Statement by Rick Mehta Regarding His Dismissal from Acadia University
On August 31, 2018, President Peter Ricketts fired me from my position of Associate Professor of Psychology at Acadia University. In the letter that he gave me at my dismissal hearing, he stated that he was firing me on the basis of issues that “were wide ranging and include failure to fufill [my] academic responsibilities, unprofessional conduct, breach of privacy, and harassment and intimidation of students and other members of the University community.”
President Ricketts’ letter of dismissal states only broad categories of misconduct instead of providing any specific examples of misconduct on my part. The university hid behind vague accusations and opaque investigations, while refusing to spell out their concerns – which were based on filtered complaints. I believe that their stealth charges were pretexts to get rid of me at any cost. The real reason for my dismissal has to do with a culture war that is taking place in universities all over Canada and much of the Western world.
~ MY BELOVED Canada has been– longer than the Trudeaus, but sped up by them both– in a long slow fall away from our founding principles, towards every excess, bad idea, and anti-Christian notion on the books.
This sermon is a lovely thunderbolt of warning to awaken, fight, and work with God to stand on guard, keep our land glorious and free. Or fall.
Canada Day only falls on Sunday once every seven years. That’s an opportunity for an upbeat homily about our beautiful country and our many blessings. But not this year—because we need to take a look at some things that are happening in Canada and what they mean for Christians.
I know you’d rather hear a homily celebrating Canada than criticizing it; so would I. But a friend sent me a quotation this week attributed to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who was not only America’s best preacher but a 20th century prophet. When I read it, I knew I couldn’t deliver a feel-good sermon today.
Long quotations don’t make good homilies, but I’m asking you to listen carefully to these prophetic words:
Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives.
Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standard outside of themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated?
Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.
I don’t think one Canadian in ten thinks we have a problem in this country. And I do think that most of those who recognize the destructive processes at work are people of faith.
But even men and women of faith often fail to understand the heights from which Canadian society has tumbled, because our fall from Christian morality has happened in slow motion—not from one cause but from many.
We could analyze numerous social shifts that are opposed to Gospel values—for that matter, opposed to the values shared by most major religions—but I want to point out three of the most recent.
The first, of course, is euthanasia. Disguised by the Orwellian name “Medical Assistance in Dying,” the legalization of assisted suicide threatens the vulnerable, draws health care workers in to a moral snare, and creates an entirely false idea of compassion. It should not be necessary to remind people at Sunday Mass that assisted suicide can never be the right choice, but our first reading puts it simply: “God does not delight in the death of the living.”
Life is a good in and of itself— God “created all things so that they might exist.” All life is precious; its value is not measured by the so-called “quality of life” or anything of that sort.
We were created for eternity, and it is in eternity that the quality of life will more than compensate for the struggles some people encounter at the end of their life on earth.
Before turning to the second social shift—I should really call these legal shifts—I want to give you another reason for this somber homily on what should be a joyful day. The reason is simply this: law-abiding people, people like us, tend to think that if something’s legal is must be right. Law not only reflects social values, it creates them.
Archbishop Carney once told me that chicken wasn’t subject to meat rationing during the Second World War. As a result, Catholics—who were not allowed to eat meat on Friday—started to eat chicken, since if the government said it wasn’t meat, it must be true.
The second shift is the redefinition of tolerance. Canadians pride themselves on tolerance. American comedians on the late-night shows make jokes about how nice we are. But my dictionary says that to tolerate means “to allow the existence or occurrence of something, without interference.”
The courts have redefined tolerance in numerous decisions interfering with the freedom of people of faith. The most recent may be the most serious: the Supreme Court of Canada has effectively allowed the legal profession to be closed to graduates of a law school where students must commit to live according to the moral norms that were once universally held by all Christians. In the words of the two dissenting judges, the Court has turned the protective shield of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms into a sword.
And there’s not much doubt which group of Canadians that sword will slash.
