It all started with a special all Indigenous edition of Write, The Writers Union of Canada’s magazine. The editor of the magazine, Hal Niedzviecki, decided to preface the edition with an article calling on white writers to engage in cultural appropriation, going so far as to suggest that there should be a “Cultural Appropriation prize” for writers who do the best job of writing about cultures that are not their own. People were understandably upset at the tone deafness of putting this in an edition of the magazine specifically dedicated to Indigenous writers, as it was very dismissive of their concerns.
Wednesday, The Writers Union apologized and Niedzvecki resigned. Then things got worse.
A number of prominent members of the media started discussing it on twitter. Jonathan Kay, editor of the Walrus Magazine, starting things off by complaining about Niedzvecki’s resignation. Then Ken Whyte, a VP for Rogers Communications decided to put up $500 for an “Appropriation Prize”. A number of other media people jumped on it.
Saturday, Jonathan Kay appeared on CBC News Network in a discussion with Jesse Wente, CBC columnist and Direct of Film Programmes for the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and self-described “Ojibwe Dude”. Wente patiently explained the issues involved while Kat sat there looking like a kid who had been caught in the act sent to the Principal’s office and was just waiting for it to be over.
Then word came this morning that Kay has also resigned from The Walrus. Apparently he had been on increasingly thin ice with the publication.
Just when people thought things might be winding down, Kay’s mother, Barbara Kay, a columnist for the National Post, and *gag* The Rebel (think Canada’s answer to Breitbart, only run by a Jewish guy) decided to jump into the fray.
In a series of tweets directed at Jesse Wente , she attacked the Truth and Reconcilation Commision that examined the horrific stories of the Indian Residental school, calling the process biased, and claiming the TRC refused to hear from Indigenous people who had positive experiences in the Residental school system. When it was pointed out that the TRC report does in fact include the stories of people who had positive experiences at Residental School, she admitted she hadn’t read the report, but continued to assert the report is biased.
A sampling of the crap she tweeted:
And then the crowning touch:
So the woman who tweeted “Jews used to live in ghettos and get murdered. Life goes on.” Wants to play the oppression card?
I hope her resignation from the National Post comes next.