Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blamestorming and Guiltmongering

In 2006 Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for the Head Tax, a levee charged against Chinese immigrants to Canada. This tax is rightly considered to be among the most racist laws ever passed in Canada, and the apology was the right thing to do, regardless of how long ago this injustice took place. It was also proper to compensate those who had paid the tax.

For some raised in this age of collectivized guiltmongering and blamestorming that apology was obviously not enough.

So now the children of those Chinese immigrants that paid the head tax, but who died before the apology was issued feel that "The apology was not as meaningful to us as it was to other [Chinese families],” and that “The federal government left out a large chunk of people and you have to find some way you can meaningfully provide redress for them.”

Left out? Excuse me? I'll quote from the PM's speech, you tell me who was left out...

"On behalf of the people and government of Canada, we offer a full apology to Chinese-Canadians for the head tax and express our deepest sorrow for the subsequent exclusion of Chinese immigrants."

Did the PM say, that the apology was only to those that paid the tax? No. It was issued in good faith to all Chinese-Canadians.

That can only mean one thing... It means that the "meaningful redress" that these non-suffering survivors are talking about is nothing more (or less) than "victim" talk for give me some money.

That is ridiculous. I would like just one of these poor downtrodden souls to explain to me and to show me in objective terms just how a law to which they were never subjected, which has been rescinded since 1923 has ever affected them in the slightest possible way. Hell, Sid Chow Tan, the president of the Head Tax Families Society of Canada was born on May 20, 1949, 26 years after the law was removed from the books.

I would wager that since the law was repealed 87 years ago that at least 90% of those family members calling for "meaningful redress" (money) are like Mr. Tan, and were not even born when the law was struck down.

But this particular call for restitution (as opposed to the original) really isn't about the effects of the law at all is it?


It's a not so subtle reminder that there were times when Canadians and their government acted with malice and racism. But more than that it is about holding current generations hostage to collectivized guilt.

Aside from the stated goal to "promote racial harmony amongst all Canadians" the Head Tax Families Society of Canada by pursuing this frivoulous claim to collective hardship is only continuing to divide Canadians from Canadians based on a historic aberration and race politics.

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