The third source of sadness on this Canada Day may surprise you, since it’s hardly as grave as the euthanasia or Trinity Western decisions. But as I told you, I’m focusing on the most recent social shifts, and this one’s also current—the court-ordered legalization of marijuana, now enshrined in law.
Just last week, the Canadian bishops issued a statement reminding Catholics of the harm that will flow from increased marijuana use. They cite the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and the Canadian Paediatric Society as pointing out how “the use of cannabis is linked to addictions, depression, anxiety, psychosis, damage to brain development, and lung problems such as asthma and emphysema.”
Although I didn’t use marijuana, I grew up hearing that it was not addictive. That was a lie or at least a huge mistake in terms of what we know now. The bishops rely on modern science and the modern understanding of addictions when they say marijuana “is an addictive substance that will have disastrous effects” for many people.
There was a time when a Canadian who didn’t break the law would be following God’s law in most matters. Sadly, tragically, that time has passed. Only the Creator’s law can guide us now to the good life, and to the righteousness that leads to life eternal.
It is truer than ever that
“Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.”
So on this Canada Day, let’s not only pray for the nation, but lift up our eyes to the lofty vision of creation and the human person that is our heritage as Canadians and Christians.
~ WHAT A NOT-Ready-For-Prime Time fluster-cluck this was. In the subtle language of international diplomacy, this was a world-class snub: THIS is what Canadians think of you in 2018. And the flags? Wince.
A king & queen, along with 100 business leaders, 7 ministers, and representatives from Belgian universities– a serious world-class delegation– and the PM’s handlers let him run off to do other things.
No excuse. Not even a junior Agriculture Minister, Minister of Defence, Deputy Prime Minister or– hey, here’s an idea– an all-party gathering of political leaders to make these good people welcome? Our Minister of Heritage apparently drew the short straw. The GG Ms. Payette was there, replete with German Flags. We’re now way past Monty Python surrealism, boys and girls.
Yet again, our Glorious Maximum Leader has done badly by Protocol 101, Diplomacy 101, the code of duty, basic dignity, respect between nations, and expression appreciation for their efforts in remembering Canadian sacrifices 1914-1945 on behalf of rescuing Belgium in wartime. In our name.
Goofus, Our Doofus
People used to make fun of lovable Toronto Mayor Rob Ford for his gaffe-tastic ways. Our preposterous PM Justin Trudeau makes Ford 1.0 look like a paragon of discretion and class, by comparison.
That the Belgians actually quietly mentioned the disaster? The classy red-alert diplomatic equivalent of hanging naked upside down on a light-pole screaming from a megaphone. We done effed up.
Another Fine Mess
This PM has insulted Belgium, our veterans and war-dead, our proud Canadian military tradition, the proud Belgian tradition of honouring OUR war-dead, and our war graves in their land, and so much more. 170 000 Canadian casualties across two wars, just in fighting for Belgium.
It was above and beyond. The Belgians sent military members, locals gathered, bands played, jets flew over, flowers & wreath laid & prayers said, a reception, the whole she-bang. MY family amongst others was invited & honoured by the Belgians.. and they’ve even made it an annual gathering since then! Wow. So humbling and amazing. Every year for Remembrance Day, Belgian school kids decorate war-graves, and give thanks for the lives lost liberating their nation– including Canadians.
Will We Remember Them?
So.. 100 years after the 1st World War ended, the Belgian Royals came all the way to Canada to say “Thank You” in person. Class in action. Easy enough to graciously receive them, have a plaque unveiling, children’s choir singing something nice from Belgium, university & business & political discussions, some celebrities & culture-types, strengthening our bonds as nations with a shared history and mutual respect….
Have national leader not bother = thud. Junior might as well have spat in their faces. Seriously.
We’re kind of broken right now, and longing for a national leader who will make us proud. We hope to have one in 2019, but many of the same idiot-loving idiots who elected him last time are still pretty much.. idiots.
