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Proposed renaming of Dundas Street

Admiral Beez

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afransen

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No doubt about that. Of course all nations rise and fall by seizing or losing land. One of my in-laws is from Poland in a region where the indigenous Germans were violently forced out over a hundred years ago. I wonder if the Poles have a similar land declaration, I think not. I consider myself an indigenous and ethnic English, with my family going back at least a thousand years, but my tribe had to have defeated and displaced the Celtic Britons that were there before - I don’t think anyone makes much of this today. Do the Zulu people of KwaZulu-Natal regularly declare that their country is located on the traditional land of the Xhosa people they defeated in battle? Likely not.

It seems the land acknowledgment is mostly an expression of white guilt towards the indigenous peoples they displaced in North America and ANZ. I don’t think many other countries have so institutionalized and normalized the land acknowledgement mantra before school and government business. But the land acknowledgment is empty, if we took their land, and we believe they’re entited to it, then we must give it back or offer compensation in kind. That’s what land acknowledgment should be about, making financial and physical amends.

If I stole your car, and then said, I acknowledge that I stole your car, but I’m keeping anyway, isn’t that just more of an insult than a sincere attempt at reconciliation?
Reminds me of a football chant in the Netherlands when they are playing Germany. 'Ik wil mijn fiets terug', or 'I want my bike back'. It is a tongue in cheek reference to what German troops did to the NL during WW2, particularly how they took everything that wasn't nailed down when they were pushed out.
 

zang

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Okay, so can all of you who are against renaming it please tell me why Henry Dundas deserves to have his name on a street in Toronto?

Because from what I can tell, his name was put on a bunch of things long before abolition was fully enacted, and simply because he was buddies with Simcoe. He certainly never visited Canada, nor had much (if any) influence on the country in general.
 
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Admiral Beez

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Okay, so can all of you who are against renaming it please tell me why Henry Dundas deserves to have his name on a street in Toronto?
To your satisfaction? I'd suggest not as your mind's made up. But start at the article and its research I posted above.

I do find it curious why this Orwellian revisionism started with Dundas. Surely there are worse offenders that we commemorate with place names?
 

Undead

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@Northern Light why did we resurrect this thread? 😆

It's not about protecting Dundas. No one here on the anti rename side gives a rat's bottom about the man. It's more about these initiatives coming from a well of deeply toxic and misinformed progressive politics.

To summarize:

Every group of humans has been enslaved and owned slaves at some point in history. Slavery was a human universal. Doesn't justify it anywhere, BUT it wasn't an inherently British or "white" institution as some of the most vile activists frequently imply.

The vast majority of people today agree that past wrongs including slavery were bad. For activists to insist on this being acknowledged is simply banal. Bad things are bad. Duh? It's more important how we respond to this history. I and many others would argue that empty virtue signaling like renaming streets is decidedly not the way to go.

Finally, as others have already pointed out, this does nothing to expand education and employment opportunities to the dispossessed. You know, the things that would actually fix some of the problems facing marginalized groups. Such a bleeding shame to see our classical liberal and moderate politics thrown out the window for narrow minded ideology.
 
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zang

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To
To your satisfaction? I'd suggest not as your mind's made up. But start at the article and its research I posted above.
To modern-day standards of who would make the cut? We can even ignore slavery-related topics as it's fairly obvious that those seem considered highly debatable.

What allows him to make the cut?
  • Is it the multiple charges of embezzlement and "mishandling" of public funds to the tune of about £1.5b in today's numbers? He even refused to testify at his own impeachment.
  • Is it his influence in forcefully expanding the British Empire in India and the West Indies? He was a war-hawk imperialist through and through, so much so they created a new position in cabinet for him; "Secretary at War".
  • Is it his mistreatment of his wife? He married her at age 14, taking all of her personal wealth, Melville Castle, and subsequently lost it all through bad investment. Post-divorce, he kept her from access to her own children
  • Is it manipulating the British parliament as defacto Prime Minister (known then colloquially as "Harry the Ninth" or "The Great Tyrant", or if people were being polite, "the Uncrowned King of England"), often doing so against the wishes of the public?

The man seems a lot more like Mitch McConnell than Abe Lincoln.

Also, please don't assume that an aristocratic family who trades on the Dundas/Melville legacy (book your wedding at Arniston House!), maintaining a hereditary noble title literally created for Henry Dundas, has Toronto's best interests at heart here. Especially when they write their own supporting documentation from the same public information available to the same historians who attack Dundas' legacy. Where's the private correspondence, journals, etc? The estate exists in the family, surely there's something else heretofore unreleased that might confirm what they've said about him?

If Denzil Minnan-Wong proposed naming a street after John Tory (as a thank you for making him deputy mayor), that might seem a little sketchy in today's day and age, no? But Dundas got Simcoe the Lt. Governor position, and Simcoe thanked him by naming a town and street after him. Cronyism at its best!

Though really, I think this is more about being anti-"cancel culture" than who Henry Dundas was a person, and whether he deserved the honour of having something named after him in the first place?
I do find it curious why this Orwellian revisionism started with Dundas.
"Orwellian revisionism"? The term "Dundas Despotism" has existed in the Scottish political lexicon for well more than a century. Most of his "legacy" was set in stone while he or his cronies were still alive and holding reins of power. Narcissism and cronyism aren't a reason to keep a statue up or a street name in place.

