Destruction, sometimes by fire, almost 5,000 pounds taken from the libraries of the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, in Ontario, is the perfect illustration of this: in the pot of political correctness, by wanting too much to smooth the roughness of our societies in redefinition, we come to lose all sense of measure, any notion of essential discernment. In the name of flagship values ​​called social justice and respect, we succumb to censorship. And all of this under the supposedly benevolent cover of the school. What a confused time!

The powerful report by Thomas Gerbet, published by Radio-Canada this week, exceeds all understanding. What he tells and reveals about our time is both wacky and scandalous. “Atrocious”, used the Prime Minister Francois Legault to talk about the burning of around thirty of these 4,716 books deemed discriminatory and racist, and conveying prejudices contrary to the principles of inclusion. We can subscribe to this epithet: the destruction of books, however noble the intention behind this mad action, refers to practices of a bygone era. Censorship is a cowardly action, in fact, even hypocritical; it does nothing and makes things worse.

In the face of the outcry, the school board backed down. Eight comics of Lucky Luke and the adventures of Tintin in Broken ear will have their lives saved, among other books saved from stupidity. Fiou! Belgium can breathe. This crazy story began in 2019 in southwestern Ontario, but let’s not get discarded too quickly: it could well have happened closer to home. Under the guise of inclusion and openness to others, the excesses multiply over the months and years, just think of abuses like the SLĀV affair or the banishment of Professor Verushka Lieutenant- Duval at the University of Ottawa – for having used the n-word in a context, let us remember, that is educational and respectful of differences.

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These stories, and many others, all have one puzzling thing in common: In the camp of political correctness, new moralizers are dictating the way forward, but not always exercising good judgment.

To carry out its literary purification, the Providence Catholic School Board enlisted the services of the “guardian of knowledge” Suzy Kies, who had the idea of ​​burning books to make from the ashes a fertilizer intended to grow trees. , what “to turn from negative to positive”. The lady claimed to be of an indigenous lineage that was finally invented from scratch, as reporters demonstrated on Wednesday. The case reflects on the Liberal leader’s campaign Justin trudeau, apostle of reconciliation, who made this false Indigenous person the co-chair of his party’s Indigenous Commission. She gave up this post on Wednesday. All this cannot be invented.

We are outraged by the means chosen by this school board to achieve its goal, but its objective was not futile.

It goes without saying, of course, that combating the prejudices and stereotypes associated with Aboriginal people is of the utmost importance. It is also very noble to wish to tell the Aboriginal history under better auspices today, especially when we know how much this story was told without respect for the truth and that we still bear the burden of it today. Finally, it is absolutely commendable to resume a respectful and inclusive conversation with the young people with the Aboriginals, and in this respect, the school is indeed an ideal platform for rebuilding a dialogue. But destroying books – and with them different points of view and old-fashioned angles – isn’t exactly the most effective way to develop critical thinking.

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We cannot help but note in passing the deep hypocrisy that this bogus operation camouflages. By attacking the books of the past to denounce the colonialism dripping with certain dated works, we quickly forget that the indigenous peoples are still subject, if only on the crucial issue of the ownership of their lands, to the dictates of the authorities in place. By loudly denouncing the use of the word “Indian” in children’s novels or comics, we avoid the fact that the great Indian Act, the first version of which dates back to 1876, still bears its original wording despite the fact that everyone agrees that this reference perpetuates an error.

This stupidity, endorsed by people who we would like to be informed, because they were appointed to a school board, would also have received the approval of the Ontario Ministry of Education, which participated in the book destruction ceremony project.

Education, the sanctuary of schools, the ministry whose primary mission is the formation of minds, especially through books; Education, censor of a portion of history, as in the past the Church with its books put on the Index? This era definitely produced its share of extravagance and setbacks.

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