The top episodes of wokeness in Canada last year

January 2, 2022 • 1:30 pm

It’s from the National Post, of course, which is a conservative site, but do you think the most liberal Canadian newspaper (I’m not sure which one that is) would publish an article like the following? I’m a sucker for listicles of any sort, so of course I read it. Also, I’ve been paying more attention to the follies of Canada since I started learning that it may be even more steeped in progressive leftist lunacy than the U.S.  But unlike the U.S., I don’t think that these extremes will drive Canadian voters towards the right.  I may be wrong, so enlighten me if you know Canadian politics.

Anyway, this is just for fun.

The author, Jonathan Kay, evinces a sense of humor in his opening paragraph:

When the holidays arrive, I often take the occasion to write solemn think pieces that survey the human condition in all its many facets — as with my 2019 Christmas essay about how Ambrose of Milan’s response to the Massacre of Thessalonica in 390 A.D. shaped the western Christian tradition. But writing those thumb-suckers takes a lot of “emotional labour.” So this year, as yuletide approaches, I’ve instead acceded to my editor’s request that I write a trashy listicle cataloguing the most hilariously woke Canadian social-justice meltdowns of 2021. “It is easier to look wise than to talk wisely,” Ambrose sagely advised. Here are some social-justice enthusiasts who had challenges on both fronts.

I love the phrase “emotional labor”, for it’s a red flag to stop reading whatever text that contains it. At any rate, Kay gives many examples, but I’ll show only three,

This first one I wrote about earlier (PCC[E] is always on the ball). This is from Kay:

Kies was part of a 2021 trend, as educational organizations figured prominently in the year’s biggest woke farces. That includes the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), which canceled a speaking event starring Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, on the basis that paying heed to her account of being held as an ISIL sex slave in 2014 might promote “Islamophobia.” This decision was especially notable given that, around the same time, the same school board was paying activist Desmond Cole $16,000 for a four-part Zoom lecture series that purported to instruct TDSB senior staff on anti-racism, but which contained (in at least two of the four lectures) lengthy digressions about the evils of Israeli “settler colonialism.” Nice work if you can get it.

It’s one example of two Leftist principles colliding (sympathy with supposed underdogs versus concern for women’s rights). As the MacPherson Principle (devised by reader Diana MacPherson) asserts, whenever two liberal principles conflict, it’s always resolved in a way that the women lose. (Another example are the many people who, without investigating the data, think that any male—with or without medical intervention—who decided their gender is female should be able to participate in women’s sports. But more on that tomorrow.)

And of course the Language Police operate north of the border:

Needless to say, 2021 also brought all sorts of new demands about how we’re supposed to talk and what words we’re allowed to use. Prominent trans activist Florence Ashley opined in June that we should all be careful not to use male and female terms when discussing our dogs and cats, because “gendering animals serves to normalize bioessentialist conceptions of gender. When we gender animals, we forget that sex is assigned. We begin to believe that sex is literally *in* the body.” (Imagine thinking such a thing!) And just this month, we learned that Ontario’s public service has compiled a list of discouraged terms that includes “pipeline” (offensive to Indigenous people, apparently) and “low-hanging fruit” because (and I am not making this up) “though there is no direct connection, the term can be problematic for those who witnessed lynchings.” A separate list created by CBC Ottawa in recent works similarly warns of “words and phrases you may want to think twice about,” including “spooky,” “lame,” “brainstorm,” and “grandfathered,” all for reasons that are too ridiculous to repeat.

Words are getting banned so fast, in fact, that some of us don’t even have time to learn the new ones before they’re relegated to history’s racist dustbin. On December 11, Shree Paradkar, the Toronto Star ’s “Race and Gender Columnist,” dedicated a whole column to the revelation that she is “saying bye-bye to ‘BIPOC,’” an acronym that entered common progressive parlance just a few years ago, and which many ordinary Canadians don’t yet use or even understand. Paradkar complained that “as with POC or person of colour, BIPOC got swallowed up, quickly lost nuance, and got spat out as a racial identifier to say ‘not white.’”

BIPOC, as you all should know, stands for the grouping of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. But it may soon be passé, or get added initials like LGBTQ did.

Finally, this one is so extreme it’s not very funny at all:

 Not to be outdone, District 20 of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), headquartered in nearby Burlington, instituted a new internal voting system that explicitly allots voting power on the basis of skin colour — such that the voting power of non-white members is grossed up to ensure it represents the same (or greater) overall voting power as that of white members. (By way of example: If there are 15 white members voting, and five non-white members voting, the vote value of non-whites members is tripled so as to bring the net racial vote balance to even strength. Details are spelled out in the animated YouTube video that OSSTF produced to sell the plan to its own membership. Google “OSSTF District 20 on Why White and Non-White People Should Have Different Voting Rights.”)

Here’s a slide used to explain the new system, taken from the link above:

Since this is a public school, isn’t there some kind of law in Canada that prohibits violating the “one person, one vote” principle?

There are several more at the site; go see for yourselves.

31 thoughts on “The top episodes of wokeness in Canada last year

    1. Yes, me neither. I can’t get over the irritation that “black” is a subset of “people of colour” and, in the context BIPOC is usually used, indigenous people are normally people of colour too, so why not just say “people of colour”.

