If every group is focused on hating each other, nobody will notice how the country is being tricked and robbed by those in power.
Imagine for a moment that a former highly-placed official in the PMO of a Conservative government Tweeted that it “may be understandable” for people to burn down Mosques in response to historical grievance.
What do you think would happen?
They would be shredded by the media, ripped by the other parties – and their own party – and likely driven out of political life entirely.
It would be a huge media story, and would probably dominate the headlines for a week.
The Conservatives would be pressured into apologizing repeatedly, demonstrating abject contrition and political correctness, and would still be slammed as ‘bigots’ regardless.
And yet, things seem quite different when Gerald Butts said the burning of Churches “may be understandable.”
Here’s what Gerald Butts said when responding to journalist Terry Glavin asking if he was defending the “burning churches is cool” crowd?”
“So Gerry, defending the “burning churches is cool” crowd?”
So Gerry, defending the "burning churches is cool" crowd?
— Terry Glavin 格立文 (@TerryGlavin) July 6, 2021
“No Terry, it is not. Though it may be understandable.”
No Terry, it is not. Though it may be understandable.
— Gerald Butts (@gmbutts) July 6, 2021
What makes Butts comments so stunning – aside from the way he seems to just flippantly dismiss hateful acts against centres of religious faith – is how what he says differs from what many Indigenous People are saying.
Speaking ‘for’, rather than ‘with’
Butts’ remarks are an example of how many of the progressive ‘elites’ would rather speak ‘for’ Indigenous people rather than ‘with’ Indigenous People.
A great example of that is in how discussions of the energy sector and resource projects end up going. The many Indigenous groups that often support the projects are regularly ignored or attacked by the left, while much of the media and the progressive elites act as if the only legitimate Indigenous voices are the ones that take a left-wing, anti-resource development position.
Now, with the attention of much of the nation focusing on Residential Schools, many progressive elites are again glad to speak ‘for’ Indigenous People and encourage the destruction of Churches, as Harsha Walia of the BC Civil Liberties Association recently did.
As noted by Melissa Mbarki, those seeking to incite attacks on Churches must be asked “When did hate crimes become a solution to an already horrific situation?”
“Who gives @HarshaWalia or the @UBCIC the RIGHT to promote or support the burning of churches on behalf of residential school survivors? When did hate crimes become a solution to an already horrific situation?”
Who gives @HarshaWalia or the @UBCIC the RIGHT to promote or support the burning of churches on behalf of residential school survivors? When did hate crimes become a solution to an already horrific situation? https://t.co/RgiXVCYz4h
— Melissa Mbarki (@MelissaMbarki) July 6, 2021
As I’ve noted repeatedly, there are indeed some clear and easy solutions to improve the lives of many Indigenous People in Canada.
First, there needs to be an acknowledgment that there is no such thing as a singular ‘Indigenous voice’ in the nation, since there are many Indigenous communities with different styles of governing, different ideologies, and different leaders. Treating all Indigenous People and groups as some unified mass is foolish and counterproductive.
Second, we can start by showing an actual focus on people living within Canada, rather than foreign countries. We should slash our $5 billion foreign aid budget and redirect much of that money towards finally ending all the boil water advisories on First Nations in this country.
It is absolutely absurd and frankly insulting that the government expects us to believe that we can afford to give away billions of taxpayer dollars to foreign countries, yet somehow can’t build and maintain basic water infrastructure within our own country.
Slashing our foreign aid budget and using that money to end boil water advisories would go a long way towards sending a clear message that Canada is actually focused on solutions, rather than the pathetic game the politicians play of going on TV, crying, acting out some performative emotion and guilt-ritual, and then going back to doing nothing to fix real issues.
Action over feelings
And this comes down to what is one of the most important fundamental difference in politics in Canada as of late in terms of communication and planning:
Action vs feelings.
Many Canadians, including myself and likely you if you are a regular reader of this site, are more action-oriented, in that you think we should be trying to address problems rather than endlessly going through cycles of emotion about them.
However, much of the political establishment – certainly the Liberals, NDP, and some limited elements of the CPC – is feeling-oriented, in that they seem to truly believe that the most important thing is to go through very public displays of emotion – usually sadness and guilt – and that that is somehow accomplishing something.
We see it repeatedly, and it’s filtered throughout society, including with the ‘land acknowledgments’ where people say they are on ‘unceded territory,’ yet of course don’t plan to give the land to anyone else, or uproot cities, or eliminate municipal/provincial governments. It’s all about saying the right combo of words, feeling good, virtuous, and ‘progressive,’ and then moving on without actually doing anything.
And, adding to the perpetuation of emotional responses, the left is now often adding ‘anger’ and ‘incitement’ to their repertoire, as can be seen in the push to tell people that burning down Churches is somehow ‘ok.’
By contrast, people like us likely look at the situation and think, “wouldn’t it make more sense to put real resources towards ending boil water advisories, creating jobs, and building wealth and opportunities in those Indigenous communities that are struggling, rather than repeatedly focusing on the past and generating new cycles of anger and sadness that don’t actually solve problems?”
Moving beyond manipulation
The fact is, with much of Canada now increasingly unaffordable for regular Canadians, with inflation surging, with the cost-of-living being deliberately driven higher, with the elites buying up larger swathes of our increasingly unaffordable cities, and with opportunities being denied to younger generations of Canadians, the last thing the elites want is for Canadians to focus on how our country and our opportunities are being robbed from us.
So, a focus on direct anger at the past, and seeking to divide Canadians into Indigenous and Non-Indigenous factions is the ‘perfect’ way for the elites to manipulate people and distract attention.
We must move beyond that, and avoid playing into that divisive and counterproductive game.
Our country needs to start waking up and realizing when we are being manipulated, and move beyond endless performative emotional displays and focus on real actions that help make our country a better, wealthier, and more unified place for all of us.
Photo – YouTube