The National Post has an interesting article arguing that over the past couple of years CSIS has been monitoring relationships between the First Nations and the government of China. The evidence is flimsy but plausible. The major Chinese corporations now active in the oil patch are part-owned by the Chinese government. If you were sinking tens of billions of dollars into the oilpatch, you’d want to gauge the extent of Aboriginal opposition to your export plans, wouldn’t you?
What’s really interesting, though, is that this article gave a chance for the more unhinged of the Post’s readership to come out to play. I offer the following gems of wisdom from the Internet crackpot community. This is more than just some cheap humour at the expense of some right-wing ideologues, however. The fact that my fellow Canadians feel this way is a little disturbing. The fact that they think it’s appropriate to discuss this sort of crap in the open is even more disturbing. These are the people voting for the Conservatives because they’ll scrap the human rights tribunals. Turns out that’s because they’re worried about being hauled in front of the tribunals themselves.
Anyways, as I say, I have a more worrying point here. Exactly how big a fringe do these comments represent? It’s hard to say. In between the right-wing crackpots and the apathetic “all politicians are corrupt so I’m not going to waste my time,” there’s probably enough people that I’d be very interested in seeing the results of an opinion poll on the question of whether electoral democracy is centrally important to the well-being of Canada.
Anyhow, we’ll start off light:
So, the thinking is that its possible/ likely that the same natives that hold Canadians to ransom over any issue they can, will not hesitate to betray Canadian interests if it best serves their short-term financial ones. Seems pretty rational of CSIS to me.
I quote this one because it’s representative of the majority of commenters, and representative of how easy it is to get them to tangle themselves in kneejerk racist knots. Let me get this straight: First Nations are going to “betray Canadian interests” by helping the Chinese government block a pipeline that will… export oil to China? Or maybe the First Nations are going to “betray Canadian interests” by supporting a pipeline that the Canadian government was going to push through anyway? My head hurts trying to think through the logic here.
Someone picked up on this comment by pointing out that the First Nations are going to betray Canada by selling a strip of land from Alberta to the coast to help the pipeline get through (which will be an impressive feat, seeing as how they don’t own the land in question). Someone else pointed out that First Nations are inherently dishonest when it comes to contracts: the chiefs wouldn’t just sell the land, they’d come back a year later and demand rent.
No problem, said a couple of commentors. If that happened, the Chinese would “kill the chiefs.” One of the commentors eagerly pronounced this to be an “upside.” I can’t tell what the other one said, because the Post moderator deleted the comment. I’m kind of interested to know exactly what the line the Post is drawing here, if assassinating Aboriginal chiefs is considered fair game for discussion. “You can teach the Chinese how to sniff gas and they can teach you more succulent ways to prepare dog meat than boiling it,” some racist shithead immediately chimed in when an Aboriginal person who had clearly wandered into the wrong part of town posted an upbeat comment about the whole affair.
So far it’s the usual racist flapdoodle that you can draw out of Canada’s right just by mentioning the words “First Nations.” To his credit, someone going by the name “Flick Harrison” waged a one-man war against the torches and pitchforks. At one point he dismissed someone as a fascist, and that prompted the following comment:
You don’t understand a word that you are using. A Fascist is member of a political persuasion known as Fascism. Fascism existed in Italy and Spain for many years without violence. It was the the madman Adolf Hitler that added violence to his version of Fascism. You may be too young and a victim of a Government “education” to understand this.
Oh, dear god.
The fact that you can find National Post readers mocking First Nations and egging on the murder of Aboriginal chiefs doesn’t terribly surprise me. The fact that there are people on the boards who are explicitly defending fascism, on the other hand… that did surprise me a little.