We Like to be Different
Because Canada and the United States have the longest unprotected border (stretching 4,000 miles from sea-to-shining-sea), Canadians feel they must protect their ‘identity’ by providing an alternative to the American way of life. We feel it’s the only way that the rest of the world will see that we’re not just ‘north’ Americans.
Take a look at a Toronto tourism video from 2017:
White Bread Mentality
When I was a child, our family ate good, wholesome brown bread. At the time, I equated that with poverty, for some reason, probably because Mom baked the bread herself. All our neighbours had white bread. And in those black and white TV days, the family shows had everyone eating white bread. I thought I was missing out.
Now I understand that this ‘need’ for white bread was mostly driven by advertising. Wonder bread, anyone?
Advertising Leads Our Choices
I’m not sure if the changes in advertising came about because of Trump, but my gut says this might be true. Normally, we would expect to see the white ‘nuclear’ family sitting down to dinner, or enjoying some outdoor activities, or buying a car. But recently, there has been a groundswell of change: we are seeing all sorts of diversity being portrayed on the television, both in Canada and the United States.
There are mixed marriages, not just black and white, but oriental and occidental, children from those unions (adopted and natural), same sex relationships, and hardly any classic white bread.
It turns out that natural wheat is not bleached, nutrition is contained in whole wheat and the more seeds and grains that are added the better. It’s like the hippies have finally infiltrated the ad agencies. (Haven’t you noticed that the music seems to be of a different era?)
Advertising is showing us on a daily basis that it’s okay to be different.
Maxime Bernier got everyone a-twitter here in Canada this week when he posted some thoughts about diversity. It has opened a dialogue about what is really going on in the homes of Canadians.
Are we getting tired of diversity and multiculturalism?
Are we afraid of losing our national identity?
What national identity?
The only thing that we as a country have ever striven for is to be seen as NOT American. That doesn’t qualify as a national identity.
Ken McGoogan, in his book Celtic Lightning demonstrates quite clearly that Canada as a nation was created by the Scots and the Irish. The French were defeated by the English. The Native Canadians were pushed aside. Then the rest of Europe decided to move here, too. In the late 20th century, Asians, Indians, and Hong Kong Chinese followed.
But not one race or ‘tribe’ dominates the national identity. Only our beer: