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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Don’t Panic: Diversity Is Good For You

Charles McVety speaking out against Gay-Straight Alliances in Ontario schools

M Jordan expressing his fear of “deaf genocide”

We’ve got leaders railing against the perceived threats from foreign students and foreign workers.  In Quebec, there are language laws to protect and maintain the authenticity of an evolved dialect of Latin.  In other parts of Canada, there are staunch opponents to national bilingualism, despite the evidence suggesting that knowing more languages provides greater opportunity and can reduce risk of Alzheimer’s.
To me, these are all variations on the position of not wanting a daughter because 1) she can’t carry on a family line and b) she’s going to be taken away from you.  They imply a fear of loss, of subjugation, of losing out to another.
They are all instinctual, reactive positions.  They might feel right, but they aren’t based in fact.
Having a son-in-law is not detraction; it’s an addition, a linking of families, a provision of new opportunities for partnership, expansion and growth.  Plus, if there are grandkids, your genes get carried on anyway.
Learning more languages doesn’t steal from the richness of mother tongues – it adds to one’s capacity to think in different ways, come up with better solutions and develop competitive advantages.  In a global economy, who doesn’t want multilingual employees?
Deafness is a condition of biology that getting cochlear implants doesn’t change, only accomodates.  Having assistive technology enhances your ability and can actually facilitate cognitive development (plus, you can still turn them off when you want silence).  There aren’t separate “deaf” and “aural” worlds – there’s just one world.  The only question is how much access to it do you have?
Foreigners are the embodiment of diversity – you can feel they threaten your genetic/culture superiority, but what they really do is challenge your stagnancy.  We’re all about innovation, right?  Infinite diversity allows for infinite combinations.  We want more diversity, not less.
Gay isn’t a contagion.  Hearing about or even seeing gays kissing doesn’t impose any physical “risk” or “contagion” (even if you feel that it does).  For that matter, science isn’t a threat to religion any more than religion as a concept is inherently an impediment to science.

And we can only move forward when we do it together.

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