This Canadian takes umbrage

I am quite surprised and disappointed in Lisa Andrews article dated September 26, 2006.

I am a current resident of these Islands and have been for the past 17 years.

As is the case with any foreigner moving to another nation the process of assimilation and acceptance is a two-way street and the positive or negative experience is usually based directly on the effort each of us makes in adopting our new home. It is obvious that Ms Andrews did not have a positive experience in her relationship with either the Island or its people but to generalize to the point of assuming that all foreigners are treated the same way is bordering on its own form of vindictiveness and perhaps even paranoia.

She states that she was reminded on a daily basis that she was not Caymanian and would never be able to make Cayman her permanent home.

Perhaps in her particular case this is true and perhaps not. This is nothing more than an inflammatory remark and serves no purpose other than to distort reality. In my 17 years I have never heard of any Caymanian using those remarks on a daily basis especially directed at any particular individual.

Either way she should not presume to know the state of all Cayman and expat relationships on these Islands.

Being a Canadian as well I am embarrassed that Ms Andrews seems to think that Canadians happily open their arms to diversity, change and new immigrants and she wishes to judge other nations and their people based upon this obvious misconception. Canada is indeed a prosperous and generous nation but I believe it is naïve for any foreign national not to recognize the human weaknesses and foibles of their own nation.

Perhaps Ms Andrews is not willing to accept the French/English biases in Canada which have existed over the past 150 years, or the political and social issues facing the indigenous native populations, or the sometimes biased comments against Asians in Vancouver or middle easterners in Toronto or for the that matter maritimers in Alberta etc. etc.

The point is, all societies have their strengths and weaknesses, all nations have felt threatened at one point or another by foreign nationals, all persons have individual biases either real or perceived. It is important to understand that this Canadian takes umbrage with obvious over generalized and simplistic comments about Cayman and indeed Canada.

Peter O’Leary

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