Canada’s Racist Founding Father

When you think of Canada, one has the perception that they are the nicest people one could ever meet. Taking a look back into their history, the “ideal society” that we presume them to be isn’t what meets the eye. In the New York Times article, “In Canada, a Reckoning Over a Racist Founding Father,” by Ian Austen, Sir John A. Macdonald of Kingston, Ontario was the first prime minister of Canada.Even though his followers acknowledged his racism towards the native population, they turned a blind eye to his inhumane policies of “cultural genocide”. Arthur Milnes, a local author and self-described “public historian,” states, “Sometimes we like to hold ourselves up as this perfect, inclusive, nonracist society, but we’re not.” Very much like American history, where natives were sent to reserves, Macdonald made a policy where natives had forced schooling separate from the rest of the population.  “Macdonald said that an indigenous child educated where he or she lives ”is simply a savage who can read and write,” whereas children sent to boarding schools ”will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men.” To assimilate students, the schools banned indigenous languages and prohibited, sometimes forcefully, indigenous cultural practices. ” Stripping one of their cultural background in order to conform to the white man’s standards of “civil” life is not unseen. There are many examples of this type of prejudice behavior scene throughout history.
The author, Ian Austen, stresses the importance of recognizing immoral actions upon another race. Austen believes that there is a lack of action to compensate for the wrongs Macdonald inflicted upon the indigenous population in Canada. In today’s society, racism will always be a conflicting topic familiar to everyone. It happens all throughout the seven continents, yet there is no solution for it. I don’t live in an ideal society because everyone has their own opinion which brings upon controversy to society. If one cannot change their mindset of “superiority”, racism will always divide the “ideal society”. Plato would have disagreed with this sort of treatment to different races. In the Reeve Plato Extracts it states that, “The goal of the elenchus is not to reach adequate definitions of the virtues or seemingly paradoxical doctrines about weakness of will and virtue, however. Its primary aim is moral reform.” With that said, Plato wanted individuals to think for themselves what is morally right or wrong. Given the knowledge they already possess, they should act upon it, but the fear of standing up for what one believes is unethical is a major weakness everyone shares. Everyone has different beliefs about virtues, but everyone knows the difference between ethical and unethical, right from wrong and so on. An ideal society could never exist because of a clash of opinions and a lack of justice.


Source Citation:
Austen, Ian. “In Canada, a Reckoning Over a Racist Founding Father.” New York Times, 29 Aug. 2017, p. A4(L). New York State Newspapers, login.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu/login?url=http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=SPN.SP01&sw=w&u=nysl_me_brookcol&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA502097971&it=r&asid=d310a979f3b97a9fda47150e2d830860. Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Barbaric Politics

India is currently under control by a communist party. The political party is using horrific crimes to stop activists from overthrowing them. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, activist, was brutally murdered with 89 wounds on his body. This crime was described to be barbaric in nature and a disgrace to humanity. Federal Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “It is cruelty of a barbaric nature…Even an enemy country wouldn’t do this kind of brutality but a political party did this.” In a third world country, having different political ideologies and opinions could very well get one killed. It is not uncommon that politics in India use lack of freedom of speech to instill fear among the masses. People with controversial opinions are censored by the government for having opposing and disagreeing opinions of the people in power.
In both articles, activists are seen as the “other” in which the government finds as a threat. The target audience is the rest of the world to raise awareness of what is happening in communist India. A social value that is clearly being affirmed as a shared value for the whole world is freedom of speech. Not only is it a given human right from birth, but in third world countries such as India, speaking out against the government results in the lost of a loved one. Similar to the readings in Herodotus, it states that, “No one is so foolish as to prefer war to peace, in which, instead of sons burying fathers, fathers bury their sons.” (1.87 Croesus is defeated by Cyrus) The government is represented as a father. It is supposed to be a civilized system that not only protects their people, but makes sure order is kept in place. How can the Indian population trust their government if they keep taking the lives of innocent civilians just for speaking out about a problem that they do not agree with? Everyone shares a different outlook on a matter, but endless killing to solve the government’s problem results in a corrupt and biased society. It makes the masses revolt against the people in power and makes them fear the society they live in.
The definition of barbarian seen in our readings is one that is ostracized for being different (in terms of culture, race, dialect, physical features, etc.) Barbarians in Greek culture were people who weren’t Greek. In terms of today’s society, barbarians are known as people who commit merciless and audacious crimes against another individual. There is never a time where hearing the word barbarian brings a positive outcome; barbaric is always associated with something negative that happens. In both articles, it exposes the barbaric and monstrous ways the communist Indian government copes with their problem. The death of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, along with many other activists, were made into examples of what would happen if the public did not comply with the government’s orders. Both articles represent the term barbaric as an underlying offense that continuously occurs. Murder of another man is always the easiest solution, yet it is an endless and inhumane cycle. The only solution to tame barbaric behavior is to work in numbers and rebel against a corrupted government.

Citations:
“Kerala RSS Man’s Murder a Barbaric Crime: Jaitley.” Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar), 7 Aug. 2017, http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-503291566.html?refid=easy_hf.

LexisNexis

“Jaitley flays RSS man’s ‘barbaric’ killing, visits kin.” Oman Tribune (Syndigate Media Inc), September 10 2017 21:54:47, http://www-lexisnexis-com.ez-proxy.brooklyn.cuny.edu:2048/lnacui2api/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T26471139524&format=GNBFI&sort=DATE,D,H&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T26471135694&cisb=22_T26471139530&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&selRCNodeID=31&nodeStateId=411en_US,1&docsInCategory=849&csi=407844&docNo=8

LewisNexis

Victoria’s Secret

21397514_1790321067664154_2096829124_nWhen you hear the two words, “Victoria’s Secret”, you think of lust, beauty, and love. It is no secret that Victoria’s Secret is one of the world’s best lingerie and sleepwear companies. The reason being, they use the best materials and the best models to promote their brand. The notorious Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the biggest event in the modelling industry. They combine their show with top performers like The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake, A$AP Rocky, and Drake just to name a few. How does all this correlate to Aphrodite? She is a sex symbol in Greek mythology and every god, not to mention mortals, who lays their eyes on her fall in love with her sheer beauty.

Victoria’s Secret’s branding revolves around Aphrodite’s values. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite translated by Gregory Nagy, it states that, “Immortal it was, giver of pleasures, and it had the fragrance of incense. Then she wrapped all her beautiful clothes around her skin.” Aphrodite is everything a man desires and everything a woman wants. She is naturally beautiful, her incense can captivate any man, and the way she presents herself will make any man lust. Victoria’s Secret advertises its products to young women all around the world to invoke the ideal woman, with a flawless body just like Aphrodite. However, Victoria’s Secret’s goal is to empower women whereas Aphrodite is seen as an adulterer shunned by the gods, despite her beauty.

In Poochigian’s Translation of Sappho “Hymn to Aphrodite”, its states, “She who shuns love will pursue it, she who scorns gifts will send them still: that girl will learn to love, though she do it against her will.” Aphrodite cheated on her husband Hephaestus with the God of War, Ares. She also had an affair with the God of Sea, Poseidon. This shows lust and love because Ares was better looking than Hephaestus and she loved Poseidon for his support of Ares and herself. Although Victoria’s Secret promotes love and lust, they do not support adultery.  Aphrodite is a beautiful but untouchable entity while Victoria’s Secret is modern reflection of a woman’s beauty.

(Picture taken in SOHO)