Protesting against protests

Following the fashions of anarchy is actually helping the racists.

Protesting against protests

When the Victoria Colonist decided to assign a reporter to cover television in its early days my father was given the job, and with it a brand new black and white Philco that was still working when he retired a quarter century later. It was that set that he sat me in front of while Walter Cronkite showed film of demonstrators being attacked by the police in Selma, while Dad explained why this was so important. Many years later, when I asked him why he had been so far ahead of the curve on racism, he explained that when he was growing up in Britannia Beach his idols had been Louis Armstrong and Edward Kennedy Ellington. As a young musician those were the gods he aspired to equal, so how could he accept the idea that they were not his equals?

Today we see the same story being retold in the streets of the United States as the desperate neoconfederate rump tries to roll back the tide. Racists in police uniforms have disgraced themselves and the institution they are supposed to represent by summarily executing black people for “crimes” that barely rate a warning when committed by whites, and have done it on camera. How can we be surprised that this has resulted in protests and violence? There is no Dwight Eisenhower in the White House to ensure that the law is respected by all.

What does surprise this long time antiracist is the way the culture of victimhood has transposed the American experience into an attack on Canadian institutions. Certainly our own society has flaws and the treatment of our native Canadians has been particularly shameful, but I cannot help asking if the protestors attacking the police and destroying statues are not themselves guilty of that cultural appropriation they so eagerly call out in others. The statues that American blacks are objecting to are those of traitors who fought a bloody civil war to perpetuate slavery, but because we have none of those the cultural appropriators feel obliged to attack statuary in general.

John A. Macdonald was certainly a racist, as were virtually all public men of his time. He was also a drunkard, and verbally abusive. That is not why we have erected monuments to him. We do so because despite his serious character flaws the man led us to nationhood and left us a legacy of freedom we can build on and improve. The moronic idea that this equates with a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, slave trader, Confederate general and founder of the Ku Klux Klan, is simply foolish. The hysteria of those who believe themselves required to follow the fashions of anarchy is actually helping the racists.

The morons who toppled a statue of the great black abolitionist Frederick Douglass make my point. The stupid fool who defaced George Vancouver on the Victoria causeway hammers it home. The only comfort this provides is to the enemy, and the only consolation it affords this student of history is that the statues the self righteous erect to themselves will be toppled when their own flaws are discovered by future, and hopefully more tolerant, generations.

David Lowther

Mesachie Lake


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

New program helps pregnant women and new mothers using drugs in Cowichan

The Healthy Care Pregnancy Program pairs a registered social worker or nurse with a pregnant woman

Who’s running in Cowichan?

A list of Cowichan candidates for the upcoming provincial election

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farmstand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

Most Read