>> BARELY SATIRE: “Look at the calendar. Do you know what year it is? It’s 2018! Say it with me: two thousand eighteen. That means it’s long past time for us to get a few important things straight, once and for all.”
~ JUST THE OTHER DAY, some ‘marchers for peace’ from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, Canada, protested a speech by lighting-rod author, professor and gadfly, Jordan Peterson. Inevitably, they wanted him silenced for, you know.. Reasons™. Some windows at the university were broken; virtue was signalled, the young Marxist social justice warriors felt superior, and succeeded in not learning or unlearning a single thing.
There was even a little incitement to murder & arson. ‘Lock em in and burn it down!’ yelled some of these “tolerant peace-loving” students. Yeah, that’s how I deal with discussions. Incitement & threats. Fire & kill.
The title of the terrible, horrible, very bad speech? “The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada.” Lifesite reports:
“Peterson posted several clips of the protest on Twitter, telling a follower that the speaking engagement was “absolutely surreal.”
“The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down,’” he wrote.”
The End Is Past Nigh
In Mel Gibson’s excellent movie Apocalypto (2006), neither the protagonists– captured slaves– or the bad guys– the forest-wrecking temple-building heart-ripper-outers know that it’s the end of their world. They go about their business.. then, in the penultimate scene, we see the European sailing ships coming closer to the shore.
Whatever was before is not gonna be that way very much longer. The future isn’t what it used to be. “Burn all down! Fresh start!” is the new cry for revolution, devolution, and The Big Satanic Lie that we can make a new world by sincerity, effort, and all built of our own fallen selves. “Ye shall be as gods”.
Read, Learn, Weep
Miss H. White.
That’s the wisdom I draw from Hilary White’s latest essay cri de cœur “BECOMING AS GODS: The Murder of Desdemona by Othello, Abortion and Communion in the Hand“.
Just go read the whole thing, and as yourself the question from Mel’s movie: If our world was ending, would we know it?
The thing I like about Hilary’s essay is the big picture– taking little signs and symptoms and showing how the whole structure of the West is in danger, from within and without. Nihilism is nopt a passive force: it’s rather like a poison gas leaking into everything, dissolving the core, and leaving only fragile appearances of what was, ready to fall.
Sadly, the same radicalism has captured most Western Churches: disruption, discontinuity, ugly new utopian content. Hilary nails this perfectly.
What If It’s Here?
What if your own kids & grandkids– poisoned by socially & politically radical teachers, cultural influences, and college– were the new barbarians inside the gates? How could you tell?
Right now at Acadia University, in elm-shaded picturesque Wolfville Nova Scotia, is the fresh front in the war on civilization by “outraged” students and their enabling professoriate. Professor Rick Mehta is under fire for– teaching things. Things contrary to the progressive/ Marxist meta-narrative of victimhoods, oppressors, and the politics of personal destruction for any who don’t toe the party line.
Honestly, I’d rather just binge on NetFlix and hide while the walls come tumbling down on this city that I love: but dear people and good and true and beautiful things are at risk, and even the current enemies of those things might be saved from their madness and hate and self-righteousness.
A Sign of Hope?
Despair and doom-binging can be self-indulgent and blind to the possibilities even within apparent overwhelming darkness. After all, St. Paul & Christ’s Apostles faced and entire Empire founded on naked power, Emperor-worship, and pagan confusions. “Redeeming the time, for the days are evil“, says the Apostle to the Gentiles [Eph. 5:16].
One tiny point of brightness: I recently read on a YouTube video a comment by a college-aged kid who said that countless numbers of his friends & fellow students were binge-watching Jordan Peterson and other such content, because they were tired of the one-note lock-step radicalism of their professors. Truth finds a way.
