The Sunday Magazine

Let them in; Where's the poetry in politics?; What is the middle class?; Trump and the Know-Nothings

Michael's essay - "Let Them In": Ireland Park memorializes the waves of refugees who fled the Irish famine. It's a potent symbol of our history of sheltering "the wretched of the earth." Where's the poetry in our politics? Stephen Lewis, Lorna Crozier and Joseph Heath join Michael. "Home", by Warsan Shire: Somali-British poet Warsan Shire's meditation on what it means to be a refugee. What We Talk About When We Talk About The Middle Class - an Ira Basen documentary: Politicians are turning themselves inside out to sound like champions of the middle class. But is anyone in the campaign tackling the real roots of a deep middle class anxiety? Donald Trump and the "Know-Nothing" movement: Historian Eric Foner says Trump's anti-immigrant sentiment is a recurring strand of thought in America.

Michael's essay - "Let Them In": (00:00:34)

Michael visits Ireland Park, with its five bronze sculptures of figures in rags. The gaunt figure memorialize the coming to Toronto in 1847, of some 38,000 Irish refugees, fleeing the potato famine. Canada has a history -- not unblemished -- of taking in the people Frantz Fanon called "the wretched of the earth." We should do so now.

Where's the poetry in our politics? (00:05:45) Politicians are selling themselves as competent fiscal managers. Election platforms promise security and tax credits. But where are the big ideas, the uplifting speeches appealing to the better angels of our nature? Former politician and diplomat Stephen Lewis, poet Lorna Crozier and philosopher Joseph Heath join Michael to discuss why there's no poetry in our politics.

"No one puts their children in a boat unless. . .": (00:49:26) Those words are from "Home", a poem from Somali-British poet Warsan Shire's meditation on what it means to be a refugee. And it has gone viral. The poem is read for us by the great Canadian actress Yanna McIntosh.

What We Talk About When We Talk About The Middle Class - an Ira Basen documentary: (00:53:27) In this election, politicians of all stripes are turning themselves inside out to sound like champions of the middle class. But what is the middle class? Who's in? Who's out? And is anyone in the campaign tackling the real roots of a deep middle class anxiety? 

Donald Trump and the "Know-Nothing" movement: (01:26:26) The leading contender for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination is following in the political footsteps of a mid-19th century party that also strongly opposed immigration. Historian Eric Foner says anti-immigrant sentiment is a recurring strand of thought in America; a response to fears of changing demographics.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now