Comment 42067

By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted June 16, 2010 at 19:14:51

I wonder too, about the "you're not from Hamilton" prejudice that exists against those who haven't been here for ______ years. I think that cripples Hamilton too. Last week someone from Hamilton called me a "foreigner", and told me to go back to where I came from! And we're both whiter than white-out.

Back to the core issue, though, I always wonder when I hear white Hamiltonians say racist things. There's unequivocally a lot of white people who are poor here, but however complex the causes of that are, it's certainly not because a recent immigrant took their job.

Then I usually ask the same white person when their family came to Canada...

We all come from somewhere. My grandmother came here about sixty years ago, and the rest of my family's come from other countries and been here about a hundred years or slightly longer... and while I only retain scraps of the culture, I'll make Mennonite pershky and zwiebach and German potato salad... A painting hangs in my office with my Scottish grandfather and their clan's tartan in it... but though they were Scots, they lived in Ireland for decades before they came here... so which do I claim?

Culture is never cut and dried... and who's to say where my descendants "come from" in fifty years when they move to Australia or Mexico or wherever else they end up?

I find it amazingly frustrating how we miss out on aspects of other cultures that could be real solutions to some of our city's problems, simply because they're different.... whether that's building small spaces so they function for more people, or co-housing/extended family options, or diets based on legumes and grains, or the type of small businesses that we don't encourage because they don't fit into our norms.

Comment edited by Meredith on 2010-06-16 18:39:52

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