Can We Just Talk, Damn It!
The saddest thing about minority groups in North America is the self-centeredness with which they see things. At the same time, they’d want to see issues in the way the mainstream society perceives and defines them. When these issues don’t work in the way they see them, they start to complain.
We stick to our guns and flaunt our cultures and values ostentatiously without compromise yet we want to coexist. Sounds like stubbornness to me!I’ve heard somewhere that doing something in the same manner over and over again and expecting a different result is madness. Yeah, this is sad. There has to be an appropriate way in which things should be defined to effect change; change discussed and acceptable to all!
Change is a sad and scary word to a strongly established system. Change only comes when the party that instituted the tenets of the society believes the change it for its benefit. However, the mainstream, as we always like to call it in North America, shouldn’t be expected to embrace change instantly. They have to get convinced that this is not only good change, but change that benefits everyone. And fortunately or unfortunately, the greater benefit has to go to the host if that change has to be effected. Sounds sad, but pragmatic and true!Expecting others to just accept or believe what we want in the name of ‘we are human’ and ‘this is the 21st century’ isn’t only naïve, but also counter-productive to any forging of co-existence.
Pushing issues ahead blindly because we feel they are the ‘right’ thing to do should be put to the test. The recent debate in Quebec about religious symbols in public workplaces doesn’t need castigation or unhelpful criticism. What is right is for both parties to amicably sit and discuss these issues…thoroughly. Well, that sounds utopian because we’re dealing with a party resisting change!The mainstream Quebec society shouldn’t expect minorities who flaunt their religious symbols in almost all sectors of the society to just let go of them just because they’ve come to Canada. A Sikh, who uses a turban will have to stop applying for government jobs or remove it (turban). Yeah, I know this sounds exclusionary.
Well, minorities shouldn’t just expect the mainstream Quebec society to accept what they bring culturally just because ‘this is our human right.’ Even ‘good things’ need to be understood!As long as we stick to the same platitude of ‘oh this is discrimination!’ without explaining how any change is beneficial for, or destructive to, all parties to understand, we shouldn’t be upset or surprised when our world view is either challenged or rejected.