We fight against justice, said Matt Dumba during the opening ceremony of the tragic comedy a.k.a. NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs 2020.
But not to worry. The Minnesota Wild defenceman, a Regina (Sask.) native, behaved like a broadcast professional he’s not yet (but it may be in his future, who knows). Dumba gave it a couple of seconds, and then returned to the proper script. We fight against injustice.
And, sure enough, his Freudian slip disappeared from subsequent showings of his speech as if by magic.
It wasn’t the only questionable mistake in young Mr. Dumba’s appearance. While Black Lives Matter’s ideologues claim with all seriousness that America suffers from systemic racism, Mr. Dumba mentioned systematic racism. Not once. Twice.
Systematic is an adjective that suggests there exists (or appears to exist) a system, a method, or a plan, or that whatever is happening involves any of these possibilities.
Systemic, on the other hand, is an adjective that means of or relating to a system. Phenomena affecting every part of an entire system (such as illnesses or social problems) can be described as systemic.
A seemingly minor difference, but of major importance.
The entire opening extravaganza bordered on the shocking, to say the least.
First of all, television screens lit up with words taken from an incendiary speech by the late Nelson Mandela, and to make sure everyone, even the illiterate among us, knew what it was all about, the former South African president’s voice filled the air.
Basically, Mr. Mandela’s speech was calling for an armed struggle, or else our children will hate us. In that particular clip, no reason for the armed struggle was mentioned, but it was expected that everyone and their dog would know.
What nobody from the NHL or Hockey Night in Canada bothered to mention was that Mr. Mandela was behind bars in South Africa because he was convicted of (and admitted to) terrorism.
Yes. Violent attacks against innocent and unsuspecting civilians, children included, are called terrorism by definition.
Not only that: one of Mr. Mandela’s chief advisers was a white-skinned man named Joe Slovo. Born as Yossel Mashel Slovo in Lithuania in 1926, he held the rank of full Colonel in the Soviet intelligence service, the KGB.
That the NHL and Hockey Night in Canada would choose a terror-driven Marxist-Leninist as a symbol of their fight against what they call social injustice is beyond comprehension.
The outrage happened on the 186th anniversary (to the day!) of the British Empire banning all forms of slavery (Canada was a part of the United Kingdom then, and still is).
A reminder: the United States followed suit 31 years later, in 1865.
Absolutely, racism did not end on that day so long ago, but it was a momentous start.
Can you imagine that powers that-be would tell a member of an Indian tribe he must not wear a three-piece suit, with a tie around the collar of his snow-white shirt, and his Gucci loafers shining like nobody’s business?
And wearing a, say, proper Fedora hat would be a no-no, as well?
(For reasons known only to them, they call themselves First Nations in Canada.)
So why does nobody object to the recent decision of NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks according to which wearing Indian-style head-dresses to games is forbidden from now onwards into eternity? Fans entering United Center at 1901 West Madison Street in Chicago, Illinois, will be asked to remove the offending collection of feathers from their heads, and if they refuse, they will be removed from the premises.
No word yet whether they will be reimbursed for the cost of their tickets and parking stalls.
The Blackhawks management was inconsistent, by the way: why did they not ban moccasins, too, while they were at it?
Or: a sponsor demanded that the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos drop the Eskimo part.
Instead of saying who needs such sponsors, going begging in the streets is more reputable than succumbing to such moronic blackmail, the Eskimos will have a new, preferably inoffensive, name soon.
Or take Yahoo. Originally a search engine, now a tragic attempt at a combination with a news source. This bunch of yahoos has removed a chess International Master from their site. (The International Master description indicates the player has achieved a pretty lofty level of play.) Yahoo’s censorship software did not like some of this International Master’s comments.
A few examples: he registered a move, and explained: “Black has totally screwed up here.” On another occasion, he wrote: “Black decided for the most violent continuation.” He dared use such outrageous remarks as: “… and after this move, white is deservedly winning.” Comments such as: “… and white dominates” didn’t help him much, either.
The calls for so-called social justice have come close to Nazi shrieks of Sieg Heil (Hail to Victory). What actually constitutes social justice for the Black Lives Matter movement remains a closely guarded secret, hidden behind such seriously-looking expressions as systemic racism. This must sound seriously funny to anyone who watches black basketball players, multi-millionaires all, taking to their knees during their national anthem, mouthing platitudes that should make a mentally-challenged (it used to be called retarded) kindergarten kid blush.
And never mind the minor fact that the national anthem is a symbol of the country (and system) that has allowed them to become multi-millionaires in the first place.
Speaking of which, hockey’s Matt Dumba took the knee when they played the American anthem (with Chicago’s goaltender Malcolm Subban and Edmonton’s defenceman Darnell Nurse holding their hands on his shoulders to show their support). At least, he stood up for O Canada. Matt Dumba is not as rich as his basketball colleagues, but still, thus far, professional hockey has enhanced his bank account by about $19,656,668 (see CapFriendly.com). All that in about seven years.
Oh, and by the way, speaking of the seemingly innocent word retard, even that has experienced a bit of controversy of its own.
When an airliner is about to land (especially the Airbus aircraft are guilty of it), the pilot is controlling the process, but automatic devices check and announce such important data as altitude (in feet) above the ground and runway, and speed. If the plane is approaching faster than calculations permit (length of the runway, wind, temperature of the air right above the runway, whether the runway is dry or wet, etc.), the devices will say: retard, retard, and will continue saying it until the pilot manages to adjust the speed to the proper requirements.
The din this has created among the bleeding-heart do-gooders when they heard about it was unbelievable. It would take quite an effort for the airlines and their pilots to explain to those illiterates what the word really means, in particular when used as a French language verb. (Remember: Airbus aircraft are assembled in Toulouse, France.)
What an opening!
Visuals used by the NHL and Hockey Night in Canada during the opening ceremonies in Edmonton and Toronto used images of the convicted criminal George Floyd, whose violent death in the hands of a police officer in Minnesota has allegedly triggered the entire Black Lives Matter movement.
Nothing can be further from the truth: we have been hearing this perfectly racist slogan for quite a few years now.
Not only that: presenting a convicted violent criminal as a hero, as a role model, even, is as cynical a decision as cynical gets.
Racism exists, yes, that much is true. Whether it is systemic remains to be seen. Systematic it is not.
Yes, there may be fans who use racist epithets when they do not like a player, and see his skin colour as the only reason for hating him. This is not limited to black players: athletes of, for example, Asian origin can tell tales about treatment they have received from some morons who come to sports events to vent their frustrations rather than support their teams.
But: for the NHL (and, by extension Hockey Night in Canada) to proclaim slogans such as “We skate for black lives” is a sign of racism to end all racisms.
According to people who represent the newly established (and, at first glance, rather vigilant) Hockey Diversity Association, they want more people of colour (their own expression, even though some of them were more open: they said black) playing hockey.
The way they put it seemed next thing they would be demanding would be quotas. Something similar to Québec nationalists who from time to time demand that the Montréal Canadiens (of the former Québec Nordiques) have a certain number of French players on their rosters, or else.
How about letting kids decide for themselves whether hockey is the sport they love the most?
For the record: all lives matter. To be singling out some lives based on their race equals racism.
There are no ifs or buts about it.
Let’s hope even those who have been starving for NHL hockey will show the league their displeasure by not watching its renewed attempt to remain relevant. It’s the only way professional sports understand: they go where their pockets lead them.
My Stanley Cup winner prediction? One of the 24 teams still playing. Who cares?