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Murder at the Royal BC Museum Part One
The Woke Religious Cult has finally arrived in Victoria
He who controls the narrative controls the past the present and the future. The truth of this bold assertion is getting tested, live and in real time here in Victoria, capital of British Columbia, Canada. It’s a medium sized city where motorists get stuck at four way stops out of sheer politeness. Close to half the people here are over sixty, and it was once known as the ‘city of the newly wed and nearly dead’. You get the picture. Oh, and it is very pretty indeed.
But in this backwater where nothing ever happens, Change is underway: we are enjoying a huge public scandal. A Woke brouhaha of the first order. Putting a complex narrative into a nutshell: The BC government and the Royal BC Museum have decided that it would be best at a time of great emotional suffering and economic hardship if they just demolished the current ‘racist, colonial, non-inclusive’ Museum and then spend a minimum of $1 Billion Canadian dollars during the next decade while figuring out how to replace it. This was announced on May 19/22 without any prior public consultation whatsoever. None. Maybe Victoria needs to be rebranded as, let’s see, um…City of the Woke and Broke? One good thing though: we’re now a ‘world class city’ because this is a story all too common in the civilized world.
A quick timeline to put it all into perspective:
In November 2021, following a negative internal report on ‘racism’, the RBCM announced it would close the popular galleries showing the life and times of early settlers, and began a ‘consultation process’ to determine how to replace them. The Galleries have been empty since.
A huge public outcry followed. But the course had been set for the high seas of Woke though us locals didn’t realize it at the time. But we would have known that the Museum has become a bastion of Religious Wokism had we read what is still on the website. They have carefully crafted a Focus for Change that ticks all the Woke boxes: http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca
June 29, 2021
The Board of Directors acknowledges the colonial history of the Museum and the systemic racism inherent in that history. We apologize for the way the Museum treated the many individuals within our workforce, as well as the communities and Nations we serve. We are humbled by and thank the individuals and organizations who shared their truths with us. The Board of Directors accepts with humility the difficult learnings of the past 12 months. We must do better.
Acknowledging the Past to Build a Better Future: As British Columbia’s museum and archives, we should be a safe, inclusive and welcoming place for every British Columbian. But over the years, our organization has made people feel unwanted, disrespected and unheard. We are sorry. We will do better. We are committed to making changes and are following a comprehensive plan to ensure our actions align with our values.
How very peculiar. Millions of people have visited the Museum and hardly anyone complained about the ‘systemic racism’ supposedly residing there. On the contrary, the global public has always been impressed with the enormous Indigenous galleries housing magnificent totem poles, a complete longhouse, and aural collections of the ancient languages of the First Nations people, some spoken to this day. But it was all driven by our ‘racist’ attitudes, and thus, a terrible thing that must be atoned for to the tune of at least one billion. This is classic Woke Language and just in case you didn’t think of this as a matter of serious concern, the Museum spent serious money on the careful, internal ‘re-education’ of the staff with its bad, colonial and racist attitudes. Here is an excerpt of the Woke Wisdom they had to ingest, -one that invests in museum staff by tackling issues of inclusion and discrimination. All-Staff Training Timeline: Year 1
Professional Communication 101
Trust-Building 101: How to Foster Trust Within a Team
Intercultural Skills: Part 1
Whiteness at Work
Intercultural Skills: Part 2
This earnest mumbo jumbo reminds me strongly of those infamous ‘struggle sessions’ common during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. It didn’t end well. Neither did the Inquisition, nor the Witch Hunt of Salem. We’re now in the middle of another dreadful cultural struggle, and it won’t end well either. People who thought that they lived in a Democracy where it is okay to have differences of opinion are in disbelief. You will get re-educated, damn you and your white, colonial attitudes. They will not be tolerated, and anyway, there’s a lot of money to be made by ‘consulting’ in these matters. It’s a wonderful new world of Woke, and you had better get used to it. Who is going to stop us?
