't be GOOD for the environment or peoples lungs and that's a good enough damn reason to go green., etc.)

As mark twain said, "support your country, always. Support your government--when they deserve it"

Dec 14 @ 11:15PM  
@ Theskwirl

OOOOH I sympathize, I just saw your comment. I had a guy recently telling me how "this is a christian nation based on christian ideals and we are sharing in the prosperity of these ideals"

Education -- USA 38th on the list?
Healthcare -- USA 35th on the list (below cuba CUBA!)
politics -- if you can figure out who's really running the country between the president and congress or corporations let me know, because I can't.

great benefits...but it's not true anyway. Most of the founding fathers were deists, not christians and most of them actually were really afraid of Christianity because of the violence it had sparked.

We are a nation of many peoples and religions. Lets just all have sex, drink beer (or whatever) and be happy dammit!

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Anti-American Bigotry Is Not The Answer