Whether the statues are of Sir John A. MacDonald, Hector-Louis Langevin or other "Men of their time", there is an issue to come to grips with. There is ample evidence that Sir John A. undoubtedly harboured prejudices against First Nations. The most recent compendium of this stain on his legacy I have read is here. If that doesn't do it for you, there are innumerable articles to drive the point home.
Yes, there are some good markers in his record. But that is not the point. We need to address the racism of his record. That response is an attempt to negate the evidence of his misdeeds. In a way, removing the statue gives us a pass when it comes to dealing with his failings. Canada needs to find a path to reconciliation with the First Nations without losing the good. As a parallel point, Winston Churchill was undoubtedly a racist and imperialist. But would we want to remove evidence of his contribution to defeating Hitler?
It is, at this point, worthwhile to draw a distinction between Canada's statues and the Confederate statue debate in the USA. The dark side of SJAM has only recently entered the public discourse. This may be overdue but such is the case. Most of the statues being removed from the Southern States are not Civil War relics. Most were erected during the Jim Crow in a response to the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950's and earlier. I have not read any evidence that the statues in Canada were erected as a way to consciously underline the oppression of the First Nations under SJAM and others.
I propose that in a good faith effort at reconciliation, we remove the statues into storage when requested by the AFN or other legitimate entities. Then have accepted authorities on the subject thrash out the bad (don't forget the Pacific Scandal) and good of his record and put it on the Heritage Canada website. Replace the statue with a new plaque that reads something like this:
Sir John A. MacDonald was the founding Prime Minister of Canada. He was, like all historical figures, a complex person. Details of his legace may be found by scanning this QR Code.Recommend this Post