Woke Ideologues Loathe the Legacy of English-Speaking Peoples

While assessing the merits of historical developments that occurred during the second millennium, the India-born economist and author Deepak Lal asserted that “the ascent of the English-speaking peoples to prominence […]
Published on May 11, 2024

While assessing the merits of historical developments that occurred during the second millennium, the India-born economist and author Deepak Lal asserted that “the ascent of the English-speaking peoples to prominence in the world surely ranked highest.

The English-speaking legacy is held in much lower esteem by our contemporary woke custodians of high culture, and this is about to become abundantly clear in the small Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.

Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Gift to the World

In 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery put Prince Edward Island on the world map with a moving tale about a high-spirited 11-year-old freckle-faced, red-haired orphan girl who became known to us all as “Anne of Green Gables.”

Anne’s story began with a turn of fate that placed her in the care of two aging siblings in the rural community of Avonlea. Her presence on the farm of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert brought joy to their lives and they came to love her as their own daughter.

Throughout the era in which the “Anne of Green Gables” novels were popular, Prince Edward Island became a literary landmark and a unique tourist destination.

“Anne” captured the hearts of people around the world. The novel became a classic in the wholesome genre of children’s literature that predated the woke cultural revolution of the third millennium. Several sequels and dramatizations followed, and in 1935 the author was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Over generations, scores of parents and children, like ourselves and our then 11-year-old daughter, shared a memorable family experience on the road to Avonlea.

 Permanent Cultural Control

Early this year, as reported by The Epoch Times and others, it was revealed that Parks Canada plans to  introduce “new narratives” from other cultures to the Green Gables site.

The plan involves establishing new “partnerships” and “linkages” between Green Gables and “new communities.” The Epoch Times report quoted a message from Parks Canada President Ron Hallman who said the agency is committed to “equity, diversity, inclusion and reconciliation” in all that it does.

Parks Canada says it will focus on “providing fair and equitable access to opportunities for under-represented people including: Black, Indigenous, people of colour, the Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+ (2SLGBTQ+) community, and people living with disabilities.”

When the January announcement led to speculation about the creation of a “woke Anne” the parks agency claimed it would not be “editing or retelling any of L.M. Montgomery’s literary works.”

But the language of identity politics is a clear sign that the island site is about to become more ideologically driven. In fact, “Anne of Green Gables” was targeted for a makeover well before the Parks Canada plan was conceived.

Netflix and the CBC first aired “Anne with an E” in 2017, a new series created by Canadian screenwriter Moira Walley-Beckett. Loosely adapted from the original novel, the Netflix/CBC version dealt with up-to-date social justice issues such as psychological trauma, gender inequality, racism, religion, homophobia, and bullying. The series received excellent reviews from woke critics and won Canadian Screen Awards in both 2017 and 2018. Successful screenwriters and white-collar park rangers have enormously influential powers. We can expect to see another milestone on the road to permanent mind control by Canada’s progressive establishment in the summer of 2024.

Woke Means Endless Division

The Parks Canada project is highly likely to win approval from Prince Edward Island’s own cultural patricians.

The City of Charlottetown has already removed its statue of Canada’s founding Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. So it’s safe to assume that local elites have the same zeal for identity politics as their counterparts in Canada’s Laurentian establishment.

Similar woke passions were on display two years ago when a public library in London, Ont., refused to rent a lecture hall for an event organized by Canada’s Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship.

The library turned the academics down on the grounds that the message of their invited speaker would violate a policy on workplace harassment and pose a risk of physical danger.

The speaker was British author and University of Kent lecturer Joanna Williams, who had written “How Woke Won: The Elitist Movement That Threatens Democracy, Tolerance and Reason.” Her book examined the emergence of a radical corporate-professional over-class that feels compelled to micro-manage the behaviour and thoughts of common men and women. Independent thinkers like Williams assert that woke code language is always used to demonize opponents as backward, racist, prudish, and xenophobic.

In the UK, Canada, and the United States, woke ideology is a toxic driver of national division. The persistent mining of Anglo-American history for colonial-era abuses and white privilege generates a continuous cycle of recrimination and resentment. Canada’s Anglo and Celtic forefathers are broadly condemned. Their statues are toppled, memories erased, religions shamed, descendants punished, and literature abridged, all in the name of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

Like a lot of people in her era, L. M. Montgomery was the product of a relatively homogenous community, but her writing was not driven by contempt for other people. The English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish folks she wrote about were certainly not perfect, but neither were they the irredeemable racists and oppressors that post-modern critical theorists have made them out to be.

Whether or not there is still room for working-class descendants of English-speaking peoples in a post-national, technocratic, rainbow regime is an open question.

In the meantime, plenty of ordinary Canadians are feeling as though they are living in a particularly toxic episode of “Survivor,” constantly expecting to be voted off the island.

 

William Brooks is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

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