Racism is bad for you — Directors needed

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The plot of this play is reality-based.

The beginning of the play is now, the year 2008, but moves back to Canada in the 1910s and then forward into a we-all-hope-not Canada of 2030.

The characters are all Canadian. They are identified here by gender, age, religion, ethnic origin, or job for the purposes of character-building within the demands of the plot.

The proposed play’s plot thesis is that racism is a moral crime for which all of society eventually pays. The author hopes that some directors will realize its potential on stage to be an effective educational presentation for schools or universities.

While coming to their opinions in different ways, the core characters all believe that Canada should restrict the number of immigrants it accepts from non-European countries, especially the Muslim ones.

Each character argues that non-whites — especially Muslims — do not integrate well into Canadian society and therefore pose a significant problem to “our way of life.” To those who are skeptical about their opinions, all three main characters advance a supporting argument that “small is beautiful” and besides, immigrants do not add much to Canada’s economy anyway (a lie that surfaces later in the plot).

After the three key characters lead an intensive lobbying campaign to the federal government to get their restrictive immigration viewpoint across, the Canadian government responds in their favour (this is already happening in real-life): the minister of immigration is given wide-ranging powers to select immigrants based on who the minister thinks should be admitted at the time. There would be no recourse for applicants who had met immigration requirements, but happened not to fit what the immigration minister wanted.

Let us call the characters A, B and C. All are males, although the director of this play can easily find real life Canadian female characters by doing a web search using key words like “Islamophobia,” “anti-immigrants,” “anti-multiculturalism,” etc.

Character A is a white Christian immigrant from a European country who is a university professor. Character B is a second-generation Jewish white male from an immigrant family, a reporter-turned-writer. Character C is a Muslim immigrant from India, also a university teacher.

None of the three feel that the “racist” label fits them at all, but they do tend to seek out and keep friends who think as they do. The three have done a number of writing projects together and meet regularly to work on their biggest undertaking so far –” promoting immigration restrictions. Their shared viewpoint has in fact become their obsession.

They form a small advocacy organization, create a web page, give public lectures, and publish books, papers and articles.

They are adamant in their mission: they do not want Canada to change.

They do not want to see their country become a socially chaotic nation that allows citizens (this is not a fabrication) to eat dogs as food, or chew Qat leaves for stimulation in place of good old “I am Canadian” beer. One of the three will say, “Canadians don’t care what immigrants eat, until someone decides to barbecue man’s best friend.” The other two characters think this is a brilliantly clever point.

The three see themselves as mainstream Canadians and do not feel that recent-arrival minorities should have the right to vote or lobby the government for social change “like white folks do.”

Another of the characters is heard to comment; “I like your argument when you say that the recent threat of jihadist terror has brought to the fore the dangerous nexus between large-scale immigration and limited levels of integration among Muslims in Canada.”

Because no Muslim has ever been convicted in a Canadian court of law on terrorism charges, however, the three are prepared to look at what all the “experts” say, but still declare “Muslims are a danger anyway.”

The three characters in fact believe themselves to be sufficiently expert on the subject of immigration and express their opinions freely and often. But one day a young university student takes offense and confronts them with some hard facts during a public lecture: they are no experts on immigration.

Undeterred in their position, the three state publicly that: “We have been victimized by those who accuse us of being anti-immigrant, xenophobic, or alarmist. This is not true: we all love to eat shawarma and sweet-and-sour chicken.”

The play would include a flashback to the year 1910, when the Canadian government gave itself the right to exclude “any immigrant who belonged to any race deemed unsuited to the climate or requirements of Canada” –” this is a factual historical quote –” as well as the right to deport anyone found to be politically or morally unfit. The legislation of 1910 was specifically enacted to exclude non-Europeans, Jews, Blacks and Asians.

During this historical flashback, actors from Canadian visible minorities may articulate on stage the human suffering that resulted from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923; the Order in Council prohibiting the immigration of members of the "Negro race" of 1911; the 1930 legislation excluding "any immigrant of any Asiatic race"; and the "None is too many" policy applied to Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War.

The play would then fast-forward to the year 2030, in which we encounter a Canada whose society has been profoundly re-shaped by the “successful” efforts of the three original characters. Very few –” far too few — immigrants have been admitted during the intervening 22 years. All three characters (A, B and C) now face old age in situations they’d never imagined.

The Muslim professor from India discovers that there is no specialized surgeon available in Canada to operate on his brain tumor. Then he flies back to his almost-forgotten homeland to seek treatment from a world-renowned brain surgeon. She tells her patient that a decade earlier her application to immigrate to Canada was refused; a woman wearing a hijab was not on the minister’s preferred list.

The Jewish writer ends his days in an understaffed old age home, where he commits suicide out of sheer despair and loneliness.

The Christian university teacher is shown the door long before his planned retirement. He is denied the job he loves most, teaching young students; but with the nation’s stagnant birth-rate there are none to teach. He ends up in a mental institution.

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