Saturday, June 14, 2008

Truth, reconciliation and sanctimonious nonsense

There is a wide variety of opinions on the aboriginal residential school program. Some are more generous than others. Talk-radio host John Moore says it was pure evil:

A good number of opinion leaders have done Canadians a disservice in pretending that residential schools were a well-intentioned idea gone wrong.

This is a lie plain and simple. Residential schools were a wicked idea gone wrong. They were not a beneficent attempt to bring Western education to natives but part of an orchestrated program to erase native identity and languages. It was bloodless ethnic cleansing.

While it is true that forcing children away from parents and into distant schools was an arrogant and harsh policy (by today’s standards), he has no grounds whatever for his assertion that the decision makers were "wicked". Wickedness or evil involves conduct in deliberate defiance of prevailing laws and social norms. And, as historian Andrew Roberts observed "Ever since the mid-1830's, the English-speaking peoples had considered it their civilising mission to apply - with varying degrees of force - their values and institutions to those areas of the world they believed would benefit from them." There’s little doubt that the residential schools were well-intentioned.

John Moore’s position is an extreme one. It’s typical of the guilt-ridden, self-loathing, postmodern ‘liberal’ left that believes Western civilization, the one that resulted in their own ultra-fortunate circumstances, was built on greed and exploitation and has no redeeming qualities whatever - and anyone who begs to differ is a liar "plain and simple". Also, he’s claiming a moral superiority over his ancestors - that he would have made wiser, less "wicked" decisions - which is sanctimonious nonsense.


Halfwise said...

What criteria could an observer use to assess either the objective or the means of a policy several generations old?

I think the Judeo-Christian value system and our resulting western civilization is better than other cultures, and see nothing wrong in spreading it. Perhaps others see value in leaving people just as they found them (fine idea but unrealistic) or they believe that other cultures are superior and we should yield to them.

I think that real harm is being done to people TODAY because of TODAY's Indian Affairs practices, including handouts, lack of access to property ownership and general promotion of victimhood as a culture.

Apologies for the wrongs of generations past, and responses from the Aboriginal Industry leaders that these apologies are 'just the beginning, like Holocaust Memorial ceremonies', seem pointless until someone with real stones stands up and says "Yes, and the system is still broken because of our guilt-ridden efforts to fix it."

JR said...

I agree, Halfwise. Not only are the likes of John Moore completely unqualified to judge generations-old decisions they can't come up with real solutions to today's problems, not to mention they're unable to even admit that the 'solutions' they advocate have made things worse.

Brian said...

John Moore is a bigoted fool and a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal. Anyone who believes this guy as an ounce of common sense or political neutrality should listen to his constant rants over global warming , anti-US , anti-Bush , and anti-Harper , anti-conservative crap.

This seems so typical of the hand-wringing left ... for them Joe Whiteman and the West are the source of all evil.

kursk said...

Never heard the voices of the crypto left (like John Moore..) when the Liberals had decades of unopposed governance to rectify this problem, and did not..

It's amazing how many dyed in the wool social engineers come out to criticize Conservative gov'ts over rectifying bad ideas that they themselves had a hand in foisting on the Canadian people..

JR said...

I've never had the 'pleasure' of listening to Moore's radio show but having read his stuff in the 'Post' and these comments, I guess I should be thankful.