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Canada's Governor General plays empire's good girl

(30 November 2006) - INSTEAD of standing up against the neo-colonial project (which includes the illegal occupation of her native Haiti), Michaelle Jean is helping slavery-built European empires cover up their crimes against the native peoples of Africa and of the Americas - through a web of denial and projection.

Today, we read in the news....

African Slavery Apology Urged [1]

ACCRA, Ghana - Michaelle Jean said yesterday Africa must recognize its own role in the slave trade to help turn the page on a shameful chapter in human history.

The Governor General used a state dinner to congratulate Ghana's government for offering such an apology and suggested other African countries should do the same.

She made the remarks on the eve of an emotional pilgrimage to a seaside fortress where thousands of slaves were shipped to the Americas. "The time has come to recapture that moment of African history in order to move ahead together," Jean said. "As it looks to the future, Ghana has shown that it is willing to confront the past.

"I am impressed by your government's decision to apologize for what was done hundreds of years ago by the people of this region involved in the slave trade."

"As a descendent of slaves, that touched me very much. I know that we cannot go back and solve past injustices. All we can do is learn from the lessons of the past, even the painful lessons, and use that knowledge to build a better future."

More than 15 million men, women and children were captured and sold to Europeans during the colonial age.

. . .

I wrote on the day of her inauguration "This is a perfect opportunity for people of conscience throughout Canada to remind the Representative of the British Crown in Canada that there is a huge outstanding debt of REPARATIONS owed by the British Crown to the native peoples of Canada and Africa."

The above article is problematic on many fronts. Historical falsehoods abound in it. For starters the 15 million figure advanced for the number of kidnapped and enslaved Africans is a gross underevaluation.[2]

The portrayal of the Europeans as mere "buyers" of Africans captured and enslaved (presumably by their own) is more than deceitful, it is boldly indecent.

What I find most striking in this article is the shameful use Michaelle Jean allows to be made of her person and of the history of the people she truly belongs to, the displaced Africans who are spread the world over as a result of the Maafa [a Kiswahili word meaning 'disaster,' also known as the African Holocaust or Holocaust of Enslavement - Ed. note].

It is my perception that during this emotional trip, Michaelle Jean is unfortunately playing the role of mere stooge to white supremacist imperialism as this beast is busy trying to rewrite history by turning the victims of its barbarism into culprits.

Projection has been the name of the imperialist game, from Columbus & Las Casas to Bush II & Ratzinger.

Who, in their right mind, would ever consider asking the Jewish People to apologize for the Holocaust on account that some Jews had collaborated with the Nazis, or the Russian Czars? The real issue is REPARATIONS !!!!

When you contrast the speech made by Michaelle Jean and the statement made by Tony Blair during the same period,[3] you see the common trend: crocodile tears, projection, denial, to help the heirs of racial slavery profits to continue getting away with murder while paying lip service to those on whose backs the British & other white supremacist Empires were built and are still being maintained.

Back in 2005, I wrote: "The nomination of our compatriot Michaelle Jean also brings to greater focus this tendency of using 'gimmicks' to distract the people from the real issues. There is currently a major Canadian foreign affairs disaster unfolding in Haiti. Instead of firing a few of his dangerously incompetent advisors, the Prime Minister finds us all an interesting and convenient distraction.

Likewise, when the plight of the "wretched of the earth" starts becoming too much to ignore, we are all invited to simply "have a friend in Bono," and the band played on...

And so, a photo op here, a few tears there, the band continues to play....


1. "African slavery apology urged," Calgary Sun, November 29, 2006,

2. See "Maafa," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maafa.

3. See: "British PM condemns African slave trade,"

* Jean Saint-Vil is a founding member of the Canada Haiti Action Network: www.canadahaitiaction.ca.

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