That is, behind the deceptive ivy-facade, and behind the radicalism within, social media was in fact enabling young people to learn to see all sides of various questions, to hear actually diverse points of view, and to — horror of horrors- learn to think, reason, argue & debate. That they have to have a hidden remedial education within a $5-$10K institutional mis-education– while parroting their professors– is a picture of the horror-circus we have let develop in our society.
We will need such young people and all such folks to rebuild things on the ruins of what was. The end IS past nigh.
Do Your Duty
Investigate your local schools and colleges. Do due diligence before sending your kid off to school, imagining it still is like it was 30 or 50 years ago. Withhold donations and gifts and let them know what you think. And of your kindness, say a prayer and send a word to Acadia on behalf of Professor Rick Mehta. And don’t forget the petition.
Queens grad? Let them know what you think about the recent semi-riot. Because some students used their free speech to oppose free speech.
Navigating the Acadia website was like wandering through a picturesque maze, with not a single human being to be seen. In five minutes, I didn’t see the actual name of anyone, let alone Heather Hemming’s. I phoned the switchboard, hoping to speak to someone who could give me Ms Hemming’s email address: the hours are 8:30-4:30, Monday to Friday, so no luck. So, here I am at the general email address.
I also thought of contacting Acadia’s Office of Safety and Security as I believe that Professor Mehta’s safety and security are under siege—the topic of this message.
I have been an educator for 45 years. In that time, I have noticed a serious deterioration in both the maturity and behaviour of a critical mass of students. At the same time, I have noticed a standing down of the administrators, whose first line of defense now seems to be to appease the miscreant. This solves the problem of having to deal with an even more angry, entitled student and, often, that student’s belligerent parent(s). It’s nice for the three parties just mentioned—and hell for teachers, not to mention society at large.
I have twice been physically assaulted as well as suspended, minus due process, on the say-so of well known, student bullies. In all cases, the students were coddled and catered to: there were no negative consequences for them, but plenty for me. Who do you think felt really unsafe? As a colleague says, “Our schools are safe, all right—for the bullies.”
I attended excellent public schools in Toronto in the 50s and 60s: the adults were in charge. There were clear boundaries and not only were we safe, we felt safe! Academics were rigorous—a far cry from the curricula today—and we were held to account. We were not taught to be offended : the very idea of micro-aggressions and triggers didn’t enter our minds.
We were treated respectfully, which meant that we were held to high academic and behavioural standards. We could actually fail a grade. We could actually be suspended. Teaching our children that they have a right not to be offended is, in my opinion, a form of child abuse. This fiction renders young people very vulnerable to their own capricious and often tempestuous emotions. How is allowing vindictive and often misguided emotion to be the standard by which a university makes crucial decisions helpful to anyone?
Professor Mehta sounds like a man after my own heart. If the fairy tales being propagated at places like Acadia weren’t so outlandish, Professor Mehta’s ideas would seem to be just what they are: fairly mainstream. Why are his rights the only ones being disregarded? Why is his integrity considered expendable? Why is it OK to offend him?
Ms Hemmings, in attempting to censor, shame and bully Professor Mehta, Acadia seems willing to put itself in the same position as Wilfrid Laurier, which, deservedly, became a laughing stock. It seems that you’re unable to discern the gigantic double standard under which you appear to be operating. Acadia seems to have everything backwards: in order to enforce tolerance, you are intolerant. In order to appease the immature appetites of a group of coddled adult toddler students, it seems that Acadia is willing to sacrifice not only the integrity of a hard working, accountable academic, but his very livelihood. Shame on you.
How about if Acadia were to come to its senses and follow the example of the University of Chicago, re its expectations of its students? How about if Acadia were to actually treat its students not like spoiled brats, but like adults?
“Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” the letter said.
I have just sent the following letter in support of Dr. Mehta:
Dear Dr. Hemming,
My family and I have been some-time residents of Nova Scotia since 2003, and have always been moved by the friendliness of your people and, in general, their practical common sense and peaceful ways. Therefore I am stunned to read about what is being done to Professor Rick Mehta, at your university.
