There are a factories out there spitting out Hate and Anti-Everything essays, often laced with foul language, using half truths and outright lies to weave plausible-sounding (to some) warnings, and an obnoxious number of them pollute my computer screen. I find them scary and am often compelled to answer them. To me they backfire. So many ill-informed vicious attacks on Obama make me consider him Saint Obama. Many decry the erosion of our culture due to the influx of Muslims, Sikhs, Latinos, and what-have-you, even though we, who brutally took over America with its two continents have little legality on which to stand. Let me concentrate for now on immigration.
. My Tribal friends cite their fatal error of not recognizing the threat and settling their squabbles to unite against a common foe. My Inuit friends have mixed feelings. They decry the initial wave of missionaries with a barbaric religion based on nailing someone to a cross, the division of this creed into several groups competing for converts, their taking children away for a southern education, then on graduation dumping them back to their families, fit for neither world. They then admit there are recent benefits. The Qallunaat (Whites) are now wiser, bringing relief from feast or famine, providing housing and opportunities that permit village rather than nomadic life, substituting snowmobiles for dog teams, and actually promoting independence and jobs in the White world. The Inuit now increase their worldly belongings even though they do not always increase happiness. Canada now boasts of being one of the world’s most culturally-diverse countries. In fact SE Ontario is the world’s most diverse, so take a look.
The American Revolution rapidly turned Canada from a French to a bi-cultural country with the influx of United Empire Loyalists (English, Irish, Scots, Welsh, Germans, and Africans) fleeing persecution in the new US. Then, starting about 1845, there was great fear that the Pope was about to take over America from Canada to Patagonia. Potato famines caused a huge influx of Catholic Irish to add to the French/Latin Catholics. The US got the wealthier Irish, accepting only those who could pay their own passage. Canada got the steerage Irish in crowded, disease-laden ships. Toronto jails were full of quarrelsome, drunken Irish unable to find employment. Worse, they brought their religious quarrels with them and there were barn-burnings and bloodshed. Then efforts to populate the prairies brought waves of eastern Europeans. Railroad building brought Chinese labourers. Escaping slaves from the US added to the mix. With bountiful raw resources Canada prospered, attracting refugees from new sources: Africa, Asia, and the Muslim world. As a boy growing up in Ontario with friends from 7 different faiths I was continuously amazed at the ignorance and fears many had of other faiths. To me, much of this was due to insecurity. Also, people who are not considered equals will in defiance cling all the more strongly to their family religious beliefs.
U.S. MELTING POT vs Canadian MOSAIC: In many respects, after 3 generations, it makes no difference. In both countries the use of the native language by grandchildren is down to 1%. Mosaic Canada bans immigrants from continuing homeland customs such as female circumcision, sharia law, honour killings, cockfighting, polygamy, or getting a driver’s-license photo while veiled. The host country, however, adopts many of the immigrant food customs and, in some cases like Miami, there are major changes. Here a wave of Spanish speakers and the egress of former inhabitants have made Spanish the majority language. The key, it seems, to retaining original cultural values, is to ensure that immigration comes from a variety of origins and is not allowed to concentrate in ghettos nor to dominate professions as the Irish have with police, Italians with construction, Jews with commerce and entertainment, Pakistanis with transportation and accommodation, Ukrainians with farming and so on. Then you can rely on intercourse to result in integration. Other forces help. My maternal grandparents lived in a section of Toronto that was all Irish. It then became Italian and is now Portugese. Multi-national corporations and the Military are excellent institutions for integration. While in Personnel I deliberately posted people from French to English Canada and vice versa. When I ran NATO aircrew training schools I paired each Canadian with a member from one of the other NATO countries and my wife and I organized weekly dances. I know of 6 marriages (3 English-French, Canada-Denmark, Canada-France, and Canada - UK) that resulted from this and I am sure there must have been more. Socially, our innate shyness leads us to separate into groups, necessitating a few extroverts who promote inter-mingling. Fortunately, among young people, there is a sexual attraction to those from other countries or races. On the whole we are getting better but Hate Groups still disgrace us. Only part of the old ignorance, intolerance, and superiority complexes towards other groups has faded. In my experience it included opposition to the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Agnostic, and Muslim religions, to the French, English, and Spanish languages, and to English, Irish, Italian, Portugese, Polish, Icelandic, Turk, Pakistani, and Ukrainian immigrants. Today, it is also safer for Homosexuals and Agnostics to come out of the woodwork - and, surprise, their numbers are growing.
All countries benefit from the diversity and skills brought by immigrants. But, it is vital for us to protect, and to insist on immigrants accepting, the human rights we have achieved over centuries of struggle. The Netherlands is leading the parade in doing this. This is made much easier when we divide immigrant groups among many country-wide localities and avoid them congregating in selected cities. The recent example of dispersing 5,000 Nepalese refugees to communities all across Canada speeds integration. The Military also could do a better job by promoting families to live in the local economy, domestic or foreign, rather than on base housing.
So many of our Problems are self-induced. With its manpower decimated in WWII and its cities,infrastructure, and businesses destroyed, Europe opened it doors to greatly-needed cheap labour, much of it Muslim. Immigrants did a good, too-often-unappreciated, job permitting a remarkable recovery but, instead of going home when no longer needed, they stayed and multiplied. Today they number 5 million in France, 3 in Germany, 1.6 in the UK, 1 in Spain, and 900,000 in the Netherlands and Italy, a mere 5% of all of Western Europe, yet there are many dire warnings of this Islamatizing of Europe as a springboard for Islam to take over the world. Mosques are multiplying while Christian churches are increasingly empty and hundreds in the UK have converted to Islam. We should examine Why? In 1987 retired Luftwaffe General Rod and Otti Cescotti drove Joan and me to my old POW camp in Moosburg, Bavaria. The town had expanded to the gates of the camp with attractive brick homes. The barbed wire and guard towers had gone but the old barrack blocks were still there. Each long wooden hut had been divided into small homes for Turkish immigrants with a neat flower and vegetable garden in front of each residence. No rubble anywhere but a world apart from the more spacious nearby German homes, yet the whole area seemed quiet and peaceful.
Muslims have no Pope, and no unifying force other than religion for which there are half a dozen major sects, often intolerant of each other. Like us, they do have extremists who nurture real and imagined persecutions. We tend to ignore signs that integration still works. In Europe the birthrate in the last 15 years of foreign-born Muslim women has fallen in the Netherlands among Moroccan-born from 4.9 to 2.9. In most of Europe it is down from 3.2 to 1.9 for Turkish-born. A sure sign they are fitting in to local cultures: Muslims in Paris are more tolerant of adultery than those in London or Berlin. We do need to prevent ghettos, the concentration of groups into occupations, cities, or schools, and our home-grown youth from deserting our core values for drugs and jihadism. Admittedly, this is difficult in a free society, but freedom, if it is to remain free, must accept some very-carefully-chosen regulations to prevent anarchy or civil strife, or suicide bombers. Nature ensures that life will remain a struggle, so human barriers are redundant. Avenues to improve one’s lot must be available to all.
We humans, like all animate objects, are made of the same ingredients and all are living on a revolving and rotating ball that needs considerable shielding from the nuclear furnace that sustains it. We have come a long way but we still need to overcome our predatory instincts. We also need to defend the advances we have made. Accept the challenge - firmly, thoughtfully, peacefully, and with compassion!