LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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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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.