Friday, November 17, 2006

The Multiculturalism Act's backlash

It appears that for the eulogists of the Multiculturalism Act, which came into effect in 1971, criticizing the Canadian doctrine of multiculturalism rationally with nuances is something racist. Really? Did you know that racism is actually a theory of hatred that advocates the superiority of an ethnic group or a nation? To be very honest with you, the Multiculturalism Act has a backlash on the Canadian society, because it depends on stereotypes and “[it ensures] that ethnic groups will preserve their distinctiveness in a gentle and insidious form of cultural apartheid”, according to Canadian writer Neil Bissoondath. This man also adds that multiculturalism leads “an already divided society down the path to further social divisiveness.”

My doubts about the Multiculturalism Act started to grow when I started to keep both of my eyes on what’s going on in Canadian politics in high school. Unfortunately, the size of my doubts about multiculturalism doubled because of the behaviour of most New Canadians that I know, the 17 terrorists who were arrested in Toronto and most of all, the so-called “reasonable accommodation”. Honestly, I never needed the Multiculturalism Act to learn how to be a proud and committed Canadian. Even though I’d like to live in a Canadian melting pot, I really doubt that the New Canadians of my generation would like to do it.

Multiculturalism, this sacred cow from Liberals, creates a narrow mentality of ghetto into every ethnic layers of the Canadian society. In fact, the problem is that most people from ethnic minorities and immigrants just identify themselves to their ancestral culture. I’m not saying that they don’t have the right to keep their heritage, but as a result of such an obsessive attachment to their ancestral culture, not only do New Canadians exclude themselves, but they also display a sickening disdain towards Canadian mainstream culture and values. New Canadians have the right to be proud of their homeland, but their allegiance towards Canada must be more important.

In a country that gives them the assurance that their own ancestral identity equally takes part to the elaboration of Canada’s identity next to the REAL national identity of Canada, most immigrants and ethnic minorities, because of their huge pride and impression of belonging to their ethnic community, often consider the Canadian culture as one that is inferior to their ancestral culture. Thus, most immigrants and ethnic minorities don’t feel right at home in Canada and above all, they don’t feel accepted by English and French Canadians as brothers and that explains why they staunchly reject the Canadian mainstream culture and values.

The real things got to be said about multiculturalism: this political doctrine conceived by former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau is a real threat to the national unity. How is it possible to mould a coherent unity with an internal policy that excessively insists on ethnic distinction, eh? Here’s how the Canadian society is divided: the English and French Canadians who consider themselves as “real Canadians”, a few member of ethnic minorities who view themselves as “real Canadians”, the rest of the members of ethnic minorities who live apart from the Canadian way of life, the Quebecker separatists and the Aboriginals.

The problem with this ludicrous mosaic of culture is that it divides the society more than we really think. Most English and French Canadians are viscerally convinced that ethnic minorities are not “real Canadians”. Furthermore, multiculturalism just creates a society in which everybody culturally has nothing in common. Besides, the government should worry about our educational system. Is it meant to create citizens (who are loyal to Canada and united with a national culture and values) or just a bunch of polarized ethnic tribes that commonly share a citizenship and a passport? Seriously, I really doubt that Canadian politicians will dare to announce the abolition of the Multiculturalism Act in their platform, because they certainly don’t want to brand themselves as racist and alienate influential voters by poking around in the country's ethnic entrails.

I don’t mean to be rude, but it is not racist to criticize multiculturalism, as an internal policy. Multiculturalism, as an internal policy, has done nothing to give to ethnic minorities “a place in the Canadian sun”, as Larry Zolf said it. It is a concept that encourages immigrants to stay in their psychological ghettoes and it does little to integrate ethnic groups into the Canadian way of life. The fact is that multiculturalism is a myth that pits new comers against the Canadian society. It gives them the odd feeling that they can reproduce their homeland on Canadian soil.

This myth also prevents an effective integration and a progressive assimilation of the second-generation New Canadians. Ethnic minorities, through a real integration and a progressive assimilation into a Canadian melting pot, will find peace for themselves and their children by not feeling marginalized at all.

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