Love is stronger than hate
Jagmeet Singh, the newly elected leader of the federal NDP, created headlines by battling racism with love. When a heckler goaded him with antiIslamic lies, he countered with, “Love and courage.”
“We believe in an inclusive Canada where no one is left behind. We believe in all diversity. We don’t want to be intimidated by hate…
He addressed the protester, “We love you and support you. We all believe in your rights.”
He assured supporters at the Brampton meeting: “You know, growing up as a brown-skinned, turbaned, bearded man, I’ve faced things like this before. It’s not a problem, we can deal with it.”
The rise of overt racism in the United States contrasts with Singh’s message of love. Canada seeks to be a compassionate society.
Our official policy of multiculturalism recognizes the strengths of our indigenous cultures and those that have arrived in Canada from around the globe.
Rather than a “bigger is better,” or a “me first” attitude, most Canadians prefer to smooth over differences. Our attitude tends to be, “We’re all in this together, so let’s make the best of it.”
I think the severity of Canadian winters is responsible for bringing us together in the face of adversity. We stop to help push a car out a snowdrift. We spend a lot of time talking about the weather because it holds the power of life and death over us.
I see two major reasons that a culture of love and acceptance is spread throughout our frozen nation. One is CBC Radio, reaching Canadians from coast to coast to coast with news, stories and interviews that reflect the diversity of our vast country. The other major positive force for compassion is the public school system. From Kindergarten up, Canadian students are taught that love is stronger than hate. They learn how to take care of each other. They learn the skills of making friends with “the new kid.”
Jagmeet Singh is the first visible minority person to lead a federal political party. In the manner in which he handled a heckler he has shown us how to take the higher moral ground. He could have simply countered the heckler’s statements about Sharia law by telling her that he is Sikh. But Singh doesn’t want to pit one group against another.
In a later interview he said: “I’m familiar with racism. It’s something that I’ve faced because of my identity,” he said. “My mom always taught me that we’re all one and we’re all connected. And to see that connection, that shared connection in all people.”