Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ontario bans the word "apartheid"

It's a bad word. Don't want people thinking impure thoughts. Don't want history to record the British-imposed South African apartheid, or the apartheid in Israel/Palestine. Don't want people thinking. Or at least thinking thoughts not approved by Big Brother. You never know when you're talking to a member of the Thought Police, so watch what you say. Freedom is on the march.

    Toronto Sun Star -

    Apartheid is an ugly word that just shouldn’t be used, Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman said Thursday.

    And he got all of Queen’s Park to agree.

    Shurman, the member from Thornhill, moved a resolution to condemn the now annual event on Canadian campuses known as Israeli Apartheid Week.

    “I want to be clear about what it is I’m trying to do,” Shurman said. “I want the name changed. It’s that simple. It’s just wrong.”

    Shurman said he had no objection to people criticizing Israel, or debating the thorny issues of Palestinians and the occupied territories.

    “My problem is the name,” he said. “Israeli Apartheid Week is not dialogue, it’s a monologue. The name is hateful, it is odious and that’s not how things should be in my Ontario. It’s a term that frankly I’m sick of hearing. Get rid of this word apartheid.”

    The resolution passed with unanimous support from both the Liberals and the New Democratic Party.

    But Shurman’s objection to the use of the word apartheid did not extend to condemning those who would use it in the context of the aboriginal land claim in Caledonia, which has led to a bitter standoff and the occupation of the Douglas Creek Estates.

    Activist Gary McHale has used the term in his efforts to evict the native protesters from the land but Shurman said he saw nothing similar in the usage.

    “You can talk to others about that,” Shurman said. “For a variety of reasons, it’s not really comparable.”