I fancy myself a newsperson. Even in high school I was flipping through the newspaper every morning before school and switching on CNN when I got home. Lately I’ve noticed I am tuning in less and less.
So, like most people on a Monday morning, I fired up the computer and scrolled through the news headlines to see what’s happening in the world. Here are the stories on the front page of CNN’s website:
- DeSantis addresses ‘monkey’ comment
- Black senior voters pulled off bus
- County tosses hundreds of minority ballots
- Young and black — and running for Congress — in Mississippi
These are headlines in 2018. It’s true. Oct. 22, 2018. And I will give you one guess about the originating country of these stories. Yup, the United States of America… in 2018.
As a Canadian, I have long been made to feel inferior to the U.S. ‘Merica is often called the most powerful nation in the world – the leader of the free world. Somehow in some way everybody owes a debt to the U.S., we’re told – especially in Trump times. It’s such a dominating culture that you can’t help but be affected by it.
Don’t get me wrong, much of my syndicated radio audience is in the U.S. and a lot of my time is spent in the country. I’m not bashing the country to the south because, well, I do a lot of business there and it helps pay my bills. What I am commenting on is the civility of people there.
It’s true that Canadians have a reputation of being polite and, perhaps, overly friendly. In fact, we’re mocked for it. At the same time, I’d much rather have that reputation than being closed minded, discriminatory and unwelcoming.
Let me also be clear that I am in no way saying racism doesn’t exist in Canada. It does. It happens everywhere. It’s not as pronounced as it is in the United States so perhaps we could call it “quiet racism” in Canada. Again, I’m not defending it but I don’t want to make it sound like I am saying racism is solely a U.S. problem.
Even when Canada is kicking another country’s butt in hockey, we have a national pride that is humble and not cocky. We might consider hockey to be “our game” but it’s not an overbearing belief that we’ll destroy anyone who disagrees with us. That is something new we are seeing in the U.S. If you disagree with someone you shout louder, you push harder and take whatever aggressive approach to win the fight.
So, while Canada might have its flaws, I take comfort in knowing that while we might be considered the little guy, we have the reputation around the world of being the decent little guy.