The other Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Y’know, the one with actual skin in the game.

The way South Africa deployed its Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) only serves to lay nude the patent absurdity of the Canadian imposters flying under the samely named banner. Let’s comparei :

Category South Africa Canada
Time Period 1995 - 2003 2008 - 2015
Party Accused National soldiers, local police, politicians, bureacrats Society in toto
Party Aggrieved African Blacks Indians of the Northermost Americas
Alleged Wrongdoings Murder, manslaughter, rape, torture, conspiracy Education through the residential school system, manslaughter, rape, torture, abuse of minors, conspiracy
Approximate Deaths Resulting 33`000 4`000
Number of Victim Statements Collected 22`000 6`000
Number of Amnesty Applications Collected 7`000 Zero
Number of Amnesties Granted 1`500 Zero

Not to give authority to whiners unduly, it’s just that words mean things and the whole poutine-flavoured cry-in is relatively much ado about nothing.ii Not only are no specific partiesiii being held accountable or even confessing for having committed any crimes, but how many times must it be reiterated that education is not a crime ? Quite the opposite, in fact ; it’s sine qua non for all that’s beautiful, magnificent, and remarkable about mankind and his achievements. That this latest generation of self-loathingly entitled prisses with their avocado toasts and their bean bag chairs and their instastories is so repugnant is only – and I mean only – because their lamentable parents found actual parenting even more repugnant. So the lot of ‘em made their beds and they can now lie in ‘em. Tanto monta, monta tanto and good riddance.

Back to the Residential Schools : while education of somewhat normal children only rarely leads to death, starvation, and whatever other crimes the Servants of God were being accused of in the Canadian TRC only serves to demonstrate how extreme was the deficit of the pupils. It’s not a flattering truth, this, but it shan’t be brushed under the rug in the name of Reparations either. Taming wild horses isn’t successful 100% of the time either and yet it requires that the teacher be persistent, tenacious, skilled, and not a little bit lucky. It’s also a noble profession, which is exactly the stance maintained by the Catholic Church who ran most of the Canadian Residential Schools, to their credit, leaving the dopey dorks in Ottawa to pick up the pieces with public appeasements that are at best a shadow of AAiv and at worst a rebranding exercise gone horribly afoul.v

Regardless of who’s left holding the bag and how much sin they can rightfully atone for, that it’s presently inglorious to be anything other than a brand manager, venture capitalist, youtuber or other tragically mundane “professions” is that we’re still in no position to judge what was worthy of approbation in another time period, particularly when there’s living proof of how RIGHT our ancestors were about damn near everything even if some of their social mores seem “wrong” for the most flickering of moments. Canadians would be far better served wondering if their taxes are going up because federal budget title pages just weren’t zowy enough under Stephen “Iron My Own Socks” Harper.vi Eh ?

South Africa might be a political and economic mess the likes of which I’d never wish to live in, but they can sure teach Canadians a thing or two about Truth and Reconciliation.

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  1. Just a note : “Approximate Deaths Resulting” in South Africa from 1948 – 1995 were roughly 700 per annum “deaths as a result of police action.” Reference : Bruce, David. South African Review of Sociology 2005, 36(2). (Archived).  []
  2. In relative terms the severity and scope of crimes in South Africa so greatly outstrips the Canadian education “scandal” as to call into question any possible comparisons between the two ordeals. Not saying it was all hunky dory in the Residential Schools but it’s also disingenuous to frame nomadic life amongst savage hunter gatherers as some sort of Garden of Eden, even by contrast. Perhaps especially by constrast. []
  3. The federal government is pointedly NOT a specific party, which is exactly why you can’t enter into contracts with it and why its Great Inca promises can fundamentally never be anything more than inevitably broken ones. Only people can enter into agreements, which in the online world means people with PGP keys. []
  4. To the credit of Alcoholics Anonymous, their process yields results. Not for all but for many. Yes, it embodies a religious approach but all successful organisations do. From cults to corporations, there’s no avoiding the need for faith. []
  5. Every new bridge and park in Canada has to be named some ridiculous guttural mouthful that no one descended of European or Asian or African lineages (ie. 90+% of Canadians) can possibly pronounce. The new light-rail transit bridge in Edmonton is called “Tawatinâ,” which hardly rolls off the tongue and into your heart but that’s peanuts compared to the recent renaming of The Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of BC to “Haida Gwaii.” Stop papering over your history yo! This pallid attempt at nation building by eschewing European traditions and filling in the gaps with first nations traditions is like filling cracks in your house’s foundation with silly putty. It’s weak sauce.  []
  6. See Blacklock’s scoop if you were blissfully ignorant enough to either not know or not care that Trudork spent $212k on bugdet “art” this year, $176k last year, and that Ol’ Harpy spent… $600. Oh Canada, you didn’t know how good you had it under The Accountant. Or maybe your rose-tinted glasses have you longing for those only mildly less rapacious times ? Funny how the coin has two faces but it’s always the same coin.   []