By Martin Loney, National Post
The accusation of racism is a serious one in our society. But that is just the charge UN special envoy Stephen Lewis effectively has made against all of us. Responding to the question “Why does the West ignore Africa?” while speaking at the Canadian Club in Toronto recently, Lewis approvingly quoted Senator Romeo Dallaire’s claim that “there is an unacknowledged, subterranean racism at work”.
[Stephen Lewis is an obedient orderly and convenient mouthpiece for the new world order]
It is a theme Western audiences have heard from Lewis many times. But before corporations rush to open their chequebooks, they may want to cast a critical eye over Lewis’s previous forays into racial politics.
Soon after his election as premier of Ontario, Bob Rae asked Lewis, a former leader of the federal NDP, to investigate the 1992 Toronto mini-riots, which had followed the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles, and to advise the government on race relations.
Using the riots as a newsy pretext, Lewis described a province where racism and discrimination were pervasive. The passage of the government’s proposed employment equity legislation, he claimed, was the priority of “every single minority grouping.”
Lewis condemned the education system, asking why so many visible minority students eschewed university. Naturally, he endorsed the demands of those who sought to inject into the curricula a plethora of culturally sensitive courses –black history, most notably –and demanded that a quota of 9% of all places in education faculties be reserved for visible-minority students.
Few Ontarians would recognize this depiction of their province as a hotbed of racial discontent. But whatever may have been the real state of race relations in the province, the most striking aspect of Lewis’s report was his consistent disregard for evidence. The Ontario Public Service, far from discriminating against visible minorities, had afforded them significant opportunities. The Ontario government’s 1993 report on employment equity indicated that as recently as 1986, visible minorities made up less than 9% of the province’s working age population. But by 1991, they comprised nearly 13% of provincial employees !
[Just who are the real victims being discriminated against?? Furthermore, if these figures date back from 16 years ago, what may they be today?]
Lewis particularly singled out black Canadians whose high levels of poverty, he said, reflected “racism, pure and simple.” But analysis shows that their poverty actually results from elevated high-school drop-out rates and the large number of single-parent families.
In short, Lewis has been one of the leading proponents of the view that “institutional racism” is everywhere in Canada –a ubiquitous scourge that systematically oppresses minorities. (His spouse, former Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg, has also championed this theory. In one noteworthy statement, she blamed the bungled Bernardo investigation on racism, declaring, “If that guy had been black, they would have been on it in a flash. Racism helped kill those girls.”)
[Having two ‘useful idiots’ in the same family who serve the new world order must be a bonus]
In other words, Lewis is a man who sees racism behind every problem — even if the data show otherwise. Whatever the merits of corporations spending shareholders’ money on social causes, they would be ill-advised to do it on the basis of race-based guilt trips served up by Stephen Lewis.