Friday, February 02, 2007

Hail the Herouxville Heros

Earlier this week a great kafuffle arose throughout the media when a tiny village in Quebec called ‘Hérouxville’ announced that anyone wishing to move to their village should be willing to adhere to certain social standards. Here’s a few excerpts from the document they published:

“We would especially like to inform the new arrivals that the lifestyle they left behind in their birth country cannot be brought here with them and they would have to adapt to their new social identity…..We consider that men and women are of the same value….. a woman can: drive a car, vote, sign checks, dance, decide for herself, speak her peace, dress as she sees fit, walk alone in public places, have a job, have her own belongings and anything else that a man can do……killing women in public beatings, or burning them alive are not part of our standards of life……We listen to music, we drink alcoholic beverages in public or private places, we dance and at the end of every year we decorate a tree with balls and tinsel and some lights. This is normally called "Christmas Decorations" or also "Christmas Tree" letting us rejoice in the notion of our national heritage….boys and girls play the same games and often play together. If you came to my place we would send the kids to swim together in the pool, don't be surprised this is normal for us…..”.

You could almost hear the sharp, collective, intake of breath nationwide as sensitive, enlightened Canadians cringed. Media pundits and talking heads wasted no time condemning this initiative. Accusations of racism and xenophobia spewed forth from their gaping maws like vomit from a drunken frat boy. Multiculturalism, they said, would not only save the world, it could also cure hemorrhoids, reverse global warming and increase a woman’s bust by three cup sizes. Throughout the media, the message was clear and consistent: Multiculturalism is wonderful and the people of Herouxville should be ashamed.

And, of course, no good dose of public outrage would be complete without an appearance from Canada’s ubiquitous ‘community spokespeople’. And they didn’t disappoint. A multitude of ethnic and non-Christian groups trotted into the spotlight to share their outrage with us.

Here’s what Steven Slimovitch, national legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada, said: “It (the village’s statement) tries to make a mockery of this whole debate about reasonable accommodation, and it tries to say that these are our rules and if you don't like them, don't come here.”

Gasp. Imagine the noive. Just because those pesky French Catholics founded a community hundreds of years ago and built it into what it is today, they think they can run the place. Talk about un-Canadian. And not only do they expect to be able to set certain standards in their own community, like equality for women and public Christmas displays, they actually expect newcomers to accept and adapt to those standards. How nutty is that?

Clearly these Herouxville troglodytes – these ignorant Catholic peasants - have refused to be converted to the religion of multiculturalism. Damn heretics. Imagine, here we are, in 21st century Canada, and there are still people around clinging to the absurd notion that Canada’s founding cultures should be celebrated, protected and perpetuated.

Something apparently drove these people over the edge. What could it have been I wonder? Did they wake up one morning and suddenly notice that Canada has largely become a nation with no history and no shared values or identity? Did they become concerned about their small community suffering the same sad fate?.

Did they somehow clue in that the term ‘multiculturalism’ is really code for: ‘destroy whitey’s culture’ and decide that participating in the destruction of their own culture was, well, kinda stupid?

Did they, one day, notice all the stories in the media about Muslim cabbies refusing to transport drunken passengers; Muslim students demanding special bathrooms in schools to wash their feet before praying; and female Muslim police officers and doctors refusing to touch males for religious reasons? Did they scratch their heads and decide that they didn’t need such nonsense going on in their community? (Clearly, they must’ve missed the last few episodes of “Little Mosque on the Prairie”)

Or, maybe, their women are big enough up-top already, so they figure they don’t need multiculturalism.

Whatever the case, they are right to be suspicious and cautious about allowing the multicult cult to seize control of their community. Because wherever the cult festers, the outcome is always the same: the founding host culture loses ground; and the invading guest culture gains ground. And, never doubt it, in the game of cultural preservation, it’s all about gaining and losing ground. After all, ground is a finite commodity. There is only so much. It does not magically multiply itself and it does not vanish into thin air. In order for one culture to gain ground, another must lose it. Every Islamic mosque and school built in Canada where males and females are segregated is another piece of ground lost to traditional Canadian culture. Every young girl forced to marry someone her father chooses is another human lost to Canadian culture. Every woman shrouded in black cloth from head to toe, hidden and separate from us, is another women lost to Canadian culture. Every time we allow newcomers to ignore our cultural values and traditions, we lose another piece of ourselves, our history, our culture and our identity. We lose, and they gain.

And I bet they won’t be giving it up to us as eagerly as we gave it up to them. Cultimulcheralism, you see, is a door that only swings one way. They demand that we recognize their cultural values, but we must not expect them to recognize ours – even though we are the founders of the feast and they arrived only after the food was cooked and the table was set. Thus is the sick, twisted pathology of cultimulcheralism.

Definition: ‘Cultimulcheralism’ – Cult-ee-mulch-er-all-ism – ‘values shared by a fanatical, ideological, left-wing ‘cult’ which seeks to convert Canada’s founding white Christian culture into a generic, mushy, meaningless ‘mulch’, while preserving and revering the uniqueness of any and all foreign cultures that come here’.

The people of Herouxville have apparently spent many generations building a culture and a community that they love. They have traditions, values and a way of life that means a lot to them. And they are apparently unwilling to see that way of life compromised or challenged by newcomers. I fail to see what’s wrong with that. And I find it sad that so few other Canadians can summon the courage to defend their traditions and values in a similar manner.

People who move to a community as newcomers should conform to the culture of the community, not the other way around. And if they can’t accept this simple, universally understood rule of common courtesy and civility, they should save themselves and the community a lot of grief by not moving there in the first place.

Kudos to the good people of Herouxville for standing up for what they believe in and not surrendering their history and values to the invading hordes of cultimulcheralism like so many other Canadians have done.

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