Friday, April 29, 2005

Bono and hypocrisy: letter from Ireland

Patrice Lucid:

Bono's disillusionment with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin comes too little, too late, for me. In castigating Mr Martin, Bono joins a long list of hypocrites who sanctimoniously preach on the world stage while never looking in the back yard. Had Bono cared to look in Canada's back yard, he would have seen the abominable treatment of indigenous people at the hands of the Canadian government which, not contented with having taken everything from the native people, continues to come back for more.

Indeed, if Canada was to be judged by the living standards on the reservations, it would drop from fifth position on the world developmental index to 49th.

It should come as no surprise then that a country which has broken every promise it has ever made to its native people, and instead makes them live like dogs in their own land, should ever have the integrity to live up to international developmental aid agreements.

Of course, indigenous people did not feature in Bono's thinking while he wined and dined Mr Martin, giving a key note address at the Liberal Party Convention and even adding Ottawa to his tour diary as a special favour to his friend Mr Martin. It never occurred to Bono that somewhere down the line his convention expenses were being picked up by the wholesale mining and logging of indigenous lands.

So whatever disappointment Bono feels, it comes nowhere close to the disappointment which I'm sure the First Nations people feel because of Bono's lack of support for them.

At the end of the day the only thing that Bono really cares about is Bono.


At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its tough being an immigrant in australia.
Becoming part of the problem your talking about. From my dads side I am descendent from high king lineage and I guess i am pissed at what colonization did. Then again i live in a land that is great but the aboriginals...they get treated like crap still.
Sometimes it makes me want to come home but there is nothing really to come home to. Lifes to hard. Its easy to stand up and talk about this problem but its harder to do anything to change the way the world is.

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This anti-Canadian sentiment seems ill placed and poorly considered. This letter about Bono has been resurfacing on the net and in Irish papers, but the reply to the letter page of the Independent (5 May) pointed out, quite rightly, that this letter is inaccurate, malicious and at the end of the day, useless. More constructive criticisms would be in order, but for a person from Ireland (a country currently struggling with loads of racism) to criticise Canada makes it seem as though Bono's not the only hypocrite; Ms. Lucid may be one too.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Diarmid said...

but for a person from Ireland (a country currently struggling with loads of racism) to criticise Canada makes it seem as though Bono's not the only hypocrite

When has Ireland ever mistreated indigenous people?

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canada is not the only country that is dealing with the problems of institutional racism, abuse and mistreatment of minority groups. Countries in Europe, including Ireland, deal with these problems too.
- mistreatment of students at Catholic schools;
- mistreatment of travellers, Roma;
- referendum on Irish pedigree (last year);
- xenophobic immigration policies (and indeed referenda in Europe).

As for Natives, and their dealings with the Liberal government of Canada (which the original blogger detested), native groups including the Union of Ontario Indians, have spoken out against toppling the fragile minority for fear that recent achievements in native affairs will be abandoned.

If the blogger wishes to criticize those "who sanctimoniously preach [...] while never looking in the back yard," then I think her 'preaching' about Canada and the vitriol toward Canada should be open to the same sort of criticism. Her own words demonstrate her sanctimoniousness and hypocrisy: Ireland and Europe--her back yard--are not perfect by any means, either.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the situation of the indigenous people is far from perfect. Yes, it should change. But this letter of criticism is shallow and typical judgemental. The topic raised, that of the suffering of the indigenous people is fair. But pointing the finger at one man is taking it too far. Ms. Lucid, one piece of advice: look in your own backyard, before you go to judge someone elses. And if you do feel the need to, please be constructive!

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psychoanalist thought, pioneered by Freud, would suggest that Ms. Lucid's vicious, and anything-but-lucid, attack on Canada's treatment of its natives is indicative of displacement.

Displacement is a defense mechanism whereby feelings of anger/sadness/inadequacy are projected onto an unrelated object- in this case, Bono and fairly impressively, a whole country. If anything, this girl does things in style.

Her stubborn ignorance of her own people's failures to act in humane ways to their country's minority people could be sonstrued as denial, or perhaps something even more sinister?

Now, Freud may have been grossly misguided in many of his theories, but modern research does support the existence of these defense mechanisms. Instead of keeping unnacceptable thougths and feelings from the conscious mind, they in fact protect one's self-esteem when forces threaten it.

Dare I suggest that this biased and hypocritical attack on Canada's treatment of natives is nothing more than the pathetic attempts of an inadequate human being to bolster her sense of self? And kill some time and the niggling sense of her futility?


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