The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Matthew Dumas Inquest sinks hopes of the victim industry

You know the economy is in trouble when even the Native Grievance Industry is in recession.

Projects being cancelled, lawyers laid off. .. Oh, the misery.

Just look at the Matthew Dumas Inquest. It had such promise once.

The Inquest would be followed by a lawsuit. Ka-ching.

The lawsuit would be followed by a public inquiry. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

The Inquiry would be followed by mandatory "sensitivity" and "cultural" training for the police for as long as the rivers flow and the grass grows. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching.

Oh, the per diems to be filed. The hotel rooms to be booked. The travel time to be paid, the studies to be made, the elders to be consulted, committees to be formed and funded. It was such a growth industry.

And now, all lost. Oh, woe. Where did it go wrong?

Matthew Dumas was a petty criminal with great potential---to enter federal prison. Arrested in October, 2004 for possession of a weapon, he was back on the streets three months later, eighteen years old and armed with a weapon again, in breach of his probation, and threatening to kill a police officer. Too stupid or too doped up to follow simple instructions (Drop the screwdriver or I'll shoot) he was killed by the officer.

Matthew Dumas immediately became the poster boy for the Native Grievance Industry.

The Indian Chiefs rushed to spew their own brand of hate. They hated the police, for starters.

The city was on the brink of a race war, they shouted. The police were out of control, killing "our children." hoo hoo.

The mainstream press ate it up. The Grievance Industry was a bull market in 2005.

But the Bear was ascendant by the time of the Inquest three years later.

The public heard that Dumas was solely to blame for his own death. He attracted the attention of police by bolting when he saw them. He sucker punched a police officer who caught up with him and was walking with him to a cruiser car. He armed himself with a screwdriver and refused repeated demands to put it down.

The family lawyer, seeing hundreds of thousands of dollars being washed down the drain, screamed RACISM. But to no avail. Inquest Judge Mary Curtis found the police blameless. Why Dumas made his fatal choices, no one will ever know, she said.

The long faces at the expected news conference after the inquest report told the tale. The boom was over; the Grievance Industry was in trouble.

Sure, the family went through the motions. Blah blah blah, public inquiry, blah blah blah, racists blah blah blah, lawsuit. Nobody was buying. Internet comments were unsympathetic to say the least. Even the television stations which usually love Grievance Industry bombast hardly mentioned the news conference.

And it's over when it's over. Justice Minister Dave "Six Months" Chomiak said it's over. There will be no public inquiry, he said.

The Native Grievance Industry still has a couple of projects in the works. Police shot 26-year-old Craig McDougall to death in one confrontation, and in another Michael Langan, 17, died after being Tasered by officers. Both carry so much negative baggage that it's proved impossible to sell them as replacement poster boys for Matthew Dumas.

Canadian Press did its best to stoke the Grievance Industry Wednesday when it reported "Police said both men were brandishing knives, but the explanation has done little to quell the outrage."

Uh, what outrage, CP? The one you're inventing?

Because the only outrage out there is that being spewed by the native "leaders" and they've lost all credibility. Even the Winnipeg Free Press headlined their editorial on the Dumas Inquest "Irresponsible Chiefs."

The one thing still missing is a full return to common sense and decency.

It's time to stop treating the police as criminals.

Treat criminals as criminals. That means the police have to be given the benefit of the doubt when confrontations turn violent or fatal unless there's strong reason to think otherwise.

Criminals like Matthew Dumas aren't innocent people walking down the street minding their own business. Their business is preying on innocent people. We want people like this to be scared of police. We want them to sweat when they see police officers.

The public is outraged.

They're outraged at the uncontrolled gangs, the graffiti marring their neighbourhoods, the drug trafficking, the public shootings.

They're outraged at the lack of police in their neighbourhoods, not their presence.

They're outraged that the criminals aren't scared enough of the authorities.

They're outraged at seeing spokesmen for the Grievance Industry like Nahanni Fontaine embrace gang members as "family" while condemning police as the enemy.

They're outraged that city council gives people like Fontaine a place of influence and respect by putting her on the Winnipeg Police Advisory Board -- where she can spew her anti-police views behind closed doors away from public scrutiny and exposure, and accountability.

Fontaine, the Dumas family, the Southern Chiefs Organization were all in attendance at the post-inquest news conference to make their best pitch for the Grievance Industry.

The market report is in....Sell.


The Southern Chiefs Organization and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, meanwhile, have a little scandal of their own to address.

Chief Hector Shorting and four councillors from Little Saskatchewan First Nation (which is in Manitoba) have been removed from office by Ottawa following an investigation into vote-buying during the last band election.

"It was determined there were contraventions of election provisions of the Indian Act that affected the result. Individuals were found to have committed corrupt practices," a federal spokeswoman said, reading from a prepared statement.

This shouldn't be confused with the charges of vote-buying laid against the former chief of Saskatchewan's Red Pheasant First Nation in June.

Or the allegations of vote-buying on the Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton which have still to be investigation.

Hey, you don't think there's cause for a public inquiry into corruption on Indian reserves, do you?

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