Canadians would be foolish to ignore the ill wind that is blowing from the south. Rather than ignoring it, Clare Boychuk and Mark Dance suggest that Canadians should push back against it:
In the wake of Trump’s election, the main lesson for Canadians is that change is coming. We can shape that change and choose pluralism over the forces of white nationalism, but to do so will require listening to a diversity of voices and a willingness to participate in robust public conversations about racism, land, multiculturalism and equality.
The American model has always been the melting pot. But that model no longer holds. And it's that change that drives Trumpism. Fortunately, we have always worked from a different model. But there has been pressure over the last fifty years to copy the sins of the Founding Fathers.
To ensure that we don't repeat the mistakes which have come to fruition in Donald Trump, there are several things we must do. We must be
willing to diversify our news sources, read things that make us uncomfortable from authors we haven’t heard of and acknowledge the racial and class strata that cut through society — the way that the same words can reverberate differently in different ears, the way one person’s pinhead can be another’s Pericles — we will be incapable of responding to this historical moment and renewing our commitment to real equality.
Rather than scoff at so-called marginal voices, now is the time to pay attention to them — to listen to Cindy Blackstock’s call for action on equal treatment of indigenous children in this country, to listen to what Black Lives Matter has to say about police brutality and race, to listen to the water protectors challenging the Dakota Access pipeline. If we do that, we will find new ways to live with and care for each other. If we do not, we will stand gaping as darkness envelops us, saying — as Mansbridge did last week — “I’m still not sure why we didn’t see that happening.”
The Dean of the Law School at McGill and poet, F.R. Scott, wrote that it was critically important to "learn by living." Now so more than ever.
Image: Canadian Poetry Online