Bring an end to holding special status

One doesn’t have to agree with another’s opinion, but one should respect another’s right to have an opinion says Penticton letter writer.

Canada is the greatest country in the world. It is made great by the diverse cultures and peoples who live here.  All have equal rights and freedom to practice their customs and religion, unless those infringe on human rights. One doesn’t have to agree with another’s opinion, but one should respect another’s right to have an opinion. Otherwise we live in a fascist state, not a democracy. Politicians, community leaders and religious leaders are not all-knowing and their opinions should not be valued more than those of the least members of our society. Some leaders take umbrage with any remark and respond with knee-jerk reactions and public comments that serve only to foment discontent and divide the community.

There will always be persons in every group/race/nationality (including Caucasians) with a persecution complex who wake up every morning and wonder what they can take offence with today. And every time these persons complain about anything we all coddle them and rush to appease, even when they exaggerate/expand the problem.  This coddling is in itself a form of racism. One must not equate all humour with racism and bigotry and imply that not only is the joke-teller racist, but so also is the organization for which he/she works.

That labeling is unfair to all concerned and is, in itself, bigotry. Yes, at the moment the joke was told the person may have been thoughtless or insensitive but more-than-likely is not a racist or bigot. That person should apologize for the remark, but the organization cannot be responsible for all breaches of policy.

It can only try to prevent recurrence. Not only does this labeling categorize the joke-teller for life, but it also demonstrates the lack of compassion and the mean-spiritedness of the labeler — thus making him/her no better than the person who made the comment or told the joke. There also always will be individuals who are bigots and racists and make malicious remarks intentionally meant to demean or embarrass.  This is most unfortunate and, where possible, these individuals should be held accountable. We, as Canadians, can never respect these individuals’ opinions. I believe that as Canadians we are all equal and special status and political considerations should not be afforded to any individual or group, be they in the majority or a minority. That would be racism. Some individuals see my comments as bigotry. Nothing could be further from the truth and I will not dignify those bullies with a response.

Patrick MacDonald

Penticton

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Johns used her lunch break to film her audition video for the Vancouver Canucks.
VIDEO: Former Vees anthem singer wants to bring her voice to the Canucks

Crystal Johns made her audition tape during a lunch break

The Village of Keremeos is preparing to open up the village to in-province travellers as the province enters Phase 3 of its reopening plan. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Electric vehicle use continues to rise in Keremeos

August saw 147 vehicles for the peak of the year

Four staff members at the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen were self-isolating on March 19. The regional district is also considering whether to continue keeping its doors open to the public. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Feedback wanted on plan to make West Bench age-friendly

Some 43 per cent of West Bench residents are over the age of 55

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Penticton Real Canadian Superstore
New COVID case at Penticton Superstore

The last day the employee worked was Jan. 21

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Okanagan hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 in Lake Country just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read