Because you’re ‘one of them’ you should have an opinion?

Joe Rogan doesn’t like Justin Trudeau. That was the international-incident headline over the weekend.

Among other things, Rogan, on his podcast, called Trudeau a “f-ing dictator” and said Canada is a “communist” country. Naturally, as a Canadian-born entertainment reporter, my American radio counterparts wanted me to chime in on Rogan chiming in on what Canadians have been, well, chiming in on for years.

It’s interesting that we assume that because you’re “one of them” that you naturally have an opinion on a subject.

By that I mean, because you’re a Canadian you automatically have an opinion on an American commenting on the country and its leader. Because you’re a woman you automatically have an opinion and firm position on abortion. Because you’re gay you automatically have an opinion on trans rights. Because you’re black you must support the Black Lives Matter movement.

When Bruce Jenner made the announcement that he was transitioning to become Caitlyn, I was bombarded with people online and even face to face asking my thoughts on the subject. I thought it weird that, seeing as I’m not transgendered, people expected I’d have an opinion one way or another as a gay man.

I’m not easily offended, so that’s not my point. What I’m getting at is that we’re not supposed to view people as a certain “group” or “thing” because we’re individuals and it’s dangerous to stereotype and generalize.

So, why, because Rogan is an American and voices his opinion about Canada that us Canadians, by default, should have some kind of reaction?

Toronto Star, in an effort to make the story of local interest, titled an article, “Joe Rogan said ‘Canada is communist.’ Here’s how Canadians are reacting.” They posted a selection of random tweets from Canadians.

My thought as I scrolled through the he-should-worry-about-his-own-country posts, was, quite honestly, who cares what Canadians think about Rogan’s rant? Does it change anything about where we are as a country? It doesn’t. Does it move the conversation to anything positive? I don’t think so.

What it did, however, was prompt Canadians to get in more Twitter fights with each other over the country and its leader. So, mission: accomplished? Very Canadian of you, ToStar.

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