A teepee stands on Parliament Hill during Canada 150 celebrations in Ottawa on Saturday, July 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Justin Tang

Virtue Signalling is Going to Tear Canada Apart

Back in 2012, when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, it was said that this was the point when America started going down a dark path of racial division. Outfits like Black Lives Matter and Antifa came into ascension. Cities such as Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charlottesville became synonymous with racism, hate speech, and white supremacy. There are running battles between masked activists and the authorities. The Police were made the scapegoats and supposedly the cause of much of the unrest. Cops are being hunted and ambushed while being accused of deliberately targeting and shooting Blacks. In general, tensions and polarization in the States have been brought to a boiling point. Statue removal, revisionist history, and virtue signaling are the tools of the Left while the Right is calling for Law and Order, security, and putting Americans First. Democrats are crybaby, Marxist snowflakes suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Republicans are misogynistic, Hitler loving, fascist Nazis. Toss in all the weapons available to the average American and it’s becoming a slippery slope towards another civil war. People are choosing sides and are becoming intransigent and ignorant with respect to other group’s views and life choices.

Canada may be seeing its own Trayvon Martin moment with the case of the shooting death of Colten Boushie during an altercation on Gerald Stanley’s property back on August 9, 2016. Considering the news coverage and how social media has blown up over the recent not guilty verdict, it would be redundant to rehash all the details of the incident and the resultant fallout. Here is CBC’s version of the witness statements for those of you unfamiliar with the pertinent details.

To begin with, there are a few virtue signaling points which should be highlighted:

  • Within the news coverage, it is frequently indicated that Mr. Boushie was a ‘Cree man’ while Mr. Stanley is just a farmer. Most people would agree that the two men should just be referred to as Canadians or perhaps just men. Why is race being hammered to begin with let alone just on one side?
  • Immediately upon hearing of the not guilty verdict, Prime Minister Trudeau and his Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould issued social media comments implying that the trial’s outcome was wrong and that the judge, defense counsel, and the non-Indigenous jury of seven women and five men came to a non-guilty verdict based on race. Politicians should never speak specifically about any case especially when there could be an appeal. Most people would call this political interference with the judicial process in order to game a desired outcome irrespective of the facts and accepted law.
  • Immediately upon the not guilty verdict, PM Trudeau, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould have taken meetings with members of Mr. Boushie’s family who have flown out to Ottawa. The family wants to talk about justice for their son and relative and how the jury system should be changed with respect to putting more Indigenous people into the system. Are the representatives advocating for self-defense rights or stand your ground legislation getting the same high level political access?
  • GoFundMe pages for both the Stanley and Boushie families have been set up. The media is calling the Stanley fund raiser a ‘scalp bounty‘ that’s being set-up by the Far Right. After the non-guilty verdict and the set up of the Stanley page, there was fire and fury to have it removed immediately. The Justice for Colten page set up on September 1, 2017 for the Boushie family has no reported detractors. It does however have the following statement, ‘We believe that Indigenous youth deserve safety and the ability to travel freely on these lands without fear of racism or persecution. We are not trespassers.‘ This seems to imply that Native youth are free to travel anywhere with impunity and with respect to the events of the day, drive around hammered, threaten, and destroy property with no consequences.

For the outsiders not familiar with Native issues especially in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, here are some items to help provide context to the tragedy that occurred on the Stanley farm back in 2016.

  • Nationally, Aboriginals are 2.8% of the population but are 18 % of the incarcerated population. In SK, MB and AB, these numbers skyrocket to 76%, 59%, and 38% respectively where the percentages of the Native population are about 11%, 11%, and 5%. Aboriginal Offender Statistics — 2013–08–15
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Integrated Correctional Services Survey and 2006 Census of Population.
  • The incarceration rate of Aboriginals, as illustrated in the diagram above regarding SK statistics is off the charts.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Integrated Correctional Services Survey and 2006 Census of Population.
  • The incarceration rate of Aboriginals, as illustrated in the chart above regarding AB statistics seems to be directly related to their level of education and employment status. Northern reserves have a particularly difficult time attracting long term teachers that understand the culture. Student retention through to high school is also a challenge with many students having to travel to Southern locales to finish their education. Reserves also have notoriously high unemployment rates.
  • Aboriginal numbers for prison populations, suicides, substance abuse, disease, employment, overcrowding, single parent families, legal and police interventions, you name it are all substantially higher than that of the general Canadian population. This is particularly true for SK, MB, and AB. Sources — Backgrounder: Aboriginal Offenders — A Critical Situation (2013–09–16) & Aboriginal Peoples: Fact Sheet for Saskatchewan (2016–03–14)
  • There are no specific numbers related to the crime in the Red Pheasant First Nation area but Statistics Canada 2011 numbers were: 43 per cent of Red Pheasant residents were unemployed, compared with 6.7 per cent in its entire census division; household income on the reserve in 2010 was $19,091, compared with $60,434 everywhere else; and a large swath of the reserve’s residents lack education. This would indicate that according to SK stats and studies that there would be a higher likelihood of increased crime in the area.

