For a guy who pays close attention to politics in this country, I should admit I’m embarrassed. I was so busy celebrating Simcoe Day in Ontario I had no idea what this new Emancipation Day is about. We really have to stop tearing down statues, reviling former leaders, changing what we call holidays and changing words in the dictionary.
I am no etymologist but I do treasure the words of the Oxford Dictionary in its various dimensions, rely on Ernest Fowler in understanding grammar, admire John Bartlett for his handy references and also make my share of typos, as well as grammatical and spelling errors. It seems we like to write but we have forgotten how to edit.
I draw the line at somebody, somewhere, decreeing that “indigenous” means, if your ancestors came here 15,000 years ago, your people are “from here.” Perverting our language is not going to make anybody feel better about themselves. I find my aboriginal and métis acquaintances much prefer the respect and fair treatment they deserve as Canadian citizens. I have always known that many of their ancestors got a bum deal from past European settlers. There are some reparations needed. We have to resolve this by working together.
And what can really annoy me is the newcomer to Canada who discovers that the streets are not paved with gold, that there are some of us who are not as tolerant as they should be and the newbies condemn the rest of us for it.
Frankly, I think I have travelled enough in this world to realize that there are lots of nice people and some assholes everywhere. Get used to it.
And, speaking of assholes, I hope the next time we see some people tearing down an old statue, that the people doing the pulling are under the statue when it falls. That would be justice for all!
What really leaves me cold is the eagerness of politicians such as Toronto councillors to spend ratepayers’ money on fixing what they consider errors of the past. Is Toronto so confused that we have to rename Dundas Street? I never knew nor cared who the street was named after. I hardly care what you call it but it will always be Dundas to me. It is the same as the O’Keefe Centre, SkyDome and when the Cleveland Indians come to play the Blue Jays. Some people just need a better appreciation of history.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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