Emad Barsoum writes: A Call for Unity and Respect
– Go home; why are you here?
Shouted the driver in a clear abusive way to another driver…
In a disheartening incident on the roads of the GTA, an individual of Anglo-Saxon descent displayed disturbing signs of discrimination and hostility towards another individual. The encounter exposed the bitter truth that even in today’s progressive society, some people still resist the principles of diversity and inclusion.
The incident unfolded when the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, found themselves on the receiving end of verbal discriminatory and derogatory expressions from an angry driver. The driver, showing signs of solid discrimination, unleashed a flow of offensive slurs, shouting, “Go home! Why are you here?” Trying to defuse the situation peacefully, the victim attempted to reason with the aggressor, only to be met with a more aggressive attitude.
What makes this situation particularly ironic is that the very people who harbor discriminatory sentiments, like this driver, are descendants of immigrants themselves. It is essential to recognize that most Canadians are descendants of immigrants who arrived in the country at different points in history. No one group can claim to be the “owners” of the land, as it was initially inhabited by Indigenous peoples long before colonization.
This incident highlights the need for Canadians to confront their country’s historical realities and fully comprehend how people from all over the world built the new world. The reconciliation process requires empathy, understanding, and a shared commitment to build a future that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and equality for all.
Unfortunately, even in the realm of politics, a bizarre contradiction exists. In their quest to gain support from certain groups, some politicians may contribute to raising some forms of discrimination simply by accentuating discriminatory behavior against these groups over the others, showing that the former are victims of false systematic abuse. This divisive approach can widen the gap between races, ideologies, and belief systems.
All Canadians must realize that no group should have exclusive privileges or recognition over others. The key to unity lies in embracing a sense of belonging to this land, fostering mutual respect, and working together with honesty and sincerity.
In this regard, displaying respect for national symbols, such as the flag and the national anthem, signifies a shared commitment to the nation and its values. By standing up during the national anthem, Canadians demonstrate their collective support for the country’s principles of freedom, democracy, and diversity.
Canada’s strength lies in its multicultural fabric, which weaves together stories from various backgrounds, creating a rich tapestry of experiences. By celebrating diversity and condemning discrimination, Canadians can forge a society that cherishes each citizen’s uniqueness, striving for a future that stands as a shining example of inclusivity and unity for the rest of the world to follow.
As we move forward, let us remember that only by working together can we build a genuinely inclusive and harmonious Canada, where every individual can feel a genuine sense of belonging and contribute to the nation’s prosperity and progress.