Discrimination sucks… unless I do it
There’s a story taking place at Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, across a bridge south of Montreal. It involves the band council and eviction notices to 24 “non-natives” last week. They’re all white. According to this CBC Radio interview, they “just wandered in” and stuck around:
The band council says its nothing personal. It’s just that these people don’t belong, have no right to live there, the community wants them out, and it wants to preserve its racial (Mohawk) purity. (Props to CBC Radio’s The Current, boo to the Montreal Gazette.)
Some say the band council is simply doing what the Indian agent once did — only in reverse. Instead of throwing out the Indians, because they lost “status” for all kinds of dumb reasons (graduating from university, serving in the military, etc), they’re throwing out white people who think the Charter of Rights allows them to live anywhere — even on the Rez.
The mainstream media (MSM) is creaming its collective jeans over this story asking the obvious questions, such as: “Is it racism?” The equally obvious answer: Of course it is. It was racism and discrimination against Indians in the past, but done legally because the Government said so. It’s racism and discrimination in the present now that the Indians are doing it. The question should be: Can it be justified — and to whom?
The community has spoken. These aren’t the first evictions that have taken place. Kahnawake debated and adopted its present membership and residency codes some time ago. It’s now enforcing those codes, as the community wills. To the Kahnawake community, it’s their right to decide who lives on their territory and benefits from their services.
Would anyone challenge the validity of the evictions if those facing eviction were drug dealers, pedophiles, or belonged to a biker gang?
But watch the next step in this story. This story isn’t really about evictions of white people, or Mohawk racial purity. It’s about the on-going clash between individual rights and collective rights; between those advocates of international Indigneous rights and Canadians advocating assimilation. It never stops.