Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Erstwhile bigotry


Letter to the Toronto Star, June 26, 2016. Unpublished.

The reaction to "This is where I'm from" by Shree Paradkar (June 20), might leave the impression that the disparaging of others is something new in our city. 

When I was growing up in downtown Toronto, there was no Islamophobia; there were no Muslims. There was no racism; there were no people of colour. Yet there was animosity. 

During the war, our neighbours screamed at us across George Street, "Go back to Germany," and after the war,"dirty Catholics." At that time, Catholics were excluded from employment with the city, and likely other places. One had to state one's religion on an application form.

It was our perceived "otherness" that caused the reaction. It never occurred to us to plead injustice or bigotry. In time, understanding and friendship prevailed, 

However, to believe there will one day be an end to fear of "the other,"  let's coin atlerphobia, is to deny human nature. 

Society must always be an educational work in progress.

No comments: