Friday, April 04, 2008

Forgive Lukiwski. Forgive Ahenekew.

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I just left me a bigass comment over to Stageleft an' I'm recyclin' most of it here. The StageCoachDriver's askin' howcum the Con's don't forgive an' forget when it comes to former Jew-hater David Ahenekew but they're quick to forgive former Queer-hater Tommy Lukiwski.

I agree with StageLeft on the Ahenekew hypocrisy. As to why the Con’s are forgiving Lukiwski but not Ahenekew, you only need to look at the targets of the bigotry. Hatred of queers is not as bad as hatred of Jews, at least in the view of CPoC MP's.

It's nearly all Lukiwski, all the time in the Pergressive Boogeysphere. I reckon my addition might not be so well-received as them who are callin' fer Lukiwski's head. I say, unless we got reason to believe they still hold them repugnant beliefs, we oughta forgive both these fellers.

Unless we believe that people’s attitudes can and do change, we’re completely wasting our time with any meaningful discussions, dialogs, rants, blogs, essays, op-ed pieces, church sermons, diplomacy, parental lectures or any proselytizing, at all.

If we do not believe that a Hummer-driving, water-wasting, energy-unconscious polluter can see the light and slow down his contribution to the death of the planet, why waste our breath and energy trying to convince environmental miscreants to change their attitudes? If we do not believe that a racist can see the error of her ways, what point is there in trying show her that error?

I know that people can and do change. I know it from personal experience. I’ve changed over the years and I’ve seen huge changes in family members — positive changes. When a seemingly sincere apology is given and a person renounces formerly held beliefs, I want to take them at their word. Call it idealistic optimism but without such a belief, I might as well give up all my do-gooder preachifyin’ an’ become an eco-terrorist.



James Curran said...

Just wondering. Did this Lu guy vote fer or gainst same sex murrige in the not so far back timz?

JimBobby said...

Good question, James. I'm too lazy to look it up, though. :)

Many, if not a vast majority, of Con MP's voted against SSM. My own MP Diane Finley voted against. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't want to call for the resignation of every MP who voted against SSM.

I'd be interested in evidence that Lukiwski was insincere in yesterday's apology but I don't think the SSM vote is much evidence, considering it was practically a whipped vote and most Con MP's were against. Heck, some Lib's were against, too.


James Curran said... know like, he sponsored the grand opening of an AIDS clinic in his riding and such. Imperical evidence like that? Or like all the Conservatives MPs get together singing cumbaya and say the guy loves gay people and he's no longer homophobic?

JimBobby said...

I don't believe that all the Con MP's are enlightened and love gay people and are not homophobic. I actually think most MP's and most of the people I know are, to a certain degree, homophobic and disinclined to love gays.

I'm carryin' on a similar discussion over to Stageleft and I commented something there that I think has relevance here, too. Since I'm on the forgiveness theme, I'll ask your forgiveness for the copy and paste job that follows:

There is still plenty of homophobia that goes either unnoticed or we let it slide. A popular schoolyard taunt in the 50’s and 60’s when I was alad was to call someone a “queer” or a “fag.”

Today, things haven’t changed much. I don’t frequent schoolyards but even I’ve heard the derogatory exclamation, “That’s so gay!” I’ve even heard parents of teenagers use this expression. And, yes, I did react with, “What do you have against gays?” Shocked silence and then they never speak to you again. In 2008.

Males in my generation were given a negative portrayal of homosexuals from the very time we learned such people existed. In fact, we learned of their existence by asking just what it meant when the big boys called someone a fag or a queer. Anti-gay prejudice lives on today and has been far more acceptable than racial or religious prejudice.


James Curran said...

Well said. Lu just apologized profusely in the House. The House clapped and quickly went silent. Perhaps this if food for thought to a lot of other MPs.

JimBobby said...

" for thought..."

Undoubtedly. Should be food for thought for all of us but, like those MP's, I predict we'll mostly go silent again -- until the next ugly expose-eh.


Anonymous said...

I'll have to have a look at the House apology, didn't see it.

People change - on a campaign run dumb things are said and done in fatigue, group think and I hope all the ones identified address what they said to groups they mocked.

Something said 16 years ago isn't the same as something said a year ago.

This is up to the voters in Saskatchewan next election I think, to make this a partisan or regional issue is to miss the point.

But I agree Jim Bobby, people change. If we don't give room to, we'd have no one left in politics.:^)


Anonymous said...

Note that Lukiwski is one of the good guys in Parliament. Respected by most MPs, one who takes Committee work seriously as a filibusterer. Unlike many who is most happy when handling constituency files.

SSM is not a whipped vote. Some urban Con MPs ie. Prentice supported it. But in rural Sask where Church and God plays a vital cultural role, unenlightened views toward homosexuality exists. It is this culture in which most CPC MPs thrive, as in Lukiwski's Esterhazy.

Will we see Lukiwski contribute to the Laramie Project? Doubtful. But he has paid a political price for this. No junior Cabinet post for an up and coming performer in the House. A tougher re-election campaign may ensue. His past actions have smeared the name of the Confather who is now in Bucharest. Many can forgive, but they will not forget.

JimBobby said...

"Many can forgive, but they will not forget."

Nor should any of us forget. Many eyes will be watching Lukiwski and Ahenekew for any slip-ups.


Aeneas the Younger said...

I can forgive anyone - even good old Jimbobby! LOL

However, You and I are not MP's. Therein lay the difference. It's time to assert a standard for prospective Members of Parliament. They do not have to perfect, but they should be honourable people.

Yes, Honourable people makes mistakes. However, whenever I have made a mistake, I usually pay a price for it. This man should pay the price - at least in terms of his position as a Parliamentary Secretary.

I peronally think he should resign him Seat and set a standard for Honour in the House of Commons.

At the end of the day, the opposition parties would love see him stay in the House - they can point to him and say "look, the CPC is home to right-wing extremists." Harper needs this guy to go; but then again Harper has a history of standing-by rejects like Anders and Epp. So go figure.

John Fraser resigned his Cabinet position in 1985 because no one got ill from the tainted tuna he allowed to go to market. What's worse? I think I know the answer to that one.

JimBobby said...

Thanks fer droppin' by an' chimin' in, ATY.

I agree that we need to set high standards for political leaders. (Ouch! Just typing that had an oxymoronic feel to it.)

My main point is that people can and do change. 17 years is a long time and people can change almost overnight. I'm thinking of parents whose 20-something child comes out of the closet; or parents of grown children in inter-racial relationships and marriages. Even at advanced ages, we can become enlightened.

One would hope that neither Lukiwski nor Ahenekew's recent denials of bigotry are insincere. Time will tell but, for now, I opt to be optimistic.


Erik said...

However, You and I are not MP's. Therein lay the difference. It's time to assert a standard for prospective Members of Parliament. They do not have to perfect, but they should be honourable people.

Precisely. I can forgive Tom and David at a personal level (after a convincing apology), but I will NEVER forgive any political representative for making such outrageous "mistakes" (regardless of an apology given or not).

There's only one right answer for politicians who make/made Jew- and gay hating remarks: RESIGN.

Darren McEwen said...

I agree with your post. I found the content of the video disturbing and deeply offensive but I don't believe he still holds those views. If there's proof he still holds those views than that would concern me. What DOES concern me are those who don't think his comments are offensive, no matter if they were said in 1991 or 2008.

Louise said...

"in rural Sask where Church and God plays a vital cultural role,..."

This is a myth. I grew up in rural Saskatchewan in the 1950s and 60s. The churches were packed every Sunday. Now they're closing them down and selling them.