February 02, 2009

Kay thinks Indians should assimilate

Here's another racist screed by Jonathan Kay, one of the foremost Indian-bashers in Canada's conservative National Post. I'll let him have his say before I demolish some of his arguments.

Jonathan Kay on aboriginal assimilation, and the best Canadian policy book written in the last 10 yearsI don’t usually praise the work of Marxists. But in the case of Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard, I’ll make an exception.

Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry: The Deception Behind Indigenous Cultural Preservation—excerpted elsewhere on this page—is the most important Canadian policy book I’ve read in the last decade.

It is one thing for National Post columnists to criticize land claims and native self-government. We can be sloughed off as reactionaries—or even racists. But such ad hominems don’t work in the case of Widdowson and Howard, overt socialists whose theories are based on years of field work in the Northwest Territories.

Like many anthropologists working with aboriginals, the authors were pressured to act as advocates for native cultural empowerment. But what they saw—sex and child abuse, violent crime, economic and social dysfunction, suicide, substance abuse and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome—soured them on the mantras being peddled by their peers. The most urgent task, they conclude in their book, isn’t heaping more powers and cash on band leaders, but providing natives with the education and cultural formation required to make it in modern society, so they can leave the reserves behind. Widdowson and Howard don’t call this goal “assimilation”—but I do.
Comment:  The Widdowson and Howard book is the same one discussed in this video.

Here are Kay's previous screeds against Indians:

Kay:  Reserves are "bastions of...decrepitude" and "hellholes"

Canada's aboriginals are "sedentary welfare-collectors"

Kay:  Indians are preserving "hunter-gatherer traditions"

Kay is a two-time "winner" of my Stereotype of the Month Loser award. I don't know if anyone else has won twice. Congratulations, Jonathan...you may be headed for a third award.


Anonymous said...

When is your response coming? I wouldn't even know were to begin; what a joke!

Rob said...

Demolishing Disrobing is a partial response to Kay. My response will come soon. These postings and comments of mine take a lot of time, you know.

Anonymous said...

Ha, fair enough. I've read Tai's and the H and W response. Things are getting ugly and I'd really like to see a solid dissection of the book - but no pressure!

Rob said...

For my response to Kay, see Indian Culture = "Racist Conceit ... Used to Justify Segregation."