Joined: 16 Dec 2009
|Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:11 am Post subject: Lynn Beyak uses taxpayer funds to push racist beliefs
|I want to use this article to illustrate a point that the article isn't making. I am not really interested in Lynn Belak's membership in the clan.
|Lynn Beyak fights for right to fund her racist beliefs with tax dollars
The disgraced Senator invokes freedom of speech to keep her website up and running, Tim Harper writes.
By TIM HARPERNational Affairs Columnist
Thu., March 1, 2018
Lynn Beyak has been stripped of her Senate committee seat, booted from the Conservative caucus and vilified and ridiculed from coast to coast to coast.
She has urged Canada’s Indigenous population to trade in their status cards for citizenship, ignoring the fact that those born in Canada are citizens.
She has done nothing but offend thinking Canadians for a year with her praise of residential schools and her contention that she understands Indigenous peoples because she doubled-dated with “an aboriginal fellow” when she was 15.
But she won’t go away.
Now she has fashioned herself as a champion of free speech and she wants us, as taxpayers, to continue to pay for a website where racist comments have remained under the guise of “supporters comments” for a year.
This week during a Senate debate over whether her Senate-funded website should be immediately shut down, Beyak told her colleagues they were trying to muzzle her.
“It is about trying to prevent me from expressing the view of many Canadians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike — not racism or hatred in any way, just a better way forward that includes all of us in Canada,” she said.
She said she cannot further discussion on a better future for Indigenous Canadians if she is shut down, adding: “If this is considered racism, our society is in serious trouble.”
It’s not our society that is in trouble.
Beyak is making a remarkable and outrageous argument for a woman who has been repudiated by every Indigenous leader in the country.
It bears repeating some of the “supporters’” views that have been on her website for a year.
“The endless funding pit of reserves has to stop. These people need to join the commerce world and work for money.”
And: “There is always a clash between an industrial/organized farming culture that values effort as opposed to a culture that will sit and wail until the government gives them stuff.”
And this enlightened view, suggesting an Amish community banished to a northern reserve would thrive but “the aboriginals relocated to Amish country near Kitchener would have burned down the house and left the fields to gully and rot.”
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of this week’s debate was the restraint shown by Sen. Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a seminal work that taught the country the horror of residential schools.
“These are comments made by members of the public, and no matter how you cut it, no matter what you say about it, most of those comments are racist in nature,” he said.
“Some of them, in fact, are borderline hate speech.”
The comments could instigate actions and foster beliefs that should concern all Canadians, Sinclair said — and Senate resources are being used for that purpose.
Beyak has her supporters.
Ghislain Maltais, a Conservative appointed by Stephen Harper, said people can express an opinion and others will disagree.
“War will not necessarily break out,” he said.
Leo Housakos, a former Senate speaker and Conservative appointed by Harper, said he vehemently disagrees with Beyak’s point of view, but maintained there is no limit on free speech.
There are procedural matters at play here because there is an argument that a motion to shut down the website would interfere with an ongoing Senate ethics probe into whether the letters posted to her site violate a code requiring her to “uphold the highest standards of dignity inherent to the position of Senator.”
History tells us it takes a lot to embarrass the Senate, but Beyak appears to have gotten there.
If one considers the letters posted to the website as hate speech, as Sinclair has suggested, then Beyak has forfeited her right to freedom of speech.
But there would appear to be a simple solution here.
Beyak has the right to espouse ignorant, ridiculous views that offend a more enlightened country in 2018.
She can continue to bring ridicule and vilification upon herself if she persists in her determination to continue some foolish quixotic mission to foist her views on Canadians as some matter of “freedom of speech.”
I invite her to do so.
As long as she follows the counsel of Kim Pate, the independent senator who spent a lifetime advocating for the marginalized, including Indigenous peoples, in Canada’s penal system. She invited Beyak to pay for her own website.
It’s offensive that tax dollars support her views.
Beyak can build her own website.
And we can ignore her.
Tim Harper writes on national affairs. firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @nutgraf1
We all, surely, can recognize a hit piece when we see it. This woman has not been disgraced -- she has been demonized by the media. She has said nothing racist to my knowledge. She has publicized some of the letters she gets from people in her area.
She comes from Kenora, where there are lots of natives, and what she's talking about is the problems that come from that.
I once asked the people on Bourque's then hot political chat line if Canada has a two-tier citizenship. Out of that discussion -- which had a lot more participation and substance to it than we share here -- came this question, which I have posed ever since then.
Do our aboriginal brothers (a) have Canadian citizenship, like all the rest of us, or (b) do they have a 'gold card' citizenship, with special benefits as a result of race, or (c) are they members of a separate sovereign group under the Queen?.
Take that one to the Supreme Court! Answer that one, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the man who gave us the 'social justice state'. Or Brian Mulroney, as well, with all the deals he cut at the time of Meech.
The best answer I got on Bourque was a lawyer who said it was between (b) and (c).
I bring this up because'-- like so many things -- the contemporary urban voter doesn't know what he's talking about with these issues.
This woman is a senator in the Canadian Senate, at least partially an honor, attesting to her achievement and stature in her community.
Her mistake, in my mind, is that she has actually tried to represent her community. Read the letters that Tim Harper writes about. Do you doubt that the people who wrote those letters were talking from their experiences living in a community with large numbers of our native brothers?
Why is Saskatoon one of the highest crime cities in Canada? It's not that it's a metropolis.
I don't know what the answer is. That isn't my point. I know, I know, TC is going to call me a racist for even dealing with the subject, but that's my point -- how can our legislatures deal with these issues, which are real, in this atmosphere of ideological terror that people like TC wield? (Understand, TC is only one more mouthpiece for the liberal monoculture, but most of you guys are mucked up with that kind of thinking, so it's good to take it on.)
Native people (in Ontario at least) have a parallel justice system, a parallel health system in the cities! They seem to be creating a full array of social services on a racial basis, to serve the special needs of those communities. The rez people need education -- how were they to know that letting their kids sniff gasoline wasn't a good thing?
Except that isn't the way it is at all. I have a surprise for you -- native people have TV too. They know as much as you do about what''s going on. More, at a street level. The "street" is a term for a part of city life, and natives are not second class citizens when they're on the street. Theý're the ones with the cheap cigarettes, and who don't have to pay taxes ... and all of that.
Everything about Tim Harper's version is good intentions run amok in ignorance of the real situations. There are beaches on Georgian Bay where white people have to pay to sit in the sun, provided they have no fires and are gone by dusk. At dusk, the natives might be out there, zooming up and down the beach on dune-buggies and having big campfires. Around the beach are recently built cottages and lots being sold off. I never felt so much a Zulu in South Africa in the old pre-Mandala days.
My point is this -- we have to be able to discuss these issues in realistic terms if we are going to make social policy that works. Are we going to back people who actually represent our community interests? Or pillory them? Can we tolerate a discussion about fundamental social choices in an atmosphere where even recognizing the racial basis of the First Nations is a thought crime?