In a superbly ill-phrased, ill-timed, ill-advised recommendation to young, unemployed Canadians, the Bank of Canada's governor, Stephen Poloz, has told them to "Get some real-life experience even though you're discouraged, even if it's for free." He's all heart, he's pushing this because he knows how "scarring" unemployment can be. It's no gaffe. He's since "doubled down." He's especially infatuated with the term, "scarring," as if it shows how sensitive he is.
Scare headlines about young people becoming "radicalized," going overseas, being transformed into robotic Super Muslims, graduating from Beheading School, and being returned to Canada ready to strike at the heart of our values, freedoms, and traditions have filled the media in the past few months, leading to an upcoming Canadian campaign of bombing Iraq and repressive new legislation to be introduced this week in Parliament.
Given the Fourth Estate's role as stenographer to power, it is unsurprising that the many articles asking "why" young people are attracted to overseas adventures are all playing into the same "blame Islam" game that results in horrible "jihad" headlines, increased fear, and suspicion of anyone who does not look like the CBC's Peter Whitemansbridge.
Mo3, as friends knew him -- Mohamud Mohamed Mohamud -- from Hamilton and long before that Somalia, died this week in Syria, possibly fighting for ISIS. He was 20. He'd been a bright kid, on student council, got involved in religion, then politics. Sounds familiar. Oh wait, that would be me in high school and the years after. These young people aren't monsters and haven't had their brains or bodies snatched. They're going through adolescence. It's dicey.