We are more than just “not Amer­i­can”

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: In­jus­tice still ex­ists in Canada (July 5)

I take great ex­cep­tion to the neg­a­tiv­ity in this let­ter. Be­cause I was born in this coun­try, I am in­cluded in what the let­ter writer refers to as “Cana­di­ans”. She has as­sumed, among other things, that the point of pride in be­ing a Cana­dian is not be­ing like “our Amer­i­can neigh­bours”. The con­de­scen­sion im­plicit in this is ap­palling. I would ar­gue that there are many and var­ied pos­i­tive rea­sons for Cana­di­ans to take pride. Sug­gest­ing that Cana­di­ans are de­fined only by com­par­ing our­selves to oth­ers is de­mean­ing.

Look­ing at his­tory through the eyes and mores of to­day has be­come a pop­u­lar pas­time. Look­ing, in par­tic­u­lar, for ex­am­ples of in­equal­ity and vic­tim­hood is not dif­fi­cult. The writer has pointed out sev­eral “low points in our his­tory”. Apolo­gies have been made and, most likely, will con­tinue to be made in to­day’s po­lit­i­cally cor­rect cli­mate. I know that those of Ital­ian her­itage in our com­mu­nity are still wait­ing for one.

Con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion, for me, is im­por­tant. I agree that learn­ing about an “unedited ver­sion of our his­tory” is nec­es­sary and that “open con­ver­sa­tions’ are key. But apolo­gies for what may be con­sid­ered as of­fenses in the past by ap­ply­ing stan­dards of to­day’s con­struct is a form of re­vi­sion, of edit­ing, the very thing the writer seems to rant against.

The sesqui­cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion on July 1 was re­plete with apol­ogy and low on cel­e­bra­tion. How ironic, then, that our own Prime Min­is­ter found him­self later need­ing to apol­o­gize to Al­ber­tans for a real slight. Hen­ri­etta Wasik, Stoney Creek

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