The recent opinion poll sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association asks Canadians if they want their new human-rights museum to “cover all genocides equally.”
This question is not only unfortunate – it is misleading. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is not a museum of genocide, it never was. It is a catalyst for change. The Museum is a transformational experience, not a memorial to the past. Canadians have clearly stated they want CMHR to be a place of transformation and call to action. We know this because CMHR market research of 4,000 people across Canada and the U.S. clearly supported this vision of empowering change. What’s more is that 120 + million dollars donated by more than 6,000 thousand Canadians (including many ethno-cultural groups) plus millions of dollars in support from all levels of government was invested based on this current vision for the museum. In addition, members of the CMHR have met face to face over the past year with 2500 Canadians from every province and territory, who have shared their stories and hopes for the museum – again, reinforcing the current vision for the museum.What can be done to make the world better? Well, first off, we could focus on the fact that the concept of "human rights" itself has been hijacked by those who seek power and/or who loathe Israel and the West. "Human rights" has indeed been a catalyst for change--but not the good kind, and there is no way this bastion of squish, victimhood and atrocity porn is going to work any magic. If anything, it will only make things worse by validating the dog's breakfast that "human rights" has become in our time. And, really, hasn't the whole Obama experience demonstrated the complete fatuousness of the "empowering change" trope?
The Museum fully intends to deliver the inclusive museum that was promised to Canadians over the past several years – including the commitment made to Ukrainian Canadians regarding the stories that will be featured in the museum. We will be inclusive, but we will also be focused - focused on generating attitudes of respect, dignity, and responsibility and focused on what has been achieved in human rights history, and what can be done to make the world better in the future.