March 04, 2016

College follies: Statues of old white men unwelcome at Laurier — not even Sir Wilfrid himself

Stewart SulpherRebel Blogger

After months of mind numbing controversy, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Board of Governors recently cancelled their plan to participate in an art project.

Apparently, the project -- a $2 million exhibit of life size bronze statues of every Canadian Prime Minister -- was deemed yet another instance of “cultural insensitivity."

Regarding the decision to cancel the project, WLU President and Vice-Chancellor Max Blouw remarked that the university "[didn’t realize] the depth of the emotion around [statues].”

One of the project’s founders countered that, “The decision showed dysfunctionality at Laurier”.

Backstory: Createscape had initially proposed the exhibit. With maintenance expenses intended to fall on the host, donations for the statues were facilitated by the private group, as a gift for the region.

Intended for Victoria Park in Kitchener, the project met with public resistance over the high cost of providing concrete pads and lighting for all the statues, so the City of Kitchener declined the project.

Because they had the required infrastructure, the local university then approached Createscape and offered to house the exhibit throughout their campus in Waterloo. It was noted that back in 2007, board of governors member Barry Ries had even suggested a statue of Canada’s seventh Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, be erected at the school.

Officials were eager to expand on this idea and arrangements were made with Createscape.

But alas, things soured.

The usual SJW circus side show promptly set up at WLU.

The petition started by a Communications Studies professor to stop the project proclaimed:

“It is culturally insensitive (if not offensive) to celebrate and memorialize all Canadian Prime Ministers […] on land that traditionally belongs to the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples."

The intentions of the organizers and the messages the project would supposedly send were at the heart of the complaints. All the usual accusations of bigotry, patriarchy, history, and oppression were made.

According to one Global Studies student, the new statues would “create an uncomfortable environment for 99 per cent of students to walk through a place filled with statues of white men." 

The Diversity and Equity Office added, “They do not align with our values at Wilfrid Laurier."

This saga follows the same pattern seen in many of these SJW circuses being held at universities across the continent.

As usual, the controversy wasn't an honest debate using logic and fact, but rather a vitriolic exercise in slander, shaming and intimidation while feigning moral superiority and repelling any attempt at compromise or rationality.

In official statements as part of the more recent decision, activists conceded that the statues project hadn’t been maliciously conceived or carried out -- a baffling statement considering that those very accusations were made against officials for months.

In other words, this group acknowledged that everything they’ve been saying had been completely unfounded.

Blouw and other officials had contemplated adding other historical Canadian figures to the display early on, but this was unacceptable too. Protestors were adamant .

One demagogue even complained that the anger stirred up during the statue controversy had lead to “spike in hate incidents”.

So I called the police station and spoke with two officers. Neither was immediately aware of any spike in such violence...

In one of the most bizarre arguments, the History Department cited “austerity” and compared the university to Greece (surely an insult to any Greek retiree right now). But what does "austerity" have to do with this issues? Remember, the statues were to be donated.

Now, they won't be. In the battle of the petitions, the SJW side won.

There’s talk of changing the name of the university now.

One observer suggested “WLU: Whiney Liberal University."


You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2016-03-06 22:37:39 -0500
This comment is interesting: “It is culturally insensitive (if not offensive) to celebrate and memorialize all Canadian Prime Ministers […] on land that traditionally belongs to the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples."

There is a statue of Joseph Brant in Brantford, traditional Neutral Nation land. The Neutrals were dispersed by the Haudenosaunee in the 17th century and did not occupy that land until it was purchased from the Anishinabek under the Haldimand purchase and then granted to the Six Nations and others following the American Revolution. Is it culturally insensitive to have Brant’s statue there?
commented 2016-03-06 18:13:31 -0500
So now all our history has to be denied because there were too many white males involved. I don’t recall the stories or names of many people of colour or great diversity doing a great deal of exploration, or nation building here. I know some will remind me of Luis Riel and Joseph Brandt, that is why I said ’ many’ not ‘any’ Although there were indigenous people here, it was the influx of european people with Judeo -Christian values that created a country where a near prehistoric way of life had been. Were there terrible things done? Of course there were. But from those rough beginnings we have become a country that welcomes and respects people from all over the world, and created somewhere that is the envy of much of the world. History is not always pretty, but this is our history , warts and all.
commented 2016-03-06 09:07:19 -0500
Well said Peter!
Some should apply to faculty members. I suspect that the Communications Studies professor may well be a female from the Middle East. After all, most of our PM’s (with the exception of Kim Campbell) were white males. There would be no issue if there was at least one middle eastern female PM.
commented 2016-03-06 06:52:49 -0500
In Ontario 55% of the universities revenue is tax dollars . Approximately 30 % of the revenue is tuition. Of the 30% I would guess it’s a small minority that are doing the protesting. Before you go changing names etc. wouldn’t it be proper to ask those that are footing the majority of the bills if this is acceptable. What boggles my mind is whenever you see one of these protests there is never any security there to grab these assholes by the ear and throw them into the street. Hey if you don’t like it go someplace that really takes your concerns seriously.
commented 2016-03-06 02:09:45 -0500
Too many white men. If it’s white it ain’t right.
commented 2016-03-05 20:04:13 -0500
Shame on WLU for wanting to make statues of all the Canadian Prime Ministers – AND show them in public no less.
There’s only one PM now and his name is JT so that’s all they’d need for a statue.

Of course if they started with JT’s statue there wouldn’t be enough bronze left in the world to make any of the other PM statues because they’d have used it all up making JT’s head (the pigeons would like it though).
commented 2016-03-05 10:35:42 -0500
It seems that the Communications Studies professor that started the petition wishes to remain unidentified. Wonder why?
commented 2016-03-04 16:50:30 -0500
Since when did Universities start allowing students to run the place? Who cares about their stupid, yes stupid argument.

Hi J.J. nice portrait of the Queen on the wall beside an American flag? The Queen of England was the reason we don’t have to fly an American flag. Maybe that was your subtle statement, and your entertaining rant was half tongue in cheek. I agree that the parliamentary system is a little weird.

If it weren’t for the British, we’d all be speaking American! Which actually doesn’t seem so bad these days, considering the direction our country is taking under the current Marxist leadership.
commented 2016-03-04 14:07:15 -0500
If statues cause this much of a stir, I’m deeply concerned for the day when real life knocks on their door. These macaroni and cheese young “adults” are in for a bit of an awakening once they aren’t under the wings of their professors. Real stuff happens and no one’s preparing them for it. ¯\(ツ)
commented 2016-03-04 11:16:16 -0500
None of my children will be attending any university that has an equity and diversity officer!!