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On the Warpath!

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:

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:

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 They have been replaced by rancid outrage and illogical vitriol.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.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Roxana

    When I read Jon Kay’s article in 2018, it felt like a breath of fresh air, after 3 years of being muzzled. I discovered that, while we smashed the Overton window in my home country Romania together with the communism, in Canada it is alive and well and clearly framed. I found out (in uncomfortable conversations with neighbours and even with my Canadian mother in law) that residential schools is such a loaded topic you risk blowing yourself up just by asking ordinary questions, the ones you would expect from a new comer to the country. The main thing that didn’t make sense to me (at the time, mind you), was why would the First Nations (Indians in my childhood Karl May Winnetou books) live on reserves. After I read Jon’s article (which gave me a lot of Aha! moments) and I saw the venom that poured on him for it, I declared this topic the biggest Canadian taboo, aka the tiniest, mouse sized part of our Overton window.

  2. Janice Kelly

    only a white male could have written this, only knowing your own truth and not through the eyes of the those traumatized. You are a shameful human being that in your white privilege even thinks he can write about Indigenous feelings and their truth.

    1. William Gairdner

      Janice, follow your own logic (or absence thereof): If I can only know my own truth, and no one else’s,
      because I am male, then it follows you can only know your own truth, and no one else’s, because you are female. On that silly basis you have shut down all comment and joined the speech police.

  3. Larry

    Janice Kelly states to you Mr. Gairdner only a white male could have written your blog On the Warpath.Actually Janice herself comes across as sexist and anti male and discriminatory against white people according to left wing liberal logic. The western world is thus far the best civilization in human history by a long shot and it was mostly built by white men,the British and Christianity.

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