Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Harper Conservative Openly Insults Immigrants & Refugees

Had to comment further on this post by "Liberal Arts & Minds" about recent comments (during the election) by Conservative MP, Lee Richardson. This DEFINITELY bears repeating, and I urge all our bloggers to post this until the media grows up and starts reporting on it:

From the FFWD Newspaper in Calgary:
"In light of recent shootings in Calgary, Fast Forward contacted Richardson September 18 to ask how the Conservative approach to crime compares to other parties’ approaches. In reply, Richardson said Canada has been too “soft on crime” by showing too much sympathy towards offenders and their civil rights. “Particularly in big cities, we’ve got people that have grown up in a different culture,” said Richardson, 60. “And they don’t have the same background in terms of the stable communities we had 20, 30 years ago in our cities… and don’t have the same respect for authority or people’s person or property.”

“Canada accepts so many refugees, for example,” he said. “These are people that have had a very difficult life from whence they came. If you’ve been in a refugee camp, then you live day-to-day. And those are troubled people. They come here and, well, it’s easy to take advantage of people that are trying to help.”
Richardson added: “Talk to the police. Look at who’s committing these crimes. They’re not the kid that grew up next door.”

Wow! Tell that to the poor kid who had to sneak over from Somalia, or the recent refugees from Burma, or people trying to get out of the embattled Bosnia, or Serbia, or , or, or...

Not sure what Richardson's "kid next door" looks like, but I have a pretty good idea that it looks something like a younger him.

I grew up "in a different" culture. I guess I don't have the same respect for people or their property. I should be racially profiled, I guess, and watched carefully, as I might cause trouble.

Richardson clearly attacks 2 (two) groups here:

1) First, he attacks people of "a different culture". That takes everything a step beyond some people's complaints about immigrants, because he is actually now challenging those of us WHO WERE BORN here, simply due to our "different culture". I add this emphasis, because there are some opportunist sell-outs - even from my community - who support Conservatives, and will argue that they too are concerned about crime, and they are concerned about crime by refugees from certain lands (yes, I have heard that said - as the single, solitary reason for supporting the Cons). Listen up brothers and sisters: Harper's boy is saying your different culture is reason to make you a "suspect". He means that you look different. No matter how hard you try to pretend you are "mainstream Canada" your "different culture" (as Richardson so aptly puts it) is still written all over your face, and rednecks everywhere have already made up their mind about you before you open your mouth...

2) Secondly, Richardson has attacked a VERY SOLID AND UPSTANDING part of our community: refugee Canadians. This is an insult to everyone, but refugees in particular. I grew up with many Vietnamese refugees in the 70s. I recall hearing horror stories of family members murdered and raped on the high seas as they made their escape from Vietnam - thinking they were safe. All of my Vietnamese friends are successful business people today - all of them. I have friends who escaped the troubles in Lebanon, and they are among the most successful communities in Canada. My own - Punjabi/South Asian - community has seen many refugees as a result of the 1980s "troubles" in Punjab and Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. No matter "which side" these people were on, they came over here as refugees, and are among Canada's most accomplished citizens. Many are successful in business. I have a cousin in Surrey BC who came over as a refugee in the 80s, and is a successful home builder, AND owns a fleet of semi-trailer trucks.

To add further insult to injury Richardson states that these refugee-Canadians are taking advantage of people trying to help them. What proof does this neanderthal have? I've worked with Somali refugees in Calgary, and with South Asian refugees, and my mother worked with the immigrant aid society. These people were SO grateful for any help we offered. They were among the nicest, warmest, most caring people I have met - because they were so used to making do with so little...

Richardson should resign his seat, and stop pretending he is any less socially conservative than the rest of his party. He is NOT Progressive in any way, shape, or form.

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