However, there are global signs of pushback. One of the most consistent voices sounding the cultural alarm is that of British author Douglas Murray. He has recently released The War on the West, his second book on the Woke madness. The first one, The Madness of Crowds, puts the problem into an historical and global perspective:
…these wars are not being fought aimlessly. They are consistently being fought in a particular direction. And that direction has a purpose that is vast. The purpose-unknowing in some people, deliberate in others-is to embed a new metaphysics into our societies: a new religion if you will.
He is right; only true believers could muster the hubris and hypocrisy that is on display. With a little bit of luck, a New Inquisition of all the wrongthink is on our collective horizon. We’ve managed it before, after all. Douglas is one of the few intellectuals who understands how serious an assault on our basic Enlightenment Values the Woke zealotry is. Here he is discussing the book with Jordan Peterson:
But there is more! On February 28, 2022, the Museum proudly announced the appointment of Alicia Dubois, their brand-new CEO. Graduate in Science and Law, she came with all the credentials they were seeking, primarily in ‘developing cross cultural approaches’ and being ‘inclusive’ ‘going forward’. She’s got a stellar reputation in this black art, having helped a few lucky organizations, such as the Native Child and family Services of Toronto, Scotia Bank’s national Indigenous financial services and most recently, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation in Calgary. She left that organization after only 14 months and in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal. Shortly thereafter, in November 2021, she formed the Nish Synergies Advisory Group, registered to an address in Canmore, Alberta. She is spending a lot of time promoting that company. Raising the obvious question: is she in some kind of conflict of interest? I don’t know though a prominent local journalist, Lucas Aykroyd, has been following Alicia’s convoluted path here:
I do know that within three months of the Dubois appointment, all hell broke loose. And she has yet to ‘include’ ordinary BC citizens in her ‘vision’ for the Museum. Which is kind of strange when you consider how unpopular the decision to trash the current museum is. She is missing her opportunity to ‘control the narrative’ as they say in politics. What a shame.
But today, May 29, 2022, she has finally come out in front of this battle, demonstrating her absolute mastery of virtue signaling in this latest update from The Times Colonist”
New chief executive Alicia Dubois said she has vacated the “ivory tower offices” on the 10th floor of the Fannin Building used by previous executives in order to create space to store artifacts and displays.
It’s also a visual signal, she said, of an end to the “top-down leadership” that drew criticism from staff, and led to allegations of racism and eventual closure of the third floor for what the museum called “decolonization” of the exhibits. Her office is now on the ground floor just behind security.
Despite an intense backlash over the province’s surprise plan to tear down the museum and build a $789-million replacement, it’s all systems go on the ground at RBCM.
Here is the entire article for your entertainment: https://www.timescolonist.com/local-news/what-will-happen-to-woolly-mammoth-and-other-treasures-as-the-royal-bc-museum-packs-up-to-make-way-for-a-new-building-5418596
And in the ‘vision going forward’ there is action: The complete demolition of the building will take place just before the next election. Result? Nobody can stop this project, certainly not you, the enraged, ignored, puzzled, colonialist and racist public. Too bad for you.
Oh. I guess you didn’t realize that you and the entire population of BC is ‘racist’?
And that you will pay a whopping $1billion dollars as a penalty? But don’t worry, Alicia will give you a chance to air your views on the Museum website…soon. What a relief.
Meanwhile, we know that the provincial government isn’t just tone deaf; they literally couldn’t care less about democratic principles, all the while insisting they are listening to ‘marginalized groups’. The biggest of these, the general public, is safe to ignore because they have no zealots thumping the pulpit for them. What they care about can and will be ignored. A week after the announcement, negative opinion hovers around 80%, based on informal polls run by local newspapers.
Naturally, the PR machine to salvage this disastrous project has already kicked in. Case in point: a lengthy article in the Times Colonist, by Martin Segger, an eminent former Museum Bureaucrat. He is happy to bring us all up to date on our deplorable opinions though he is careful to admit that not everything in the current Museum is bad; but that it is simply not up to the task of representing a ‘multicultural society’ such as ours. Oh, really? I guess it depends on how you define that. I’ve lived here all my life and I can tell you that we’re one of the most diverse and tolerant places on earth. But since I am not a member of the Woke Elite, I don’t count. They have included me and people like me, out. If you want to be heard, you must repeat the approved mantras—inclusivity, equality, Indigenous reconciliation, decolonization, and voila, you too can profit and be an approved member of the in-group.
