What does St. Patrick’s Day have to do with Canada? Were the Irish indigenous to Canada? Did they plant some flag on our shores? Or were they like the majority of us, immigrants and decedents of immigrants?
The Irish have been as Canadian as any of us but I believe they have had ample time to assimilate.
Is it not inconsiderate and disrespectful to have them drinking green beer with utter disregard for Tim Horton’s and poutine? It’s a whole day and night of it for cows sake. Why can’t it be short like a Citizenship Ceremony? I thought we only let in a certain number of the Irish but when I drove down Richmond Street at noon they seemed quite prevalent. I’m not good with statistics but I would say 3 out of every 4 Londoners are Irish. I am Irish so I can’t really tell you what it might be like to be a minority. I kinda get minority though.
I saw people in green hats and even painted faces. I was leery of their disguises and wondered if it was truly safe. What if they had to prove who they were? I doubt they would be recognizable to their barely legal driver’s licences. I guess like the rest of us I assumed they were all Canadian citizens already but what if one of them had a few too many Guinness and had to take their citizenship tomorrow? With all that paint on their faces they could be anyone. They could even be Scottish. How would we ever know?
I saw two uniformed police officers and two security personnel in front of an Irish pub at 11:15 in the morning. Obviously all this Irishness is a threat. I do not even see this police presence outside the mosques I sometimes notice. I thought it was every living Muslim I had to fear but apparently it is the Jamaican spilling out an establishment after celebrating his brethren’s history, culture and religion.
It is easy to agree with green beer but if we want to call ourselves Canadian we ought to show the same courtesy to any religion. St. Patrick’s Day was a solemn religious recognition at one point. People didn’t go to pubs they went to mass. Would you have your green beer if the conservatives were at the helm of deciding or needing to decide what is tolerable in another’s beliefs? Someone could have run the first Irish settlers back on their ship or told them to defrock their beliefs. We embraced and always have the religions, beliefs, customs and symbols of people who find our shores. To make a monster the conservatives have tried to twist one woman’s faith and belief.
These are her words:
“Aside from the religious aspect, I like how it makes me feel: like people have to look beyond what I look like to get to know me. That I don’t have to worry about my physical appearance and can concentrate on my inner self. That it empowers me in this regard.”
And from the non savages mouth we have:
“Stay where the hell you came from.”
This comes from a Conservative Member of Parliament whose represents Bruce-Grey- Owen Sound. I have travelled these regions and I wonder how many people wearing niquabs one would see in the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound riding. If I was a radio disk jockey I might be lonely asking for the first five callers. By all intents and purposes this representative of Bruce-Grey -Owen Sound is basically being intolerant of something he or his constituents don’t even have to tolerate. I never saw a person kicked out of a bar without even entering.
I can hear the waves of Lake Huron lapping the riding in no small way. Are we going to cordon off parts of the beach for specific religions and or their customs, beliefs and symbols? I don’t know much about intolerance but it sure as hell doesn’t rhyme with tourism. I wonder if Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound cares about tourism.
If we draw lines in the sand of a Canadian Citizenship ceremony they stretch across the nation. To what we expose the initiate can become a rite of passage on the campus. If I can do something to someone becoming a citizen it is not a stretch to consider the same treatment to a citizen. It is not one faith being threatened it is all faiths. It is not one woman in a niquab, it is each of us.
I hope for this riding’s sake that MP Larry Miller isn’t spouting some party puke in a riding to which it has little concern. It makes me wonder what Larry Miller might be missing that is of concern to his riding. I don’t like distracted politicians. According to Larry Miller he thinks “most Canadians feel the same.” I did not know someone from Tobermory could know what people in Newfoundland and British Colombia would be thinking. Maybe most Canadians feel this way but if this is so we have indeed arrived at a place far distant from where we were even a decade ago.
Larry Miller says: “they want to change things before they even really officially become a Canadian.” I wonder what sort of performance Larry Miller had to incur to become a Canadian citizen. I doubt he knows the gratitude and honour of stepping into our once great nation. It only seems to be the Conservatives who want to “change things.” Why is it what’s good for the courts of the land are never good enough for the Conservatives of the land? For a party that claims closeness to justice they seem rabidly fanatic of disregarding Superior and Supreme Justice. This worries me.
This woman is only attempting to honour and embrace the culture and religion that any and all other Canadians have been allowed to respect and protect. If we do not protect the rights of someone becoming a citizen it becomes difficult to protect the right of the citizen.
I’m willing to guess that not 10 000 Irishmen landed on our shores as a beginning. I envision just a handful. I wonder what it is like to enter a country as a minority. We could ask the Jamaican celebrating and embracing his brethren’s culture and religion but he seems assimilated and may not understand or appreciate the significance.
Thankfully our distant relatives were tolerant of our Irish ancestors and their symbols, dress, custom and belief. The world would a dull place make without the Shamrock Shake.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day and yes I am in fact one eighth Irish which is why I am drunk enough to spell: