In arguing for more immigration a Maltese immigrant complained on the “Sounds Like Canada” program of Friday, January 25/08 that one or two maritime provinces were mostly white and that others were “even worse”. Typically, multicultural enthusiast and host Sheila Rogers did not challenge him for this outrageous racist statement.
One wonders how a CBC interviewer might react if a guest said that the downtown core of Regina was mostly aboriginal but other communities were “even worse”. Or that many districts in Greater Vancouver are predominantly Chinese but others, like Richmond, are “even worse”. When comments like these go by the board on the national broadcasting network, it is little wonder that so many politically correct bigots feel able to complain openly that their particular town is too “whitebread”.
I am a native-born Canadian of European ancestry and I am sick and tired of being made to feel that I am some kind of disease who should be made to feel perpetually guilty for my white skin and for the multitude of sins allegedly committed generations ago, a disease that needs to be cured by a massive foreign influx.
Insults directed at the national whipping boy, Canadians of white pigmentation, are not the way to build the harmony you claim to seek.
Quadra Island, BC
Canada V0P 1N0
CBC PRODUCER ANSWERS CHARGE OF ANTI-WHITE BIAS:
It took three weeks but the Producer of the CBC program, “Sounds of Silence” responded to my charge of anti-white, anti-Canadian bias in the corporation as reflected in a January 25th program . This was her response. Measure it against my complaint and judge if it is satisfactory. (Tim Murray)
Dear Mr. Murray,
First let me thank you for taking time to write.
The comment you refer to in your letter came up during a segment looking into the lives of immigrants to Canada who settle on the east coast.
As the population in the Maritime provinces and Newfoundland-Labrador stagnates or declines. Immigration is sometimes held up as a solution, but immigrants who settle in the Maritimes tend not to stay. So we took a look at why the eastern provinces don’t attract or keep immigrants as much as other parts of Canada.
The guest, Godfrey Baldacchino, is the Canada Research Chair in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island. His comment was within the context of this discussion. He was explaining that immigrants are more likely to feel they belong – and stay – when there’s a diverse community in the place. He talked about the patterns of settlement on the eastcoast, and compared it to other parts of the country.
Another guest, earlier in the show, had said 9.5 of 10 people in the region were “white”. Mr. Baldacchino responded by quoting the latest Statistics Canada numbers; 97 – 99 percent of the population in the Altlantic provinces is Caucasian. His point was that the number of non-White residents was far lower – and the attraction/retention of immigrants far worse – than the previous guest’s impression.
I hope this answers this concern about the comment. I can also say, with confidence, that on our show “White” Canadians are very well represented, as we continually aim to reflect the evolving and diverse make-up of the country.
Sounds Like Canada
February 14, 2008
Sounds Like Canada
Dear Ms. Simon :
Thank you for replying to my letter regarding the show of Friday, January, 25/28.
Ms. Simon, my letter was about bias. Our bias can be conscious or unconscious and I believe it begins, fundamentally, with our choice of words. As Orwell so ably illustrated, whole modes of thinking can be eradicated simply by eliminating certain phrases from our vocabulary and substituting them with gentile alternatives. Thus I learn from a CBC newscast that the scab who crossed my picket line was in fact a morally neutral agent—-a “replacement worker.” The Watergate burglary was less outrageous for being termed a “surreptitious entry”. And of course the Pentagon has a million euphemisms for murder.
The point I am making, I hope, is that there are at least two different ways of looking at the same phenomenon, and at least two different ways of labeling it. Let me demonstrate that by comparing the CBC Newspeak in your letter with language that reflects a different perspective
(1a) CBC Newspeak:
“As the population in the Maritime provinces and Newfoundland-Labrador stagnates or declines ..”
(1b) Alternative Language:
“As the population in the Maritime provinces and Newfoundland-Labrador continues to enjoy stability or decline, thereby relieving pressure on landfills, sewage treatment, wildlife, infrastructure and natural resources and improving the quality of life, immigration is…. (alternative language statement below)
(2a) CBC Newspeak:
“…immigration is sometimes held up as a solution.” (solution was not in quotes).
(2b) Alternative Language:
“…immigration is sometimes seen as a solution to a perceived problem, as yet undocumented.”
(3a) CBC Newspeak:
“His point was that the number of non-White residents was far lower—and the attraction/retention of immigrants far worsethan the previous guest’s impression.”
(3b) Alternative Language:
“His point was that the number of non-White residents was far lower—and the attraction/retention of immigrants far less—than the previous guest’s impression.
(4a) CBC Newspeak:
“..we continually aim to reflect the evolving and diverse make-up of the country.”
(4b) Alternative Language:
“…we continually aim to reflect the evolving and culturally fragmented make-up of our disintegrating country of increasing co-habiting solitudes.
Two more comments, if I may. I am puzzled why immigrants would feel repelled by the colour of Maritimers’ skin, for two reasons. Firstly, one would think that before coming to this country they would be acquainted with the fact that more than 80% of us had skin of that colour, and if you feel uncomfortable with that fact, well, Canada in general would seem not to be the ideal destination to build a new life.
Secondly, I was of the impression that people of any colour felt at home, not with a colour, but with a culture. I don’t quite understand why a dark man from Malta would be more at ease among dark men in Montreal who spoke French and ate differently than with a white Anglophone in Charlottetown. I feel less in common with white South Africans than the Filippinos that I socialized with in Vancouver. The race/colour vs. culture/ethnicity dichotomy is often used interchangeably and I think muddies the waters. It is a matter of complete indifference to me that “white Canada” is “well represented” on your program because that entity is neither ethnically or ideologically homogeneous so I wouldn’t know what segment of this demographic was being represented. You might as well represent south-paws “very well”.
Finally, you mention that it is your endeavour to reflect “the diverse make-up of the country.” Does the CBC aim merely to represent a diversity of people or does it want to do something more critically important in a democracy, represent a diversity of ideas?
Does it merely want to have a group of people of different colours and ethnicities sitting around together with Mark Kelly spouting the same politically correct line? A rainbow coalition of Group-Think?
Or does the CBC aspire to follow the BBC’s mission statement: “to see that each strand of thought in the land is faithfully represented”, even though that strand might say that it is a good thing that Newfoundland remains a Celtic society with a stable population?
So far listeners have never heard a CBC broadcast that has spoken of the positives of a lower population level, even though opinion polls evidence support for that goal. Instead, when the census was released in mid-March of last year and showed Canada as having the highest growth rate of G8 countries, the Mother Corporation led the cheer-leading section.
The issue is bias, Ms. Simon. Racial, ethnic, ideological—-it is something a state broadcaster must surely strive to eradicate.
Quadra Island, B.C.