A few weeks back I took some heat for what was perceived as an “unpatriotic” attack on the Canadian national anthem in flag.
I appreciate the symbolism and historical significance, but I have a real problem with how these symbols are used as a means to shame and fuel hate — often taking the form of bigotry and xenophobia.
Find any story about immigration or refugees and the comments sections will be rife with “real Canadians” claiming superiority over others because they were — by chance — born in Canada.
The Shakespeare quote, “methinks thou dost protest too much” comes to mind when one has to constantly prove to others how patriotic they are.
You own seven Canadian flags and you belt the loudest when our anthem is played at sporting events… we get it.
A “real” Canadian pays their taxes and has a positive impact on their community. That’s it. It’s that easy.
When we talk about shallow patriotism, the United States sets the bar pretty high.
Gymnast Gabby Douglas is as decorated as they come, and with the way Americans idolize and celebrate its elite athletes, surely Gabby is being treated like royalty during the Rio Olympic games…
In fact, #CrabbyGabby was trending on Twitter.
— Angela (@Angipooh) August 10, 2016
See that? See how she had the audacity NOT to hold her hand over her heart during the anthem? Surely that means a lack of disrespect to her teammates and her country!
— terri allen (@terriaj) August 16, 2016
Many of her critics will point to a history of poor sportsmanship, while others, like her mother, say Gabby has been the victim of unprovoked bullying — fuelled in part by race. Douglas felt compelled to send out a Tweet, reiterating how much she loved the red, white and blue:
The logic behind the notion that holding your hand to your heart during your nation’s song is the difference between patriotic and treason is beyond lacking.
Gabby didn’t hold her hand to her heart, I don’t own a Canadian flag and every single day children pick their noses while Canada’s national anthem plays over their school speakers.
Guess what? Our countries didn’t implode and your day to day life is still the same.