So, I guess I'm supposed to side with the author on this and express righteous indignation while contextualizing everything Sir John A. Macdonald said since it was obviously wrong based on the fact that it offends the modern day sensibilities of your typical urban dwelling, white beta-male, moral-grandstanding type lecturing everybody from a soap box provided to him by some minor-market newspaper.
Thing is I just can't do it because I fail to see what Sir John A. said that was so incorrect.
Macdonald’s comments came as he justified an amendment taking the vote away from anyone “of Mongolian or Chinese race.” He warned that, if the Chinese (who had been in British Columbia as long as Europeans) were allowed to vote, “they might control the vote of that whole Province” and their “Chinese representatives” would foist “Asiatic principles,” “immoralities,” and “eccentricities” on the House “which are abhorrent to the Aryan race and Aryan principles.” He further claimed that “the Aryan races will not wholesomely amalgamate with the Africans or the Asiatics” and that “the cross of those races, like the cross of the dog and the fox, is not successful; it cannot be, and never will be.” For Macdonald, Canada was to be the country that restored a pure Aryan race to its past glory, and the Chinese threatened this purity.Okay. I do admit he was wrong with some of what he said. For instance I wouldn't have described the Chinese as immoral.
He's also incorrect to say that "the Aryan races will not wholesomely amalgamate with the Africans or the Asiatics." That's completely false and the mixed couples I see in Toronto (mostly white male/Asian female because, I guess, Asian males are so beta that not even their womenfolk want them) attest to that. Had he said the "Asiatics" will not wholesomely amalgamate with the Africans then he'd be onto something. (Oh come on, you know it's true! You want to hear some real racism just get a Chinese national going on about Africans and you better bring the pop-corn 'cause you're in for some real entertainment. Besides, how many mixed black/Asian couples do you see in Toronto or Vancouver?)
As for exerting their political muscle through voting blocs that "they might control the vote of that whole Province" that's apparent and in the making in Canadian politics today so he was right about that. And we should just change "Asiatic principles" to Beijing influences to modernize it.
Where we get offended is his liberal use of the word "Aryan" which has become a word synonymous with white-supremacism thanks to its abuse the Nazi regime and its adoption by the white-nationalist movement. Were Sir John to use "European" instead of "Aryan" would we still be so offended?
What I object to is the insinuation by the piece that Canada is obligated to open it's doors to all people from all over the world and be blind to any effects it has on the host society.
Let's stop kidding ourselves and throw all politically correct bullshit to the wind. Canada is a country founded by European/Christian culture shaped within the North American context and influenced by an Indigenous fact. You can call it a Euro-American identity if you will, as I have done on occasion or two.
Canada has no Asian heritage to speak of. Saying the Chinese built the rail-road does not give Canada an Asian heritage.
It's also untrue to say that. While it is true that Chinese labourers were employed to lay the tracks for the rail-road the Chinese were not the total of the labour force. They were a cheap labour component of a larger workforce. To say the Chinese built the rail-roads implies they were the only one who did so and this dishonours the memories of those who were not of Chinese decent who laboured on it as well.
We say this to give the Chinese some place in Canadian history when they don't really have one. It's the over-emphasis of an historical footnote to act as a kind of consolation prize given to them to make them feel good about themselves. This is like the giving of ribbons for placing seventh place in an event when we all know that what really matters is placing first, second, and third (English, French, Indigenous). Not everyone can place in the top three so we'll just give ribbons to everyone so that those who don't won't feel so bad and feel like they contributed simply by participating. You know what I mean?
The recent silliness over the ethnicity of a woman depicted on the new $100 raises a point of discussion. A focus group objected that the woman looked Asian and thought it should be changed. Now, the woman doesn't really look Asian but that aside what's to be taken away from this is that to the focus group Asians and the Asian identity are not representative of Canada. I happen to agree and I think this thought is something the permeates the collective Canadian psyche. While Canada does host a considerable population of Asian extraction the Asian identity is not representative of Canada since Canada was not founded by Asian peoples and their culture. Asian culture only made it's presence known after Canada had established itself as a European presence on the northern portion of North America. An Asian woman represents an Asian society, not one founded by a European one.
So let's not say that Sir John A. Macdonald wanted to create an "Aryan Canada" but wanted to make sure Canada remained a country of European influence. That being said then I ask what's wrong with that? And for the sake of controversy I will concede that Sir John A. Macdonald meant white to which I ask the a question in the same vein: what's wrong with keeping Canada white majority? I'm actually curious about the latter one. If we abandon all arguments based on moral grounds I wonder what rational arguments can be made justifying minority status for Canada's white population brought about by the immigration system. Shouldn't Canadians be protected from the colonizing effects of mass immigration? Is this not our right?
And if what Sir John A. Macdonald said is really offensive there are some several thousand Tibetans living the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. I'm sure they'd like to hear all about it.