Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

The weather outside, though not quite frightful, is cold and wet, and I am too tired to close the window, too worn out by complaints made by friends who are on Facebook, many of whom despair a culture that has forsaken contemplation and the sharing of information for quick fix attacks and told-you-sos.

A recent example of our Facebook attack culture involves the writer Joseph Boyden who, after quickly penning what amounts to an exclusionary letter in support of disgraced writer and educator Steven Galloway, is now having to answer to those unable to find evidence of what Boyden has led us to believe is his indigenous ancestry.

But the hysteria is not limited to Facebook. In today's Globe and Mail, Carleton's Hayden King begins his presentation on "ethnic fraud" by introducing himself as the son of Hayden (Sr.) and Carol.  What follows in his introduction is information concerning his father's ancestry -- but nothing of his mother's.

Does ethnic authenticity (for want of a better term) preclude a recognition of bilineal descent? Most indigenous people that I know give equal weight to both parents when introducing themselves. That Hayden King has chosen not to is revealing of an equally ongoing problem in our culture, and that is patriarchy.

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