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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Letter: Changing names, removing statues is not erasing history

Dear editor:

I have read with interest the opinions of several readers who are upset that statues are being removed at various public sites and institutions.

Cries of “we can't undo history” and “Ryerson did good things too” are key arguments.

I would simply like to remind people that we had no trouble bringing down statues of Hitler or Stalin after the Second World War.

Hitler and Stalin were perceived to have committed genocide against other races and their own people. It could also be argued Hitler did “good things” like building modern infrastructure in Germany.

Did we change our history by removing their statues? No? So what's so different now?

I suppose it all comes down to what we consider genocide. If the residential school system is genocide and we acknowledge that it was created to “Kill the Indian in every child” then why do we get upset about statues coming down and names being changed?

Before we get on our high horse about statue removal, we should think about how a Jewish person would feel walking past a statue of Hitler today?

If it would be abhorrent to us to make them do that, why would we accept it for our own Indigenous brothers and sisters?

Truth and reconciliation means accepting the truth of genocide of Canada's Indigenous people, and if reconciliation means taking down statues that hurt and offend them, then down they should come.

Lyndsay Gazzard