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Don’t stoop to their level

Dear sir:

As a concerned dual citizen of Canada and the United States, I write this letter to fellow citizens of these two great nations.

I felt shock, horror, anger, and sadness as I watched the tragic events unfold in New York City and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11. Following those horrific attacks, I have watched with sadness, disappointment, and anger as other persons have perpetuated their own acts of terror and hatred against Arab, Muslin, and Southeast Asian Canadians and Americans.

As a biracial (Ojibway and Caucasian) woman, I have strong reactions against injustices committed based on racial, cultural, and religious differences. The anger we feel must not be oriented toward entire people groups.

Certain individuals are responsible for these heinous crimes and our own ignorance of Islam and Mid-Eastern peoples and cultures is no excuse for committing acts of hatred against persons of those groups.

Such acts only reveal our own capacity to become agents of terror.

All non-Muslim, non-Arab, non-Southeast Asian Canadians and Americans must help protect our Muslin, Arab, and Southeast Asian brothers and sisters from hate. Publicly and privately condemn hateful, racist attitudes. Treat persons who have become “hate targets” with kindness and compassion. Report criminal acts of hatred to authorities.

We must not stoop to the level of terrorists who attack our freedom.

To those who feel we should rid our countries of all “those people,” may I remind you that, with the exception of First Nations/aboriginal people, we are all immigrants. It is neither practical nor desirable for all non-indigenous persons to leave the continent.

These countries are now home to us all regardless of our country of origin. May God grant us comfort and peace.

Miigwetch,

Deborah Whetzel

Morson, Ont.

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