Maplewashing

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Flag of Canada, which features a stylized, red, 11-pointed maple leaf charged in the centre

Maplewashing or maple washing (a portmanteau of maple and "whitewash") refers to the alleged tendency by Canadian governments, institutions, and media to perpetuate the notion that Canada is morally superior to other countries, thus sanitizing and concealing negative historical and contemporary actions. The term was coined by Jacobin columnist Luke Savage. [1][2][3]

Savage coined the term in his audio essay aired on the CBC Radio's The 180.[4] Savage said that there was a "growing smugness in Canadians" and that he believed it was time to end the "practice of maple-washing once and for all."[4]

A September 19, 2019, Public Radio International's (PRI) The World broadcast, entitled "Maplewashing", claimed publication of early 1990s photos of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showing him wearing blackface, challenged Canada's self-perception, just before the 2019 Canadian federal election.[5]

In 2019, the English and Art departments at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) collaborated to put on an exhibition called Maple-Washing: A Disruption, which featured various works examining Canadian history from diverse perspectives. Historical topics and events covered in the exhibition included Canadian participation in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the Komagata Maru incident, the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War Two, and the Chinese head tax, frequently "maple-washed" incidents.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Accounting for Histories: 150 Years of Canadian Maple Washing". opencanada.org. Archived from the original on December 2, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "Maple washing: don't be smug about Canada during the U.S election". cbc.ca. Archived from the original on December 2, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  3. ^ World, The. "Maplewashing". www.pri.org. Public Radio International. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Luke Savage (September 7, 2016). Maple washing: don't be smug about Canada during the U.S election. The 180. Archived from the original on December 2, 2018. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  5. ^ "Maplewashing". www.pri.org. The World. Public Radio International. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  6. ^ Kaur, Dilpreet. "English and Ceramics Students at KPU Collaborate to Create Maple-Washing: A Disruption". runnermag.ca. Runner Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2020.