I debated long and hard on if I was going to write this piece or not, as it’s a very controversial subject at the moment. But in the end, I decided that it’s too important a topic to not discuss, so here it goes.
Don Cherry’s comments on Hockey Night In Canada on Saturday night was not just a difference in opinion. It wasn’t free speech. It was thinly veiled racism at its finest, and it’s really puzzling to me that there are people who can defend what he said.
“You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said Saturday night. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.” – Don Cherry
I’ll give him this much. We should respect our veterans for paying the ultimate price for us. We are free because of the sacrifices that they made for us. But that’s where the similarity is thought ends. What I don’t agree with is how he went about it. Maybe he just had the best of intentions when he made the above statement, but it’s clear that he did not think of the repercussions that would follow.
You see, it’s not just a difference in opinion or freedom of speech when you direct anger and hatred towards a particular group of people. They are as Canadian as you and me at the end of the day. It matters not where they came from. In this great country of ours, the only people who are not immigrants are the native people. That’s it. Unless you are of Native descent, you and your family are immigrants too. We all came to this great country from somewhere else. Diversity is what makes this country great.
So when you attack the very fabric of what makes this country great, you can sure bet that people are going to have something to say about it. Doesn’t matter your status or position. People are going to call out racism and hatred when they see/hear it. Most will not let such commentary go under the guise of “free speech”. Racism/hate speech is not what our veterans had in mind while defending one’s right to free speech.