Saturday, September 26, 2009

Huntley Matter: Canada’s liberal policies in action


The decision is one of hundreds that take place every month but the case still attracted worldwide attention because Huntley is a Caucasian ...

...let’s welcome Huntley and accept that it is possible for a white man to be a victim of discrimination.


Tri-City residents are getting some first-hand experience with Canada’s refugee system this fall as government agencies start settling the first few dozen of several hundred Bhutanese refugees destined for the area. And from what I can gather, there’s been nary a single complaint from established residents.

This speaks to the fact that most Canadians are proud that the country opens its doors to people fleeing violence or persecution. We’ve earned a good reputation for humanitarianism, something that contributes to our being a favoured destination for refugees, some 37,000 of whom landed on our shores last year.

Of course, our generally prosperous economy, generally efficient government, generally just legal system and generally law-abiding citizenship have a huge part to play in this, too.

But there are always cheats who try to pose as refugees to take advantage of the system. The question of the day is whether Brandon Carl Huntley is just such a liar.

I don’t think so and a Canadian immigration board panel doesn’t think so either. It ruled a month ago to accept Huntley’s refugee claim and allow him to stay in the country. The decision is one of hundreds that take place every month but the case still attracted worldwide attention because Huntley is a Caucasian whose refugee claim rests on his assertion that, as a white, he was fleeing ongoing anti-white persecution and violence in predominately black, post-apartheid South Africa.

It is true that the majority of recent violence in the country is economically, not racially, motivated; for example, last year’s deadly anti-immigration riots were carried out by indigenous blacks against foreign blacks.

Nevertheless, the white minorities in South Africa say they are victims of racial discrimination. In fact, a poll earlier this decade found that 87% of Afrikaners believed racism against them was a serious problem.

It may be that Huntley exaggerated the problems he faced in South Africa but as long as Canada maintains liberal immigration and refugee policies, everyone should be able to benefit equally from them.

Whether Canada should actually have such liberal policies, well, that’s another question entirely. For now, though, let’s welcome Huntley and accept that it is possible for a white man to be a victim of discrimination.

1 Opinion(s):

Chaplin estates Toronto said...

Yeah, not only black people are discriminated, that's for sure. Still, when speaking about discrimination almost nobody seems to realize that white people can also be treated badly.

Elli