By Craig Funston
Let’s imagine that because I was born a certain way—a certain colour, to be precise—that I would receive the brunt of a wide variety of charges, accusations, and general harassment. My skin colour would determine whether I got free university or not, whether I was to blame for societal ills, and whether my life really mattered.
Let me now fine-tune that: I read these days that, because I was born with white skin, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, that I have lived on Easy Street all my life, and that I have innate privileges that many others don’t have.
These privileges include better jobs, higher pay, nicer house, better health, and so on. I suppose that means no line-ups, no setbacks, and no slowdowns. This nonsense is from the same source that includes global warming, vaccination, and carbon footprints. (I just couldn’t resist that shot, sorry.) You’ll notice that I had two periods aftrer “footprints…”. Please delete one. Thanks.
I wonder on a daily basis when the myths and lies (fake information?) will end. All my faithful readers need to apply the lessons from the past two weeks column—thinking critically and leaning on dependable sources.
Just hold that thought for now: we’ll circle back shortly.
Let me tell you briefly about Tom and Anne. If my history serves me correct, they left Ireland when they were fairly young; together, but not together, if you know what I mean—she to Rhode Island; he, to Winnipeg, Canada. Somewhere, they met up again and settled in Canada.
Grief dogged their steps as they lost two of the first of four children in early childhood deaths. But at least they saw the next two–Charlotte and William—live on into adulthood. Hard times and hard work produced what it usually does, namely, a good work ethic, a spirit of gratitude for what little they had, and positive attitudes towards life in this wonderful country they adopted.
But most of all, it produced a legacy, one of hundreds of thousands in those early days of the 1900’s. As families fled from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere (people of all colours, by the way), and came to Canada for a better life in Canada, they helped this great nation grew to what it has become. I speak of a nation made up of of salt-of-the-earth individuals, determined and hard workers, and traditional families, who got a chance to get somewhere in this world.
They left the spirit of hopelessness behind them, and reached out with a spirit of hope for the future. No privilege came with that effort; it was all about getting up one more time, putting up with setbacks, moving ahead, and simple, clear ambition.
Tom and Anne were legal immigrants. They entered Canada with hope and resolve in their heart. They came with nothing, continued with little, but slowly applied themselves with new resolve for opportunities to succeed.
There were no handouts, no entitlements, and certainly no privileges.
No one one told then that because of the colour of their skin they were victims (or, if the “wrong” colour, they were villains). That lie has drifted in from the Left somewhere. Most of those essential facts have been left out in today’s relentless attacks on whites.
Tom and Anne had just the one son (William), and William had four sons. I’m the fourth. I guess that makes me a grandson of immigrants. And yet, I suppose I’m marked by privilege. But it’s a different sort of privilege, which I’ll expand on it next week.
In the interim, I’ll be the first to admit that there’s race privilege at every level of society, but privilege bis not simply based on colour. There are ethnic and religious components.
Why must we stop at so-called white privilege? There have been abuses right across the spectrum, in every colour, culture and creed.
If you know your history, you’ll recall these have included relations between Japanese and Chinese, Vietnamese and Chinese , black and black, Canadian and Chinese, Turks and Armenians, Spanish and Inca, Hindu and Islam… and I’m just warming up.
This goes goes well beyond the myth of so-called white privilege. Those who spout off “white privilege” simply ignore their history.