LONDON, ONTARIO – I offer up for your delectation a headline and a sub-headline which appeared on the top of page A5 of the Friday, June 5, 2020 edition of The London Free Press. Magically compressed into these fifteen illogical and utterly hopeless words is the purest distillation I have yet seen of the spiraling madness that currently holds the hollowed-out shell of Western civilization in its all-dementing grip. Are you ready? Take a deep breath and dig right into this steaming pile of stupid.
First in big, bold letters:
FORD ADMITS RACISM EXISTS, PLEDGES $1.5M
And then in a smaller, paler font:
CRITICS CALL THE 'PALTRY' SUM A 'SLAP IN FACE'
Is it possible that any news-deprived reader of this blog requires some background for these bulletins from Bedlam? Very well then. On Tuesday, June 2nd, Ontario premier Doug Ford was asked to comment on the anti-racism protests that were morphing into looting and arson-riddled riots in a handful of American cities (all of them run by Democrat Party politicians). Those civic conflagrations had been set off by an appalling incident from the week before, fully documented on social media, which has every appearance of being the deliberate and hideously protracted murder of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Though George Floyd had an extensive rap sheet and prison record – including one count of armed robbery when he pressed the muzzle of a loaded gun against the belly of a pregnant woman – the crime for which he was apprehended on this occasion (passing off a counterfeit bill) was very small potatoes. When a verminous nut-bar named Marc Lepine killed fourteen female engineering students at a Montreal college in 1989, we were told this one-off criminal act was an all too typical representation of some mythical war being waged by all men against all women. In the same way George Floyd’s killer cop has become the stand-in for white people everywhere who supposedly harbour an unquenchable murderous hatred for blacks. In both situations the original incident was ugly and vicious enough to trouble anybody of good faith, regardless of sex or race, without being ginned up by politicized agitators and a reckless media into broad-ranging social wars.
The vigorously stoked transformation of this particular human tragedy into a generalized campaign of demonization was already well underway when, simple and trusting soul that he is, Premier Ford dared to opine that up here in the Great White North, people for the most part seem to get along pretty well. “Thank God we’re different than the United States,” he said, “and we don’t have the same systemic, deep roots they’ve had for years.” With a weary sigh, one wishes Ford could’ve resisted the too common Canadian impulse to witlessly puff up our own self-esteem by sliming our national neighbours en masse. We may have beat the Americans in having a female national leader, but we never voted her in and she only held that position for four and a half minutes. They had their first black president for eight years and he was elected by a wide majority of their citizens - twice.
But the commissars of correctness weren’t going to let Ford get away with a summation as sanguine as that and soon persuaded him that on the northern side of the 49th parallel we have our very own churning cauldron of festering racial resentments as well. A mere forty-eight hours later our premier was obediently reciting the grievance merchants' scripted lies that are now required of everybody. “Of course there’s systemic racism in Ontario,” Ford told the provincial legislature, sounding like an amnesiac who has just undergone a miracle cure. “There’s systemic racism across this country. We must acknowledge the pain that we see and we must acknowledge where it’s coming from. I can tell you these issues are deeply rooted and they stem from a history of racism and abuse.”
But what was the poor man talking about? I’m racking my brains here. Has Canada even had a decent-sized riot of any kind since the freak-out in downtown Vancouver in 2011 when the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Bruins? Was there some racial angle to that donnybrook which I’ve forgotten about? And the year before that, Hogtown had a pretty fiery weekend when the Antifa louts showed up to smash downtown windows and burn a few cop cars during the big G-20 summit but that set-to was about economic exploitation at the hands of capitalist pigs, and had nothing to do with pigmentation and the resentments arising therefrom.
In this fascistic moment no one is allowed to resist the stampede to condemn themselves of imaginary crimes. Nor can we take a few minutes to reflect on whether this frenzy of hyped-up mea culpas refers to anything that actually happened. One of the commonest slogans turning up on placards everywhere is the breathtakingly sinister assertion that, “Silence is violence”. (Gosh, wasn't it just last month we were being admonished to shut up because our speech was violence?) Do they really mean to tell us that if we do not join the hysterical herd and condemn ourselves for the commission of crimes we did not commit, then we are the jackbooted thugs?
And then, to make his spineless capitulation complete, Ford cut that cheque for a million and a half imaginary smackers which he allocated to “organizations that support black families and youth”. This beneficent gesture was immediately denounced as a miserly insult by the leader of the NDP Black Caucus, Laura Mae Lindo. “This announcement is even more evidence that Mr. Ford doesn’t take addressing the cancer of systemic racism seriously,” she said.
“Yeh, you’re right,” he should have told her, and ripped up the cheque in front of her face. “I wouldn’t want to make this systemic problem any worse than it so obviously is. What was I thinking? Will you ever find it in your heart to forgive me?” But alas, he didn’t do that.
While I do wish that Doug Ford had the courage of at least a couple of truly conservative convictions somewhere in his brain or his breast, I mustn’t pick on him alone. This wildly unhinged moral panic about toxic and (yawn) systemic racism is whipping up like a tropical storm just now and is making landfall absolutely everywhere on the globe, even here in goofy old London Ontario.
