It’s code for exclusion

Novel NewPeddling Values

In recent years, a newfangled term has rooted itself into everyday public discourse: values. Not a day goes by that I do not hear.
Canadian values, western values… and I imagine in Europe the term European values is been tossed around in the media on a daily basis.
There was a time when the only thing that immediately came to mind when I hear the word was (in reference to) money: the price of commodities one wished to purchase and so on. Now it has taken on a new meaning; whenever I hear it it’s in reference to certain people, nationals… protecting their nations, customs and things familiar from being contaminated by an influx of outside forces and the unfamiliar.
And the term “values” has taken on a sinister tone and definition with the dawn of Trumpism, Brexit and sundry ideological forces that are been spawned and nurtured in certain parts of the world, giving rise to growing pernicious populism, nationalism and other protective forces. Perceiving their way of life under threat, people are taking to the streets (and to the polls) to protect their national identities, borders and yes, their values, from what they see as an endless influx of foreigners, migrants, refugees (and however else the populists pejoratively describe them).
All of which is stoking the heated fire over the protection of “values.”
And with all those images of throngs continuing to wash up on Europe’s shores and crashing its borders and seemingly walking through television sets and into living rooms each night throughout 2016, the push back of rising nationalism and populism, especially across mainland Europe and the U.K. was evident.
That pejorative term “minorities and values” has now became a daily mantra, as (owners of the) media consciously implant the images of refugees into psyches and the national ethos, some people in receiving countries more impacted than others who refuse to become jaded by the growing xenophobes’ toxic values narratives, which have become the norm in this country.
So what’s wrong with welcoming 25,000 refugees from war-torn countries and refugee camps to Canada? To borrow the words of a once-powerful political man once spoken in another context I say, “Bring ‘em on!”
Having seen some of the vastness of Canada many years ago on a road trip from Montreal westward to Vancouver and down to southern California, all I could think as I saw some of Canada was what a country. Which is why today I still say what a country, with so much room for so many tens of thousands more people to establish towns, cities… metropolis.
Bring in more of them… “those people” in to occupy the vast emptiness Canada still is east and west between its handful of metropolis; they’ll make Canada great.
They will do nothing less than enhance “Canadian values” in the positive sense of the word (meaning economically). Oh, if you haven’t yet, forget that line “old stock Canadians” uttered over a year ago by a former prime minister. Bring more people; they will inevitably be a boon to Canada’s economy. I’m sure the marginalized pre-Canadian people – who never have a say about immigration matters – would agree to such an initiative.
Never mind people like Conservative leadership hopeful and Trumpist Kellie Leitch, and others of her ilk talking about ‘values’ and “minorities should be doing more to integrate (into) Canadian society.”
All newly-arrived residents of Canada, regardless of their background, are well adjusted, and will continue to do just fine, not withstanding polls, which caused a handful of others in that stable of federal Conservative leadership hopefuls to try and gain some political traction among a Canadian constituency, who are readily lapping up the nuanced version of the “Canadian values” product being offered for sale by those who are troubled by the presence of a few thousand refugees who were afforded a haven and new beginning in Canada.
I didn’t watch that debate of Conservative leadership hopefuls, but on the news clip it was quite a sight to them stretched out across the stage during that recent (candidates’) debate a few weeks ago, all promising to do the right thing if he/she should be selected in a few months to take the helm of the Conservative party and their “values.”
Conservative party leadership contender Kelly Leitch, in nourishing the angst-filled anti-immigrant/refugee climate should stop emulating the new U.S. president and tap into Canada’s multi-cultural human resource pool and make Canada… what it has the potential to be … that is better than it presently is.
That sentiment also applies to Quebec’s nationalist politicians who are seemingly borrowing from the Trumpist Scroll, with their version of “Quebec values.” Here to, I’m not clear about what those ‘values’ are. They can’t be any different from Kellie Leitch’s: charging immigrants a fee to cover the cost of her proposed Canadian values screening test at the border, whichever border.
Said Leitch in a CBC Radio, The House, interview, “For myself, screening everyone for Canadian values, screening everyone at the border is important … My intention is to transfer that cost to the individual who is immigrating here…”
“The opportunity for creating appropriate ways of questioning are absolutely there and I look forward to working with Canadian public servants and Canadians in general to make sure we have the right questions to ask,” she said.
Let’s hope her Trumpist plans “to grow and develop that identity … we need to make sure that those who want to come to Canada share those values (not anti-Canadian values…) fizzle. And that her “plan to be the prime minister for the average Canadian… is never realized.”
When all is said and done, all the talk, heated discussions and debates, handwringing and what not about “values” constitute nothing more or less than socially and demographically toxic code promoting the exclusion of certain people.
And yes, there’s a modicum of support for that narrative, like a gentleman caller to a recent call-in radio discussion. “Everyone in the Third World wants to come North America…” he said.
He was referring to the usual suspects who continue to wash up on Europe’s shores and then make their long trek inland to metropolitan Europe and hopefully North America.
Unfortunately, “values” proponents like Kellie Leitch, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, and Theresa May and others of their ilk will continue to sell their socially specious “values” message in their quest to take their countries back.