I have skin in this game, as they say. I have been a professor of literature for more than thirty years, introducing students to a range of works spanning four thousand years and more than a dozen cultures, written in a broad variety of languages, ten of which I read. So I can see where Dr. Mehta is coming from.
He and his family have been, in their lives and in profoundly personal ways, the victims of ugly prejudices, some of them arising from a clash of cultures, the British and the Indian, and then the Canadian and the Indian. And yet he has the grace, and it seems the courage, not merely to condemn the British, and then your own people the Canadian, for pure evil. He has tried to understand both peoples and to evaluate them with equity, and because of that — because, apparently, he does NOT HATE his erstwhile overlords with sufficient passion — you are now doing to him exactly what you accuse the overlords of having done.
In other words, YOU are playing the part of a colonial master, coming down hard against a mild-mannered and gentle man, for daring not to be your intellectual puppet.
That is disgraceful in its own right. At a university, supposedly a place where young people are to be taught to pursue the truth, it is inexcusable.
Anthony Michael Esolen Fellow, Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts
Panel Discussion on Free Speech at Universities (Acadia University; May 3, 2017)
~ AS MY FATHER used to say, ancient civilizations were invaded from outside by barbarians: modern societies are more efficient– we make our own barbarians, inside the gates.
This is an actionable moment for any concerned Canadian, Nova Scotia, Acadia Grad, academic, or just concerned person. It’s also a time to press the media to tell an accurate story, unlike the Canadian Press hack-job reprinted in the recent Chronically Horrid, which mostly quotes an associate professor from New Brunswick as the “expert”.
The Point, Gotten To
To me, this looks like a full-on witch-hunt to get rid of Acadia’s own Jordan Peterson, Professor Rick Mehta. If you can’t answer someone’s wisdom, then threaten their livelihood, reputation, and academic standing. Typical radical politics of personal destruction. Even if he is exonerated, the process IS the punishment.
By GOLLY I Object!
As an Acadia Grad (’86-’87), this mess proves that my Alma Mater has gone full-on flaming loony snowflake/ SJW echo chamber. I guess I was lucky it wasn’t lost to the pink & blue haired barbarians while I was still there.
I wonder: how many Canadian professors have recently been threatened with firing and public disgrace for being too socialist, too Marxist, too Leftist/ progressivist, too ‘Critical Meta-Narrative’, too feminist, too anti-free speech? Yeah, I thought so.
This attack is sad, humbling, and a call to protest. Now.
What to Do… Some Suggestions
Raise a stink. The barbarians are inside the gates– and they are dressed up as intolerant professors and students, trying to punish and silence someone challenging the no-debate Leftward mono-culture status quo.
If you are on FaceBook, how about dropping a word of support, prayer, and encouragement to Professor Mehta? Every little bit helps.
And youth? Parents? How about considering very very carefully where you want to invest that precious $30K+ in tuition & expenses.. at Politically Correct U, or a real college teaching the whole of the Western Tradition, like King’s College in Halifax, amongst others in Canada & the U.S.?
Why not let Acadia officialdom know what you think (politely, calmly, and not 15 pages)? Carbon copy your MLA, or MP, and interested media. Letters to the editor.
Heather Hemming Office of the Vice-President, Academic 15 University Avenue Acadia University Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
The neo-barbarians are inside the gates, killing & pillaging: and we made them. We must expose, fight, and demand free speech and academic freedom under law.
Mehta: In His Own Words
I— Acadia Vs. Mehta
February 27th, 2018
“This post is for the general public and for the students who don’t know me. Many of these individuals may not even know where their next meal is coming from and may even see me as a member of an elite class. These are valid reasons for them to be skeptical about why they should care about my situation. I hope that my post addresses these issues.
