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Monday, August 25, 2008

Letter of the Day

One need not have read the story to which the following letter, which appears in today's Vancouver Sun, refers to appreciate its main and important point. Enjoy:

Native-owned slaves another chapter in our history

Re: A native journey: Chief Bill Wilson, Celebrating our Diversity, Aug. 21

This is a fascinating article by Chief Bill Wilson about his family's history. While he says "my people and other tribes built this province despite being marginalized, ignored, trampled upon, incarcerated, abused and even killed," he also tells us his people were a warrior tribe, just like the Haida, who roamed the coast at will. He mentions his grandfather tended the smoke house, which he did not trust to his own slaves.

I guess those were the same slaves who were captured when war canoes filled with men attacked their villages, incarcerating, abusing and even killing sons and fathers. How about reading the history of those slaves and how their land was torn from them by their own people? I guess some things are the same, regardless of the colour of your skin.

Barry Miles

North Vancouver

Posted by Terry O'Neill on August 25, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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"One need not have read the story to which the following letter ... refers to appreciate its main and important point."

What is it's point? This?

"I guess some things are the same, regardless of the colour of your skin."

Is that news? To whom? Yes, natives owned slaves, waged war on each other, robbed and murdered. Yes, black Africans owned slaves, sold other Africans in slavery to white slavers, waged war on each other, robbed, and murdered. Yes, many other cultures have historically had slavery, war, robbery, and murder.

So what?

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-25 9:26:48 AM

So what? So then they shouldn't play the "victim" game, as it is tired and boring, and makes it seem as if they were "above" the abuses with which they blame the white man...which they were not.

Posted by: Markalta | 2008-08-25 10:24:40 AM

So Mark, the only people allowed to complain about injustices are people who have never committed any and who also have no ancestors who committed any? Wow! I guess we can disband all criminal law, since there are no pure "victims" by your lights.

That a person (or their ancestors) perpetrated some wrong against some people does not mean they have no right to complain about others who wronged them. If their complaints make it seem to you as if they were "above" the abuses with which they blame the white man, then I'd say you are reading something in that just isn't there.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-08-25 10:40:31 AM

FC = more hot air. Markalta is correct. The problem is revisionists who preach and teach that only white Europeans are guilty of doing wrong while idealising every other culture. It is not of matter of two wrongs making a right but a matter of truth, which is sadly lacking in our "places of learning". After all this is the whole foundation on which our affirmative action and diversity programs are built.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-08-25 12:56:57 PM

As usual, Fact Check, your argument trips over your own moral outrage. The point of the matter is that if First Nations peoples committed the same sins in the past that we did in the past, they lose the moral high ground and have a much shakier case for the massive compensation and handouts they currently receive.

Let's be frank. We haven't done anything bad to First Nations peoples. Our ancestors did bad things to their ancestors. We are not responsible for any of that. So why are we the ones paying?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-08-25 2:39:55 PM

Don't expect the un-fact check to join in the group that talks of truth...so much more simple to say white=bad, and every-other-color=good.

Posted by: prairie dog | 2008-08-25 5:05:07 PM

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