SPECIOUS OR REAL
Every time I hear that word “values” I immediately think money$, a commodity, something… anything of value that can easily be translated/or converted into money.
But in the word has taken on a different connotation, it has been politicized, has gradually wormed its way into socio-political discourse and narratives…
Not necessarily a good thing, as certain people, especially politicians, have essentially appropriated the term and are using it as a weapon against in the voices of reason.
And it’s especially evident in this era of people movement across the globe, with finding themselves in countries where learning new and different habits and mores are necessities and essential to learning and adapting to new ways and adapting to and adopting a different lifestyle to the one they left behind.
What better way to become acculturated, acclimatized to different ways than the election period we’re currently in; talk of “Canadian values” are repeated ad nauseam. And, depending on which party one is embracing, the leader doesn’t, or never fails to, remind the audience of their political platform, and values…
Here’s one example, interpretation, explanation of the concept: “Canadian values are the commonly shared ethical and human values of Canadians. The major political parties have claimed explicitly that they uphold these values, but use generalities to specify them.”
Another further explains “values” this way: “Canadians value equality, safety, peace, respect for different cultures. Indigenous peoples were the first to welcome newcomers to what we now call Canada…
I regard the notion of values as akin to a package of social and political intangibles that are the foundation of every democratic society. The problem, though, is that [those] values are not necessarily enjoyed by all who regard themselves as citizens – regardless of their places of origin.
Some may live here, but for different reasons are not necessarily embraced, fully welcomed into the Canadian family. More like they are tolerated. In fact, they carve out a living on the periphery.
Here are some other values: In law, women and men are equal in Canada. Respect for different cultures. Indigenous peoples were the first to welcome newcomers to what we now call Canada.
[“I would tweak that reference to Indigenous people and more honestly and state: Indigenous peoples were the first in Canada and welcomed newcomers…” That’s historically correct. And as the saying goes the rest is history.]
All these elements sound more like a history lesson, a Canadian historical recipe if you will.
But I would think that in this day and age of ubiquitous sources of information, anyone wanting, or hoping, to settle in Canada would know something about the country before consciously deciding to (take a chance) make this country home.
“Canada is a lovely country…” many say, which is why people continue to find ways to make their way here. I often hear that sentiment.
And people continue to find ways to get here, and it makes no difference how they get to Canada, through legal immigration or refugee channels, they try. If it’s the latter it tells that they’re choosing back door channels, so they must know something about the country before risking uncertain journeys.
And if they succeed, once in they’ll optimize any and all opportunities afforded them to become productive Canadians. At least based on information from the mouths of legal and illegal alike.
But there’s a sinister downside to that seeded ‘values’ concept. It has taken root and sprouted into a sinister ideology that is finding fertile minds to thrive on either side of the 49th Parallel. Politicians have embraced it, and in many instances some are using it [the values notion] to sow socio-political discord. We see evidence of it in this province, as well as other parts of the country.
Regardless of which side of the border one inhabits right now, we’re privy to an armchair view of the percolating political climate on both sides.
There’s not much more to say other than the toxic political atmosphere (worse) down there and seeking fertile ground here is palpable, so is the yearning for a fresh wind to blow through the halls of the highest political house there and whiffs right here is, some say, palpable.
Furthermore, and importantly, we also and always expect to be treated equally and reciprocally in every sphere—especially socially and legally—of society.
More Canadian values: equality. In law, women and men are equal… respect, safety, peace, respect for different cultures… safety and peace, being polite…
As far as that values concoction goes I wonder where/how we Black people figure in the discussion, how much are we worth? Or do we (our collective Black presence) register at all? Or given our (hundreds of years in this country, province and city, and the place we’ve carved out up to now in this place, do we register?
Or are we, in the 21st century, still merely tolerated, are perceived as [a people devoid of values, therefore] valueless?