I want to start this post by acknowledging that Acadia University is a publicly funded institution that receives its income primarily from the general public and students’ tuition. I believe that this makes these groups of people my employer and, even though this is not written down in any official capacity, I believe that this means that I am morally and ethically bound to serve their interests in my capacity as a professor.
From my perspective, I believe that my duty is to ensure that my students become informed and engaged citizens who can think critically and can make informed decisions. This also means that I am duty-bound to do what I can to ensure that they will become citizens who are open to diverse perspectives even if they disagree with what they’re being told, and that that they will be able to generate good ideas – so good that they can win people to their side solely on the strength of their ideas.
In my time at Acadia, I worked on these goals quietly in the confines of my classrooms. This is because I am an introvert at heart and have never had the desire to be in the public spotlight. Based on the rapport that I have had with my current and past students, I like to think that the quiet, understated approach is what worked best for me. I felt like I was making a contribution to society and enjoyed the quiet satisfaction of not being in the public spotlight and of not having fame.
In 2015, I started to suspect that there were serious problems with the university system. In 2016, I became worried that the problems would affect Canadian universities. In May 2017, I organized a panel discussion on free speech to discuss this issue (I’ve posted it on YouTube). Based on the feedback I received, I believed the event was successful and I was optimistic that I could play a role in instituting change at Acadia.
I became alarmed by events that transpired in the summer of 2017, and decided to present a thorough and comprehensive talk on free speech (the talk is posted on YouTube). In that talk, I also presented some ideas on how to implement change that would balance the conflicting concerns that had been brought to my attention. My talk was well attended (and listened to online) by students and members of the Wolfville/Acadia community. But the only faculty members who attended my talk or have said anything (e.g., over campus emails) have been the ones who oppose me.
Between September and November, I sent out campus emails and used social media to fight my own union because I believed that they were abusing their power to get money that I as a faculty member didn’t deserve, because I disagreed with their strong-arm tactics, and because their proposals would undermine academic freedom and free speech.
Since December, I have openly challenged many viewpoints that have become dominant on campus (i.e., questioning the basis for “systemic racism”, “systemic sexism”, the university’s decolonization initiatives, etc.) both in the emails that I have sent to my campus and on social media. Rather than refute me, which would be easy for the best and brightest minds to do if they had arguments and data on their side, the people who oppose me are claiming that I am harassing and/or being discriminatory towards them, and are using university policies that are vague and ill-defined as their basis for asking that the university investigate me (I’d be happy to send people copies of the policies so that they can judge for themselves)
Furthermore, my department has taken away the courses that I have taught for years (I would be happy to send people copies of my resume if they are skeptical about whether or not I was competent at my job). The rationale that I was given that there were “concerns” about my teaching. I submitted my appeal and explained the reasons why I believed this decision was unfair, and proposed that I teach the large sections of Introductory Psychology that I have taught this year, and that I would cover a third course on overload. Because I already have a good salary, I gave my word that I would donate the extra income to a charity so that the extra money would benefit the people who needed it more than me.
After taking over three weeks to get back to me (which is the time frame given in the university’s collective agreement), the Dean overturned my appeal. Rather than summarize his rationale, I welcome people to contact me. I can then send you copies of my appeal and the Dean’s response so that you can decide for yourselves if I was treated fairly. I believe that the documents speak for themselves and don’t need any commentary from me.
I believe that the evidence in my post demonstrates that that there are serious problems at Acadia. My position is that the problems are so serious that I am willing to lose a job that rewards me with a six-figure salary and a gold-plated pension. This is because I believe that my ethical duty to serve the interests of the general public and the students at Acadia take precedence over my own narrow self interests. Given the role that education plays in the lives of the students and society, this is my rationale for why I believe that my situation should be cause for concern for all of us as citizens of the world.”
II — Rick Mehta: A New Canadian
Rick Mehta February 25 at 1:37am
“In this long post, I’ll give some information about my family history and so-called lived experience in Canada so people know where I’m coming from when it comes to issues related to racism, sexism, etc., and WHY I have been so outspoken of late – and also why I have adopted the positions that I have taken (e.g., standing by Cornwallis and Senator Beyak).
