Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bruce Allen, talk radio, and multi-culti fascists screaming

In Vancouver, Canada, talk radio's Bruce Allen, known for his professional association with pop music's Bryan Adams, is under the gun for "ranting." A Sikh upset about Sikhs being connected to Sikh terrorism, and a socialist politician connected to socialist politics being challenged for it being socialist have ganged up on a guy talking on the radio. Incredible, yes?

The former minister of Multi-Culturalism, as if that's not bad enough in itself, is now working as a thought cop, in typical fashion, a socialist thug to the core.

Chan calls for CRTC to investigate Allen's rant

Richmond MP Raymond Chan filed papers yesterday requesting the CRTC investigate "discriminatory remarks" made by CKNW radio personality Bruce Allen against Sikh- and Muslim-Canadians.

"What Mr. Allen is attacking is the very fundamental core principles that have held this country together," Chan said.

Chan alleges Allen duped listeners by citing rules on minority rights that aren't on the federal books, marking a new low in broadcasting standards.

The former federal minister of multiculturalism added he would urge the 2010 organizing committee to strip Allen of his high-profile position if he does not retract his remarks and make a public apology.

Allen said on the radio:

And that set off the Sikh and the Multi-Culti socialist. Don't people ever get sick of this kind of outrage? My opinion, for whatever it's worth, about as much as that of a guy on the radio, is: "If you choose to come to a place like Canada, then shut up and fit in ... these are the rules," he said in his broadcast rant. "There's the door. If you don't like the rules, hit it. We don't need you here."
Then, by chance, as I call it, I turned off the computer and picked up a book I'm reading in moments when nothing much is going on. I came across this, a lovely metaphor, apt and tight:

"[The sailor] took out his razor and laid it edge upward on the deck. The rasor was not long on the deck when out came a rat, rubbed its mouth along the edge of the razor and kissed it, Then it ran back to where it had come from. Other rats followed, one by one; each of them rubbed its mouth along the edge along the edge of the razor, kissing it, and then ran away again. After a few score of them had done that, there finally came out a rat, screaming loudly. She went up to the razor and rubbed her neck along its edge, until she fell dead beside it.
The captain of the ship had been watching what was going on from the first rat to the last, which ha cut its throat on the razor. He... called the sailor to him... and ordered him to leave the ship.
'You could have done that trick to any man on board,' said he, 'as easily as you did it to the rat.' "

Sean O'Sullivan, Folktales of Ireland, 223. Quoted from Barbara Hodgson, The Rat. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre; 1997, p. 44.

In the mystical world of Gnostic minders it's the multi-culti fascists who fear the crew of this ship, the mutinous crew's every word suspect, their deeds afeared, and nary a thought about whether it makes any sense. Toss 'em out just in case.


Anonymous said...

calling people who believe in multiculturalism fascists? way over the top. Its in the charter for goodness sake, most Canadians believe in multiculturalism. We shouldnt attack those who act on and stand up for it as fascists

truepeers said...

Multiculturalism is in the Charter? Where? Talk about Liberal party propaganda...

As for your logic (or lack thereof), what Dag seems to be arguing is that people who denounce, try to shut up, and demand humiliating apologies of, political commentators (who call for immigrants to play by Canadian rules) are fascists. He doesn't say belief in multiculturalism is fascism.

The fact that it seems Bruce Allen unilaterally invented some of the Canadian rules he called for immigrants to obey muddies the question, but the basic point is that one side believes in free speech, the other (the liberal side) does not. Fascists don't like free speech.

In any case, a good argument can be made that "multiculturalism" is a tool by which unaccountable bureaucratic elites divide and conquer the people who increasingly have little role in ruling themselves, precisely because "multiculturalism" denies legitimacy to any possible set of shared values. It often denies the legitimacy of free speech. When Raymond Chan talks of Canadian values, do you think he has any coherent idea what he's talking about? If so, please tell us what these liberal multiculti Canadian values are, hopefully in a way that can serve as a basis for democratic self-rule and not for arbitrary dictates from above on who is politically correct and who is not.

Kaptaan said...

"play by the rules" is such a load of tripe. Bruce Allen has got it all wrong. Pointing to Sikhs, as an example of 'immigrants' seeking accommodations, etc.. is ridiculous.

