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Intolerant Canadians?

Intolerant Canadians?

Like many Canadians, I like to congratulate myself on my country’s tolerance and acceptance of the diverse cultures, religions, and sexual orientations within our borders. That’s why my curiosity was immediately drawn to a small text ad that appeared right here on Osocio:


I had to click. And when I did, I found a site that (not surprisingly) encouraged me to express my intolerance of injustice.

“Intolerance has its place. Nation wide, more and more Canadians are intolerant of children living in desperate situations. Are you an intolerant Canadian?”

And the fact is, when it come to human rights violations, I am quite intolerant indeed.

The specific examples given on the site are child labour and female genital mutilation:

What’s interesting about this approach is that it speaks to one of the great moral dilemmas of the modern world: cultural tolerance versus universal human rights.

I see this campaign as a call to separate multicultural tolerance from moral relativism. It’s something that comes easily to some people, and not to others. But co-opting the word “intolerance” is certainly an interesting way to do it.

The unintended consequence, however, is that in soliciting comments it has uncovered some of the other types of intolerance brewing just under the surface of Canada’s “nice” society:

“I am also Intolerant of the Native Population of always having their hand out for freebies from the Governmant and non-native peoples. Instead, make them “Equal” to everyone else. No more ‘handouts’.”

And its culture wars:

“I am intolerant of Murray’s comment about the Native Population. (Sorry, Murray, I say, in true Canadian style). I am intolerant of a society that blames rather than loves. Yes, there are big issues among the First Nations Peoples in our society. And yes, I agree that it will do them (generalizing here) some good to stand up and take more ownership on their recovery and integration into society. But lets not forget who cut their legs out from underneath them and destroyed their culture and way of life. We immigrants need to be more sympathetic to them in the process they will need to undergo in recovering from the injustices we have subjected them to. First we must take the plank out of our own eye. Next, lets help them with the speck in theirs.”

Canadian or not, what are you intolerant of?



Intolerant Canadians

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more