Laurier in Chain e-mails on Immigration

You have to be careful about believing everything you get by e-mail. I’ve seen a chain e-mail being sent around lately that includes this picture:

and with this quote:

 

‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes a Canadian and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet a Canadian, and nothing but a Canadian…
There can be no divided allegiance here.
Any man who says he is a Canadian, but something else also, isn’t a Canadian at all.
We have room for but one flag, the Canadian flag…
And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the Canadian people.’
Wilfrid Laurier 1907

and it’s all being attributed to Wilfrid Laurier.
This bothered me because it didn’t sound like Laurier at all. I did some investigation and, unless he was copying word for word from Roosevelt and substituting ‘Canadian’ with ‘American’, it is not true.

Here’s the real quote:

‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.’
– Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Notice how the plagiarist excluded the phrase “We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…” He or she obviously took that out because Laurier, being French Canadian, would never say that.

And the picture is clearly Teddy Roosevelt. The picture is famous and is easily seen when you google ‘Teddy Roosevelt’ for images. This picture is posted on this U.S. history blog. I gather that this is circulating around as a chain e-mail in the States too. But in their case Roosevelt did actually write these words although I don’t think he actually said them in the picture (see this site for more).

Also, we didn’t have a Canadian flag until 1965. We used the Canadian Red Ensign before.

And I’m not the first to point this out: see here.

About tgrignon

I came I saw I rented the DVD
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