The Canadian Commonwealth eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 281 pages of information about The Canadian Commonwealth.

If you think that shutting your eyes to what you don’t want to know and stopping your nostrils to the stench and gathering your garments up and passing by on the other side ever settled a difficult question, then the Pacific Coast wishes you joy to your system of moral sanitation; but don’t offer the people of the Pacific Coast any platitudinous advice about admitting Asiatics.  They know what they are doing.  You don’t!  Theoretically the Asiatic should have the same liberty to come and go with Canada as Canadians have to come and go with the Orient.  Theoretically, also, the colored man should be as clean and upright and free-and-equal and dependable as the white man; but practically—­in an anguish that has cost the South blood and tears—­practically he isn’t.  The theory does not work out.  Neither does it with the Asiatic.  That is, it does not work out at close range on the spot, instead of the width of half a continent away.

Canada is being asked to decide and legislate on one of the most vital race problems that ever confronted a nation.  She is also being asked to be very lily-handed and ladylike and dainty about it all.  You must not explore facts that are not—­“nice.”  You must not ask what the Westerner means when he says that “the Asiatic will not affiliate with our civilization.”  Is it more than white teeth and pigments of the skin?  Is it more than skin deep?  Had the Old Book some deep economic reason when it warned the children of Israel against mixing their blood with aliens?  Has it all anything to do with the centuries’ cesspools of unbridled vice?  Is that the reason that women’s clubs—­knowing less of such things—­rather than men’s clubs—­are begged to pass fool resolutions about admitting races of whose living practices they know absolutely nothing?

If it isn’t the labor unions and it isn’t the fear of new national power that prejudice against the Oriental—­what is it?  Why has almost every woman’s club on the Pacific passed resolutions against the admission of the Oriental, and almost every woman’s club in the East passed resolutions for the admission?  Why did the former Minister of Labor in Canada say that “a minimum of publicity is desired upon this subject”?  What did he mean when he declared “that the native of India is not a person suited to this country”?  If the native Hindu is “not a person suited to Canada”—­climate, soil, moisture, what not?—­why isn’t that fact sufficient to exclude the Oriental without any legislation?  Italians never go to live at the North Pole.  Nor do Eskimos come to live in the tropics.

You may ask questions about Hindu immigration till you are black in the face.  Unless you go out on the spot to the Pacific Coast, the most you will get for an answer is a “hush.”  And it would not be such an impossible situation if the other side were also going around with a finger to the lip and a “hush”; but the Oriental isn’t.  The Hindu and his advocates go

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The Canadian Commonwealth from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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