Segger has a way with words, I’ll give him that. Among many other things, he says that the current First People’s Gallery is not ‘inclusive’ because it doesn’t have anything by the local Lekwungen-speaking people. That could easily be rectified; you don’t need to throw out the entire Museum with the Woke Bathwater. He also overwhelms you with Wokespeak such as this:
…it will take some effort to reimagine our cultural identities as founded on a global environmental history, now sharing a local natural social and cultural ecology in a landscape shaped by First Nations and constructed within a history of multiple waves of settlement.
Thank you for clearing that up, Mr Segger. I have some doubts about the effectiveness of this Woke Cult Word Salad. Globally, and this is a global Mad Max movement, this kind of language is getting a lot of attention. It features an army of self-righteous people hell bent on doing ‘good’, on improving a clearly imperfect world.There’s an old saying in the US ‘when somebody shows up and says I am from the government and I am here to help you…RUN!’ Alas, it’s too late for that. Unfortunately, like most universities, big institutions and corporations, the Royal BC Museum has fallen prey to the self-destructive Woke Cult. It’s a trend gaining momentum.
We’re going to get a new Museum, in about a decade and a half at twice the cost, whether we want it or not, provided the can dig up the necessary manpower to build the thing. Premier Horgan and his crew want a legacy building and no matter how crazy it seems—they are going to talk you into it. Because they have talked themselves into it and will have a hell of a time retreating with any sort of dignity from that corner. How can such a stupid and expensive thing happen? What can we do to stop this madness?
Here’s an idea: put this entire sad saga on the couch. Horgan and his team need a good analyst to realize that they have gone mad. They urgently need help. And I have found just the man who is eminent enough to help Horgan and the Bureaucracy out: it is none other than Daniel Kahneman, author of Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment. He says that once a group arrives at a consensus, they have a strong tendency to get carried away and, buoyed by each other, allow their previously normal ideas to become extreme. Maybe that is what happened to these well-intentioned people making secret plans for us, the great unwashed majority.
The committees in charge of dismantling a mid-century legacy building that is mostly about celebrating Indigenous Culture but also featured galleries about the role of the early settlers in this province, simply got carried away. First, they demolished those galleries in the name of ‘decolonization’ though again, the public didn’t agree that they were inherently ‘racist’. It was done anyway because you belong to the outgroup. Then the Museum staff talked themselves into razing the whole thing to the ground and starting afresh, in some other part of town. They must have been shocked to see the reaction, but that is what group behaviour looks like.
One of the more fascinating things that Kahnemann and his two co-authors discovered is that when groups discuss anything, they are likely to agree with the person who speaks first. This first speaker sets the tone of all further discussions, followed by a ‘cascade’ of opinions that tend strongly to favour the first speaker. Why? Because people do not like feeling like an ‘outsider’ in their group. They may not agree, but quite often, keep that to themselves and ‘go along to get along’. So, depending on whether the first speaker was making a good or poorly thought-out argument, the group decision can be either good or bad. The so-called wisdom of crowds doesn’t always deliver the correct outcome, says Kahnemann. He calls this tendency to make illogical and crazy decisions Noise. And we, here in our little Victoria backwater, suffer from quite a lot of it. Both the real and the academic kind.
So there you have it. If our political class and their bureaucratic minions had a shred of respect for what we used to call Democracy in Canada, this would never have happened. Clearly, they live in a different world, one where Woke Ideas are more important than you or I. A sacred bubble of Wokespeak.
It is a global menace. And the question is, what is this once staid and dull town and the rest of the province going to do about it? Are we going to fold and fall into the well-funded, fundamentalist zealotry of the Woke Cult Narrative, or are we going to fight it?
That is the question: I made my choice a while ago, which is why I wrote this piece. I believe it’s high time to wake up to the menace of Woke. They will destroy our civilization from within if we let them. But right now, it is they, not us, who control the Narrative.