Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Margaret Wente: Selective defender of hate

Margaret Wente rides in to the rescue of a white supremacist mother who's kids were taken into protective custody after sending her seven year old to school with a swastika drawn on her arm.
Some people are applauding the child-protection service. Parents have no right, they say, to send a kid to school inked with symbols of racism and hate, where she will doubtless frighten other little tykes and spread her poison everywhere. These people have a point. But couldn't the school just send her home and tell her not to return until she washes it off? One hates to side with Aryan Nation, but the mom is right. Simply teaching your children odious and creepy beliefs is not enough to lose them to the state
Unless of course your name is Khadr and you're teaching your kids to become child soldiers.

If you are a white supremacist, a group noteworthy for acts of domestic terrorism in North America, violence and yes, systematic child abuse, then Wente is concerned about your civil rights and thinks the state has no place even investigating how you are raising your child.

If you're brown and Muslim you are an unequivocal threat to all that is good and decent and Margaret Wente will clutch her pearls and spin the human rights excesses of the War on Terror with the best of them.
Even after controversy erupted over the situation last month, the Harper government was evasive and unco-operative, dismissing detailed reports of torture as mere "allegations of the Taliban." This dismissive approach was echoed by Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente who made clear that her sympathies lay with Canadian military leaders, not with Afghans who reported being hung upside down and punched so hard their teeth fell out.
"I have deep sympathy for our military leaders," wrote Wente, explaining what she saw as the difficult bind our generals are in. "They can fight a war. Or they can babysit `our detainees' ..." To Wente, ensuring that our detainees aren't tortured – a requirement of the Geneva Conventions, which Canada has signed – is the equivalent of "babysitting" them.
Update: Good Lord. Even the National Pest sees the connection.

6 comments:

KC said...

I dont know if I ever read Wente say that Khadr should have taken away from his parents, but if Im wrong I'd appreciate a link.

In the interests of consistency I'd like to hear which way would you have it? Would you take away both the child of the White Supremacists and the Brutal Jihadi Theocrats? Or neither?

Cliff said...

She's been dismissive of mistreatment claims by members of the Khader family and of claims of abuse by Afghan prisoners. I'm pointing out a discordance between her attitudes towards those 'promoting hate' depending on who they are and who they are accused of promoting hatred towards.

How about applying the rule of law and the legal standards equally no matter skin tone or ideology?

KC said...

How about applying the rule of law and the legal standards equally no matter skin tone or ideology?

Agreed but the "rule of law and legal standards" have different things to say about the intersection between child welfare and hate speech, treatment of prisoners of war, and whatever you mean by "mistreatment claims" so Im not quite sure what you mean when you accuse her of being inconsistent. They're different issues.

Now if she'd said they should take Khadr away from his parents but not these kids THEN she would be being inconsistent.

Cliff said...

She regards investigating a mother teaching white supremacy to her child and sending her to school inked up with swastikas as an unwarranted violation of human rights. She regards protecting prisoners in Canadian custody from abuse and torture as 'babysitting' and too much work for our troops to have to worry about.

Her concern for human rights is entirely dependant on the person who's rights are being infringed and is literally, skin deep.

KC said...

... or she thinks human rights apply different in different contexts--ie combatants in a war vs. citizens in everyday society.

Its actually a fairly common viewpoint and not necessarily inconsistent, or indicative of racism.

Cliff said...

In the case of Ms Wente however we are talking about someone who has opined that:

-'The violent culture of Jamaica' is responsible for gun violence in Toronto,

Blamed racist attacks on Asian fishermen - on the Asian fishermen. She hastens to tell us that 'nipper tipping' is the colloquial expression for attacking them - and then argues that despite there being an actual name for the practice, that it doesn't actually happen,

-repeatedly dismisses any claim of racism by practically anyone as overstated whining about 'innocuous remarks' and sneers at anyone she identifies as “a familiar face from the race and social justice set”.

She also literally argued that marijuana has more dangerous affects depending on the race of the user - in other words she watched 'Reefer Madness and took it seriously.

I think on balance she's used up the benefit of the doubt at this point.

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