Surely there are worse offenders that we commemorate with place names?

And they should all lose the honour, just as much as he. Does that mean we can only start at the top of the list?
 

Northern Light

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@Northern Light why did we resurrect this thread? 😆

It's not about protecting Dundas. No one here on the anti rename side gives a rat's bottom about the man. It's more about these initiatives coming from a well of deeply toxic and misinformed progressive politics.

To summarize:

Every group of humans has been enslaved and owned slaves at some point in history. Slavery was a human universal. Doesn't justify it anywhere, BUT it wasn't an inherently British or "white" institution as some of the most vile activists frequently imply.

The vast majority of people today agree that past wrongs including slavery were bad. For activists to insist on this being acknowledged is simply banal. Bad things are bad. Duh? It's more important how we respond to this history. I and many others would argue that empty virtue signaling like renaming streets is decidedly not the way to go.

Finally, as others have already pointed out, this does nothing to expand education and employment opportunities to the disposed. You know, the things that would actually fix some of the problems facing marginalized groups. Such a bleeding shame to see our classical liberal and moderate politics thrown out the window for narrow minded ideology.

I was looking for a place to put an Executive Ctte agenda item on this.............


 

Admiral Beez

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It's not about protecting Dundas. No one here on the anti rename side gives a rat's bottom about the man. It's more about these initiatives coming from a well of deeply toxic and misinformed progressive politics.
Pretty much nailed it. There's just so much FOMO in these initiatives.
 

Northern Light

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What allows him to make the cut?

You're missing the point.

None of us are championing Dundas.

The point is renaming a major street is an expensive hassle, upwards of 6M in this case.
That if the principles for renaming, as outlined in the report are followed, many more streets and parks will need to be renamed, including several other major roads.
When logically followed through the cost of doing this reaches well in excess of 100M.
Think about what could be done for that sum.
Helping real, disadvantaged people.

The issue is not, and never has been the value of Dundas; its that his vilification (substantiated or otherwise) does not serve a sufficiently useful purpose, relative to cost.
 

zang

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Finally, as others have already pointed out, this does nothing to expand education and employment opportunities to the disposed. You know, the things that would actually fix some of the problems facing marginalized groups. Such a bleeding shame to see our classical liberal and moderate politics thrown out the window for narrow minded ideology.
Yeah yeah, the world would be so much better if everything regressed.
The issue is not, and never has been the value of Dundas; its that his vilification (substantiated or otherwise) does not serve a sufficiently useful purpose, relative to cost.
No, it's about any cost at all being assigned to this. Want to help disadvantaged people? Cut the police budget in half, or stop patching the Gardiner. $6m is a pittance in comparison. And some of that cost would be assumed in the future anyhow (map redesigns, street signage repair/replacement, etc.).
 

zang

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Pretty much nailed it. There's just so much FOMO in these initiatives.
FOMO? You've got to be kidding me. Toronto has its insecurity issues, but people aren't jumping on stuff like this just because someone else is. You want to ignore a global movement, go ahead. But it's not frivolous.
 

Northern Light

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Yeah yeah, the world would be so much better if everything regressed.

No, it's about any cost at all being assigned to this. Want to help disadvantaged people? Cut the police budget in half, or stop patching the Gardiner. $6m is a pittance in comparison. And some of that cost would be assumed in the future anyhow (map redesigns, street signage repair/replacement, etc.).

There is no money for this being taken from The police or the Gardiner. You (and I) may wish it were otherwise, but that's just not happening.

Nor has the current Mayor shown any propensity for above-inflation tax hikes, or for that matter insuring revenue growth in line with population growth.

As such, this money will come from socially progressive budgets. When the low-income TTC pass doesn't get expanded, or less housing gets built, it will be traceable directly to this choice.

***

Also:

6M which achieves nothing is a lot.

And its not 6M, read the report. The process for renaming continues beyond this one street.

Its 100M+
 

zang

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There is money for this being taken from The police or the Gardiner. You (and I) may wish it were otherwise, but that's just not happening.

Nor has the current Mayor shown any propensity for above-inflation tax hikes, or for that matter insuring revenue growth in line with population growth.

As such, this money will come from socially progressive budgets. When the low-income TTC pass doesn't get expanded, or less housing gets built, it will be traceable directly to this choice.
There are those to whom the idea of fighting against progress is more important than just about anything else. It's political contrarianism rather than a difference in political ideology, so blame will be shifted to this regardless. And if that's the case, we might as well just do it.
 

Undead

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Yeah yeah, the world would be so much better if everything regressed.
You're so good at strawmans. No wonder no one's convinced lol.

Cut the police budget in half,
Like I said, misguided. And counterproductive, I might add.

There are those to whom the idea of fighting against progress is more important than just about anything else. It's political contrarianism rather than a difference in political ideology, so blame will be shifted to this regardless. And if that's the case, we might as well just do it.
It's so misguided to see these initiatives and the toxic politics of their champions as progress.
 

zang

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It's so misguided to see these initiatives and the toxic politics of their champions as progress.

You are literally arguing a street name has to maintain its status quo and you're lecturing on what's progress?
 

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