TWO recent letters “Little tolerance for telling the truth” (CJ, May 10) and “No good deeds, ever, at residential schools?” (CJ, March 21, 2017; re-run May 25, 2019) have argued that expelling Lynn Beyak from Senate is wrong because she is speaking the truth and not being politically correct.
This argument, at its simplest, relies on “what about-isms” that so plague the politics in the United States. At its worst, the argument is condescending and patriarchal, especially coming from those of us with white privilege. If we used a similar argument that there were “compassionate people who helped in the concentration camps” as a way to dismiss the holocaust, no one would accept it.
I am sure there were teachers who showed compassion to students in residential schools, but can’t we let this narrative go? It serves no purpose, other than assuaging guilt.
We should go deeper into this issue than just saying, “not all students suffered abuse in residential schools” and acknowledge the reason that these schools were set up — cultural genocide, period. This is an unarguable fact and a shameful part of our past.
Unless you can find a residential school story equivalent of Oskar Schindler, someone who rescued these children and returned them to their families, please stop using this “good people “ argument.