Friday, January 12, 2018

Lynn Beyak and the real danger of racist fabulism

fascism immigration politics racism nazi

A few years ago, while promoting Lee Daniels’s The Butler, Oprah Winfrey spoke on the matter of generational racism in an interview with BBC Arts. “As long as people can be judged by the colour of their skin, the problem is not solved,” said Winfrey. “There are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it—in that prejudice and racism—and they just have to die.”

There are variations of Winfrey’s comment that form a strain of conventional wisdom where it comes to dyed-in-the-wool racism. It sounds something like this: when the generations of people steeped in the age of miscegenation laws and segregated lunch counters finally expire, their bigotry will disappear with them. Every so often there are shocking examples that betray the naïveté of this belief, and usually in the form of racial terror most often committed by young white men, aggrieved at a society they feel is leaving them behind. This is how racism is most often named and shamed—acts of overt bigotry and violence which would offend the sensibilities of most decent people.

This approach is useful when anti-violence is the goal. But it also leaves plenty of room for the type of white supremacist fabulism flaunted over the past year by Sen. Lynn Beyak. After Sen. Beyak spent the last year dredging up controversy with comments on residential schools and Indigenous assimilation, she was finally turfed from the Conservative caucus for refusing to take down anti-Indigenous letters from her Senate website. Enter her son, Dryden, Ont., city councillor Nick Beyak, all too eager to defend his mother’s honour and share the bright side of residential schools:

“Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the majority of Canadians agree with the comments Sen. Beyak has said…How can you say that nurses and priests were bad people and did no good at those schools? How can a logical person say that and call a person who says that a racist? The connection is impossible.”  (more...)

What can you expect after you wave generations of Nazis into the country? The majority of Canadians were lied to about the ratlines:

fascism immigration politics racism nazi
He that lies down with the dogs will rise up with the fleas

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