Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's Coming Back Around Again: Harper Comes Clean

Tha foreman approach
His steps now pound in her brain
His presence it terrifies
And eclipses her days
No minutes to rest
No moment to pray
And with a whisper
He whips her
Her soul chained to his will
"My job is to kill if you forget to take your pill"
Her arms jerks
Tha sisters gather round her and scream
As if in a dream
Eyes on tha crimson stream
Numb as her wrists spit shots of blood to tha floor
I am nothing, no one, nobody, no more

These are her mountains and skies and
she radiates
And through history's rivers of blood
she regenerates
And like tha sun disappears only to reappear
Maria she's eternally here
Her time is near
Never conquered but here
--RATM

Harper says something that's long overdue:
Harper makes long-anticipated apology for Chinese head tax
OTTAWA — “On behalf of the people and government of Canada, we offer a full apology to Chinese-Canadians for the head tax and express our deepest sorrow for the subsequent exclusion of Chinese immigrants.”

With those words from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Chinese immigrants who paid a head tax to enter this country, their spouses and their descendants finally heard a long-awaited apology.

Anyone who moans about this should first realize what this means to some people:
“We were little more than slaves,” Gim Wong said during his train ride from Vancouver to Toronto this week. The 83-year-old’s father paid the tax when he arrived in Canada in 1906, followed by his mother in 1920.

“This (apology) marks a real breakthrough," he said. "A real breakthrough."

Wong is a proud Second world War veteran who wore his air force uniform when he heard the apology.

“This was absolutely the greatest achievement of my life — making it in the Air Force to fight for my country," an emotional Wong said. “I can't wait to hear that apology. This is my country.”

Can you imagine the pride of this war vet? Sounds like he's gettin' the respect he wants. What's wrong with that?

Some thing's are so simple and yet mean so much to so many. Why friggin' not?

We should just have one day, or a week, to just get all the historical baggage off our chest. Natives? Really sorry about the rez schools. Sikhs? Sorry about that boat incident way back in the day. Quebecois?.....um.... Newfies? Sorry about having to live in Newfoundland.

A lil' truth/a lil' reconciliation. We can't hide from our shared history, so let's come to terms. What a concept.
Oh, where do we go,
Where do we go from here?
Where to go?
To the side of a hill
Blood was spilt
We were still looking at each other
But we're going back there?
--U2

2 comments:

Chewycorns said...

I find it interesting that the Chinese lobbyists who pushed for this were mostly from pro-PRC groups. Considering the racist laws towards foreigners in Taiwan (where foreigners are excluded from pension schemes, can be deported for a number of reasons (even if you have a wife and kids) without even having a hearing, are not protected under the constitution etc., I don't have much sympathy for people whining today. Many Chinsese groups in Canada are the first to whine about their rights being violated, but in their home countries are the oppressors themselves. Their excuse to foreigners who complain --- you don't understand Chinese culture.

Shamrocks! said...

Just as an aside, did you hear that sam sullivan (mayor of vancouver) is closing the falun gong protest outside the chinese consulate? this is as of month, i believe...

It coincides certainly...

Politics aside, I think it was the right thing to do. It was simple to recognize the chinese contribution to canada and admit that there was an abuse of those trying to enter canada and of those chinese who were already here.