- Category: news
- Created: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:29
- Published: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:29
- Written by Administrator 3
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The Daily News
Nanaimo Daily News
Racism is wrong, plain and simple.One should not be discriminated upon based on the colour of their skin, or culture. That is a basic human right.
But it's not fair to fly the racist flag where it doesn't belong.If the questioning of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is because she is First Nations, then that is completely wrong and racist.
If the questioning of Spence, or any other person, is based on financial matters and accountability, that is not racism. It's being prudent. It's what we Canadians do. We care.
Questioning someone on financial matters is not racist. It's public duty. And the threat of being smeared as a racist should not be a deterrent to looking into a very serious, costly matter.
Tossing out the word "racist" should never become a shield to protect against calls for financial accountability.
Crying racism is obviously an effective way to back people up. It's very intimidating. Even if it's not true, few people have the courage to state their case and prove that they're not so.
It doesn't matter who is doing it. Someone who is Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, French, German, South African, or of North American First Nations origin . . . cannot and should not be singled out for the way they were created and where they come from.
As a nation, Canada has proven itself to be one of the world's most racially sensitive countries. We are the proverbial melting pot of multiculturalism. Not that there aren't pockets of racism, as there most certainly are. But racism?
Take a look at the southern United States. Other nations are far more racist than your typical Canadian. They give their own great grief if they marry outside their race or culture, and ostracize them in some points even to disowning them.
Many are quick to point to the failings of the Indian Act, as the root of all evil and the reason for the plight of First Nations people today.
Not to defend the Indian Act, but a cursory look at it shows that at its inception it attempted to help groups of people who did not want to integrate into Canadian society and look after them just the same. Has it worked? No. So, get rid of it, plain and simple. Make an even playing field for all Canadians, with no recognition of race for special status or treatment.
Residential schools? A travesty. Was the whole point of residential schools to damage a particular group of people?
Or was it an attempt - and a failed one at that - to deal with systemic problems with a people who appeared to need help and weren't looking after some of their own as they should? What the perverts did is totally without excuse.
When does it become time to move on? Are today's non-First Nations people expected to pay for the sins of the forefathers forever? How far is it reasonable to go back to demand restitution: 100, 200 years? Back to Adam?
This is a time of great opportunity for First Nations people to move forward, together. There are shining examples of what First Nations can do. Campbell River Indian Band is one. Perhaps the best of all is Osoyoos, led by Chief Clarence Louie.
Louie is an extraordinary leader who has keenly recognized the opportunities available to his people, and he's taken advantage, to the benefit of the people he leads. Good for him and them. Being First Nations as a race can be an advantage if it's played right. In terms of tax exemptions, First Nations have a decided advantage.
They can move forward if they want to.