LET­TERS TO THE ED­I­TOR

The Peterborough Examiner - - OPINION -

Don Cherry’s mes­sage was very clear

Re: Don Cherry’s point lost in di­vi­sive

de­liv­ery, Nov. 15

Ac­cord­ing to Kevin Elson, Cana­di­ans who sup­port the firing of the long­time Sport­snet com­men­ta­tor are guilty of “hear­ing things be­yond what was ac­tu­ally said,” whereas Cherry him­self is only cul­pa­ble of us­ing di­vi­sive lan­guage to make what Elson feels is an oth­er­wise valid point about Re­mem­brance Day.

A use­ful re­al­ity check at this point is to re­fresh one’s mem­ory of what Cherry ac­tu­ally said: “You peo­ple that come here, you love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a cou­ple of bucks for pop­pies or some­thing like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you en­joy in Canada.”

By Elson’s logic, what Cherry said wasn’t the prob­lem, “but how he said it was.”

How­ever, there is no am­bi­gu­ity at all in what Cherry im­plies by the “we vs. you” logic of his state­ment. “We” are (pre­sum­ably white) Cana­di­ans; “you” are im­mi­grants.

Yes, Don Cherry is a Canadian icon; we get it. But that doesn’t ex­cuse lay­ing the blame at the feet of “po­lit­i­cally cor­rect ou­trage cul­ture” in­stead of rec­og­niz­ing the ob­vi­ous, that this is an un­com­pli­cated case of racism.

Peter Lau­rie, Aberdeen Av­enue

Not wear­ing a poppy is a dis­ser­vice to vet­er­ans

Don Cherry has al­ways been a con­tro­ver­sial man. He will never be po­lit­i­cally cor­rect. But he will speak out about is­sues that deeply con­cern him and usu­ally in­volve ev­ery one of us.

His most re­cent talk is a per­fect ex­am­ple. He is right. As a third-gen­er­a­tion Canadian, I do not buy pop­pies. I al­ready have so many of them stashed away at home. Why waste my money?

I of­ten for­get to wear the ones I do own. I com­plain that they al­ways fall off. I can even for­get the mo­ment of si­lence at 11 o’clock.

How, then, can we ex­pect new Cana­di­ans, young Cana­di­ans, and new im­mi­grants to rec­og­nize that this day is one of our most revered hol­i­days. They are more likely to think it’s Hal­loween (and it isn’t even a na­tional hol­i­day).

I re­al­ize that by not buy­ing a poppy, I am do­ing a dis­ser­vice to our vet­er­ans. Even France hon­ours our fallen sol­diers ev­ery year. Per­haps new im­mi­grants fear the army, as many other coun­tries are ruled by their mil­i­tary.

While pop­pies are read­ily avail­able in smaller com­mu­ni­ties, is the same true for larger cities?

Marie Searle, Peter­bor­ough

Cherry missed his chance for a teach­ing mo­ment

Don Cherry cer­tainly makes me sit back and think. Our vet­er­ans fought long and hard to bring us the free­dom we now en­joy. We prac­tice our be­liefs, with­out fear of reprisal, im­pris­on­ment or death. We are so lucky. Re­mem­brance Day is the one na­tional hol­i­day that uni­fies all of us by ac­knowl­edge­ment of what our vet­er­ans have done for each and ev­ery Canadian. Yet if we don’t re­mem­ber them, how will new gen­er­a­tions re­mem­ber?

Oh dear, Mr. Cherry missed a great teach­ing op­por­tu­nity. I have worked with new­com­ers in Canada since 1983, and I can’t be­gin to ex­plain how over­whelm­ing and in­un­dat­ing it is to make a per­ma­nent move to a new coun­try. Peo­ple are fo­cused on find­ing hous­ing, a doc­tor, a school, a job and learn­ing English. If they are able to at­tend gov­ern­ment lan­guage classes, LINC or Lan­guage In­struc­tion for New­com­ers to Canada, then they learn about our tra­di­tions, val­ues, cul­ture, his­tory, ge­og­ra­phy, gov­ern­ment, etc.

Oth­er­wise, they have to fig­ure out what is po­lite, ap­pro­pri­ate and socially ac­cept­able on their own.

Mov­ing to a new coun­try is not only about lan­guage. Many coun­tries have English as their first lan­guage, but the cul­ture, his­tory, tra­di­tions and val­ues dis­tin­guish each English­s­peak­ing coun­try from the other.

This could re­ally have been used as a teach­ing mo­ment. Per­haps vet­er­ans from the Le­gions could have vis­ited the schools to teach the chil­dren in mul­ti­cul­tural ar­eas about why Re­mem­brance Day is im­por­tant to Cana­di­ans.

Per­haps the city Mr. Cherry’s friend was in could have put up bill­boards in sub­ways and on buses in var­i­ous lan­guages ex­plain­ing the im­por­tance of Re­mem­brance Day.

The re­al­ity is that ev­ery­thing is learned. Canadian chil­dren learn about our his­tory and Re­mem­brance Day in school. If a new­comer does not at­tend lan­guage classes, then learn­ing about our cul­ture and what we value is a crap shoot at best.

Let’s use this in­ci­dent to in­form and re­mind Cana­di­ans and new­com­ers alike of what makes Canada spe­cial. An­toinette R. Van Veen, Sher­brooke Street

It’s clear Don­ald Trump broke the law

Re: So far, an im­peach­ment process

in search of a crime, Nov. 16 Thomas Walkom re­peats the ar­gu­ment of the Re­pub­li­cans, which is not founded in law. The very re­quest to a for­eign coun­try to in­ter­fere in a U.S. elec­tion is against the law.

The re­quest for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Don­ald Trump’s lead­ing op­po­nent in the 2020 elec­tion (at that time) and hing­ing it on the ad­vance­ment of mil­i­tary aid (al­ready ap­proved by Congress) is a form of bribery. That is the crime!

If a gun­man en­ters a bank with the in­tent to rob it, the fact that he leaves empty handed does not mean that he can­not be charged with rob­bing a bank. The fact that Trump only had un­til the end of Septem­ber to do this does not re­lieve him from li­a­bil­ity.

Paul M.G. Smith, Camp­bell­ford

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GILBERT NGABO/TORONTO STAR

Jacqueline Vanin and her hus­band Paul drove from Mis­sis­sauga to par­tic­i­pate in a rally in sup­port of Don Cherry at Sport­snet head­quar­ters in down­town Toronto Nov. 13.

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