The whole world fell for it.
Thumbnail credit: © Artur Widak/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press
We’re all used to phony hate crimes. The demand for white racism so exceeds the supply that hate hoaxes have to be ginned up to meet the need. Last year, the entire nation of Canada — and the whole world — fell for what must be one of the grandest hoaxes ever.
There is a young anthropology instructor at University of the Fraser Valley named Sarah Beaulieu who thinks her job is “to bring to light the stories of, and give voice to, the disenfranchised groups that have been overlooked in the historical record.”
On May 27 last year, she announced she had hit the jackpot.
She said she had used ground-penetrating radar to find evidence of a mass grave at a former boarding school for Canadian Indians run by Catholics. World media were thrilled. The very next day, the New York Times front page proclaimed: “ ‘Horrible History’: Mass Grave of Indigenous Children Reported in Canada.”
It said the remains of 215 children had been found on the grounds of what was known as the Kamloops Residential Indian School, run by the Order of Mary Immaculate from 1893 to 1969, and by the Canadian government for a few years after that.
The worldwide assumption was that vicious nuns had either killed these children or let them die and covered the whole thing up.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau grieved over the “dark and shameful chapter” in Canadian history and ordered all national flags be flown at half-mast.
The flag over parliament in Ottawa stayed lowered for five months.
Mr. Trudeau demanded that the Pope come to Canada.
Naturally, Francis agreed.
That figure — so precise — of 215 dead children caught the imagination. The Vancouver Art Gallery laid out 215 pairs of children’s shoes as a memorial.
Similar collections appeared on the steps of churches and legislatures.
Canada Day was celebrated on July first, just one month after the discovery. The country was still in convulsions, so there was a movement to cancel Canada Day and “wear orange for our children” instead.
These people wanted to go one better and cancel Canada entirely.
Fashion magazine took a break from “style, beauty & grooming, and wellness” to explain that wearing orange “symbolizes solidarity with Indigenous communities who are currently grieving the loss of their children.”
Canada Day celebrations were scrubbed all over the country and the government website for the national holiday emphasized “the pain and shame of darker episodes of our history, the repercussions of which are still felt today.”
Instead of the usual festivities, some people paraded sentiments such as “No pride in genocide.”