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Letters to the editor, July 13, 2017 

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

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Statue statements

I don't necessarily agree with the protesters who want to tear down the Cornwallis statue on Saturday ("Mayor and Mi'kmaq Chiefs oppose plans to topple Cornwallis statue," The City by Jacob Boon, posted July 11 at thecoast.ca and printed on page 5). I'd rather it be removed in a way that wouldn't play into racist "angry Indian" stereotypes, but I agree with their frustration that it is well past time to remove the statue of a man who supported and encouraged genocide, and how is this even a thing that is worth talking about! Maybe instead of removing the statue, they could weld a knife and bloody scalp into its hands—let's put what this man represents out in the open and see if people keep hemming and hawing and "my heritage!"-ing then. —posted by Liam Bly at thecoast.ca

Make no mistake, these protesters are not acting on behalf of any Native groups (despite them, in fact). When this shit inevitably goes sideways please keep that in mind. They are setting out to incite violence and commit illegal destruction of property. If you or I were to do that, regardless of the reason, the outcome would be the same. The police have now given fair warning that anyone who tries to remove the statue without prior consent of city council will be arrested. These protesters know they won't be able to remove the 1,200-pound statue; they want the attention, the footage of police enforcing the law, so they can shout discrimination, oppression and/or victimhood. When the police make good on their word, please keep that in mind as well.

The Coast will doubtless be reinforcing that discrimination narrative. But this is a group of militant antifa-esque leftist political radicals, no different from the Proud Boys, save for the colour of their stripes. —posted by LaciG

This is the perfect time to bring these groups together to envision new public art that incorporates the Indigenous perspective. Reactive behaviour on the left will result in reactive behaviour on the right and visa versa. Who needs that?! Dialogue and revision: Recognize the good and the bad from the past and forge a new way forward. —posted by Dante Wetherow

Sick and tired of this progressive "blame whitey" crap. I hope the mayor does the right thing and calls in the riot police if necessary. —posted by SeanShadilay1

How much did it cost over the last year, in time, labour and money, to settle in the latest wave of 6,000 Syrian refugees to Canada? And that's with all the modern communications and support from the federal government. During the time of governor Cornwallis it was a criminal offense, subject to banishment or death, to be Protestant in France and other states in Roman Catholic Europe. Not only did governor Cornwallis and his executive council have to establish Halifax with manual labour, axes and saws, but he also had to deal with murdering Native raids ordered by the Roman Catholic bishop of Canada.

To add to Cornwallis' problems, he received 4,000 Protestant refugees fleeing Roman Catholic controlled France and Europe. Refugees who brought what they could smuggle to England before being stripped of everything they had. The Protestant refugees spent winter months at sea, all crowded together, with only barrelled salt meat, water, flour and beans.

Cornwallis constructed accommodations, and found food and clothing for these refugees when they arrived. To those who seek to deny Cornwallis a place of honour in history, damn the lot of you for your self-rightness new racism and ignorance.  —John Hurst, Dartmouth

How 'bout removing the statue of Cornwallis to a museum? The sculptor did a fine job portraying Cornwallis in a heroic pose, and there's no need to trash his work as another form of denial. But it is well-known that our first governor attempted to destroy all Mi'kmaq people in the province. This is not worth glorifying!

I understand that the regional council voted 15-1 to "review and make changes" to the statue, name of the park and Cornwallis Street. Why not ask Mi'kmaq elders to do some renaming? Or use some of the old Mi'kmaq place names? Or a carving of a Mi'kmaq family or person to replace Cornwallis?

Let's hope the expert panel reporting to regional council does not die of inertia and some genuine gesture of recognizing the 13,500 years of Mi'kmaq people living here can actually be recognized. —Linda V. Lewis, Halifax

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