Earlier: GLOBE AND MAIL: "Calling The Ottawa Protests ‘Peaceful’ Plays Down Non-Violent Dangers, Critics Say"
From the Washington Post opinion section:
The Ottawa trucker convoy is rooted in Canada’s settler colonial history
Canada’s dark history of public health has a long past of hiding behind ‘politeness’
By Taylor Dysart
Taylor Dysart is a PhD candidate in the department of history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research examines the intertwined worlds of healing, science, indigeneity and settler colonialism in the Amazon.
February 11, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EST
… The convoy has surprised onlookers in the United States and Canada, both because of the explicitly racist and violent perspectives of some of the organizers
Unlike the BLM and Antifa Mostly Peaceful Protesters, the truckers haven’t actually done anything terribly bad (they even stopped honking), but that’s not the point. The point is they have Bad Thoughts. You can tell just by looking at them. Look at them!
and because the action seems to violate norms of Canadian “politeness.” But the convoy represents the extension of a strain of Canadian history that has long masked itself behind “peacefulness” or “unity”: settler colonialism. It is not incidental that this latest expression of white supremacy is emerging amid a public health crisis. The history of Canadian settler colonialism and public health demonstrates how both overt white-supremacist claims and seemingly more inert nationalistic claims about “unity” and “freedom” both enable and erase ongoing harm to marginalized communities.
Canada, like the United States, has its origins in a settler colonial project. In the late 16th and 17th centuries, French and British families and soldiers began arriving along the east coast of the northern regions of “Turtle Island,” a name used by the Lenape and Haudenosaunee, with other Indigenous nations, to refer to North America.
If they referred to North America as “Turtle Island,” what did they call South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia?
The settlement of Europeans rested on what historian Patrick Wolfe called a “logic of elimination” where Indigenous peoples were displaced or assimilated through genocidal policies.
In mid-18th century Nova Scotia, for example, Gov. Edward Cornwallis established an extirpation proclamation that commanded “all Officers Civil and Military, and all His Majesty’s Subjects or others to annoy, distress, take, or destroy the Savage” Mi’kmaq.
Through the establishment and amendment of federal policies, the Canadian state weaponized medicine, public health and science in support of settler colonial aims.
Less than a decade after Canadian confederation (1867), the establishment of the Indian Act (1876) bestowed upon the federal government sweeping powers regarding First Nations cultural practices, education, health and systems of governance. For example, Treaty No. 6 of 1876, signed between the Canadian state and the Cree peoples of Alberta and Saskatchewan claimed that if “Indians … being overtaken by any pestilence, or by a general famine, the Queen … will grant to the Indians assistance.”
How dare the Queen not let the Indians die unassisted!
In 1884, an amendment to the Indian Act required First Nations children under the age of 16 to attend residential schools.
And this was the worst thing in the history of the world.
Many children were forcibly removed from their homes and received physical and psychological punishment for speaking Indigenous languages or practicing Indigenous customs and rituals. Along with these acts of cultural genocide and accompanying physical violence, the dire hygienic conditions of residential schools resulted in alarming rates of tuberculosis contraction
As opposed to the rates of tuberculosis contraction at home until at least the mid-20th century. And it’s not like white men ever died of tuberculosis, other than, among others, Friedrich Schiller, John Keats, Stephen Crane, Anton Chekhov, Franz Kafka, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Wolfe, and George Orwell. (Writers who died of TB tend to be on the list of those you wish we had more from. Seriously, tuberculosis was the anti-COVID, striking down talents before their peak.)
until at least the mid-20th century.
It’s almost as if the invention in the mid-20th century of penicillin (rollout beginning around 1945) was a really good thing that solved a lot of horrible problems, such as tuberculosis.
The horrendous conditions and treatment of First Nations children at residential schools, the last of which did not close until 1997, were the focus of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (established in 2008) and more recent reports of unmarked mass burial sites.
You know, speaking of Mostly Unpeaceful Protests, Canada’s spate of Justin Trudeau-encouraged church burnings in 2021 is one of the more shameful events of recent times in a civilized country. From Wikipedia:
A series of arsons and suspicious fires in June and July 2021 damaged or destroyed more than a dozen Christian churches in Canada. Coincident with fires, vandalism and other destructive events damaged churches in Canada and the United States, primarily in British Columbia. Canadian government officials, church members, and Canadian Indigenous leaders have speculated that the fires and other acts of vandalism have been reactions to the discovery of over 1,000 unmarked graves at Canadian Indian residential school sites.
Can you imagine if Donald Trump had reminisced about how his family’s tenants in the Outer Boroughs had been the victims of black crime and then a dozen black churches had been torched? It would be the biggest atrocity story of the century.
In real life, Trump’s elderly mother was mugged in 1991 by a white teenager, the malevolent son of a Long Island railroad executive. The bystander who grabbed the criminal was a black deliveryman. As a reward, Trump saved the Good Samaritan’s home from foreclosure.
Like a lot of Trump’s life, this sounds like a TV movie of the week, but it’s true.
Not surprisingly, Trudeau’s orgy of anti-white racist hate in Canada has turned out to be a huge factual fiasco. As I pointed out last summer:
Thus, the sensationalized reports that there were “unmarked graves” at the much-demonized Canadian schools were immediately accepted as prima facie proof of the diabolical essence of Canadian history.
The term “unmarked graves” is suggestive of massacre, but the reality is the children died of natural causes, especially diseases that hadn’t existed in the New World before 1492 so Indians hadn’t evolved defenses against them.
Moreover, it has now been publicly admitted in at least two of the four cases that the graves weren’t actually unmarked. For example, at Cranbrook the original wooden crosses simply burned up in brush fires or deteriorated over the decades.
The First Nations leader admitted that, not unreasonably, they were just looking for some government aid to restore the grave markers.
And recently, historian Jacques Rouillard of the Université de Montréal has asked in the Dorchester Review:
AFTER SEVEN MONTHS of recrimination and denunciation, where are the remains of the children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School?
Back to the Washington Post:
The expansion of the welfare state thus perpetuated the project of colonialism, allocating goods and services to certain residents while maintaining segregation and racial hierarchy. This expanding state also hinged on ideas about individual freedom. Canadian liberalism characterized citizens as “free,” encouraging them through social programs to cultivate autonomy and individualism. …
The notion of “freedom” was historically and remains intertwined with Whiteness, as historian Tyler Stovall has argued. The belief that one’s entitlement to freedom is a key component of White supremacy. This explains why the Freedom Convoy members see themselves as entitled to freedom, no matter the public health consequences to those around them.
Canada’s history of freedom then, was founded in the unfreedom of Indigenous people. This dynamic has been unnoticed and misconstrued by organizers, attendees and supporters of the Freedom Convoy. On the GoFundMe, the organizers claimed: “We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, and now it seems it is happening here … We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back.” They are advancing a settler colonial genealogy that deploys the language of “freedom” and “unity” while engaging in actions that are harmful and violent.
To be precise, we find their thoughts to be violent. Don’t you believe in telepathy?