Comment 42177

By Kiely (registered) | Posted June 18, 2010 at 13:52:06

But you are countering "xenophobia and fear" and you've used a phrase that suggests prejudice and dismissal. I was surprised - Kenneth

Not intended that way Kenneth, I say "people like me" all the time and I am not trying to be prejudicial or dismissive to myself. If you object and find that (of all things) "vile", I apologize.

Bob Innes' opinions may be objectionable to some people, but they are shared by many people and he asserts them without obvious intent to offend. He helps keep this place from being an echo chamber. And grassroots' tirade needs no comment. - Kenneth

I am not trying to hang labels on Bob, I do not know how he came to his reasoning on this issue. I have had experience with others of similar (practically verbatim) reasoning and through closer involvement with them found their reasoning to be formed by one of the three factors I mentioned above (e.g., ignorance, racism, or stupidity). I have debated with Bob before and certainly try to keep it civil even if much of what he says makes me cringe (although I have agreed with him on economic issues). But Bob makes no bones about what he believes, he puts it out there (often to much criticism) and is more than willing to engage in debate/discussion, as you accurately put, "without obvious intent to offend"… and I do respect him for that.

As for grassroots' comment, I would much rather side with someone who says something I fundamentally agree with in a less than civil way than with the person who says objectionable things eloquently.

This is a difficult topic, many raw nerves are exposed when discussing race. For this reason I tried not to make too many assumptions or draw absolute conclusions. While I pointed out the lack of diversity I did not label the city, it's institutions or citizens as racists. I put forth the possibility that some of the lack of diversity could be a lack of desire on the part of immigrants to take part in Canadian institutions and mainly I tried to stress that we need to do better if we want to see the most benefit from immigration. I never claimed to be an expert or have all the answers, the idea was to get people talking and that has happened. But when it comes to confronting the "Canadian first" mindset and lack of support for multiculturalism I will challenge those opinions because, as I point out in the article, this rhetoric can be used to camouflage the true meaning of what is being said. Bob is still using much of that same rhetoric today and it is (to some) seemingly innocuous, persuasive and believable… that is why it is so dangerous and I do not take (or treat it) lightly.

Let me clear up what is actually being said:

I'm not racist, I just fear immigrants are going to destroy my superior White Anglo-Saxon way of life.

Let me just say that all and all I am pleased with the debate this has sparked. We need Bob and others to state their beliefs, I don't have to agree with them or in some cases even give them much consideration (opinions that illicit negative physical reactions rarely require further consideration), but I do support them being voiced… and challenged.

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