Todays blog is about something a little different. Many of you may already know, I spent about a year living in Canada. I have been back home now for about two years. I wanted to write this about the many misconceptions, above and below the border. I like most Americans, had no real idea of what Canada or the people were really like. I had this false idea that all Candians were peace loving friendly people. This could not have been a more naive thought, as anyone of any age.
Because, they are one of our closest alies, I believed I would be accepted there. That did not prove to be the case. I learned alot from my experience, and its one I would not care to do again, unless I had no choice. Let me begin, at the begining, my husband is from Canada. I had no idea the amount of Candians that were clearly prejudice against Americans. It is a common problem. One that I will never forget, even as a old women, if the great spirit sees fit to allow me to become old.
The people of Canada, and a mixed lot of races, just like us. However, the average white Candian is has preconcieved ideas about Native Peoples, and Americans. That is the sad truth. Naitve Peoples there are seen as a lesser form of life, and Americans fall into that same catagory. We are thought to be barbarians, war hungry people. Who only care for ourselves, we are thought to all carry guns and kill people, just because we want to. They believe we are spoiled, and arrogant. Its true, I heard the words, when they did not know I was American. You see, if I did not speak I looked just like them. It was only when I talked, it came to light I was from the southern United States. Before that, the spoke freely about us, as if it was no secert.
One lady, in a store asked my husband if he had a new friend. We were not married yet, and he replyed “yes:. She then asked where I was from and when he said America, she replyed’ Oh, No!” It was almost as if I had a diesease that would rub off. For a long time, I tried to understand why one of our closest alies would hate us so? It was then, that I discovered the answser, I am sure if any of you are from Canada reading this, you will not like my answer.
It is plain and simple “arrogance”. They are exactly what we are accused of, looking down thier noses at us. I was looked at as if, I was not good enough to wipe thier boots. It is sad by true. My Mother in Law, does not even call me by name. She calls me “that women”. You see in her eyes, I am no more than a annoying american. I may pull out the gun I don’t even own and shoot them. They believe that there is no better way than the Candian way, and that is to live in a socialist government who cares for thier every need.
I do not exaggarte about this. Health care is not free, you pay for it, but you pay very little, about $70.00 per month for 6 people. Women are paid to stay home and have children, they normally do not work unless, they have no children or husband. The govenment sends them a check every month, called “child tax credit”. Now, this is not welfare as we know it, but comes with no strings attached. You do not work it off, or repay it. It is yours, courtsey the Candian government. Any mother can get this and does, even if the father working making $500.00.00 a year. Your husbands income does not affect the money the government pays you.
To your average american this probley sounds crazy, but google it, you will see I am telling the truth. This is not satire. I can say the amount of wealth is great, and poverty is not something most have ever seen. To them, poor is a home with at least three bathrooms, (one for each child), and a new car and house worth anywhere from two hundred thousand to a coll million, Right before we can back to the states, a freind of mine told my husband be sure to get a house with running water. My husband thought she was joking. He did not believe we had people here with no water.
When the truth finally came to light, he was in such shock that his true red Canadian colors began to show. It was then, I saw just how deep the prejudice ran. His responce was that he blamed the people who lived that way, not the goevernment, not anyone but those who could not help it. It is sad the way they think of us, and we have no idea, how they really feel unless you live among them. Through my silence I learned, just how hated Americans are in other countries. We normally think Canada is much like the U.S. But it is not, the television stations are controlled by the government, they do not have news reporters chasing people for news. What is reported, is controlled by the government.
That is the main reason, we do not hear bad things about Canada. Bad things are not talked about, unless its something bad about America. Then you can bet, it will be on the news. But one day I remember very clear, 20 or so swat trucks drove by our home. There was so kind of standoff up the road. This lasted hours, and how much was reported? None…. Not one word, nothing in the paper, or on the radio, nothing on the t.v. But, every esipsode of “cops” was broadcasted nightly.
I understand, that just because of sear ignorance, many Canidans do not know how we really are. I also understand that when they are told, it makes no difference. The choose to think of us as the wicked people who live below thier border. No amount of talking will make any difference. I know because it is a battle I deal with everyday, one that I can never begin to understand. Mostly because, I think if someone is shown the truth, they should at least consider it. But prejudice, comes with a very closed mind, and it will not let in, even one drop of light.