Monday November 12, 2018
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Monday November 12, 2018
Smug Canada probably wouldn’t let in a caravan of migrants either
Schadenfreude is of course the German word for taking pleasure in the discomfort of others. There should be a specific Canadian variant to indicate our enjoyment of Americans’ discomfort, which is and always has been a major source of satisfaction for many of our media elites. Maybe schadenfreud-eh?
The latest example is our media’s tut-tutting over the so-called caravan of 7,000 people making its way to the United States from poor, benighted Honduras (which caravan members might themselves categorize as a “s**t-hole country,” given its current lamentable state). I’m not aware of any Canadian journalists yet embedded in the caravan, although surely it won’t be long now given all the publicity it’s been getting in presidential tweets. U.S. President Donald Trump’s Twitter account has 55.3 million followers. Judging by the full-court news coverage he gets up here, at least five per cent must be CBC producers. (Free advice: To really #Resist, get off Twitter.)
Controversy over whether the 7,000 include gang members or “Middle Easterners” has so far obscured two crucial and true, not fake facts. The first is that it is a great tribute to the U.S. that the land of Trump — which is said to be boiling over in micro-aggression, rape culture, transphobia, systemic racism, toxic partisanship, you name it — is the declared destination of the 7,000, not neighbouring Nicaragua, El Salvador, or Guatemala. Not even Mexico, which they’re now trekking across to get to the U.S. Maybe America no longer seems the shining city on a hill it once was. But it’s a shining something north of the Rio Grande and the light apparently can be seen even from the Honduran jungle and through the determined anti-American media jamming.
The second clear fact, despite our media’s smug twitting at the president’s tweeting, is that if the 7,000 changed their minds about the U.S. and said they preferred to come to Canada instead, we almost certainly wouldn’t take them either. Without a doubt though, we’d be much nicer and more polite than the president in delivering exactly the same refusal.
None of this is to diminish the tragic situation most of the caravaners find themselves in. There may not be many classic refugees among them, in the sense of being victims of state oppression, but economic and social conditions have so deteriorated in many parts of Central America that few of us would willingly live there. Pity is the right reaction toward anyone forced to live in those conditions, even if that means most of the 7,000 would-be escapees are economic migrants. (Continued: Financial Post)