Canadians, born and raised in Canada, who have their own religious beliefs ARE playing by the rules, when they demand all the rights guaranteed under the charter. Most Sikhs in BC are BORN in Canada, as Canadians.

Canada is our homeland. Like it or lump it. We don't want accommodation from "you". We are the 'you'. Sikhs aren't "johnny come latelies" to the country. We built the province of BC with blood, sweat and tears (along with our chinese friends). Every small town in BC contains Sikhs and a Sikh community. It's time you and your ilk examined the facts.

Anglos didn't want to integrate/ assimilate Sikhs into society in the early 1900's, so don't be surprised if Sikhs took them at their word and NOW would rather fully express themselves as Sikhs (and Sikh Canadians at that) today.

truepeers said...

kaptaan says playing by the rules is a load of tripe; then he says Sikhs do play by the rules. He says we are you, but then he says we would rather express ourselves as Sikhs.

It's not so much that I think he's wrong. It's just that his argument is not very coherent. The contradictions are not important and don't have to be resolved. What's important is that We are victimizing Him. And that's the problem with "multiculturalism". It doesn't tell us how we can rule ourselves together, instead of being ruled by some higher righteousness of the kind that kaptaan seems to be struggling to articulate.

What I think kaptaan is really saying is that Sikhs have a right to victim status and so no one else has a right to argue how Sikhs and all other Canadians should behave together. kaptaan says Sikhs and Chinese built BC, but for some reason he thinks "Anglos" (eventhough he writes in English himself - does he really mean whites?) are still in charge and victimizing those who are doing the work. But aren't those in charge the real builders?

One could see Bruce Allen as someone who is actually taking the right of Sikhs to be Canadians seriously. It is the multiculturalist "Anglo" elites who must patronize the Sikhs, because multiculti politics is a politics of patron-client relationships - and having seen how this works from inside the Liberal party, I can tell you there are all kinds of individual Sikhs with ambition to join the "Anglo" elite, pretending to speak for all Sikhs in British Columbia, and pretending to be able to deliver lots of votes.

Maybe Bruce Allen, in his not very intellectually or politically astute way, is saying, wouldn't it be better if you were treated as free individuals, like any other free individuals, and not as a tribe to be manipulated by your "leaders" and their multiculti-speaking "Anglo" friends en masse? The real power in the Liberal party in British Columbia is still overwhelmingly white and English speaking. And they're the ones promoting "multiculturalism". It serves their political interests.

Kaptaan said...

Let me break it down for you truepeers.

1. When I said the following: ""play by the rules" is such a load of tripe... Most Sikhs in BC are BORN in Canada, as Canadians."

What I mean by this is that to tell Sikhs to "play by the rules" doesn't make sense because Sikhs in BC, by and large, are Canadians so they are already, defacto, playing by the rules. Bruce doesn't realize, that Sikhs didn't come form "somewhere else" so they don't have any other place to go called "home" as Bruce said, because (drum roll please) BC is HOME.

2. When I said the following: "Canada is our homeland. Like it or lump it... It's time you and your ilk examined the facts.

What I meant is that, extending point 1, trying to build an 'us' versus 'them' meaning 'Canadians' versus 'immigrants' doesn't work with Sikhs, because Sikhs are the 'us' because Sikhs are in fact, born in Canada British Columbians. So when I said we are the 'you', it means we ARE BRITISH COLUMBIAN (Canadians).

3. When I wrote the following: "Anglos didn't want to integrate/ assimilate Sikhs into society in the early 1900's, so don't be surprised if Sikhs took them at their word and NOW would rather fully express themselves as Sikhs (and Sikh Canadians at that) today."

What I meant was that as of now, for Sikhs in BC, the prevailing feeling is that not only are we Canadian, but as Canadians, it is OUR prerogative to decide what that means for us, and what it means is that we want to assert our Sikh identity and be SIKH Canadians (British Columbians) as opposed to what Anglos would like us to be today which is just plain Canadian.

4. When you write, "What's important is that We are victimizing Him. And that's the problem with "multiculturalism"... struggling to articulate."

