October 18, 2008

"Savages" shouldn't lecture Chinese?

Natives decry remark as racistAn aboriginal rights group has reported former International Olympic Committee vice-president Dick Pound to the IOC's ethics committee, accusing him of making racist and intolerant comments about Canada's native peoples and demanding that he be denounced ahead of the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

André Dudemaine, director of LandInSights, a Quebec-based aboriginal advocacy group, said Mr. Pound made comments in an interview with Montreal's La Presse newspaper in August, in which he called 17th-century Canada “a land of savages.” The comments were discriminatory and contrary to the IOC code of ethics, Mr. Dudemaine said.

Mr. Pound, speaking in French in a story about the Olympics published Aug. 9, was responding to a question about the potential embarrassment of holding the Games in China, where dissidents had been jailed and a Tibetan uprising crushed.

“We must not forget that 400 years ago, Canada was a land of savages, with scarcely 10,000 inhabitants of European descent, while in China, we're talking about a 5,000-year-old civilization. We must be prudent about our great experience of three or four centuries before telling the Chinese how to manage China,” Mr. Pound told journalist Agnès Gruda.
Comment:  Pound added that he didn't intend his remarks to be racist. In other words, he's another unintentional racist.

Maybe he meant to say that Canada's unschooled Anglos, with only a few hundred years of civilization on the continent, shouldn't lecture the Chinese. But that it's okay for Canada's Aboriginals, with their own civilization of 10,000-plus years, to lecture them.

Hmm...maybe, but probably not.

For the inevitable outcome of this story, see Days After Public Outcry, Pound Says He's Sorry. For more on the subject, see Hypocrisy Over Olympics Bashing.


dmarks said...

Mr. Pound talks like he is paid off by Red China. The current regime in China, which was founded by Mao about 60 years ago, is the most savage in the history of the planet (more than 60 million killed through execution, oppression of foreign nations such as Tibet, creation and support of Pol Pot, and engineered famine).

Anonymous said...

I don't think one sloppy categorical slander needs to be answered by another sloppy categorical slander about yet another group. Just to begin, relative to most modern economies, there is very little that is "red" about "Red China." I hope your concern for social and cultural justice isn't reserved only for select groups.

Rob said...

I think DMarks is concerned about social justice in all left-leaning "socialist" or "communist" countries. Does that count as broadminded?

I haven't heard him express much concern about the right-leaning regimes the US often supports. If he has a blind spot, I'd say that's it.