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Posted on 30 January 2017

So you’ve probably seen posts saying “Don’t normalize this,” or “Don’t let this be normal”. I didn’t really think about them until today.

Earlier today i was going to write a Facebook post saying I’m happy to have Muslim neighbours. Then I stopped myself.

As a journalist i’m not supposed to take a position on controversial issues.

And i found myself thinking, “Is this a position on a controversial issue”?

This is not a question i would have asked myself a year or two ago.

My mind on diversity hasn’t changed, but the world has shifted in a way that what used to be boilerplate “Oh Canada” sentiments seem less so.

So even though my values haven’t changed on this front, in my mind they’ve shifted from fairly innocuous to potentially controversial.

But the sentiment is fairly simple: I’ve grown up with different races and religions and I like living somewhere where that can happen.

I can and will not allow what is going on in the world to make that a part of me that I feel the need to hide for the sake of “neutrality”.

You can’t allow extremists to shift the conversation so that what should be basic human decency becomes somehow partisan.

I believe in the basic humanity of people. I believe we should not allow race or religion or place of birth to divide us. I won’t hide that.

I found my basic values slipping today without me noticing. It scares me that it happened. I hope I catch it if it does again.

Do not allow it to become normal.

Filed under: Best Of, Canada

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