Drums have been beating across Canada! Indigenous sympathizers are on the Warpath over a short blog I posted more than two years ago to the effect that many Canadians have described their years in the Residential school system as very positive. Here is that apparently heretical blog: https://williamgairdner.ca/balancing-the-biased-genocide-story-about-residential-schools/
A national War-Dance kicked up on Wednesday When a teacher at a school in Abbotsford BC asked grade six students to list a few “positive stories” about Canada’s Residential School system. An Indigenous mother in Abbotsford said she began to cry when her daughter asked for help with the assignment. One of the references supplied to the students was a link to my blog, above. Here is the Toronto Star story: https://www.thestar.com/politics/2020/11/25/bc-homework-assignment-asks-for-positive-experiences-with-residential-schools.html
I smelled smoke when my website tallied thousands of visitors and about 6,000 “visits” in just a few hours, and “Anonymous” sent me an email warning: ” I’m just writing you to give you the heads up about a lot of traffic coming your way after today in a middle school in my community. It will be on the news tonight and written in our local news. I support your cause of bringing awareness to alternative views than the mainstream, therefore I feel it necessary to warn you. Please keep up what you do as more of us need to stand up.”
Turns out the story was picked up the same day by every big news outlet in Canada: CBC, the Toronto Star, Canadian Press, Vancouver Sun, and many more. Just browse “B.C. homework assignment” and you can see lots more.
However, even though the title of my blog was repeated almost everywhere, no one in media spoke with me about it, likely because the positive opinions I cited cannot be disputed. Critics have trouble disputing the residential school experience of successful people like Tomson Highway, who said:
“There are many very successful people today that went to those schools and have brilliant careers and are very functional people, very happy people like myself.”
When we were an open society, the main weapons used in public discourse were facts and logic. Alas, in our presently fast-closing society, fact and logic are dangerous to manufactured public opinion. They have been replaced by rancid outrage and illogical vitriol. That’s a shame. A few dozen comments to my original blog came in from those 6,000 visits, almost none of which could be posted because they are either poorly argued, wholly emotional, or quite vulgar, and some are all of those things.