My grandfather was stoned to death outside of his own home during the separation of India for the “crime” of being a government employee. My grandmother blamed my mother for my grandfather’s murder and did what she could to make my mother’s life miserable. In turn, my mother directed her anger about how she was treated onto my older brother – until she realized that what she was doing was wrong. She then overcompensated by spoiling me when I was a child and that created its own problems.
For example, I spent a good part of my childhood looking down on people who were poor and blamed them for their situation without giving any consideration to the greater societal context (e.g., did the people I was insulting even have access to drinking water, education, etc.) I also had a difficult time finding work after graduating from university because I was too spoiled from having had everything given to me, and to had to learn the hard way life’s lessons about the importance of hard work and how to find a job.
Other incidents that have shaped me as a human being stem from my own direct experiences with racism in my childhood (this paragraph) and observing how my mother was treated when she was trying to succeed in the workplace as a woman with brown skin.
During the 1970s, there was a lot of tension between the English and French; because I was a first generation Canadian, I was accepted by neither group. That resulted in me not being allowed on certain streets, being beaten up routinely (in part because of my skin colour, although I imagine that being socially awkward and overweight played a role in being a target of bullies), my family receiving crank phone calls at all hours of the day and night, having total strangers scream at my family and me to “go back to your country”, and routinely coming home to have to clean eggs that were thrown at our home. After the 1980 referendum, my experience as a first generation Canadian has kept getting better. Until Justin Trudeau became prime minister and started dividing our country, I had little reason to even think about my ethnicity or skin colour; I was simply a proud Canadian.
With regard to the issue of sexism, It pained me to have to hear stories of what my mother had to endure due to racism and/or sexism. I’ll give two examples. She was unceremoniously fired over the phone when she called in to miss work because my brother and I were ill with the measles. She also had to watch as people who were junior to her in the workplace quickly rise through the ranks (one person ended up becoming her boss) – not because of qualifications or work ethic, but because they were connected to “the old boys club”.
I like to think that these and other experiences have shaped who I am as a person, how I treat other people in general, and – more importantly – why I’ve tried to structure my classes as a functional hierarchy and democracy. My hope has always been that students would take what I did implicitly and would adopt it into their lives after they’re no longer students in my classes (e.g., how they treat other people, what qualities they look for in politicians when it comes to elections, etc.).
In term of India’s history, it’s true that the British insisted that India and Pakistan become two separate countries, and that this resulted in much bloodshed; I know this because it affected my mother directly and affected me indirectly. However, I believe that a greater good was served as a result of this decision. India is now an economic powerhouse. I highly doubt this would have happened if the British hadn’t insisted on having India separate into two countries. I believe that the situation would have been a lot worse and would have made the conflicts in the Middle East look like world peace in comparison.
It might seem counterintuitive (and some might argue that my position is “racist”), but I believe that the British used their greater and advanced knowledge of civilization and democracy to do what was best for the people of India. I’m not saying that the British were perfect or angels, but if they were evil people hell-bent on genocide, I believe they would have found a way to have accomplished that goal many years ago.
For this reason, I see colonization very differently from the FN advocacy groups and openly challenge some of the narratives that are dominant at university campuses (e.g., the decolonization initiatives) – especially when they’re done under the premise that they can’t be scrutinized (e.g., any attempts to ask questions or offer different perspectives are countered with charges of “racism”, “cultural genocide”, being “pro-colonialsim”, etc.) and when the past is used for endless demands for financial compensation. This explains why I have been very skeptical of the so-called “Truth” and “Reconciliation” report on the residential schools and why I am standing with Cornwallis (I believe that the activists are trying to rewrite history).
