Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

Idle antithetical to King

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Re: Canadians can't be smug about racism, (Jan. 23). Don Marks uses the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to write: "Canada is experiencing nationwide civil rights demonstrations by the Idle No More movement."

King stood for equality of civil rights, not difference of rights. Nor did he seek a separate nation for African-Americans. I think it's fair to say that the idea of determining rights on the basis of ancestry is antithetical to pretty much everything King stood for.

To call the protest for aboriginal particularism a civil-rights movement is to distort what King taught us about civil rights: Human equality is proven in civil equality.

Marks refers to "grappling with human-rights issues on our streets." He is trying to give the protest for different rights a veneer of universalism. Because it is self-evident that we are created equal, Marks can only sell different rights by misrepresenting them.

MICHAEL MELANSON

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 28, 2013 A11

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