You are mistaken. I don't feel victimized. I am, however, unwilling to have anyone, especially Bruce Allen, tell me what I can and can't do in Canada. OR How I should behave or not behave in this country (as long as that behaviour is lawful).

5. When you write, "What I think kaptaan is really saying is that Sikhs have a right to victim status and so no one else has a right to argue how Sikhs and all other Canadians should behave together... But aren't those in charge the real builders?

NO. That is incorrect. I don't believe Sikhs or anyone else has a right to victim status. Sikhs only want the full protection and freedoms that extend from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

6. You write, "One could see Bruce Allen as someone who is actually taking the right of Sikhs to be Canadians seriously..."

I suppose someone might see that, however, I see Bruce Allen as someone who just doesn't like the fact that Sikhs and other visible minorities are living large in Canada. I see Bruce Allen as someone who doesn't like the fact that the visage of Canada has changed permanently. I see Bruce Allen as someone who is wondering why it is that Sikhs after having been in Canada for over 100 years in large numbers, don't see the need to adopt the ways of the original Anglo descent Canadians.

7. You write, "Maybe Bruce Allen, in his not very intellectually or politically astute way, is saying, wouldn't it be better if you were treated as free individuals, like any other free individuals, and not as a tribe to be manipulated by your "leaders" and their multiculti-speaking "Anglo" friends en masse?..."

Perhaps I see economies of scale in having many Sikhs come together for a common interest, much in the same way, that many people with strong commonalities and interests have come together in the past. For example, women who advocated for the right to vote and equality.

Kaptaan said...

my comment should read in the appropriate place as follows:
"I am, however, unwilling to [listen to] anyone [lecture me], especially Bruce Allen, "

truepeers said...

That's a good response, kaptaan, so I hope you will stick around our blog and discuss what Canadians owe each other when they get together to build a covenant to defend each other's freedom.

But for the sake or argument - because I think debate is a good thing - let me say that if I were Bruce Allen, and I'm not, I might respond, "but that's just what I meant: if you are well adapted to Canada and not getting in trouble with the law, that's great. The problem is that many Sikhs or Muslims are not so deeply rooted here. They are relative newcomers. And there have been widely reported problems with youth gangs, and domestic violence in the Sikh communities, and violent Jihadist sympathies in the Muslim culture. That is what I was referring to and if newcomers aren't willing to come out against these things, whatever their power to change other people, they should reconsider living here. The Prime Minister of Australia said this to Muslims recently and it was considered fair comment in his country, except of course among those with Jihadi and/or Sharia sympathies.

And then one might turn to an old hand like you, kaptaan, and ask: are there any practices in the Sikh community that you will criticize as inappropriate in Canadian society? If you are going to take the lead in defining what it means to be a Sikh Canadian, can you make it clear where you stand on the controversial issues of the day so we can criticize or laud you accordingly, build political ties with those Sikhs we like and not with others, and not get trapped in a politics that simply divides up the country into religious or ethnic boundaries that can't be crossed. Where, for example, do you stand on Sikh families that ostracize children who marry non-Sikhs?

Kaptaan said...

First, let me start by saying that, Sikhs should not be lumped together with other religious groups. We have our own traditions, history, and norms.

You mention, the issue of our day. Jihadism. This concept of violent Jihad to turn the world or lands into the house of 'Allah' is a non-starter for Sikhs. We fought Jihad and won. We suffered greatly, two attempted genocides, as a result of not submitting or accepting dhimmi status. It is against our religion to accept second class status, anywhere.

We also never impose such a status on anyone else. We are all about freedom of religion. In fact, europeans were not discriminated against in the Sikh Kingdom ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

You asked about marriage between Sikhs and non-Sikhs. Sikhs are supposed to marry Sikhs. If someone wants to marry a Sikh, my feeling is that the person should become a Sikh first or accept Sikhism in their heart as their guiding religious belief. Given that, however, I have relatives who have married outside of Sikhism and I have not disowned or ostracized them. It's up to each family to decide how they want to handle such a case. I have nothing against a family if they do decide to ostracize or disown a family member either. If that's the decision they made, I won't judge them negatively for it.

