By Caitlin Kelly
As some of you know, I was born in Vancouver and grew up in Toronto and Montreal — moving to the U.S. at 30 to pursue a bigger career.
I carry only a Canadian passport and have long been proud of my country, reveling in adorable videos like this.
Not this week.
Not this month.
Not this year.
A Muslim family was out for a walk in London, Ontario, a regional city. Five went out and one returned — the rest mown down by a racist piece of garbage in his truck, who hated them for being…non-white. Non-Christian.
The sole survivor is a nine-year-old boy, orphaned.
The week prior, the remains of 215 indigenous children, sent away by law to residential school in Kamloops, B.C. were found, re-opening the old wounds of how thousands of these children were torn from their families and made to speak English and deride their native culture.
To become “Canadian” — white and Christian.
See a pattern?
And now a vicious and brutal attack on a gay man in Toronto for daring to be homosexual.
Not sure how I will celebrate Canada Day, July 1, this year.
Not sure I want to right now.
I haven’t been back to Canada since September 2019 because of Covid; the border has been closed ever since unless my travel is “essential” and it’s not.
Canadians so love to congratulate themselves for being polite and civil and compassionate, traditionally welcoming far more refugees and immigrants than the U.S. and many other countries.
Their social policies are generally much more generous than those in the U.S.
And they really enjoy making sure they are so much better than those nasty, violent racist Americans.
Today? I think not.
When I last lived in Toronto, the streetcar I took to the subway was filled with Caribbean Blacks, the bus down Spadina to my newspaper job filled with Vietnamese.
That was just normal life there.
No one noticed. No one sparked violence.
Pay your taxes, get along.
There isn’t a lot useful to say here, really, beyond expressing my horror and deep disappointment in my country of origin. Sadly, I just expect daily racism and violence in the U.S. It’s baked into the DNA here.
Canada is 100 years younger.
It did not have slavery — although its racist policies have destroyed generations of Inuit and indigenous lives.
To see this hatred is deeply deeply disturbing.
I am ashamed for my country.