From The Province.
Critics attack Allen's Olympics role
Fiery radio comments spark cries of racism, calls for removal
John Colebourn, The Province
Published: Sunday, September 23, 2007
Calls for the dismissal of Bruce Allen from a key position on the 2010 Olympics ceremonies committee continued yesterday following a storm of controversy over the concert promoter's radio comments -- comments some have labelled as racist.
"He is a person who will have important influence in the opening and closing ceremonies and, judging from his comments, I don't think he will reflect Canadian values," said MLA Harry Bains, the NDP Olympics critic, last night.
Note - Harry Bains is an Indian Sikh with Canadian citizenship.
"He is not the right person to be representing Canadian values at our opening and closing ceremonies and if he has any influence we will be embarrassed."
Note - Bruce Allen is ten times the Canadian Harry Bains is or ever will be.
Allen, a veteran music-industry heavyweight and manager of a stable of Canadian music stars, including Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams, was introduced Thursday as one of 10 members on a creative team shaping the ceremonies and entertainment at the Vancouver and Whistler Olympic Games.
In his regular Reality Check radio comment on CKNW Sept. 13, Allen stated "special interest groups" expect rules for themselves.
"There is the door. If you don't like the rules, hit it," said Allen. "We don't need you here. You have another place to go. It's called home. See ya."
Added Allen: "This is simple. We have laws in this country. They are spelled out and easy to get a hold of. If you're immigrating here and you don't like the rules in place, you have the right to choose not to live here. If you choose to come to Canada, shut up and fit in. We are a democracy, but it seems more and more that we are being pilloried by special interest groups that want special rules for themselves."
Indira Prahst, a sociology instructor at Langara College who specializes in race and ethnic relations, said she was "shocked" when she first heard Allen's comments.
She also said Allen's subsequent appearance on Christy Clark's CKNW show last week would have been an opportunity to show his remorse at the comments. "He could have apologized," she said. "I think the people representing the Olympics should be culturally sensitive. I think there should be some very serious consideration about his role with the Olympics."
Allen, in a lively exchange with Clark, was unrepentant over his comments. He called the controversy "a bunch of crap dredged up by some people who don't get it. I'm not hate-mongering. I'm an editorialist. I hate people playing the race card . . . I make people think. That's my job."
I would like to announce my membership to the Bruce Allen fan club. Just leave a comment that makes a similar announcement if you do too.
What does Bruce Allen have to apologize for? Immigrant groups, particularly Sikhs, have incessantly attacked our Canadian cultural identity for years. Sikhs have attacked the RCMP and the Royal Canadian Legion. They created Mr. Allen and people like me. I have never felt the need to comment on immigration and call for its reform until I began to witness the erasure of the cultural uniqueness of my people and country by immigrants groups who refuse to assimilate, opting instead to stamp their cultural identity onto the Canadian psyche, all the while calling themselves "Canadian". If any apologies should be made it should be by the Indo-Canadian community. Sikhs are responsible for the largest mass murder in Canadian history yet still no apology has come from them. I guess they're too busy building memorials to themselves to bother with that.
I encourage you to follow the link and read the comments while the link is still active. Most of the comments support Bruce Allen and so do I. I encourage more Canadians to speak out like Mr. Allen. We should let people know whose country this is. You want to live here then fine. But if you want to be a Sikh living in the Punjab then stay in the Punjab. Don’t come to my country and turn a portion of it into a Punjabi colony with health benefits.
Notice how the Indo-Canadian community immediately called Bruce Allen a racist. Notice how they want to punish him for expressing his views by seeking his removal from the Olympic committee. Harry Bains said that Allen "is not the right person to be representing Canadian values" yet isn't freedom of speech a Canadian value? Who then is not really representing Canadian values if Harry Bains wants to punish a fellow Canadian citizen for exercising his freedom of speech? What is wrong with expecting immigrants to preserve the cultural identity of their adoptive homeland? Immigrants know the importance of preserving their cultural identity and continuously make demands on Canadians to accommodate them (while calling us racists if we refuse). Why are Canadians racists when we make similar demands? Whose country is this anyways?