Statues aren’t that important, except maybe as red herrings

The people decrying the recent decision to remove a statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister may have a point. Once you start tearing things down, where does it stop? The godlike Tommy Douglas, revered for his advocacy for universal health care, apparently had some notions about ‘deviant’ sexuality that wouldn’t go over well today. Should his statue be removed as well?

Statues are symbols, and tend to evoke emotional responses, whatever is done or not done to them. There’s no reasonable argument for the notion that once up, a statue should never be removed. Nor should we be rushing to remove things.

But the bigger issue is how accurately and fairly our history is recorded and taught. Many would agree there’s an imbalance that needed to be addressed. The indigenous inhabitants of this land got a raw deal and are still suffering from it. Sir John A. had a lot to do with that, and so the history books should attest, alongside his great contributions to what is, after all, one of the most successful nations in the world.

It is possible to acknowledge both the good and bad and move forward into a more enlightened future, with or without statues. When it comes down to it, they’re all covered with bird s*it anyway.

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