May 21, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is scaling back its coverage of human rights atrocities and is planning to include more positive Canadian stories. Some readers found that to be atrocious.
"People said this gallery felt like a little shop of horrors. Planners don't want visitors to get so depressed they would be compelled to leave."
Are they friggin' serious? Are people supposed to leave all bouncy and happy?
I will go once in my lifetime...and that's just to see if the inside is as ugly as the outside. I wonder if they will supply free Kleenex?
I still don't understand why we need this museum. A Jewish friend explained that we need this museum to prevent atrocities from happening in the future. If anyone believes that the presence of a Genocide Hall of Fame in Winnipeg is going to deter any dictator from slaughtering their own people they're dreaming. Also, If there is anything I don't know about how the Canadian governments mistreated First Nations people in the past, we don't need a fancy new building. All I have to do is read the Free Press. We are reminded daily why we must keep paying and paying and paying for the actions of previous generations. To be honest, I am sick of it already.
A few years ago, I went to Washington, D.C., for a holiday. I went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. What an absolutely amazing museum. It was massive and just told the story of the Holocaust from BOTH sides. There was a gallery talking about the medical advances that happened because of the Holocaust. It was an absolutely amazing, humbling, disturbing and educational museum. I learned more going through there than I ever would have otherwise. Every single person that walked out of that museum the same time we did was absolutely silent. There was just so much to process and handle. It was very depressing, but at no time did we feel it was so depressing we had to leave. That is a museum done properly.
Why don't they cycle the over 80 atrocities, have the Atrocities of the Month. This month we're featuring... I don't think they should worry about overly depressing people. I would think if people feel overwhelmed and feel the need to leave the museum, well then they've done a great job.
I returned to my hometown in August for a holiday. Of all the places I was looking forward to seeing, The Forks topped the list. What was a hodgepodge of train tracks and dilapidated railroad buildings had been transformed into a fascinating collection of shops and open spaces, all faithful to the heritage of the site.
Yet sticking up amongst them was this obscene protuberance you call a museum. It stands in stark contrast to the predominant architecture at The Forks and, frankly, rates as one of the ugliest buildings that I have ever seen. How sad that it so overpowers all the efforts of those who tried so hard to make The Forks an attractive venue. It's the result of the architect looking at a $350-million budget and not knowing when to lay down his pencil.
All the people worried about being depressed sure are delicate, aren't they? If you can't handle reality and the bad that goes with the good, there is always Tinkertown for you. The grown-ups will be at the museum.
"Some complained of museum-board fears of upsetting the federal government or potential trade partners."
"Murray said he is under no pressure from the federal government regarding the museum's content."
Yeah, right. I'll take the word of anonymous former employees in this case.
"Museum officials describe the changes to the content as the result of several years of engagement with the public and human rights experts."
Why did you not listen to the focus groups held in 2008 and 2009 saying there was no need for this and no one would make a special trip to Winnipeg to see it?
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 2, 2012 A10