Letter: Kelowna still has plenty of racism

Letter writer says those who live in glass houses should not throw stones

To the editor:

Reading the letter: Not the Canada our parents fought for (Capital News, Nov. 10, 2017) was unpleasant, arrogant and not to mention racist.

My first question: Did your parents fight immigrants to make Canada a beautiful country? If yes, then your parents fought their own ancestors, unless they were First Nations people. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

As a 40-year-resident of Kelowna, you name the type of racism still around. I have faced it. Years ago, I wrote about my personal experiences in our local papers and mentioned that, after living 10 pleasant years in Ontario on my arrival as an immigrant to Canada, I had moved to an 18th Century mentalist town of around 40,000. The Okanagan has not changed much, except for the younger generations. I salute them.

Letters to the editors flooded the page, coming from people like you. And the message was: ‘If you don’t like it here, why don’t you go back to where you came from.’ I hasten to point out I also met many non-racist, decent, caring and non-judgemental people.

I was reading a preview of a new book by 94-year-old Harry Leslie Smith: Don’t Let My Past Be Your Future. It is a reflection on poverty and a wake-up call for younger generations to think beyond personal desires and work towards a more equal society.

He added, we are all human beings, we all have to live, and we are all looking for the same things – peace and a good life for our children and ourselves.

Does this letter-writer believe the opposite is happening to her and her family because of immigrants?

According to a recent report by Oxfam, fewer than three per cent of five million Syrian refugees have been resettled in rich countries, (proportionally, Canada is an exception). The United Kingdom, the report said, fell far short of taking in 25,000 Syrians—its fair share of refugees from the war-torn country—and accepted just 4,400 people.

The letter was critical of both Pierre-Elliot and Justin Trudeau for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and for taking in desperate immigrants leaving everything behind to save their lives. I applaud both Pierre-Elliot and Justin Trudeau. And, feeling for French Quebec has mostly been negative by the old farts in the Okanagan.

We have to learn to live with each other. There is not that much difference between us. To more than a handful of people in Canada immigrant is a dirty word. It’s ridiculous, more precisely, ignorance.

Mo Rajabally, Kelowna

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