The Varsity reports on a pro-life demonstration at University of Toronto, here.
Reading the article makes for interesting commentary on the reporter’s perceptions of abortion. Now the Genocide Awareness Project does not equate abortion and the Holocaust but rather says where personhood is denied, great atrocities occur. As in if we declare people of other skin colours are not people, then we are able to tolerate slavery. If we declare Jewish people are not people, we can tolerate the Holocaust. This nuance is apparently all lost on the reporter, however, so I am forced to wonder whether it will not be lost on most pro-choice students on campus.
I for one, believe the Holocaust is a stand alone event, and that word should not be used for any event other than the actual Holocaust in World War II. But I do not believe that the Genocide Awareness Project is saying that “abortion is a Holocaust,” rather to repeat, that the similarity lies in denying personhood to a particular group of people. In the Holocaust it was Jews, today, it is the unborn.
I’d appreciate nuanced feedback, in particular if you believe I am playing a game of semantics.
Trish adds: There are several interesting little insights about the abortion debate to be gleaned from the Varsity article. First of all, note who the coalition of pro-choice campus groups were: they included “UTSU, ASSU, the Centre for Women and Trans People, the GSU, CUPE 3902, CFS-Ontario and the Steelworkers.” As usual, there’s the round-up of campus groups who collect their fees from those students who are just trying to go to school and then go spend that money on those causes selected by their professional student activist executives? Anyone who has gone to university knows just how representative those groups are. But CUPE and the Steelworkers? These are now campus groups?
In addition, prolife comments were collected from Rosemary Connell who is identified as an “anti-abortion activist (and non-student)” Comments regarding the students positive response to the pro-choice shouts of “20 years of reproductive freedom” were provided by Chantal Sundaram, “a CUPE 3902 staff rep”. Is she also a “non-student”? Gee, I wonder why the pro-lifer is identified as a “non-student” and a CUPE staff rep isn’t? Maybe she’s a part-time student?
Finally, check out the comments sections. Is that where we finally get to hear from actual students? (Presumably that is who is reading the Varsity.) If they are representative of the campus population (who knows?), the pro-choice side is not doing very well.
Tanya adds: The Holocaust (capitalized, in reference to WWII) is a stand-alone event. However, a holocaust is “any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.” [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/holocaust] Genocide is “the systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.” [http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genocide]