Why We Must Honor Our History and Stand Up to the Mob
By: Martin Svihus
On August 29th, 2020, during a “Defund the Police” rally in the heart of Montreal, a statue of John A. MacDonald was toppled and destroyed. Police and members of the community stood idly by as this blatant disrespectful destruction of property occurred. Canada’s first Prime Minister, an individual who helped found this nation, was now a target for the ever-growing “Cancel Culture” mob. Similar attacks happened in Charlottetown and Regina. The destruction of statues and monuments had become something of a trend in recent times, experiencing its peak in popularity over this past summer.
Anyone perceived to have said a racist, sexist, or a bigoted statement is likely to have their statue vandalized. Its possible paint might be thrown, graffiti might be sprayed, or their heads might roll. Regardless of the method, if a famous historical figure did anything repugnant or something against the moral standards of today’s society, expect a protest to form and for any sight commemorating them to be desecrated. The perpetrators of these crimes will also be more than likely to walk away facing no consequences. There is an issue with this line of thinking, however, as we are constantly changing and evolving what our society deems as acceptable.
A couple of decades ago it was unthinkable that gay marriage would become legal and practically no individual believed that transgenderism should be accepted or even tolerated. For much of Canada’s history, we were adamant, regardless of the political party, to keep non-white immigrants from entering our country. We have had discriminatory laws in place for most of our history as a country. Times change, and so do societal norms and beliefs. We should be able to as a collective nation admire our past leader’s accomplishments while simultaneously acknowledging their faults and look to not make the same mistakes. Every single statue or commemoration of past public figures would need to be removed in order to appease groups foaming at the mouth to destroy them. Almost every individual of note in the past has said some horrific things, but if we can’t honour leaders and innovators of the past who have said disagreeable things, then everything would come down. Where would it end?
Canada is a nation we should all be proud to call our home. In the beginning, many Canadians worked tirelessly to tend to the fields to feed our growing population while others helped construct the roads, buildings and skyscrapers of our great cities. Our ancestors served in many wars throughout the 20th Century, including both World Wars. Canada was a nation of warriors that helped stem the tide of fascism. Canada has a unique and phenomenal culture. We have made significant contributions to the international community, inventing Basketball, the BlackBerry and Insulin. We should all feel no shame in taking pride in our accomplishments. We should be able to recognize that society has changed, and those who lived in the past have done and said abhorrent things, but we should also be able to celebrate all the good that they’ve contributed to our nation and all of their accomplishments.
*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.
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