Sunday, February 28, 2010

Drawing Parallels

My father's parents were born in Austria, and moved to Canada. During the second world war, they were classified as "enemy aliens" due to where they had been born (a country that was unfortunate enough to be occupied by the Nazis), and they had to report weekly to the RCMP. Also during the second world war, ethnic Japanese in Canada were rounded up and put in internment camps. All for no more reason than where they, their parents, or some ancestor was born. The Canadian government eventually apologized.

I was studying in the US when 9/11 happened. Afterwards, students of certain nationalities had to report to Homeland Security. Some of these students were imprisoned. Some students who went home for Christmas break weren't able to return to their studies for months. There was "racial profiling" at the airports and borders, and I suspect there still is. At any rate, people are still being held at Guantanamo, *including* a Canadian, without being convicted of anything at a proper trial. How is this any different, and when will we learn?

4 comments:

Vik said...

Very interesting post, Andrea. You are so right.

mybabyjohn said...

An apology, decades after the fact, is hardly helpful after lives have been disrupted and families broken up for no good reason other than a nations paranoia. So many apologies have been issued lately by goverments and religious leaders that it is hard to keep track of them. It really only proves one thing, and that is, that knee jerk reactions to situations have been happening since time began and will continue to happen. We can't expect governments to change until we all, individually and collectively, change our attitudes. After all, governments are representational of their populations.

noricum said...

mybabyjohn: That was part of my point, although not explicitly stated... not only should we apologize, but we should learn from that mistake. An apology doesn't count if you turn around and do the same thing again. :P

Heather said...

one would hope that we keep learning. I feel that as a parent it is my job to ensure that my children know about these events and why they should never happen again. At times they are genuinely shocked at what has been done.