Two days after Ford’s clumsy flip-flop, 10,000 Londoners threw off the social-distancing dictates of three full months of government imposed lock-down to prevent the spread of the Wuhan Batflu – no school, no inessential jobs, no religious services, no pubs, no sports, no weddings, no funerals, no graduation ceremonies, no visiting with Gran in her retirement home – to cram themselves together in Victoria Park to protest the racist murder of a Minnesota man that none of them had even heard of two weeks before.
And incredibly enough, Chris Mackie – chief medical officer of the Middlesex-London Health Unit and the chief warden of the social prison that London became for three freaking months – gave this hardly essential gathering his heartiest recommendation. Yes, he’d be attending, by gum, and he urged others to do the same, so long as they pledged, like him, to self-quarantine for two weeks afterwards. Yeh, I’ll bet they all did that with real rigour and commitment.
"I think attendance, as safely as possible, is the minimum for someone in a role like mine, that has a clear public mandate to address issues like this," Dr. Mackie pronounced in a virtual press conference three days before the protest. “Public health authorities around the world are using the current opportunity to acknowledge that racism is a public health issue.” Afterwards Mackie said that he attended the protest but somehow managed to stay in his car with his daughters, engaging in what he described as a “fulsome dialogue”. One shudders to contemplate the quality of wisdom that must have been imbibed in that sad little sedan.
I too, taking my directives from Sir Mick Jagger “went down to the demonstration to get my fair share of abuse”. Wanting to keep open every option for ready flight, I made a point of staying on my bike on the periphery of the park, where I could watch the endless stream of protesters - mostly female (at least a 60 to 40% split I'd say), predominantly young (mostly in their 20s and 30s) and overwhelmingly white (at least 90 to 10%) - who were just heading out on their procession through the downtown streets. Most wore surgical masks of some kind. Of those who didn’t, I was struck by how many sported smiles that could best be described as smug or self-satisfied; as if to suggest that this oh-so-public gesture was all that was required to mark them out as people of the very highest circumspection and purest virtue.
At least a third of these modern day crusaders were carrying signs. In contrast to the aggressive and at times vulgar sloganeering on a lot of those placards, the protesters themselves mostly exuded auras of frivolity and un-seriousness; an impression which was underlined by the boggling amount of time they spent staring into the screens of their handheld devices or using them to take pictures of themselves.
The commonest slogans on those signs were “Black lives matter”, “I can’t breathe” (sometimes spelled “I can’t breath”), “Defund” or “Abolish the police”, “No justice, no peace,” and that good old standby of budding Che Gueveras everywhere, “Silence is violence.” Some of my other favourites which I scribbled down as they paraded past were, “The criminal justice system is built on white supremacy,” “I’m using my privilege to listen, learn and make a difference,” “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” “All lives don’t matter,” “Am I next?”, “Black trans lives matter,” “Being racist is small dick energy,” “Protect innocent black boys the way you protect guilty white boys,” “Sex is great but have you tried fuckin’ the system?”, “Canada is guilty too,” and, because for the leftist mind at its feeblest, all roads invariably lead to you know who, “This is for Trump you big fat ass orange nasty smelling ass bitch with your racist ass oompa loompa body FU.”
Well, we opened this Hermaneutics by citing a Free Press story. Let us close with another one from last Tuesday; their first issue following our town’s fabulous display of moral courage and conscience in Victoria Park. Would Londoners be gathering together again sometime soon to celebrate something other than contempt for our history and national character? Maybe something on July the 1st to mark the 153rd anniversary of our Confederation? Well, here was a little item by Dan Brown, headlined, LONDON'S CANADA DAY CELEBRATION NOW ONLINE. And the first sentences read like this:
“You can still wave the Canadian flag on Canada Day, you’ll just have to do it at home. That’s because the usual outdoor Canada Day celebrations, including fireworks at the forks of the Thames River, won’t be happening this year due to Covid-19 concerns.”
Wow. Let the implications of this truly hateful moment sink in. By special dispensation our civic leaders will let us come out of our germ-ridden hovels so long as it’s to express what mean and contemptible worms we are and what a crappy and bigoted dump this country of ours is. But if we want to take a day to reflect on the fact that by any rational appraisal, this is actually one of the best places in the world to be born in and to be formed by and to aspire to make even better, well, no – that would be too dangerous.
Okay then. Message received. And thank you dear leaders for making it so clear that you do not have our best interests at heart and do not want what’s best for us; that you do not speak for us and give us no reason to pay you any more mind.
* * *
IF YOU THINK YOU can stand anymore, I refer you to two earlier Hermaneutics essays on related topics. In this one I explore my long-established revulsion for anyone who would presume to tell me what I owe any group for historical wrongs that I never committed:
All Aboard the Boblo Ferry
And in this one I talk about summoning the courage to reject poisonous ideologies which you do not hold.
Musings on Well Ripened Toxicity
If you would like to contribute to the ongoing operations of Hermaneutics, there are now a few options available.
THE AQUINAS LECTURE
G.K. CHESTERTON AND THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE
ALL LIFE IS A GIFT :
THE IMPORTANCE OF TRADITION :