For those of you who don’t know Canadian History, or have even seen Murphy’s “Heritage Minute,” Justice Murphy was the tireless sufragette, who went to the British privy council with four others (the “Famous Five”) to clarify that women were to be considered “persons” under British law throughout the Empire, and thus having more or less the same rights as men.
Murphy was the first female police magistrate in Alberta, and the first female Canadian Senator. She has a couple of statues built for her, and a park already honouring her legacy.
However, Emily Murphy was leading a double life. Under the pen name of Janey Canuck, she wrote white supremicist tracts for Maclean’s Magazine (!), collected in a book called “The Black Candle”. She argued that marijuana (or “marihuana” as she spelt it) should be banned because it was used by “orientals” and “negros” to weaken “whites.”
(I hope the mods will show some leniency. I’m not certain whether it would violate the rules on linking to hate literature to link to the book this excerpt is from; a link is available via the Wikipedia article linked to above. But I feel a line should be quoted to show how extreme this woman’s racism was – that she wasn’t just “racist, like everyone in those days.”)
That’s one representative example. Murphy was considered so racist, even by the standards of her time, that it once became an issue in one of her court cases, where the lawyer argued that she could not possibly sit in judgment of a case involving a person of Asian descent.
I’m not suggesting we raze her statues or rename the park. Do we really heap further honour on someone whose beliefs near those of the Nazis?