White supremacists ideas revived in Collacott oped | David C. Atkinson

Good detailed reminder how Martin’s oped (Opinion: Canada replacing its population a case of wilful ignorance, greed, excess political correctness) echoes the past.

There is space and a need for critiques of Canadian immigration and related policies as part of political and policy discussion, and this can be done (and should be) without xenophobia:

In reality, Collacott nostalgically yearns for an imagined homogenous past that only ever existed in the minds of the province’s most obstinate white supremacists. His admonition emulates precisely the words of B.C.’s one-time Minister of Finance and Agriculture, Francis Carter-Cotton. In the midst of a concerted provincial campaign to exclude Asian immigrants in 1899, Carter-Cotton defended the idea that British Columbia “should be occupied by a large and thoroughly British population rather than by one in which the number of aliens largely predominated and many of the distinctive features of a settled British community were lacking.”

Collacott claims, as others once did, that his angst is rooted in social, economic, cultural, and political concerns. Stevens made a similar claim at Vancouver’s Dominion Hall in 1914. Like Collacott, he insisted that defending the whiteness of British Columbia “is not a case of racial pride. It is a case of actual social and economic conditions in our country, which it is impossible to maintain with two systems of living in our country which cannot be successfully assimilated.” Nevertheless, that evasion could not even withstand his next utterance: “I intend to stand absolutely on all occasions on this one great principle of a white country and a white British Columbia.”

In reality, Collacott’s commentary squarely reiterates these previous champions of white supremacy. They, too, essentialized Asian immigrants as hyper-competitive and economically rapacious interlopers, or as culturally alien intruders. Those ideas rested then, as now, on fundamentally racist notions of immutable racial characteristics that preclude assimilation and spell only disaster for Canada. Whether couched in a century-old language of civilizational decline, racial degeneration, and economic competition, or camouflaged in the alt-right’s semantic contortions of white nationalism, ethno-states, and identitarianism, these are profoundly dangerous ideas that undermine the very foundation of modern Canadian society.

Source: Opinion: White supremacists ideas revived in Collacott oped | Vancouver Sun

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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