Two stories appearing in the Canadian lamestream media this weekend tell us a lot about how far The Land of the Maple Leaf has come in banishing racism, promoting multiculturalism and celebrating diversity. We also learn something about white liberal guilt and the persistence of racism and slavery in other "communities".
The first story is an eye-splitter from Canada's self-styled "national newspaper", the Globe and Mail. In "Behind the Komagata Maru’s fight to open Canada’s border", Michael Bird tells how his grandfather, J. Edward Bird, led the fight to open Canada's borders to immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers from every corner of the Third World, including India. Especially Sikhs, who Bird believed were persecuted because of their religion.
This followed the rejection by the terrible racist Canadians of a bid to land at Vancouver the 376 passengers of the tramp steam Komagata Maru, all of them Sikh immigrant wannabes. "We are British citizens and we consider we have a right to visit any part of the Empire," said Gurdit Singh, a Hong Kong-based Sikh businessman who had chartered the Komagata Maru, told reporters earlier.
At the time (1914), third-worlders had not yet learned that all you have to say to Canadian immigration officers is "Refugee! Refugee! Where is the welfare office?" Anyway, in a display of political incorrectness remarkable even for the time, the Sikhs of the Komagata Maru were turned away, and the ship left Canadian waters, watched closely by the HMCS Rainbow.
Even a century ago, there were white liberals who felt guilty! guilty! guilty! about how badly their race had treated the poor vizmins of the American south and the British Empire, forcing on them such evils as roads, railways, schools and hospitals. J. Edward Bird championed the cause of unfettered immigration all the way to the British Columbia Court of Appeal, which opined that the government was entitled -- and perhaps wise -- to impose limits.
It wasn't until the great "civil rights" uproar of the hippy-dippy 60s that the Canadian government removed racial and ethnic considerations from the country's immigration policies. This was done by order-in-council, by the way, without reference to the Parliament which supposedly expresses the will of the Canadian people.
But feelings of white liberal guilt persist, in the Groan and Wail, the Toronto Red Star, and of course the ultra-PC CBC. And in Steve Harper's allegedly conservative Canadian government, which recently caused a stamp to be issued to (in the words of Sikh24 News & Updates) "honour the Sikh pioneers who faced racism from Canada".
Since the floodgates were opened in 1962, Sikh immigrants have succeeded in creating their own little Kalistans ["ghettos", surely. Ed.] in places like Surrey BC and Brampton ON. See "Saying the unsayable about the unspeakable in Brampton, Canada"
Now that they're established in Canada, enjoying the many benefits provided by Canadian taxpayers -- including, believe it or not, Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi on the CBC -- you would think, wouldn't you, that they would welcome and assist other victims of colonialism and discrimination from other Third World hellholes.
You would be wrong. The second story which caught Walt's eye this weekend was "55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discrimination in B.C.", which reports a decision of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal finding the operators of a tree-planting business in Golden BC guilty of racial discrimination against 55 temporary foreign workers from the so-called Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Khaira Enterprises, of Surrey BC, which was run by Pakistani-Canadian Khalid Bajwa and Indo-Canadian Hardilpreet (Sunny) Sidhu -- a Sikh -- was been ordered to pay each worker $10,000 for "injury to dignity and self-respect" plus $1,000 per 30-day period worked or portion thereof between March 17, 2010, and June 17, 2010.
Tribunal member Norman Trerise said in his 114-page ruling that Bajwa and Sidhu taunted and harassed the 55 workers with racial slurs and had a blatant disregard for employment standards. When officials from the provincial Ministry of Forests arrived at the site, the tree planters told them they had not eaten in two days, were living in squalor and were not getting paid for their work.
One of the workers testified that the camp was divided down racial lines, and that black employees were forced to plant on rougher terrain and were fed inferior food. "It was a kind of slave life," the worker told reporters. "I swear to God, it was so bad, trust me. We ate some expired food. Can you imagine? We slept in a container, with no washroom, no toilet."
Bajwa and Sidhu have since declared bankruptcy. In his ruling, Trerise wrote, "The chances of them actually receiving any money over and above that already obtained by the ESB on their behalf [is] extremely remote." About as remote, Walt thinks, as the chances of the Sikhs and other sub-continentals treating others according to the standards of the society which welcomed them.