Thursday, July 13, 2017

In defense of my mother’s people

At the dawn of the entity we now call Canada, Toronto was just beginning to sprout. There were twenty houses there, of which one was my great grandfather Middleton’s.  Others there or who came, included, Rowntrees, Taylors and Eatons.  They and other Anglos brought with them British Common Law and British Governance which eventually evolved into the governance structure we have today. I am extremely proud of their and others accomplishments and what Canada has become. The British Contribution to this country is significant and has been a major contributing factor in the creation of one of the most just societies on earth.

There is a constant attack on the Anglo component of contemporary Canadian society, and offered for the basis of this attack are historical actions taken by the British that were detrimental in some way or viewed as racially motivated. What is missing in the critique is the contextualization of these occurrences on the continuum of time, 400 years ago the world was a tribal place, now, thankfully, it is less so. Prior to Europeans coming to North America, North America was a tribal place with the requisite struggling to maintain and enhance territory. Many actors throughout the world were colonising various parts of the world, their actions were that of conquest – they were after the spoils as the British were.

It seems that in contemporary Canada everyone has a reason to be angry at the Anglo component of Canadian society; we are always being forced to apologize to someone for a historical event and oft times the ones requesting the apology have every bit as jaded past with respect to racism as the British do – worse in some cases.

We’ve all landed where we are now, there are contemporary ills we need to answer for as a country to be sure. I must say however, I have a culture too, that is valid – as a Scottish / English hybrid, I am proud of our accomplishments, our contributions to Canada and what we’ve helped to build. We should never have to apologise for our success, we should only use what we have to make a future that is absent actions that generate the resentment we are experiencing in a what seems to be pan-Canadian contemporary pastime – Anglo Bashing.  The British Empire is one of the most successful in history and while there was brutality in its building, looking now in its wake, there is relative prosperity here and the means by which to address errors made. 
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