It was a week of despair — and hope. A week of mourning — and faith in resurrection. It was a homecoming to a home that no longer exists. A city that fell victim to an invasion of incomprehensible scale, of overwhelming numbers and laundered money.
Last week I went to Vancouver, the city of my birth, the city where eons ago my grandparents first met, like tens of thousands of other European immigrants. My hope was that I would find traces of their legacy. I knew before my departure that the city had undergone massive and dramatic change in my decade long absence, that it was no longer just the gateway to Asia but a colony of Asia, and that some architectural landmarks had fallen to the wrecking ball of mass immigration and the pressure on land that follows from it. But never did I expect to see this much devastation, nor the ubiquity and predominance of Chinese migrants. No longer were they confined to the inner city and the suburb of Richmond, and other suburbs as well — including the one I grew up in. Every school ground, every sidewalk, every park, every mall was dominated by the Chinese. Not Chinese “Canadians”, but Chinese speaking Mandarin, as well as Cantonese. Their feet stand on Canada, but their heads have a different postal code.
White faces, while comparably few, were not hard to spot. They stood out like light bulbs in a dark room. My grandparents and their children died decades ago, as did the grandparents and parents of White boomer Vancouverites like me. But the question was, where were their great grandchildren? They were rarely seen. No doubt some were taking refuge in their parents basements, but many more were among the White flight refugees who left the city in the vain search for a cheap home and viable employment. City politicians and realtors cited lack of supply as the culprit, but the truth is obvious. Too much demand for too little land.
Developers can build up, or build out, or cram every crevice with infill housing and City Hall can give the green light to laneway housing or duplexes, but all of this is but a delaying action, a self-serving effort to kick the can further down the road. Metro Vancouver cannot sustain an annual input of 60,000 migrants or more forever. But tell a city politician that. Limits to growth? Let the next generation come to terms with it. Incredibly, some civic politicians, like Mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart, welcome the makeover. But the homeless people who adorn the sidewalks and doorways of the city core and couples looking for affordable housing have another opinion.
Progressives insist that the housing crisis and the displacement of indigenous Vancouverites is purely an economic problem. The ethnicity of the displaced and those who displace them is a red herring. Irrelevant. They tell us that race is not the issue and that to make it one is to muddy the waters and provoke unnecessary division. Even those few who understand the concepts of limited carrying capacity and limits to growth are adamant that an immigration debate can only be about numbers.
But they fail to understand human nature. They fail to understand that human beings are a tribal species with a territorial imperative and a built-in affinity for those most like them, and a special attachment to their family and their family writ – large—their ethny or nation. People care about their family history and their roots, and they are keen that their legacy endures. There is a reason that ancestry.com is such a roaring business. Pride in one’s civilization, ethnic or family heritage may be, in Jordan Peterson’s estimation, irrational. But we are not rational beings, nor do we want to be. Group identity is an integral part of who we are. We Westerners cherish individuality but most of us also identify with a group. We are in reality “libertarian communitarians”, notwithstanding our protestations. Most of us do not want to be captured by the Body Snatchers, or cut from our ethno-cultural moorings. We do not want to be rootless cosmopolitans or hollow global citizens of a post-national state. And neither, by the way, do the ‘displacers’, the third world migrants, who show no inclination to check their tribal mindset at the airport. Why should their tribalism be celebrated and subsidized, but ours vilified? Why the double standard? Euro-Canadian aka “White” identity is the tribalism that dare not speak its name.
When Home Is Not Home Anymore
I am an emotional guy. The loss I felt in Vancouver was not exclusive to the architectural demolition of beloved landmarks and character homes. It was equally due to the self-evident demolition of my national culture, of my tribe, of my family and their legacy. It was as if I had returned to the cemetery where my departed ancestors and loved ones rest, only to find that it had been paved over with a shopping plaza bearing Chinese-only signage. When the twin policies of mass immigration and official multiculturalism was launched, I was told that these “New Canadians” would add another brilliant colour to our beautiful multicultural tapestry. Instead I found that along with the “addition” came the “subtraction” or erasure of what had been here before. My ethnic heirloom.