I’ll bring my thoughts to a close by saying that respect is a two-way street. At what point are we going to start playing by the same rules when it comes to issues such as race, gender, etc.? We can continue to along with with divides us, which will help us continue to magnify the polarization we’re seeing in society today and the path to civil unrest; if I’m correct, we’re on a path to WWIII and this will consist of civil unrest in the liberal democracies. In the past, evil has persisted not because the citizens had adopted the views of fascism or communism (the term “social justice” is in vogue at the moment), but because the good people did nothing. Applying the lessons of the past to the present, this explains why the voices of reason must start to speak out.
If my reading of history is correct, the voices of reason outnumber the far left to the point of being able to minimize their impact. Once the far left is neutralized, there will be little reason for the far right to advocate for itself. From there, we will finally have a context in which we will finally be able to have the difficult conversations to address both the good and dark sides of our history, and to finally address modern social problems. The simplistic “settler/colonizer” = evil (or “genocidal”), “patriarchy”, “systemic racism”, “systemic sexism” approaches to our history and complex social problems is only worsening problems that can potentially be about as close as humanly possible to being solved or nipped in the bud.”
Congratulations on serving as Canada’s new Governor General, and representing the Queen to Canada, and Canadians to the Queen. It is an historic and storied role. Representing all Canadians is a wonderful opportunity.
Thank you for speaking out for science recently, at the 9th annual Canadian Science Policy Conference on Wednesday, November 1. Canada has long led the way in technology, innovation & invention, and in medical fields, amongst many others.
However, during your remarks it is reported that you said:
“”Can you believe that still today in learned society, in houses of government, unfortunately, we’re still debating and still questioning whether humans have a role in the Earth warming up or whether even the Earth is warming up, period,” she said.
“And we are still debating and still questioning whether life was a divine intervention or whether it was coming out of a natural process let alone, oh my goodness, a random process.
“And so many people — I’m sure you know many of them — still believe, want to believe, that maybe taking a sugar pill will cure cancer, if you will it!
“And every single one of the people here’s personalities can be determined by looking at planets coming in front of invented constellations.”.
Your Excellency– as I understand it, your role is to speak to and represent all Canadians– including those who need to use non-prescription supplements, those who believe that there is no contradiction between science and religion, those who are not convinced– on actual evidential bases that climate change as popularly represented is primarily anthropogenic– or whatever other beliefs are out there which you seem to have slighted in your comments.
The following distinguished people have believed there is a divine being: Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato. Einstein. Moses & Jesus. St. Thomas Aquinas. Galileo. Leonardo. Sir Isaac Newton. Nicholas Copernicus.
The following Noble Laureates in Science are also people who had some kind of agnostic or actual faith in God (mostly Jewish & Christian)–
My father was trained in the fields of computers, nuclear physics, general medicine, and the difficult specialty of pathology & medical examination. He served Canadian communities up and down the Annapolis Valley for two decades, as did his immigrant Scots father– also a Pathologist– did for 30 years prior. My father was also a Christian. He had no difficulty believing that God both created and was creating– through his created things and beings– all that is.
As a Canadian, I do not feel anyone in such a position as Governor General of Canada should be– or be seen to be– alienating or dividing our country, or possibly provoking and insulting Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, or those who follow aboriginal beliefs.
I hope this letter finds you well, enjoying your opportunities for the betterment of our Country, and richly blessed in all you do. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Yours very sincerely,
Etc., etc., so on and so forth.
UPDATE– VICTORY! 😉
Dear Mr. Binks,
Thank you for sharing your views and suggestions with Governor General Julie Payette.
Responses to specific inquiries can be expected within three weeks. All emails will be read, but general comments and opinions may not receive a response.
Nous vous remercions d’avoir transmis vos points de vue et vos suggestions à la gouverneure générale Julie Payette.
Veuillez prévoir trois semaines pour l’obtention d’une réponse à une demande précise. Tous les courriels seront lus, mais les opinions et les commentaires généraux ne recevront pas automatiquement une réponse.