Jonathan Kay writes:
…that I realised how much my religious background had contributed to the ideological gulf between me and my colleagues. This came out most clearly in editorial discussions about Canada’s Indigenous peoples. At these times, my colleagues sometimes would make sweeping remarks about all the horrors “we” had inflicted on First Nations, and the guilt “we” bore for the crimes of “our” ancestors. In these moments, I would politely remind everyone that my Russian father came to Canada (via China) as a 10-year-old, after his dispossessed family had been forced to flee not one but two communist revolutions. On my mother’s side, my Yiddish-speaking grandfather helped his own father peddle rags on the streets of Toronto’s Jewish ghetto — an occupation that left him scant time to build residential schools, or otherwise oppress Canada’s First Nations. And while I am a social liberal at heart, who accepts that all white Canadians, Jews included, should take stock of the racial privilege they enjoy in their daily interactions, I don’t appreciate being indicted for the historical crimes of British and French imperialists who looked down on Jews and Indigenous peoples in roughly equal measure.
Oh, soooooo close, there, Johnny!
Do read the whole thing, but allow me to add:
I am a white gentile. And the phenomenon he is describing is a matter, not of race, but of…
I didn’t go to university.
Every white gentile I know who didn’t go to university feels the same way about these lectures about “our” collective guilt.
Never have the words “What you mean ‘we,’ Kimosabe?” been more apropos.
Yet I suspect Kay looks down on us, don’t you?
Even though we have more in common than he would care to admit?