Monday, May 22, 2006

Gwyn Morgan: the merits

In my previous post, I neglected to address the merits of the opposition's rejection of Gwyn Morgan as Commissioner for Appointments. I agree that this needs to be a non-partisan post. But that isn't really what matters. What matters is whether someone should be denied the opportunity of public service if, in the course of a speech supportive of higher immigration levels for economic reasons, they say something like this:

Immigration has a social side as well as an economic one. The social side is all too evident with the runaway violence driven mainly by Jamaican immigrants in Toronto, or the all too-frequent violence between Asian and other ethnic gangs right here in Calgary.

It is hard to see what part of this is even susceptible to reasonable dispute, let alone evidence of racism. Immigration clearly does have a social side, as well as an economic one. While economics argues strongly for higher immigration levels, we need to make sure that the society can assimilate the quantity of immigration without such damage to its own fabric that the reason that Canada is an attractive place is lost.

Dozens of gang shootings, including the death of a young woman shopping on Yonge Street at Christmas, could reasonably be characterized as "runaway violence", particularly given Canada's long, and smug, comparison of its own rates of violent crime with those of the Great Republic.

And the fact is that the shooting spree was the work of Jamaica immigrants. That doesn't mean that all Jamaican immigrants should be tarred with some brush. It does not require some Rushton-style theory of genetic propensities to violence. But it does suggest that there are cultural patterns, originating in countries of origin, that continue here. No one with either common sense or specialized knowledge has ever denied such a thing, but if you want to study it further, it would be worth reading Thomas Sowell's Ethnic America or Amy Chua's World on Fire.

Jamaicans have contributed enormously to Toronto. Caribana is a lot more fun than the Orange Day Parade was. But, unfortunately, the Canadian elite is in a pre-Moynihan state of unwillingness to talk about cultural pathologies in particular ethnic groups. Of course, this doesn't do our aboriginal or Jamaican people any good, but it allows smug bourgeois whites to feel even smugger.

If Canada lost the services of Gwyn Morgan for that reason, I am willing to understand Harper's anger.

Update:An astute reader has noticed that I stillhaven't addressed the merits of Gwyn Morgan's failure to be ratified, but only addressed whether he should be penalized for this particular speech. True enough, and not likely to be remedied. After all, who really cares who the Appointments Commissioner for the Federal government is?


Anonymous said...

And what will it take to end the slaughter in TO? A moratorium on Jamaican immigration, obviously. Sound harsh? Consider the alternatives: the Peggy Nashes of this world call for years of study and querulous debate into whether Jamaican-Canucks are the victims of systemic racism in our country (I doubt it, but who knows?) or whether the brutal circumstances of Jamaica make its diaspora pick up weapons again and again (probably, but who knows?) An American-style racial ruckus ensues, with tireless editorialising and accusations from all sides, hapless governments pouring zillions into obviously-useless "community development" and "anti-racism education" programmes. Nothing ever actually changes: the slaughter in the streets continues, because Canadians are too nice to say something as simple as this: we don't know exactly why the Kingston-T.O. axis has become such an axis of crime and murder (we probably never will know why); but it has, we all know it, and the solution is obvious. I mean, God forbid we actually *fix* a problem; dozens of dead in the streets every year are a small price to pay for being able to say to ourselves, we would *never* offend this valuable part of the multicultural mosaic. What fucking *ever.* Our immigration relationship with this country is BROKEN, we are no longer willing to be good sports about it, and we should end it, right now.

PithLord said...


For any country fortunate enough to be a desirable place to go, its immigration policy has to involve setting out criteria choosing who can come.

I think those criteria should be designed so that we are choosing people likely to be peaceful, bourgeois residents. I would vastly prefer that the criteria be neutral with respect to country of origin. I don't see how you can start saying that some countries are forbidden sources of immigration without effectively making race a part of public policy.

BTW, there are lots of reasons that organized crime is going to be ethnically-based. The Godfather movies make the point, as does transaction cost economics. Basically, a sub-group that cannot easily trust and communicate with the police, and which has close family networks is going to generate organized crime.

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