Doug Wilson’s latest narcissistic letter identifies a naive diagnosis and solution to indigenous people’s problems.
Notably, like many who revert to blaming the victim, Wilson centres the problem that indigenous people face as primarily an issue of poverty; however, he does so without explaining how independent sovereign societies were destroyed and then contained within reserves to create and manifest that poverty.
As a friend always reminds me, “you cannot talk about poverty without talking about disease, missionaries, the Indian Act, government oppression, without talking about residential schools or stealing other peoples’ children, without talking about dispossession, etc.” Failing to connect these dots, Wilson falls into preaching the common fiction or Manichean delirium from a position that suggests: white settler society is superior and Indigenous people remain inherently inferior.
Speaking from the context of Attawapiskat, the Enbridge Pipeline and the New Prosperity proposal, Wilson’s argument simply implies: Natives are naturally poor; therefore, to relieve poverty and to be successful, you need to accept settler society’s capitalist economic development activities. This rationale may ring true to people’s Imperial sensitivities, but accepting the history of injustice fails to address the real problem, which reveals the fact that successive generations of governmental action has managed to create financial and psychological dependency.
This is not indigenous people’s fault by choice; it’s a result of state-sponsored actions imposing a divisive political system and re-engineering a new reward system that keeps a standing reserve of desperate, poor people, which is strategically meant to guide indigenous people into conformity, or suffer.
Wilson’s bi-weekly letters echo the colonial entrapment that settler authorities have constructed to gain access to the land, and arguing uncritically from this position is not an honest reflection of our reality.