Human Rights

Giant House of Death on the Prairie

December 27, 2011

There is something perverse about building a “human rights” monument in the same country where one human rights commission prosecuted a publisher for reprinting the “Muhammad cartoons” and another banned a preacher for life from quoting “homophobic” Bible verses, even in private correspondence—to cite two of the most egregious cases.

Furthermore, there’s the obvious deduction that Asper really wanted another Holocaust museum to rival Yad Vashem and its Washington, DC counterpart. But Canada being “diverse” and “multicultural,” that simply wouldn’t do, so the project devolved into a more “inclusive” atrocity exhibition.

While watching the Museum’s costs balloon by over fifty percent since 2003, Canadian taxpayers have also witnessed the nation’s ethnicities squabbling over the square footage their favorite “crimes against humanity” will be allotted.

Ukrainians have been particularly vocal, demanding special recognition for the “Holodomor,” which, despite its vintage, suffers from a late start out of the public-awareness gate, not to mention that clumsy portmanteau name. (Many crimes are deemed unspeakable, but the Holodomor is the only one that’s also unpronouncable.)

“Is it the museum’s intention to teach our children that all human rights flow from the Holocaust?” one woman shouted during the museum’s first annual public meeting, which soon turned into a debate about whether there was already “too much concentration” on the concentration camps.

The Chinese community demands exhibits on the “head tax” and the Chinese Exclusion Act. Other voices are demanding other rooms. They’re being assisted by the “more than 160 experts in human rights [!]” at the University of Manitoba.

Arni Thorsteinson recently resigned as museum chairman for reasons unknown. I like to think it was a rare display of selfless principle in what’s become a carnival of self-aggrandizement, institutional incompetence, and toxic identity politics.

From the beginning, Canadian Jewish blogger “Scaramouche” has chronicled the depressing saga of “the Mausoleum,” this Giant Shrine to Victimhood on the Prairie. (Although, s/he warns wisely, “you can be sure that political correctness will preclude certain victim groups—women in Saudi Arabia, for example—from having their stories told.”)

We’re informed that, along with “the Mass Atrocity Zone”—I wish I was kidding:

At the top will be the Tower of Hope, at the end of the “journey” will be a Garden of Contemplation. (As part of the fundraising, naming rights are being sold for virtually every room and display, so that should be the “Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation.”)

Izzy Asper’s daughter Gail oversees the manifestation of her father’s quixotic dream. She promises the Canadian Museum of Human Rights will be a “place of hope and promise,” adding:

You don’t want to see a place where people want to leap off the Tower of Hope in despair.

Certainly not if you’re hoping tourists and schoolchildren will travel to a windy, unfamiliar Manitoba outpost for a “cheap holiday on other people’s misery.”

 

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