To the modern progressive, as with the ancient Pharisee, it matters less whether one is doing right as long as one is being seen to do right.
In this same spirit, the federal government has announced that it will be spending $56 million on a five-year program "to eliminate racism from Canadian society.
There is a rather Stalinesque air about five-year programs to rid the land of some great social evil, as though eradicating sin and evil were a project like building a steel mill or draining the Aral Sea.
That aside, there are some troublesome elements to this program. It will, among other things:
Set up a tip line to collect information on internet-based hate crime.
Well-intentioned folk might think this was aimed only at the purveyors of the vile trash associated with Ernst Zundel or the Ku Klux Klan. But given the highly flexible definition of "hate" favoured by our governing classes, web sites critical of, say, the massacre of white farmers in Zimbabwe or Palestinian suicide bombers killing Israeli schoolchildren, might find themselves targets of anonymous callers to this snitch line.
Strengthen the connections between federal institutions and ethnic groups.
In light of the sponsorship scandal--it too a product of a program to strengthen connections between federal institutions and a discontented ethnic group--I can't help but picture this as a way for the Liberals to keep the immigrant vote bought.