Updated: Aug 31
Boarding school genocide: the left has a current fixation as regards indigenous children in Canada, America, and Australia and the boarding schools they were sent to from the 1930s to the 1950s. Supposedly, “hundreds” if not “thousands” of bodies have been found at these sites—and this constitutes some great unreported genocide. There are some parallels to a mid-90s obsession the left had with convents in Ireland where “girls in trouble” were sent to have their babies—and where, supposedly, “hundreds” if not “thousands” of bodies were found (in septic tanks, no less—or so I read…).
The holocaust is a potent weapon for the left—what they really desperately want is to find an “Anglo holocaust” in Canada or Australia that can be used to the same effect but on Anglos. You see, Anglos can always sit back and say, “Well, we stopped that—Winston Churchill stopped that.” So the left desperately wishes that somewhere there is an “Anglo Auschwitz”—and then the Anglos can be reeducated and neutered like the Germans.
In Britain, there have been a few attempts—in the 2000s there was a book, called Britain’s Gulag, about the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya. It makes no sense because people were put into the Gulag for turning up to work late or writing naughty poems about Stalin—whereas the Mau Mau murdered women and children and cut heads off. So it’s an attempt to hide Soviet crime in this case—to make a false equivalence between innocent people and brutal murderers, as if both were “political prisoners”.
Another book about various famines in 19th-century India under the British Empire was called Late Victorian Holocausts—I like the casualness with that, the way it’s just “late Victorian holocausts” like “late Georgian armchairs” or “early modern painting”, real insouciant; and what about that hyperbole? Not just “a holocaust” but holocausts supposedly pumped out by bewhiskered British administrators—the Germans only managed one (slackers).
Yet the “great Anglo holocaust” stubbornly refuses to materialise—the thing with those Victorian famines was that it was all too long ago and everyone has forgotten and there weren’t even moving pictures then. Plus, everyone knows a famine is a tricky business—even the staunchest post-Marxist academic can’t quite make out that the British deliberately starved Indians. There were famines before the British arrived, there were famines after they left. It just doesn’t deliver the same impact.
The irony is that the boarding schools for indigenous children were a leftist innovation. This is because the left always passes through two stages in race relations: the first stage is the “French model”, in this model anyone can be French but there are standards—they have to learn Racine, they have to learn French, and they have to cry when they see the tricolour pulled down. But anyone can be a citoyen—it says that right here in the Constitution. It is this stage, the civic nationalist phase, to which boarding schools for the indigenous belong—you could also call it “the Kipling phase”.
The idea is that we need to “modernise” these people, who are just wandering around with moose—or whatever the Eskimos do in Canada. This is an oppressive, backward situation—pre-feudal, bad for women, bad for children, bad for their sanitary conditions, bad for the economy. The left demands that these people be educated (“Teach them to read!”, the perennial leftist howl)—be “integrated” into the national life (democratic). “Teach them their rights!”
So this is the Kipling sentimental phase where schoolteachers and preachers go out and try to “raise up” the savage. “Bring him to civilisation”. This is where the boarding schools come in—we need to break up these vile primitive habits (very dirty—the Eskimos are probably covered in rancid seal fat or something), and so off to a modern boarding school they go (to learn to read, learn a trade, to get a bungalow in Winnipeg—like normal people).
The idea is democratic—raise them up! You can tell it’s leftist because the USSR sent its indigenous people to boarding schools too—just like Canada and Australia and America; just like all those countries, including Britain, have “high schools” on the American model.
However, it doesn’t work. Sure, you turn out the odd Eskimo with slicked back hair who wears tweed suits and speaks like King Charles—and has a PhD in Petroleum Engineering (“He’s so cultured, for an Eskimo,” say the women behind their hands at cocktail parties, “he’s studying the subject to help his people”). These “successes” are what the left calls “white-coded”, they put on the white mask—that’s what the democracy wanted, right? He’s a modern literate man who understands his rights and participates in a civilised industrial economy.
The problem is that race is real and not everyone ends up in tweeds—many just regress, or, removed from their tribal environment, become juvenile delinquents in the larger satellite settlements around these areas. Further, “cultured Eskimos” realise that as they’ve become civilised they’ve made themselves “white” and lost themselves—it’s the Fanon effect. So, as with Obama, these people are Pygmalion figures. The liberal stands back and says, “Look, I’ve turned the dark man into a white man,” and everyone goes gooey, just like with Obama “he speaks so well (for a darkie)”—it’s all pure Eliza Doolittle.
The failed integration is then rejected for being “racist” (that’s why certain kids dropped out) and for “concealed oppression”—the act of raising these people up also cut them off from their heritage (true). Now we have to reconnect them with their heritage somehow (hence post-colonial studies) but without cutting them off from modernity—“civilisation” now becomes a dirty word. In a typical leftist move, the leftist project of yesteryear (compulsory indigenous boarding schools) is presented as some “racist” plot to commit “cultural genocide”—well, no, the actual conservative policy would have been to leave these people alone with their moose in the first place.