Maria Callas was an opera singer, the best of them all in her time, World-wide. Once she was interviewed backstage in NY for TV, I do not remember by whom. Towards the end of the event the interviewer asked her about rumours that she was occasionally throwing tantrums. She took a moment or two and then, in a capricious tenor, Callas responded: “But there is no one else who sings like me, is there?” End of the interview. Said in legalese, Callas raised the issue of relevance. And, of being human.
Ellen Mary Elizabeth Turpel-Lafond, “Ellen” henceforth, has been accorded the treatment Inquisitors gave Galileo, or a modern version of public stoning in the town square. Such events are popular for they give give everyone a chance to enjoy punishing the blasphemous and the heretics. Specifically, champions of purity, both individuals and corporate beacons of ethics and wisdom, have led the PC mob to attack Ellen and attack they did with a vengeance.
Perhaps I should disclose that I have no knowledge of Ellen more than any other mass-media informed citizen. Yes, I do not know much about her and I do not know whether whatever I know is true. Nor do I know whether ignorance of what I ought to know is due to ineptitude, biases or sinistri of the pundits on whom of necessity we depend to keep us informed. But this, (me) being merely “mass media informed, or misinformed”, accords the discourse the dimension of generality. It is pragmatic, for it is the “normal” for us, ordinary Canadians.
Ellen is an extraordinarily gifted and highly educated person, alumni of important universities. She taught in universities, became a Judge and served as official “Childrens’ Advocate”. She has been and perhaps is an activist for various causes and is recognised for that too. She is a member of the Order of Canada and a holder of a dozen Honorary Doctorates. Evidently she is a person of unbound energy and has a knack for getting things done. She seems to have a high affinity for the indingeous sector of the population and for children. She is married to an indingenous person and a mother of “indigenous” children.
Apparently, in her CV she claimed being herself indigenous, of Cree blood. This may or may not be true. What is certain is that it is disputed. Someone said Ellen has not a drop of indigenous blood in her veins. In the prevailing Canadian Political Correctness witch-hunting frenzy we are going through, accusations invite immediate consequences lest the accused citizen challenge the accusations. This ensures that the reprecautions are dispensed uninhibited by factors such as due process.
In this environment all hell broke loose for Ellen. The University of BC fired her from her post. UBC's explanation is that “Indigenous identity had not been an explicit requirement for the appointment of the academic director [Ellen] … While factually correct, it would have also been understood that it was an implicit expectation.” Atrocious really ...
Is UBC’s “implicit expectation” that whoever teaches Plato and and Virgil is a Greek and an Italian, respectively?
Stripping honoraria from Ellen accelerated into a frenzy. Yet, hard as I look for, I found no pain to anyone caused by Ellen’s assertion of being quarter Cree.
Must we assume that her “trophies” were given to her because she claimed she was part indigenous? Let’s for a moment assume that she was lying about her blood. How does this “lie” eradicate what she did to deserve her Honoraria?
Contrast Ellen’s “lie” to politicians lying openly to the nation. The “Rt. Hon.” Brian Ly’in Mulroney earned his Lying moniker while he was PM. As for Justin Trudeau, well... he is less than pure too!
Yet, Ellen is word-stoned in the town square and wears the accusations of being a liar. Is that fair?
Looking at the spectacle of what appears cruel and unjust treatment of a citizen at the hand of the PC crowd, those whose distinction is “deliberate lying” by definition, invoked the great Niemöller poem:
“First they came for the Communists –
And I did not speak out – Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists –
And I did not speak out – Because I was not a Socialist, ...