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Scott Thompson: Let’s learn from our past, not destroy it

Police officers are shown at the scene next to the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald after it was torn down following a demonstration in Montreal, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, where people protested to defund the police with a goal to end all systemic racism within all sectors of the Canadian government.
Police officers are shown at the scene next to the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald after it was torn down following a demonstration in Montreal, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, where people protested to defund the police with a goal to end all systemic racism within all sectors of the Canadian government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

In Montreal on Saturday protesters toppled a statue of Canada’s first prime minister, John A. MacDonald, demonstrating against his role in the creation of the residential school system and colonialism.

The debate of what historical references remain and those which do not is ongoing and is not my intention here.

I think the greater message is lost when protesters feel free to tear down statues of our past.

Wouldn’t it be better to install a plaque at these monuments to tell the whole story?

Read more: ‘Vandalism of our history’: Premier Jason Kenney condemns toppling of John A. Macdonald statue in Montreal

Is destruction better than education?

It seems ironic that today’s society zeroes in on the leadership of yesterday and blames them for all our current woes.

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I hope they are all opening up their own vaults and searching their own family trees to see how their families reacted to certain positions of the period.

What they will find is society was just as guilty as those elected leaders making the rules.  Just as it is today.

Instead of looking for someone to blame for the past, let’s educate for the future, so we don’t make the same mistakes.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​