In the December 4th edition of the Toronto Sun, pro-Israeli death squad journalist Peter Worthington spoke about the legacy of First Nations and what second class treatment they have received as military veterans as opposed to how White veterans are treated. I have no doubt First Nations have been treated as a second class compared to White veterans. All of North America, including Canada, have a horrendous history of the treatment if its indigenous people’s. A legacy of ignorance and hatred that continues to this day. An ignorance that is continued by the likes of Peter Worthington and his insistent use of the world “Indian”. I know Mr. Worthington is an older gentleman, one from a time when racial epithets were the norm. Regardless, its important to point out that Indians are from India. We have several words now we can use that are accurate: First nations, native, aboriginal, indigenous and Original People’s.
The point of this article by him was to point out that First nations veterans receive the same respect as White soldiers. I certainly take issue with calling those who engaged in the imperialist invasion of Korea heroes. My real issue here is with Mr. Worthington’s white washing of history and his blatant attempt to take imperialist conquest and wrap it in an aboriginal skin.
He begins his minimizing of the destruction of First Nations people with this line, “We all know Indians in North America have not always been treated fairly”. Well, that is quite and understatement. This is about as close as someone can get to denying the genocide of 95 million people without crossing the line into hate speech. He continues his white washing of aboriginal suffering with this deliberate lie: “Canada’s greatest sin has been benign neglect, rather than brutality.”
This is a disgusting outright denial of the brutality First Nations faced. This is the most vile of right wing lies which adequately shows their tremendously racist and hateful nature. First Nations peoples were deliberately targeted from the beginning, right from the appearance of Jacques Cartier. There was nothing but treaty breaking and killings in those days. Killing is brutality Mr. Worthington! Perhaps he’s just forgotten what happened withe Residential Schools and the legacy they leave behind. Children were literally ripped form their mother’s arms and forced into institutions with the express purpose of “beating the Indian out of the child”. That was the phrase they actually used. Children were beaten (brutality) for speaking their own language or practising their own religion. Untold numbers of children were sexually abused by those who claimed to be helping them. Maybe Mr. Worthington doesn’t think sexually abusing a child is an act of “brutality”.
His racism becomes transparent here. He deliberately ignores all that happened as a result of European colonization.
He doesn’t stop there, he continues with the white washing into the military. Being as he is a retired lieutenant from the 3rd Battalion during the Korean War, I can understand why he would attempt to paint a picture different than reality. Professional soldiers do so all the time, veterans do so all the time. It must help them sleep at night when they think about all the people they killed in Korea. Must help them cope with all the Korean women they exploited as prostitutes or just outright raped.
He says, “In the army, gone were the prejudice, discrimination and condescension of civilian life”. I would laugh at such a statement if it were not such a serious matter. This is blatantly untrue, I’ve heard many stories of First Nations soldiers being discriminated against. To this day there is a great deal of racial discrimination in the Canadian military, so there is no way I am going to believe it was different in the 50s. First Nations were treated as second class even in the armed forces. I’ve heard stories of those who were there that spoke of them being made expendable. Being sent out on missions that were suicide because the white soldiers were considered too valuable. Like a good officer, Lieutenant Worthington, you’ve done a good job of playing up military life and made it seem more glamourous and honourable than it really is, all for the sake of moral. How did you not make Major?
From his next quote we see the true face of imperialism, that true beast that imperialism turns men into that Che spoke so passionately about at the UN in 1960s. “From their treatment in uniform, Indians gained self-confidence, a sense of dignity and pride and felt the equal of anyone.” If we are supposed to believe this, than it is very dark indeed. A people and culture that was destroyed could reach so-called “equality” with its perpetrators, when it attempts to bring that destruction to another culture and people. Only through violence (or brutality) against another race, can the victims of Whites seek to gain a theoretical equal status. I can scarcely imagine anything more hateful.
Mr. Worthington, you may complain that First Nations are “often treated as ‘second class’ citizens in peace”; but they are treated as ‘second class’ all the time.