      In the UK we have another acronym: BAME meaning “black, Asian and minority ethnic”. That’s also been decided to be a no-no for similar reasons even though it was all the rage a couple of years ago.

    1. Jon, you might be thinking of dr. linda manyguns (yep, no capital letters) at the University of Calgary. Dr. Morning Star Bear is at the University of Saskatchewan. Or at least she was until she was fired from both her jobs for being a pretendian. I sympathize, it’s hard to keep track of these characters.

  1. To answer our host’s question about the loaded voting rules: The OSSTF is a trade union, a type of private club, and can organize its affairs however it likes. The unions are powers unto themselves, especially teachers unions. Rare is the union member who will buck the union executive. (Its members are employed by the publicly responsible municipal School Boards and teach at the public high schools operated by the Boards. The elementary schoolteachers have their own union.)

    A member of a union can complain to the Ontario Labour Relations Board that the union is failing in its duty of representation. But he would have to really really want to.

  2. Good grief – words fail me, especially with regard to the “voting power measured by skin colour” travesty.

    1. It’s not a huge step before some identified group is judged to be worth no voting power. Perhaps ‘they’ will have to wear some social identification to make sure their worthlessness is known to all?

  3. ‘ voting power of non-white members is grossed up to ensure it represents the same (or greater) overall voting power as that of white members’: is a formula guaranteeing equity for a numerical minority deemed oppressed within the CRT system. This is to ensure that CRT formulations will guide events to a desired outcome. Thought policing in action.

    1. And another fine reason to leave the teaching profession.

      I don’t know how kids are going to be educated pretty soon, a least in the USA.

      I just recently listened to Bari Weiss podcast. One of the things discussed (and agreed upon) was that schools should have been reopened last year prior to vaccines being readily available. The phrase used was “kill the kitten” (meaning damn the teachers’ reluctance to risk their lives and health for in-person teaching).

      Not only is society laying all the blame for the “achievement gap” (it’s real) on the teachers and schools. They are forced to take “training” in which they are harangued repeatedly with they are all racists. More and more and more mandates are heaped on every year with no additional funding or staffing. Their labor contracts get worse every year (they’ve been going backwards in real-dollar terms for years in my wife’s former district). And the pay is terrible, in general. (Most teachers don’t go into the profession for the pay; but reality has to sink in eventually.) And the actual working hours are ridiculous (not the classroom hours, those are a small part of the required hours; teachers want to be able to spend time with their own children).

      Eventually, bright young people are going to say: Forget it. Not worth it.

      1. ‘I just recently listened to Bari Weiss podcast. One of the things discussed (and agreed upon) was that schools should have been reopened last year prior to vaccines being readily available. The phrase used was “kill the kitten” (meaning damn the teachers’ reluctance to risk their lives and health for in-person teaching).’

        Will Ms. Weiss and her interviewee(s) soon enter (and join me in) the classroom?

        I look forward to listening to the above podcast and getting a better grasp on the meaning of “kill the kitten.”

  4. There was some dumb CBC article listing all the words you weren’t supposed to use like “grandfathered”. It was so stupid and poorly researched that I didn’t even want to complain about it because of the Streisand Effect.

    Most would probably say the CBC is the most left publication. They report on some stuff well and others they just sensationalize and you can tell they are biased in that direction. However often this isn’t always about politics but often manifests in typically Canadian tendencies to attack ourselves or the human bias to consider anything new to be bad and scary.

      1. If you think Canadians are ever smug, you haven’t spent enough time listening to how they rip on anything Canadian.

  5. When will the English language be banned? After all it’s English and what could be more white than English?
    What language could replace it?

      1. Hmmm, I knew a number of Tatars when I was working and visiting Russia. They wear their “Golden Horde” heritage with pride.

    1. Chinese. It’s not indo-European and it is widely spoken. It will also own the libs because it’s difficult to learn and the right wing (because they hate all that Chinese manufacturing) at the same time.

  6. I think we need to produce the top-10 from the USA list. Jerry, you should take on this challenge! I can nominate USC professor speaking Chinese case, Othello movie episode, University of Wisconsin racist rock, and Brandeis University oppressive language website, and Cornell black hole course.

  7. > isn’t there some kind of law in Canada that prohibits violating the “one person, one vote” principle?

    It’s a bit more complicated than that. I have seen a few types of systems that put various class interests (geographic, social, ethnic, etc.) ahead of the one-person-one-vote paradigm. In federations like the US and Canada, a person in a state/province with a smaller population can have more of a vote than a person from a larger state. Someone voting in Wyoming has roughly four times the electoral power in a US Presidential election as someone voting in California. I’ve lived in countries where the formal voting bloc had something to do with social class and employment (Even as a non-citizen, I was permitted to vote for the government’s little-S-soviet (worker’s council) to express my class interests). Every time a government tries to prioritize class interests and balance out the power of various blocs, it weights people differently.

    My preferred solution here would be a one-person-one-vote system; however, investigate the possibility of raising the the threshold for a supermajority; that is precisely why many processes in the US require a 2/3 or 3/4 majority, to make sure that a fair number of people are represented.

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