Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No "special" treatment for aboriginal people?

Yesterday's National Post had an OpEd from a status Indian explaining, in detail, why there should be no special treatment for aboriginal peoples in Canada.  He noted that oppression in the past, while dreadful, ought not to come down to modern people who had nothing to do with the wrongdoing.

A legitimate, if somewhat over-simplistic, argument.  Not an argument that I agree with but rational and reasonable.

But that's why today's cover story in the Post struck me:

Step-grandchildren of infamous Nazi propaganda boss Joseph Goebbels are hidden billionaires Story

Apparently some wealthy Germans are wealthy because their grandparents were Nazi thugs who stole vast sums of money (perhaps from members of my family).

Now, that is well within living memory so perhaps the argument should be give back what was stolen to those still alive who were robbed.  But ... .

12 comments:

kirbycairo said...

The problem is, of course, that pseudo intellectuals such as those at the NP never actually tease out what "special" means. They are unwilling to see that many, many people in society are treated differently according to different circumstances. Sameness and equality are not the same thing. And of course the irony is that native people are not even treated equally, since there is significantly less money for education and healthcare for native people than there is for non-native peoples. And then to top it all off the NP ignore the constitution.

On the other issue - the simple fact is that in many old countries such as those in Europe, the vast majority of significant wealth was obtained through theft and oppression. In the UK, for example, over 90% of the land continues to be owned by old aristocratic families - families that got that wealth the old fashion way - they stole it.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget there have been attempts to "steal" the land in North America the last century.

Thousands of Canadians buried throughout France are proof of this.

It is disingenuous to simply cherry-pick outrages through human history while ignoring others.

Some aboriginal cultures were wiped out centuries ago by other aboriginal cultures. Who compensates them?

It is not that unreasonable to suggest that all people be treated equally.

All land on Earth has been stolen; not just land in Europe.

The Editor said...

For a historical perspective on this situation see http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/different/7882316/story.html

The Editor said...

For a historical perspective on this situation see http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/different/7882316/story.html

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