It's heartening to see the NatPo's Joseph Brean repeat much of what I've been saying about this edifice for years--that it's a shrine to victimhood, that it assigns "a hierarchy of atrocities," etc. On the other hand, the thing is also described as "a beacon of hope," which is just plain silly.
In "honour" of the opening, I thought I'd repost some of Mark Steyn's deliciously irreverent thoughts about the edifice (which include--aw, shucks--a reference to yours truly):
Having been put through the mill by Canada's "Human Rights" Commissions, I naturally despise any juxtaposition of the words "Canadian" and "human rights." But if you have to yoke them, this is the place: To paraphrase Justin's fellow musician Joni Mitchell, they took all the rights and put 'em in a rights museum, and they charged the people a dollar-and-a-half just to see 'em.
But I've warmed up to what the blogger Scaramouche calls the Canadian Mausoleum for Human Rights. It could have been just the usual sucking maw of public monies had it not descended into an hilarious, er, urinating match of competing victimhoods. For those who thought "human rights" had something to do with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so forth, it turns out to be about which guy's genocide is bigger. The Ukrainian-Canadian Congress was wary of the mausoleum from the get-go, suspicious that it would downplay the Holodomor, Stalin's enforced famine in the Ukraine 80 years ago. The mausoleum assured them that they were going to go big on the Holodomor, but to guarantee the UCC came onboard offered to throw in a bonus exhibit of Canada's internment of Ukrainian immigrants during World War I. This would be part of "Canada's Journey," a heartwarming historical pageant illustrating how the blood-soaked Canadian state has perpetrated one atrocity after another on native children, Chinese coolies, Japanese internees, Jews, gays, the transgendered, you name it. And, of course, the Ukrainians. Per Izzy's wishes, the Holocaust would have pride of place in a separate exhibit, because, its dark bloody history notwithstanding, Canada apparently played a minimal role in the murder of six million Jews. However, the Holodomor would be included as a permanent featured genocide in the museum's "Mass Atrocity Zone."
Oh, you can laugh at the idea of a "Mass Atrocity Zone" tourist attraction in Winnipeg, but there isn't an ethnic lobby group that doesn't want in. The Polish-Canadian Congress complained that lumping all the non-Jew genocides in one Mass Atrocity Zone meant they'd have to be on a rotating schedule, like revolving pies on the lunch counter. The Armenian genocide was felt to be getting short shrift, considering it was the prototype 20th-century genocide. On the other hand, the Rwandan genocide, the last big 20th-century genocide, and the Congolese civil war don't appear to have got a look-in at all. The Poles wanted room made for the Germans' ill treatment of the Poles, which did not seem to be a priority of the mausoleum.
The floor plan has now emerged, and the Ukrainian-Canadians are furious that their people's suffering has been "ignored or minimalized." The Holodomor has been relegated to "a small obscure gallery near the museum's public toilets." Don't you hate it when that happens? When your genocide gets the lousy seats at the back by the bathroom while those Jews are all at the big power table up front? Adding insult to injury, the bonus exhibit about the internment of Ukrainian-Canadians turns out to be one measly photograph — whether a respectable distance from the toilets or not, I cannot say...On such a momentous occasion it also behooves us to consider the travesty that "human rights" has become in our time, both internationally and domestically, and to ask whether a "human rights" museum serves the interests of those who believe in and are committed to freedom, democracy and Zionism. I would venture to say that, with its emphasis on victimhood and Canada's sucky "human rights" record, it most decidedly does not.