So it would seem fairly obvious that Natives are having a rough go of things, especially in the Prairies. They get arrested frequently and fill the Prairie prisons. A good part of it is just being wicked. But a good part of it is being placed in a situation where you have little other than wickedness for your life path. You would think that successive governments since the beginning of Confederation 150 years ago may have done something by now to address a festering problem that only seems to be getting worse. Instead, the latest tactic has been to virtue signal that colonialism was bad, white people committed genocide against the Natives, any actual programs of the past were only done in the spirit of assimilation, and the Natives cannot be held accountable for their lawless actions. This backwards looking view is not going to move us forward as a nation that wants to reconcile with our Native populations.

Meanwhile, the people on the frontlines on or near the Reserves and the interface between the inner city Native ghettos on the Prairies have been dealing with a group of people who are difficult to manage. Below are examples from over many decades of the types of behavior reported to be commonplace amongst groups of Natives:

  • Nurses in Northern MB would report that Native mothers would purposely get their children sick by placing gas soaked rags over their faces. This would happen on Fridays and they would get a flight out to a nearby town with a hospital. Baby would be kept for a night or two and mom would head to the bar to party. Child abuse happens regardless of race but these instances were tied to Natives.
  • Indian Affairs personnel would come across instances where Natives did not care about damaging their government provided housing or equipment. There are plenty of stories of knocking holes in the outside wall for the horses to drink out of the tub or ripping up parts of the house to burn for heat. It is easy enough to find a Reserve with burnt out shells of houses or yards full of dilapidated, rusting cars and garbage. Again, apathy and shiftlessness happens concurrently with high unemployment and people living on the dole. It’s where ‘white trash’ and trailer parks got their derogatory reputations from.
  • Anyone who has been around Natives has seen the devastating effects that alcohol has on them. The racist term connected with a drunk Indian is a ‘Chug’. Too many of them will drink cheap liquor, huff gas, sniff glue, etc. Unfortunately, in too many cases this excessive behavior leads to violence and death. Substance abuse is not obviously just a Native issue, take a stroll around Main and Hastings in Vancouver some time, but quite a few Reserves try to remain ‘dry’ just to keep the alcohol related incidents down.
  • If you speak to law enforcement, they will tell you of the crime, abuse, and violence that occurs every day on Reserves much of which never gets reported. For example, on a MB Reserve up North, an RCMP officer stated that as long as an assault didn’t involve a gun but say only a knife, then they didn’t even bother writing it up. Violence crosses all boundaries though. Many husbands in the MB Mennonite population have this idea that punching your wife is only a bad thing after five or six times.

There’s no sugar coating the mess that has been created with the Canadian Aboriginal population. They have been labelled as ne’er-do-wells and in many cases earned the characterization. It is difficult to bounce back from hundreds of years of stigma and scorn. Commentators on the Stanley case say that it is high time to update the 100 year jury selection process in order to better reflect populations in the area where an incident occurs. Instead, how about Canadian governments update the 1876 Indian Act which has only ever seen two major updates, the last being in 1985? Trudeau has made some progress in the two years after accepting all of the recommendations of Truth and Reconciliation report which took five years to complete. But the Liberal government’s handling of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Public Inquiry has been a shambles with calls to scrap it and start over. Talk, talk, talk for hundreds of years. It’s no wonder Canadian Indigenous peoples are getting frustrated with the lack of progress. They are trying their best to hold onto their culture, traditions, and some of their original land and hunting grounds. Meanwhile, it just seems as if indignity after indignity is heaped upon them.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe of all the politicians weighing in on the Stanley trial has had one of the best responses. He acknowledged that the province would respect the judicial process. He also stated that it was time to have those ‘difficult’ discussions. These difficult discussions include talking about what’s wrong with Indigenous societies. Unfortunately, when the ‘Politically Incorrect’ speak about such issues, such as Senator Lynn Beyak, they get shouted down, shunned, and shamed. Read some of the letters of support over her views regarding Residential Schools. Her detractors would have you believe that she was on par with a ‘Holocaust Denier’. All sides can share some blame but incidents like these should show the Canadian community that it needs to come together towards common solutions. Rural farmers should not have to feel threatened because they see a van full of young Natives driving up to their property. Young Natives should not think it is acceptable to get hammered out of their minds and wreak havoc outside the Reserve. Instead, governments and communities need to work towards common goals and solutions to address the underlying issues that have never been dealt with.

What Canada really doesn’t need is politicians like Trudeau and his ministers splitting us all into polarized camps with their politically correct virtue signaling. Canada doesn’t need another Oka or more devastated families.

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Blair is a personification of a ‘Jack of All Trades and Master of None’. He has held several careers and has all the T-shirts. Time to add the title Blogger to the list.