Next stop for Justin's apologia train are Canada's Italian community. In today's Globe and Mail, Patrick Luciani says "no thanks."
Today, political apologies are another way of always having to say you’re sorry. In 1990, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney gave a full apology to Canadians of Italian descent for the internment of Italians during the Second World War. That apology was repeated in 2005 when then-prime minister Paul Martin planned to pass a bill and $2.5-million to educate Canadians about the federal government’s wartime measures against Italians. That bill was never passed with the election of Stephen Harper in 2006. Now Justin Trudeau wants to make it a hat trick with another apology similar to the one given to Japanese and Ukrainian Canadians.
Mr. Trudeau’s motives are so apparent to be almost risible. His Liberal Party of Canada has always counted on the loyalty of Italian Canadians; now the Prime Minister needs to lock down their support in October’s coming election.
But apologizing to our community – I count myself a member, being a first-generation Italian-Canadian – is wrong for two reasons.
The first is that Canada was not wrong or malicious in its intention to protect the country in a time of war. To have done otherwise would have shown an extraordinary dereliction of duty to Canada and its people.
...Second, politically-motivated apologies only infantilize a people with the status of victimization. Our modern political culture is perpetually searching for victims and programs to compensate them with pandering sympathy and false reconciliation. Too often we look to the state to correct the ills of the past by acknowledging that the sins of our ancestors have to be made right so that we can “move on” or find some undefined “closure” for the suffering of past generations.
That kind of apology isn’t worth having; it distorts history and weakens the bonds between past immigrants and their country. Our generation is not responsible for what our Canadian ancestors did or didn’t do. Judging the past with the eyes of the present will never let us truly understand our history. Asking Canadians today to apologize for the judgments of their grandparents, and yes, we are talking predominately about Anglo-Saxons, is an insult to their children and those immigrants who willingly came to this country for a better life.
...Do Italian-Canadians really want to join the line of those demanding an apology after everything this country has given them? Do we Italian-Canadians just want a psychic handout to salve our wounded pride? And how can we as Italian-Canadians ask for an apology when 5,000 Canadian men and boys are buried in cemeteries throughout Italy who died to rid “our” ancestral home of fascism and Nazism.Amen.