Monday, September 28, 2009

Tweets from History

Chris Bentley is Much Smarter Than This

Here is a tweet from Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley a few months back that just showed up in the Google Alerts this morning:

Human Rights speech. 1948 Hugh Burnett started 7 year struggle to be served in cafe. Led to Code. He was black. Must remain vigilant today.

Hugh Burnett was a black carpenter in Dresden Ontario. He was part of the National Unity Association formed in 1948, an anti-discrimination group to counter the refusal to serve blacks in restaurants and other stores.

The NUA was actively engaged in getting Premier Leslie Frost to to support passage of two pieces of legislation against discrimination the Fair Employment Practices Act, and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act.

However, discrimination in Dresden did not come to an end, so Burnett staged an illegal sit in at two restaurants in town. The NUA won, ending overt discrimination, but Burnett ended up leaving Dresden as people boycotted his business.

That's the history behind the Tweet of our Ontario AG. It was not the key factor in us getting a Human Rights Code in Ontario, though it was a contributing one. The case of Drummond Wren that I reported on some months back was also significant, because it affected another minority group, Jews.

His conclusion "Must be vigilant today" though is liberal as well as Liberal clap trap. That was then. This is now, and Barbara Hall vigilance is not my idea of a good thing.

Minister Bentley is my MPP, and a good man. He serves his electorate well. However, his Liberal ideology, as it relates to human rights in this province, puts blinders on him to the reality of where vigilance is required.

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