It’s pretty clear she doesn’t know the story. In Margaret Atwood’s book, there is a plot reveal halfway or maybe two-thirds of the way into the story that made me foot stomping mad. Because… of course! The men in charge of Gilead are certainly not pious, they are hypocritical oligarchs.
Their mantra is Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, and Europe for Europeans. When someone says that to you, the obvious retort is: Then you must believe that the Americas and Australia are for Aboriginals! Then you must believe that European Colonialism was very wrong, and upset the “balance” of the continents! (Perhaps the Europeans venturing into the other continents set up the history and politics that result in the current immigration from those countries back into Europe.)
For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”
Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.
In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I am not sure how old I was when I learned that quote, and understood it. Early high school I think. (In my neighbourhood, elementary was grade 1-6, and high school was 7-11.)
The ruling class, the privileged, the citizens of the Capitol if you like (Hunger Games) ride on the coat-tails of the power – and if they so choose – exploit and judge the underclass with freedom from social responsibility or consequence.
In Animal Farm the egalitarian animal dream breaks down and the pigs co-opt the puppies to raise them into a bloodthirsty obedient policing force. Once insulated from retaliation (the side with the teeth/guns wins), those who hold the leash choose the target. Continue reading →
When I was taking courses for my DEC in Special Ed (Adult Ed night classes downtown), we learned about suicide. Which methods each gender tried, each age group tried. And the repercussions. Many people that jumped – if they survived, they essentially made themselves dependent disabled people for life. We heard about metro drivers, and how devastating it is to hit a person. Suicide by cop. There are so many many repercussions.
“Our society has distorted who we are, from slavery to the reconstruction, to the precipice at which we now stand. We have seen powerful white men rule the world while offering poor white men a vicious lie as placation” – The fictionalized Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2014 Movie “Selma”
“And when the poor white man’s children wail with a hunger that cannot be satisfied, he feeds them that same vicious lie. A lie whispering to them that regardless of their lot in life, they can at least be triumphant in the knowledge that their whiteness makes them superior to blackness.”
Go see Mockingjay, especially if you are young and so far non-political.
I saw Mockingjay at the theater. I love the lessons in politics embedded as propo’s in the film. Young people may not watch or care about the news, or history. If they do, it may be to repeat or forward a story that sounds cool or outrageous, but they may have never researched it to understand if it is true, and if so, in what context? Context is everything.
On a packed express bus, with all of us now in winter gear, I made my way to the rear. It is less crowded there, and often someone will get off at the next stop. Through all the standing people, I came to the back to see a seat with a backpack, so I motioned to the guy absorbed with his laptop to move it, and as cheerfully as possible mentioned that there were a lot of people standing for him to leave his bag on the seat. “Oh I didn’t notice,” pointing at his laptop.
“The overwhelming prevalence of acquaintance over stranger rapes and of intoxication over overt force, and the relative rarity of weapon use and physical injuries, is easily explained. Rapists know what works. They like to rape, they want to keep doing it, they want not to be caught. It is in their interest to be very sensitive to which accounts of rape are believed and which are attacked and to know which targets and methods are lowest-risk for them.
What they do is what works. They rape their drunk acquaintances because it works. They rape their drunk acquaintances because we let them.”