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Finally, something in the news this week doesn’t make me ashamed to be a white woman living in a first world country.

ARTICLE: Plane carrying Syrian refugees arrives in Toronto http://www.cbc.ca/1.3360154

Call me sappy, I don’t care. Today hit me in the feels…big time. For most of the evening I’ve been watching the news about the Syrian refugees arriving here in Canada, and it’s made me all teary and emotional.

I’ve never been prouder to be a Canadian than I am today. Seeing the new arrivals greeted by friendly, welcoming faces, I can only imagine the sense of relief these families must feel after spending months and years in a frightening kind of shell-shocked limbo. It’s a feel good moment we desperately need to bury the hostile and vicious Islamophobia that’s dominated the news of late, and I’m proud of our media for making this story a priority, and for showing this issue for what it truly is…one of humanity. 

Sure, these particular refugees selected months ago are privately sponsored, not the new wave of government sponsored refugees that our PM promised in his election platform, but they represent something far more important. They’re the first symbol of our return to the humanitarian ideals and values I thought we held dear, and celebrating their arrival provides a much needed dose of anti-hate injected into our mainstream conscious.

For months I’ve watched in horrified disbelief as my fellow Canadians, indeed my fellow human beings all over the world, have espoused some of the most hate filled, racist, xenophobic, and destructive venom I’ve ever heard. What happened to us? Such hateful persecution hasn’t been acceptable since Hitler and his Nazi regime murdered millions of people in the name of similarly twisted principles. It’s disgusting and terrifying that we’re allowing our politicians to take us back to this dark place, and I am worried about the future we’ll have if we continue down this dangerous path.

How we fight back against this growing undercurrent of hate is a topic I’ll leave for another day. Tonight, I simply want to wish our new arrivals all the peace, prosperity, and hope, that we are fortunate enough to enjoy every day in this great country. I have not one doubt that all of these people will end up strong, loyal, and productive members of society who will help us build Canada’s future, and I am thrilled we’re able to offer them the assistance they need to start their lives anew. It isn’t an obligation, it’s a privilege.