Send the Confederate Monuments to Canada

After all, as Wilfred Laurier asserted, where else does a nation honor both the victors and the defeated?

Where is the Canadian who, comparing his country with even the freest countries, would not feel proud of the institutions which protect him? Where is the Canadian who, passing through the streets of this old city and reaching the monument raised a few steps from here to the memory of the two brave men who died on the same field of battle while contending for empire in Canada, would not feel proud of his country? In what other country under the sun can you find a similar monument reared to the memory of the conquered as well as of the conqueror? In what other country under the sun will you find the names of the conquered and the conqueror equally honored and occupying the same place in the respect of the population? (The Benefits of British Institutions, 1877)

Laurier, Canada’s first francophone Prime Minister (1896-1911), was referring to the Wolfe-Montcalm Monument that memorialized the two generals who fought on opposite sides and died in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, a decisive battle in 1759 during the Seven Years War when the British rolled back French colonial presence in North America.

Canada’s capacity to honor both anglophones and francophones in one monument may give provide reasons for thinking of the nation up north as exceptional.

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18 thoughts on “Send the Confederate Monuments to Canada

  1. We are exceptional, indeed.

    But the same spirit of progressive iconoclasm has infected us, too, with monuments to British generals (e.g. Lord Cornwallis), and buildings named after dead bureaucrats (e.g. Langevin Block), coming under attack for racism against First Nations.

    So once again, the worst parts of intra-American cultural strife have affected us too.

    It’s all your fault. 😉

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  2. In other words, Will S. is telling us, Laurier was a long time ago. We weren’t tearing down monuments then, either.

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  3. Since Canada is a bilingual nation, it seems that both heritages are equally important. Of course the conflict between the French and the English in Canada does not quite parallel the Civil War. For the Confederate monuments were not just honoring war heroes, they were honoring white supremacy. So in comparing our Civil War with the British-French conflict in Canada, is white supremacy what we rely on to protect us? If so, then Canada certainly is exception compared to us.

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  4. “Since Canada is a bilingual nation, it seems that both heritages are equally important.”

    Unfortunately, not so. Since Pierre Trudeau, government jobs have mostly required fluency in both languages, leading to the civil service being dominated by francophones, which has a huge impact on society, esp. in tandem with the separatist threat of francophone Quebeckers allowing them to constantly hold the rest of Canada hostage, so that they are a minority who end up with their own becoming party leaders and thus both government head and opposition leaders many times, yet still they complain, because this allows the blackmail to continue, and the bribery to flow.

    Meanwhile, they, like our current PM, say BS like ‘Canada has no culture’, ignoring English Canada’s heritage and roots. We have a distinct culture, but it’s one the ruling class loathes, and would rather stamp out via immigration and French domination. (Je parle francais; aucune probleme pour moi. But many of my Anglophone countrymen aren’t so fortunate.)

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  5. Oh the irony! The administration at WILFRID Laurier University must have quaffed a few at drinks at Wilf’s, the on-campus pub, before making this decision: http://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-wlus-decision-to-remove-the-statue-of-john-a-macdonald-is-cowardly-and-disgraceful

    Or maybe it’s a Liberal bias showing (Macdonald was Conservative) or no, they only took on the Wilfrid Laurier name because the acronym is the same as their previous name: Waterloo Lutheran University.

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  6. Let us end this violence, and join our hands in song.

    I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world” (John 17:14). If the world is a foreign land, then the justified elect by definition in exile. But if everything is exile, nothing is exile. Because the whole world is alien territory, Every culture is equally close and equally distant from the new creation..

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  7. D.G.,
    Your last sentence is a bit off. There were some abolitionists who were white supremacists. But the cause of the Union Army was white supremacy as was the cause of the Confederate army and the reaction to the efforts at Reconstruction by many of its soldiers after the Civil War. Pointing out that the North exhibited its own form of racism doesn’t exonerate the confederate cause.

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  8. @ DGH: Oh, I don’t blame America for Canada wanting to be more like Europe; we manage that part on our own.

    I partly blame America for Canada wanting to be more like America, though. But it’s more on us, actually, for letting that happen.

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  9. D.G.,
    Wish there was editing on this, Meant to write that the cause of the Union army was NOT white supremacy. The cause of the confederate Army was white supremacy.

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  10. D.G.,
    IN other words, you’re deflecting again. Never said that the Union cause was pure, it just wasn’t white supremacy. Defending race-based slavery was part of defending white supremacy. That was the Confederate cause.

    BTW, do the Scriptures condemn the kind of slavery that existed in the South?

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  11. Curt, the union was not White Supremacy? And yet we on this side of the Civil Rights movement are being told we participate in institutional racism through implicit bias? So somehow people living 150 years ago — who never heard of MLK — were free of implicit bias?

    You need to take out the convenience meter. It’s off the charts.

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  12. D.G.,
    The Union didn’t fight for white supremacy, the confederates did. There is a big difference there and the fact that the Union did not fight for white supremacy did not imply that there weren’t many people in the North who weren’t white supremacists. I know from personal experience about the discrimination and white supremacy that existed and still exists in the North. Do you know that one of the townships that WTS is located between didn’t have any Black homeowners until the Supreme Court acted against discrimination? I know because I lived in that township.

    Somehow, you tend to make connections that aren’t there. And you add to that the eagerness to make accusations while responding to others. You might see that as charming but I don’t think the Scriptures do.

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  13. Curt, you mean Ta Nehisi Coates is wrong about red-lining in northern U.S. cities?

    Who knew?

    The North fought to preserve the Union. And as many blacks have been saying, the original union was white supremacist. Now you’re telling me it was only the South?

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