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Opinion: Food for thought

April 24, 2009

A succinct response to the often empty rhetoric from the mainstream media and commentators surrounding the Tamil protests.

This was found in the comments section for this article in the Ottawa Citizen.

Food for thought:

  1. Labels are a political gimmick: Western governments followed South Africa’s characterization of the ANC as a terrorist organization.
  2. Claims do not equal justification: We do not ban a group for pioneering the atomic bomb. We do not ban a list of many nations with weapons on their flag. 
  3. Common practice does not equal right: Slavery was common and legal, until the minority stood up against the majority belief of the time. 
  4. No us and them: Almost everyone in North America can be considered an immigrant. Telling a group of people to take their problems elsewhere is pure arrogance. 
  5. Right to protest: It’s a right – be it for teacher’s unions or factory workers; even if it means temporary inconvenience to the rest. 
  6. We do have international obligations: As signatory to international laws, treaties, and as members of international organizations, we have rights and responsibilities. 
  7. Freedom of expression: Holds true even when we disagree with the views expressed. Women would not be allowed to vote today if they could not express their desire to vote. 
  8. Immigration makes us strong: We would be a poor nation economically, culturally if not for the strength of our immigrant population. Every generation makes their contribution. 
  9. The government is not always right: We need elections and oppositions because the government needs to evolve for the better. 
  10. Inconvenience is part of democracy: To ban strikes and protests is to choose dictatorship. We cannot choose democracy only when it is convenient. 
  11. Hindsight is 20/20: Did we save lives in the Rwandan Genocide, the Srebrenica Genocide, the killings in Dafur? Let us learn from our past and not make the same mistakes. 
  12. Media is part entertainment: Over 40,000 people die each year in a fatal crash in the US alone. But what makes news is the two fatal shark attacks. The same selective reporting holds true for war casualties.

Dave Brown,

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Comment by: David Brown
Posted: April 12, 2009 11:55 AM

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