Thursday, May 26, 2022

Sad Anniversary


We are lamenting the anniversary of an awful assault on our history, yet our awful leaders pretend it never happened. Two lines echo from the past when I consider the disgraceful renaming of Ryerson University and destruction of the statue of Egerton Ryerson, our most famous educator and the obstetrician delivering many of our major institutions and ministries.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down was the haunting melody from The Band in 1969, and FDR's A Day That Will Live In Infamy is one of the most famous presidential quotes.Surely the toppling of this giant memento should have also stimulated haunting songs and soaring oratory.
 But a year has passed and with the honourable exception of the National Post, the media and our cowardly leaders stay muzzled by the fear of the Indigenous lobby. No lament! No broadsides of oratory! No inquiry! The police played Keystone Cops even though evidence was piled higher than the Scarborough Bluffs.
The vandals escape charges/fines/jail for blatant criminal acts. I cry out for the days of such Post/Sun crusaders as Christie Blatchford, a Ryerson grad who would have taken the incriminating facts from profs like Patrice Dutil and driven them like swords into the craven administrators and the Greek chorus chanting lies. Dutil warned in the Post on June 8, 2021, that many universities could face similar destructive mischief when activists launch pathetic BS barrages over names and past.
Another Ryerson warrior, Mark Bonokoski, wrote in despair in the Sun about the Ryerson debacle and said he would tear up his degree.
There was no question when Ryerson hired me to write its history what would be the cover.
Since 1889 Egerton's statue had stared at Gould St., nearly 10 feet tall on a granite base of similar height that cost $8,300 from governments and pupils who loved him for innovating a Canadian first - free schooling for all. Behind him rose his incubator for education and culture that Cumberland designed in 1851. For decades they made their home of St. James Square a favourite attraction for all.
The man, the sculptor and the architect created so much that these werebizarre targets for a lawless mob using the incredible past mistreatment of the Indigenous to justify destroying a grand reputation and a statue worth $260,000 in modern funds and millions in historic value.
If the goal really was to punish Canadians for decades of their brutal handling by governments and churches, there are genuine targets for perverted activism in the Indigenous world, not that any sensible person would justify assaulting our past with distorted posturing.
Such as Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant whose history is not disputed. No need to cheat about his wars and dealings, unlike the lies about Ryerson. He kept and traded as slaves many Africans and captured warriors. Yet his statue hasn't been destroyed in his Brantford, and Brant County and a hospital haven't been renamed. His portraits are featured in great galleries.
Apparently not a useful target but then the activists failed in most subjects, including history.
His many critics scorned him as "Monster" Brant. The statue of Ryerson was dubbed affectionately as Eggie by many thousands.Yet it suited the twisted few to tear one man and statue down and ignore the other.

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