Vancouver Zeitgeist
Reflections on Vancouver, British Columbia and other topics, related or not


Canada’s “mass graves” hysteria

A wild interpretation of non-news
increases already extraordinary racial power

July 21, 2021

The unmarked graves at this school have been publicly known since the outset


Like the rest of the West, Canada has been lurching from one supposed crisis of white racism to another, but this country’s specialty remains aboriginal victimology. The most recent hysteria flared up in June with “discoveries” of “mass graves” outside former church-run residential schools for natives. The furor triggered predictably sanctimonious outrage, cancellation of many July 1st Canada Day celebrations, arson attacks that destroyed several dozen churches and international condemnation of a Canadian disgrace supposedly on par with the world’s worst atrocities.

But these aren’t “discoveries.” The existence of the unmarked graves has been publicly known since the time of burial. They weren’t “mass graves” either, but individual plots, or sometimes a niggardly cost-saving two to a plot. Deaths were caused by epidemics like TB or flu, or by individual illnesses. Some of the deceased were teachers or non-natives from the local communities.

In some cases, the lack of grave markers attests to the cheapness of school administrators. In other cases, grave markers went missing as natives allowed the cemeteries on their land to fall into neglect.

Nevertheless, beginning with a dramatic announcement by a white archeologist in June, the “discoveries” pushed native emotional rhetoric to an all-time high. That means yet more guilt dumped on whites and yet more empowerment bestowed on what are, theoretically, Canada’s two most powerful ethnic groups: the Inuit and the people once called Indians. (We don’t have a suitable term for the latter group.)

Even before the grave hysteria, the former boarding schools had been portrayed as relentlessly cruel, racist institutions that left natives emotionally scarred whether they attended the schools or not. Not all of them did, even in the schools’ heyday. The last one shut down in 1996.

A closer look at some specific allegations suggests a type of discipline that wasn’t uncommon in contemporary Canadian schools for working-class whites. Kids could experience verbal abuse, corporal punishment and light, random violence like shoving, kicks, and slaps. More serious violence would sometimes occur, as lower-class whites also experienced. Sexual abuse did happen in certain residential schools at certain times, but its extent has been clouded by dubious allegations that can draw hefty payouts.

There have been some native defenders of the schools, but their viewpoint is now considered blasphemous.

Even if the schools were far from ideal, could they actually explain all native dysfunction? The more important question is whether natives can get over it—or whether they want to.

Over the last few decades natives have risen to the top of Canada’s hierarchy of special interests, but not through their own efforts. Undefined—and therefore almost unlimited—special rights have been bestowed on them by politicians and courts, to the delight of Canada’s establishment. Native benefits include innumerable entitlements, a considerable degree of immunity from criminal law, and vague claims on almost all Canadian territory….

Read the entire article.

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