What Does Kerra Seay?: Diversity makes us stronger, not weaker

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Diversity doesn't make us weaker - it makes us stronger.

North American society as we know it is founded on the concept of immigrants and immigration. If you don’t know this already, read a goddamn book.

So why is anti-immigration rhetoric so popular right now? When President Donald Trump signed the executive order temporarily halting the admittance of citizens from seven countries (all seven of them are Muslim majority, though not all Muslim majority countries were included, causing some to be hesitant about calling it a Muslim Ban) as well as permanently halting the acceptance of Syrian refugees indefinitely, most people around the world reacted with outrage.

But while I may be living in my own news bubble by only following news sources that align with my own political beliefs (something I think more people need to accept about themselves), we all have to remember that there are a lot of people who are genuinely happy with Trump’s presidential decisions, and that there are Canadians who would support the same policies if they were enacted here. Maybe you are even one of them.

To those people I have to ask, why? Why would you deny others the right to come to a new country with the hopes of building a better life for themselves and their families, a right that was granted to your ancestors? Because unless you are Native American, you are the descendants of immigrants as well.

It doesn’t matter at what time you become a Canadian citizen, or whether your ancestors helped build the foundations of our oldest cities or only immigrated here recently, or if you were born here or in another country. Once you take the oath of citizenship, you are one of us. And it disappoints me that not all Canadians fully embrace and accept this fact.

Diversity does not threaten the Canadian way of life, as some anti-immigration advocates may think. Incorporating new cultures, new ideas, new voices and new people into our country helps us grow, helps us find our flaws and helps us become a better nation as a whole.

Diversity isn’t something to be feared. A big part of the development of Canadian culture came about by experiencing other cultures and adopting what we like best from them. Where would we be without international food markets, or pockets of our larger cities dedicated to bringing the culture of another country to our own? Step into a Chinatown anywhere in Canada or a Little Italy and tell me they don’t add vibrancy and excitement to our cities.

Accepting new people into our country doesn’t take anything away from us; we don’t lose the resources, jobs or freedoms we are accustomed to as Canadians. But we gain so much more.

I personally know many people who were not born in this country, my own maternal grandparents included. Some of my friends were not born in Canada either; some of them even came to this country as refugees and asylum seekers. I do not see these people as the threats they are made out to be by some. I see them as what they are. Canadians.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.