Among the most glorious fruit of the harvest of freedom seeded by Stephen Harper’s overturning of the Chretien/Martin tyranny is the undeniable fact that most Canadians, in the year 2013, have as little thought of meaningfully interfering in their own political lives as had Yorkshire ploughmen under the Plantagenets.
To understand the career of Professor Flanagan is to understand the political agenda of huge commercial interests inside and outside of Canada that seek to terminate Aboriginal and treaty rights as major impediments to the corporate exploitation of northern North America’s so-called natural resources. Right now the Harper government’s top priority for greasing the wheels of this corporate plundering of Canada’s natural resources is through the building of pipelines to export Alberta bitumen to BC ports for export to China. Most of British Columbia has not yet been drawn into the Canadian rule of law requiring the formalization of Crown-Aboriginal treaties as a prelude to non-Aboriginal ownership and exploitation.
To understand the upsurge of Idle No More is to understand the deep consternation of decent men and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds who refuse to remain passive and silent as the Stephen Harper government systematically violates the best inheritances of Canadian social democracy.
While doing surveillance on selected First Nations, the RCMP unit also assessed the “unique opportunities for civil disobedience” in 2010. According to the report, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Paralympics and torch relays, and the G20 summit in Toronto could be “leveraged by Aboriginal communities and groups who support Aboriginal issues to draw attention to outstanding issues and grievances” and to “garner national and international attention.
No shit, Sherlock. They might use a high-profile international event to try and draw attention to their concerns? Colour me gobsmacked.
You just can’t buy insights like that. And here we were thinking they’re not much good for anything beyond tasering immigrants to death at airports.
Sadly, crusading has never been the rage in newsrooms. It is less so now, thanks to a corporate death grip on vast swaths of this profession. As Lewis Lapham put it, “The big media identify themselves with wealth and privilege and the wisdom in office. They preserve the myths that society deems precious … By telling their audience what they assume they already know, the news media reflect what the society wants to believe about itself.” Here is what a lot of people want to believe about the Aboriginal Spring in Canada. They hold fast to the idea that the only thing behind native unrest is a bottomless lust for public subsidies. They want to believe that Canada has been just and generous to this misfit people who stubbornly won’t assimilate. They cling to the notion that, left to their own devices, aboriginals are unable to govern themselves and will quickly fall into corruption.
Even when First Nations are open and transparent, media types behave as though they are not. And so, for example, Attawapiskat annual audits are posted on the Attawapiskat website for all to see. A Management Letter from 2011 is up there in plain sight, detailing shortcomings in the reserve’s bookkeeping, but Ottawa Citizen reporter Jordan Press tells us he went through Access to Information to get it—a bit like kicking down a door instead of trying the doorknob. The press as a whole responded like puppies to a biscuit when the PMO leaked a Deloitte audit that covers the same ground and says the same things, making it all sound like some kind of bombshell revelation.
- Keep the Indians off the front-page. That, in a phrase, is the Harper approach to aboriginal issues in Canada
- Back to Joe Clark. Why did he lend his prestige as a former PM to a woman the Harper government is treating like someone who doesn’t yet realize her full insignificance?
- Thought this might work with the #IdleNoMore theme
Keep the Indians off the front-page. That, in a phrase, is the Harper approach to aboriginal issues in Canada.
From Mike Harris and “I want those fucking Indians out of the park” to Stephen Harper and “keep the Indians off the front page.” Progress.
In 1992, Bill Clinton recognized that Democrats could peel off right leaning white voters by outflanking the Republicans on issues like crime and welfare reform, and promptly advocated for a number of policies that resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in the history of the United States, the overwhelming majority of which were people of colour. The normalization of racial marginalization, according to Alexander, was finally, quietly complete. The book is more than a lament; it’s a warning. Alexander paints a bleak portrait of a future in which the majority of African Americans — increasingly economically vulnerable in a nation of skyrocketing inequality — being under the control of the criminal justice system is not entirely inconceivable. It’s an ugly commentary on contemporary American society. Canadians should pay attention.
Back to Joe Clark. Why did he lend his prestige as a former PM to a woman the Harper government is treating like someone who doesn’t yet realize her full insignificance? My guess is that Clark is appalled by Harper’s continuing effort to divide Canadian society against itself as a means of governing.