They are rewriting history, again.

Now the revisionists are going after Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister. And what is their problem? They think Sir John was racist and disrespected Canada’s aboriginals. You might also believe he was a drunk and a scoundrel and if you lived in those times, you probably would have been the same. And if people would stop trying to rewrite history, they might learn something from it.

What we are seeing in Canada in this regard is a reflection of what is being argued in the southern United States today. Confederate General Robert E. Lee is recognized as one of the great military strategists of his time. He was asked to take a Union command before Virginia voted to join the Confederacy. He was no secessionist but he was loyal to his state. That is something those tearing down his statues need to remember.

The betrayal of North America’s aboriginals has been going on since Europeans first set foot on these shores. It gives us lots of people we can dishonour—if we want to lay blame. It just makes more sense to admit the errors of the past and to correct them as we can.

There is a specious argument being waged about a monument to Canadians who fought in the American Civil War. The fact that 40,000 Canadians enlisted in that war needs to be recognized. The fact that one in ten of them fought for the South is not the point. We are not re-arguing the war.

Will we, a hundred years from now, dishonour the accomplishments of today’s industry leaders who saw themselves as being in the forefront because of their innovation and foresight? Will we simply revile them as being part of the oppressive one per cent? Will we tear down the walls of their gated communities and open their mansions to the homeless?

As humans, we need heroes. We need them to lead and for us to emulate, to honour and to respect. And yet we seem to be on a downhill slope these days as we recognize more of the anti-heroes. They elected Donald Trump in the United States “To Make America Great Again” and yet there was no question that he was the anti-hero.

Hollywood actors and television personalities have been allowed to replace home-town heroes. Sports stars have become the comic book heroes of an afternoon’s game. Win or lose, did you enjoy the game?


Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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