There are NO SIKH practices that I will criticize or come out against. There are however, INDIAN cultural practices, that I will come out against such as domestic violence and honour killing. The media always mentions the religion of Sikhs when an issue like this arises, rather than saying Indo-Canadian or South Asian, these apply equally to Hindus and others in India.

Do some research on India and you'll find that spousal murders are rampant amongst Hindus looking for larger dowries from their bride's family, as well as child marriage, etc... these things exist in India as a result of the thousands year old culture. Not everything is fireworks, and yoga.

Kaptaan said...

Let me clarify one point. When I wrote don't lump Sikhs together with other religious groups, what I'm saying is that every "group" has its own dogma and ideology, which is particular to that "group". To assume that the dogma of one group is applicable to another is a mistake.

Like all communities in society there are social ills that Sikhs are afflicted by, including 'gang culture', domestic violence, and in BC, drug use and abuse. With respect to those, it only makes sense to find the root cause for these general social illnesses.

truepeers said...

Well, I think the "root causes" of general social illnesses are spiritual: they are caused by a lack of good "religion" (including its more secular forms) in the minds of individuals. I'm not suggesting there is only one religion or spiritual discipline that can solve any given problem. But we all have a responsibility to find disciplines that work in this day and age, to keep ourselves from going downhill or from being a horror to our neighbours. And inevitably, that will lead to some discussion about those forms of religious or spiritual thought that serve present needs better than others.

That's the business of civil society. It should not be the concern of the Canadian government to try to establish any preferred religion. But within civil society we should have free and open debate and that would include freedom for commentators on the radio to make criticisms of religions, if the station owners allow it. After all, if we value religious freedom, we should see that criticism of religion is part of religious freedom too. Of course, we should in turn be free to call any given comments offensive or stupid if they are. But I have a problem with Raymond Chan's kind of response - an attempt to use moral and economic blackmail to shut others up, to unilaterally close off a range of discussions by invoking victimary claims.

I think, kaptaan, that your points are sound. One should distinguish Sikhism from Islam and Sikhism from wider Indian cultural practices. Following the logic of this, I wonder if you would have had a problem if Allen had criticized just either Muslims or Indians/Punjabis who don't want to live by Canadian rules and suggested they not live here if they couldn't accept, say, the separation of church and state/civil law, or the right of women to live without fear of domestic violence.

On the issue of mixed marriages, on one level I can sympathize with your position. It probably is necessary to discourage out-marriage if a religion, especially one with a relatively small percentage of a country's population, is to preserve itself. On the other hand, I have witnessed the personal damage done to someone disowned by her family and cannot condone it. Love should be our highest "value". It is not a legal question, but it seems to me we should be personally critical of people who ostracize their children. This implies, I suppose, that I think the free exchange of free indviduals in civil society entails a right and perhaps responsibility to think about how to promote certain kinds of families, at the expense of others (e.g. families in which children are free to choose their mates), even to the extent that this inevitably impinges on questions of religion and the value society, in general, accords religions as reflected in their corresponding family structures. But it is a tricky issue I want to think more about before saying more, because I do not think it is wrong to pressure people to live up to certain family standards or to reject the crazy relativism of our times that proposes a family or marriage can be anything an individual, alone, wants it to be.

Kaptaan said...

Bruce Allen chose to single out Sikhs by his words and descriptions. If he had wanted to generalize to all immigrants, then that's what he should have done. He said he wanted to generalize, but he didn't. That was his mistake - he singled out one visible group. If he should be fired, it's for that reason.

Sikhs have nothing against free speech. If he wanted to take on Sikhs, then it should be over an issue related to Sikhs only, not all immigrants. If he had in fact generalized his comments to all immigrants without singling out Sikhs by word and description, Sikhs wouldn't have cared less.

As for ostracism, the girl you mentioned made an adult choice along with all that it entails. If her family then makes a choice, that is their right. She chose and so did they. That's their business and I don't agree with anyone trying to vilify them for doing what they did. She chose to reject her family's norms and desires. If she feels sad or whatever, then she should have thought of that earlier, before rejecting her family for someone else. I sympathize with her, but can't help feeling that it was her decision, now live with it.

Why let someone destroy your family's cohesion and integrity.