Mark Steyn talks about the spectacle of “bickering genocides” as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights attempts to pay equal attention to all victims of genocide:
My sometime boss the late Izzy Asper was a media magnate whose lifelong dream was a world-class Holocaust memorial in his home town of Winnipeg. For the usual diversity-celebrating reasons, it evolved into a more general “Canadian Museum for Human Rights,” and is now lumbering toward its opening date under the aegis of Izzy’s daughter, Gail. Having been put through the mill by Canada’s “Human Rights” Commissions, I naturally despise any juxtaposition of the words “Canadian” and “human rights.” But if you have to yoke them, this is the place: To paraphrase Justin’s fellow musician Joni Mitchell, they took all the rights and put ‘em in a rights museum, and they charged the people a dollar-and-a-half just to see ‘em.
But I’ve warmed up to what the blogger Scaramouche calls the Canadian Mausoleum for Human Rights. It could have been just the usual sucking maw of public monies had it not descended into an hilarious, er, urinating match of competing victimhoods. For those who thought “human rights” had something to do with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so forth, it turns out to be about which guy’s genocide is bigger. The Ukrainian-Canadian Congress was wary of the mausoleum from the get-go, suspicious that it would downplay the Holodomor, Stalin’s enforced famine in the Ukraine 80 years ago. The mausoleum assured them that they were going to go big on the Holodomor, but to guarantee the UCC came onboard offered to throw in a bonus exhibit of Canada’s internment of Ukrainian immigrants during World War I. This would be part of “Canada’s Journey,” a heartwarming historical pageant illustrating how the blood-soaked Canadian state has perpetrated one atrocity after another on native children, Chinese coolies, Japanese internees, Jews, gays, the transgendered, you name it. And, of course, the Ukrainians. Per Izzy’s wishes, the Holocaust would have pride of place in a separate exhibit, because, its dark bloody history notwithstanding, Canada apparently played a minimal role in the murder of six million Jews. However, the Holodomor would be included as a permanent featured genocide in the museum’s “Mass Atrocity Zone.”
Oh, you can laugh at the idea of a “Mass Atrocity Zone” tourist attraction in Winnipeg, but there isn’t an ethnic lobby group that doesn’t want in. The Polish-Canadian Congress complained that lumping all the non-Jew genocides in one Mass Atrocity Zone meant they’d have to be on a rotating schedule, like revolving pies on the lunch counter. The Armenian genocide was felt to be getting short shrift, considering it was the prototype 20th-century genocide. On the other hand, the Rwandan genocide, the last big 20th-century genocide, and the Congolese civil war don’t appear to have got a look-in at all. The Poles wanted room made for the Germans’ ill treatment of the Poles, which did not seem to be a priority of the mausoleum.