Humanity and civility

Re: Rana Zahman’s June 23 opinion piece, “A serving of white privilege.”

I was moved by the eloquence and fairness of his piece. You could feel her muted anger. The description of the situation was fair and balanced, even including a small degree of empathy for the server who ignorantly treated Ms. Zaman with such disdain.

It would have been easy for Ms. Zaman to assume a position of high dudgeon and vitriolically assail not only the server but the whole of the “white race.” Instead, she weaves a compelling tale of discrimination (whether conscious or not — really doesn’t matter which) and her strong moral reaction to it.

Rather than writing to pick a fight, she writes to start a reasoned and probing debate, if not soul-searching. Too bad it is not so within the precincts of politics and media.

Thank you, Ms. Zaman for both your humanity and civility. When someone screams at you for your real or imagined transgressions, you stop listening and reflexively retaliate. When someone presents a strong case with reason, objectivity and just a tinge of emotion, the natural tendency is to listen, learn and reply in an equally measured and reasoned manner. We can all learn and potentially grow from this very important example.

Bruce Evans, Los Angeles (formerly from Nova Scotia)

Made a meal of it

While Rana Zaman makes a very important point in her June 23 opinion piece, I felt that, at the same time, she worried the subject to a ragged end and turned into a bully.

This woman is a waitress. She stated that she had just finished a long double shift, dealing with people all day — it’s her job. She apologized, and well she should — discrimination is wrong — but then, Ms. Zaman kept at her for answers. What are you — a psychologist? What else do you want, for her to wash your feet or something?

I am getting very tired of visible minorities constantly moaning about every single slight — supposed or real. I’m not suggesting that they hang back by any means. Discrimination is an evil part of society — handle it as firmly as one can, but don’t turn it in to an emotional beating. In a horrible way, Ms. Zahman fared better than some. I have faced bigotry all my life — I am a Jew.

K. Coons Eddy, Milton

C.B. death probe fishy

Re: “Lawyer: Many questions in C.B. youth’s death” (June 23 story). A mother grieves for her son and is given the runaround. When Cape Breton Regional Police decided not to give a breathalyzer test to a driver who has just run over and killed a 17-year-old, and when the investigators say it’s OK, one has to wonder if someone knows someone who knows someone. I believe SIRT should be investigating along with Cape Breton Police, but, just like in many other instances, this will be swept under the carpet.

R. Lane, Truro

Bring in SIRT

Why isn’t SIRT investigating the actions of the police in the handling of the death of the young person killed by a car following a drinking party in Cape Breton?

Isn’t that a part of their job?

G. Harris, Halifax

Mindless Commons votes

Re: your June 23 editorial, “Party discipline / Not a peep from Grit MPs.” It’s been a long-standing practice, common to all political parties, for MPs to vote the way of the party or suffer the consequences. And as the next party is elected, we complain again that members won’t vote on matters that their constituents would like; rather they toe the party line.

I say this because a major vote was held in the Commons in December 2017 against reintegrating ISIS fighters back into Canadian society, which has not been mentioned much in the media. Every single Liberal MP voted against this Opposition motion. How much power and fear does the House whip have in order to make you comply, knowing a large part of your constituents are present or ex-military members?

And when I emailed Nova Scotia MPs Andy Fillmore, Darrell Sampson and a few others, not a single one responded. It is one thing to toe the line on certain matters; then there is new level of lunacy to vote on something that is completely insane. My guess is, these MPs are hoping the media continues to neglect this.

Rob Hazel, East Lawrencetown

Hard line backfires

Supporters of Donald Trump’s “Build the wall!” mantra are fond of quoting Robert Frost’s famous poem, Mending Wall: “Good fences make good neighbours,” while ignoring the first line, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” In a fascinating example of the law of unintended consequences, retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Leonard Chapman became head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 1972 and immediately set about the task of tightening up what he saw as lackadaisical enforcement of the law. The paradoxical result was that illegal immigration actually became worse.

Before Chapman’s reforms, net immigration was quite low. Migrants would come to the U.S. looking for work but eventually return home to their families, a process called “circular migration.” When crossing the border became more difficult, migrants simply sought out other points of entry. They then stayed for fear of being detained if they tried to go back home. Eventually they sent for their families and settled permanently in the U.S. as illegals, with their children becoming today’s “Dreamers.” Circular migration came to an end.

The Trump administration’s attempts to further lock down the border may very well have a similar effect. Migrants will still find ways to cross over to do jobs that Americans do not want to do and will then stay.

Ben Robertson, Windsor

United against Trump

When U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shook hands in Singapore, it was called “the summit of the century.” In reality, it was two of the biggest liars in the world talking with no witnesses except the translators.

Kim had it right when he called Trump a dotard — “one whose intellect is impaired by old age,” according to my Webster’s Dictionary. It is hard to believe that a U.S. president would flatter North Korea’s brutal dictator, thinking he’d get a Nobel Peace Prize.

Rep. Bob Corker called the GOP leaders “cult-like,” scared to poke the bear. Republican Sen. John McCain was one of the first to offer support for Canada after Trump put tariffs on steel and aluminum. The one good thing about this is that all of Canada’s political parties are united for the good of Canada.

With the amazing Chrystia Freeland fighting for us, Canada will win and Trump will be impeached as he makes Richard Nixon look like an angel.

Brian Baxter, Bridgewater

Good low-life location

Apparently, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are looking for a place to meet and negotiate. May I humbly suggest they both go to hell.

G. MacLeod, Dartmouth