This is the second post in what I hope will be an ongoing expose of Canada's Greatest Heroes. The first post touched upon Tommy Douglas' views regarding homosexuality and Emily Murphy's beliefs about sterilization and the mentally deficient.
Emily Murphy (1868-1933) was recently honoured on the back of the new fifty dollar bill, along with the four other members of the "Famous Five". This great Canadian who now joins the ranks of the Queen, enshrined as she now is on our currency, was the first police magistrate in Canada, as well as a rather prominent author. Murphy and her fellow freedom fighters focused predominately on equal rights for women and children. In particular they fought for the right of women to be deemed full persons and thus eligible for appointment to the Senate. However, Murphy's own ambitions to be appointed to the Senate were never realized, nor is her contribution to woman's rights as significant as we are led to believe, at least not in terms of securing individual liberty against state tyranny. As another researcher into Murphy's career comments:
Today, approximately 30 women benefit from appointments in the Senate as a result of her efforts while thousands suffer because of her equally arduous pursuit of spreading her particular brand of racism.She also seems to have had much to say about drug 'offenders' and forced sterilization. Although plenty has been written about Murphy, a little reported fact is her general intolerance and bigotry regarding not only drug users, but also non-whites, as she felt they were generally responsible for poverty and 'immoral' behaviour. Equal rights at the expense of other's rights; yet another example of the hyprocrisy of the so-called defenders of equal rights, and the moral bankrupcy of our politically chosen icons. Murphy's intolerant and arrogant views, if discussed at all, are generally dismissed as endemic of the time period.
I'll begin by focusing on her views concerning drug users, as she is considered by many to have played a crucial part in shaping Canada's dranconian drug laws. As drugs were at the time mostly imported and enjoyed by non-whites, like Mexicans and Chinese, her discussion about drugs will also help elucidate her views concerning other races.
An excerpt from Murphy's 1922 manifesto The Black Candle:
Charles A. Jones, the Chief of Police for the city, said in a recent letter that hashish, or Indian hemp, grows wild in Mexico but to raise this shrub in California constitutes a violation of the State Narcotic law. He says, "Persons using this narcotic, smoke the dried leaves of the plant, which has the effect of driving them completely insane. The addict loses all sense of moral responsibility. Addicts to this drug, while under its influence, are immune to pain, and could be severely injured without having any realization of their condition. While in this condition they become raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any form of violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty without, as said before, any sense of moral responsibility.Have no fear though if you are a 'law abiding' citizen:
Getting a warrant to search a place for a suspected câche of poisons is almost as difficult as getting a passport to Russia. Society holds up its hands in horror and talks of "violated rights" if a policeman appears at its door with an order for search, and calls him names, the scope of which can only be measured by their ability to pronounce the English language. It is absolutely astounding what a hullabaloo can be made by an otherwise perfectly gentle lady, who has been asked to open her trunk or pass over her keys.Similarly, the modern equivalent of the polite and law abiding housewife won't mind if cameras are installed in every room in her home, for its a preventative measure you know, to ensure the greater safety of society. Property rights be damned.
More on Emily soon. For now, I leave you with these closing words from this early engineer of the nanny state.
It is good to live in these first days when the foundations of things are being laid, to be able, now and then, to place a stone or carry the mortar to set it good and true.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Posted by Lisa Turner on Sunday, February 20, 2005