Nanny State Cultural Sensitivity
When you transform public institutions into bunkers of political correctness and faux diversity, you get a whole new kind of Orwellian dystopia... possibly even more nightmarish than the original. Read on if you dare.
Dear Brittania Preschool Sensitivity Administrators,
We were gratified by your newsletter's kind inclusion of Canadians among the identifiable groups whose exotic – but valid! Completely valid! -- holiday traditions are to be explained to the children this fall. Seeing "Canadian Thanksgiving" nestled in there with Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan and this Iroquois Harvest cannot help but give citizens that warm, unoffended feeling. That said, we have regrettably detected a certain element of non-progressivity in your programme.
Now, consider it understood that other levels of government have shockingly underfunded Brittania; and that therefore your staff of 17 only has a few child hours per week (CHPW) to inculcate all possible cultural understandings into the Callums and Kaylas of modern East End tykehood. Take that as read, friends. You have still shockingly – even offensively – failed to meet Ministry guidelines in this matter of diversity.
As you know or should know, under the "Numbers and Colours" provisions of the Infant Lifestyle Sensitivity Act, only qualified holiday-demonstrating staff at subsidised pre-schools may present materials of a religious nature. And yet we have reliable reports that a Greek-Canadian trainee at your establishment helped contruct a dreamcatcher for a student of Celtic/Italian background! I hope you understand the gravity of the offense this kind of insensitivity may cause. Appreciating diversity, colleagues, doesn't mean we have to be ridiculous.
More seriously, your holiday-expounding protocols show a marked departure from the census demographics of your designated catchment area. Viz., while your action item regarding the prohibition of snacks during pre-school Ramadan is a good one, we strongly suggest the immediate commencement of uninterrupted reading from the Guru Granth Sahib, or Sikh holy book, for however many CHPWs this may take. It may also be a good idea to have the children construct dioramas representing the Towers of Silence, as a large-ish family which follows the prophet Zoroaster has just opened a rather nice restaurant north of Charles Street.
Also, to make your area's children of Wiccan parents (1.2%) feel more included, we suggest that making up something to do with fall's earth spirits would be valid. But please ensure that no cultures are appropriated during any Wiccan unit.
For our next inspection of your practices, we ask that you prepare feedback on our proposal for the upcoming review of holiday-interpretation rules. Viz., we recommend removal of the "giving" portion from the title of the fall gratitude activity celebrated by many in our jurisdiction (or "country.") The policy rationale is that "giving" implies the existence of a deity of a religious nature, and we should instead each fall just give a big old Canadian Thanks.
Ms. A. Functionary,
Ministry of Caring
Contributed by Lyle Neff, a Canadian poet and journalist in Vancouver, British Columbia.