November 14, 2017 7:00 am
Updated: November 14, 2017 10:59 am

Scott Thompson: Was John A. Macdonald racist — or just a product of his time?

A statue of Sir John A. Macdonald was spray-painted red during a protest in Montreal on Nov. 12, 2017.

Phil Carpenter/Global News
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The debate as to whether John A. Macdonald should be honoured with monuments or his name on buildings has surfaced again.

This time, at an anti-racism rally in Montreal, a statue of our first prime minister was sprayed with red paint like an overpass in a seedy neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Activists deface statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in downtown Montreal

I find it odd when vandalism rears its ugly head at demonstrations designed to promote tolerance and peace.

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Those advocating for the removal of such statues point to certain views of Macdonald’s, now deemed racist.

Were Macdonald’s views any different from those Canadians he represented 150 years ago?

Can we pass judgment on social issues of the past through the lens of today?

Should we also condemn all of our ancestors who lived at that time and voted for such leaders?

They may not be honoured with monuments, but do we discard or burn our relatives’ memories because of their opinions of the past, now viewed as problematic?

READ MORE: Angela Kokott: John A. Macdonald controversy encourages research into Canada’s past

Or can we perhaps learn from them instead?

It’s time to stop the drive to divide, in what has become a land of extremes.

The far-right or far-left do not represent the majority — they are simply louder and better mobilized than the average person.

It time for the silent middle majority to speak up and shove extremism and conspiracy to the sidelines.

Scott Thompson is the host of the Scott Thompson Show on AM 900 CHML.

 

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