Dear Mr. Armchair Mayor,
Your article today (Aug. 25, 2017), “Proposal to take Sir John A.’s name off schools is ridiculous” is, once again, offensive and completely tone-deaf.
By taking John A. Macdonald’s names off Canadian schools, we, as a country, are taking a very small step towards much needed equality. Combatting hatred is such a difficult task to tackle and we can only take small steps before big leaps are made.
No one is erasing anything. We are simply standing up for what we believe to be right as a country. History has been whitewashed for generations and we see that displayed quite obviously in places like the names of our schools.
Your quote, “We must, they say, erase (these figures) from public view and forget about them” is, quite frankly, uninformed and offensive. Taking people like Macdonald’s names from schools does nothing to “erase” the history or devalue positive things that they have accomplished. It simply acknowledges the fact that the wrong they have done outweighs the good and that we won’t tolerate it.
What you’re saying, is that Macdonald’s intolerance should be overlooked because of the good he has done. If you are so concerned about your own white history being preserved, consider that marginalized voices have had far fewer chances to have their story be told, let alone upheld through the naming of statues and schools.
If you really think you’re being constantly blasted by “PC culture”, imagine how marginalized people feel having to listen to the same stories and voices being heard over and over again, all while facing discrimination on a daily basis.
We are not “getting rid of anyone who said or did anything we might consider offensive”. Because the truth is, John A. Macdonald’s views toward First Nations people and residential schools aren’t offensive, they are simply wrong and completely hateful.
Should we really teach our future generations about equality and moving forward in schools named after people who didn’t uphold these ideals within themselves? Your views on history come from your own place of white privilege and stem from the harmful structures of white supremacy.
Your comments are among the same ones white supremacists in Charlottesville recently used to try and “preserve white history” in the United States. It is so important for us as white folks to stand up for people whose voices are not being heard and to speak out against racism and other forms of hatred within our communities. If you, a man with a large platform within the Kamloops media cannot do that for us, who will?
Try and leave space for the marginalized voices in our society to have their stories told. Your privilege is showing and I’m really sick of hearing about it.