It has come to my attention from different sources that negative attitudes, some positively offensive, have been expressed toward the Filipinos who have come to our community to work. Many hope to become citizens in our country.
I have found these people to be courteous, friendly and helpful. They are obviously hard working, industrious and well behaved. I hope they do become citizens and bring their families. They will be a wonderful addition to our country.
Everyone in Canada has either come here from somewhere else or descends from someone who came here from somewhere else.
Even those who identify themselves and are recognized as First Nations people descend, in some measure and often to a great degree, from immigrant ancestors. To use tie vernacular terms, there isn’t a full-blood Indian anywhere in Canada and hasn’t been for many generations.
I was born over 80 years ago into a community of mixed ancestry. Some were white, some were half-breeds, some were Indians.
It didn’t take me long to figure it out: the whites were on top, the half breeds came next and the Indians were at the bottom. The whites were the enforcers of this racist system.
Further white immigrants could come in to join the whites already here. Only the people of colour were relegated to a lesser status, generation after generation.
But even among these there were racists. As a young cowboy and general hand I worked once on a cattle ranch where a Chinese man was employed as the cook, living in the kitchen and putting out meals for the crew in a large dining room.
We were a mixed crew, whites and Indians.
I soon picked up that the Chinese cook had a racist attitude toward the Indians – one of whom gave me valuable guidance in that early time and has remained a lifelong friend.
I have said more than once in frustration that if I had the power of God, I would put everyone on earth into a huge pot and stir them up so thoroughly they would come out all the same colour, probably some shade of brown.
And there wouldn’t be any whites to lord it over everyone else.
I welcome the Filipinos.