I never knew how profoundly deep my sense of loss was until the second day of my Vancouver trip, when I looked out my hotel window at English Bay. It was then that I remembered seeing a photo of my grandfather wearing a body long swimsuit standing on that very beach near the turn of the 20th century. God, was it that long ago? I left the hotel a few minutes later to take a very long walk through Stanley Park, looking for places I had seen as a boy. I walked for an hour at a slow but steady pace until I reached the lawn at “Lumberman’s Arch”, about 100 metres from the shore. I stopped to survey the scene and when I did, I was beset by a flood of memories. It was at that point that a senior Dutch-born lady and her husband approached me for directions. One sentence and one topic followed another until I began to tell them about the significance of this spot. I explained that for well over a century, working class immigrants met at this place in this park for picnics. They came because it was scenic, but more than that, they came because it was free. I told them that as a boy, I heard every European language spoken here, and that for me, Stanley Park was always Berlitz Park. But when I began to talk about my own family’s picnics here, I began to choke back tears. The Dutch lady told me that it was alright. I could take my time. So I got through it. I told them that it was here that my parents, grandparents and mother’s siblings gave a send-off to my then 19 year old uncle “Al” in August of 1941. He had just come back from his 10 day honeymoon, and he was dressed in his RCAF uniform, ready to travel east to the Commonwealth Air Force Training base in Saskatchewan that very afternoon. After they all said their goodbyes, my father drove Al to the CPR railway station a mile or two away. That was the last they saw of him. Al never came back. He was killed in action three days after D-Day. But for what? So that Canada could be Chinese? So that Vancouver could be a megacity for millionaires only?
Yesterday was not the first Remembrance Day that I thought of the futility of his sacrifice. About the fact that he and many of his Canadian comrades died to preserve the culture and liberties of two peoples, Canadian and British, and a bicultural nation that treasonous politicians gave away without a mandate to do so. But this Remembrance Day that feeling was compounded tenfold, for it came on the heels of a visit to a Vancouver that had been transformed well beyond my worst imaginations. A city “diversified”, densified and demolished beyond recognition. My feelings were a composite of despair and rage. I felt like doing a Charlottesville impression, marching through the streets carrying a torch and shouting “You will not replace us.” But the point is, in most of urban Canada, they already have. And they are not going to go away.
Immigration-enablers, White collaborators and Asian ethnic lobbies would argue that my outpouring is the expression of an old White man steeped in racism and privilege and possessed by a feeling of entitlement. A contemptible remnant of a dying demographic soon to exit the stage. They would argue that as a descendant of White settlers who ‘stole’ native land, I have no moral right to complain about displacement or “ethnic cleansing”. As if two wrongs make a right. They would say that human history is a history of migration, of one wave displacing or replacing a previous one. They would repeat the cliché that Canada is a nation of immigrants and must continue to be so, and that immigrants built this country and are needed to continue the project. But most of all, they would parrot the party line that we are not a nation of two founding peoples, but a diverse range of people from across the world perversely united by their diversity, by their profound differences, by a set of core deracinated “values”. They would say that “old stock” Canadians of British or French descent are just fragments of a “mosaic” that can be held together by the thin glue of civic nationalism. And they would add that any prescription of “ethnic nationalism” is inherently racist and “White supremacist”, words that now seem to form part of every sentence that issues from their mouths.
To them I have but one response: I don’t care what you think.
I know who I am, and sorry Jordan, I am PROUD of the people I came from, as well as their unparalleled achievements. The ethic of individualism was the signature crowning glory of Western civilization, but it was always the product of relatively homogeneous people. As “The Great Replacement” continues on its rampage, it is evident that paradoxically, to rescue individualism, we must act as a collective. And to do that, we must acknowledge and celebrate our distinct identity, not deny it or apologize for it. You say you are a proud Muslim or proud African or a proud First Nations member. I dig that. But I will say that I am a proud Canadian of European descent unashamed of my white skin. Scream at me and I will only double down.
I have voiced my despair, but I can’t leave it at that. I must also tell you about my hope. Before leaving Vancouver, I met ten young men with a vision, and a resolve to pursue it. They were articulate, abundant with insights, and wise beyond their years. They are Identitarians. Clean-cut, fit, strong and masculine. They have a clear idea of what they must do for themselves — and for us. It is about first developing a subculture, a counter-culture that will grow under the radar. The one that will rise like a phoenix from the ashes of a crumbling, collapsing and decadent society on course to mimic the failed states that many of its migrant citizens came from. It is about building character and following a code of conduct that will serve to act as a billboard for their message. That such a group of inspiring young men could have run the gauntlet of relentless Leftist college indoctrination with this vision and comprehensive understanding intact seems miraculous. They radiate hope. It was the antidote I needed. All is not yet lost.
And to think that our meeting and our networking ultimately came about as the result of one game-changing book.
- A Day In Hongcouver Where Locals Are Extras (November 2017)