Monday, July 11, 2005

Ahenakew stripped of Order of Canada

It's official.

In follow up to last week's post, I just wanted to share the news that Daniel Ahenakew has been officially stripped of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Ahenakew was awarded the Order of Canada in 1978 for his workas a member of a United Nations committee as well as the World Indigenous Peoples Council. He also served as leader of the Assembly of First Nations.

Here's the essence of what he said. While speaking with a reporter in Saskatoon on Dec. 13, 2002, he said that the Jews were a "disease" and Hitler was trying to "clean up the world" when he "fried six million of those guys" during the Second World War. While he continued on with his tirade, he offended almost every listen with his racist drivel. Fortunately, the moment was properly documented, and the Judicial system handled the matter properly.

After his conviction last week, Ahenakew stated "If an Indian slips a little bit, you are crucified." He also blamed the Jewish community for efforts to revoke his membership in the Order. "This, of course, was the direct result of the pressure put on the [Governor-General's] advisory committee by some of the Jewish community, including a letter-writing campaign and the lobbying by the Canadian Jewish Congress," he said during a press conference Friday. "The decision by the advisory council is a clear indication of where the power in this country lies," he continued.

Utterly despicable.

Fortunately, Canada has both strong Freedom of Speech laws, and strong anti-hate laws. Fortunately, the Judiciary in Canada does act, and enforce these laws. Dealing with these issues in this manner sets the right tone for all to follow. Hatred should have no place at the table of Free Speech.