We cannot give in to fear

Former U.S. president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his first inaugural address, spoke these words: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Current U.S. President Barack Obama carried a similar message when he spoke Sunday night from the Oval Office.
“Let’s make sure we never forget what makes us exceptional. Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear,” he said.
Both were sobering sentences. FDR was speaking about the huge depression that was gripping the world. On Sunday, Obama was speaking about the fear that is gripping much of the population of the U.S. following the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif.
During our last federal election, one party focused on the issue of ISIS and its potential impact on life in Canada—preying on the worry that Canadians will experience terrorist attacks in our country.
The winning party, on the other hand, looked to a brighter future for Canadians. The “Sunny Ways” theme of the Liberal Party—spearheaded by leader Justin Trudeau—sold Canadians on their future.
Following the attacks in Paris and now San Bernardino, with Canada looking to accept 25,000 refugees from Syria, a bit of hysteria has developed among Canadians.
Some fear they’re in a full battle between Muslims and non-Muslims. Daily across Canada, our media are fed with the campaign rhetoric of U.S. Republican presidential hopefuls who stoke the fires of fear over bringing refugees to America.
Nothing can be further from the truth. In Canada, we have no record of a refugee landing in Canada ever having created a terrorist attack.
As now Prime Minister Trudeau said Monday, Canada is a country of diversity—welcoming people of all faiths and all nationalities, without regard to sexual orientation, to Canada.
We, as a nation, do not fear our differences but welcome them. We celebrate that we are Korean Canadians, French Canadians, Italian Canadians, Métis, First Nation, Jewish Canadians, and more.
We have accepted into Canada people from more than 200 different nations, and each group has contributed to our growing culture of diversity.
One only has to travel on public transportation in any large Canadian city, or attend any college or university, to see and listen to the variety of languages being spoken.
Our country’s youth experience our diversity in everything they do in schools and in the workplace. As a nation, we are richer of our diversity, which has welcomed refugees fearing violence, economic stress, and oppression.
We cannot give into fear.

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