Sunday, May 22, 2011

Long live the Democratic State of Nee-Mennogrebelmanzheim

Parliament of Nee-Mennogrebelmanzheim
Imagine this:
In southern Manitoba a portion of land bordered on the north by Highway #1, on the east by Highway # 12, on the west by Highways 240 & 31 and on the south by the US border is separated from the Province of Manitoba by UN declaration and declared a “Mennonite Homeland.” They are a people who have, after all, been hounded around the world – Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, Bolivia, Mexico; they are a people who have been martyred for their faith, persecuted relentlessly by both mainline Catholic and Protestant rulers of the 16th and 17th Centuries. They deserve an ethnic homeland, don’t they? Their holy city, Winnipeg, will be shared because it is also a holy city to Grain Exchange stockholders, the ethnics of North Winnipeg, Ukrainians etc. North Kildonan will be the ethnic Mennonite allotment in the city and a corridor will be fenced off to the South Perimeter.
               Over time, Mennonites from Mexico, Uruguay, Saskatchewan and other faraway places begin trickling in to embrace the future of life with “their people,” and land becomes a factor and non-Mennonites “squatting” in this new country are irritants to the goal of homeland. They are bought out if possible, gangs of Mennonites less convinced of the efficacy of non-violence harass them until life becomes too dangerous and unpleasant for them and they leave. Their farms are handed over to the migrants and ethnic solidarity gradually builds.
               But it’s not enough. The country of Canada has always seen this ethnic cleansing as unreasonable and illegal, and launches an attack on the temporary capital of the new country— Steinbach—but the Canadian Army is easily defeated by thousands of men in overalls who know how to use pitchforks. They occupy the battleground—Sandilands Provincial Forest—and begin building settlements for Mennonites from Thompson, The Pas, Glenbush and Peace River who are partial to trees. This, of course, also requires harassing the people already living there until they leave and become refugees in North Dakota, which really doesn’t want them.
               Mennonites in Germany, Netherlands, the USA, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta continue to pour funds into this new country—Nee-Mennogrebelmanzheim—in the interest of the existence and prosperity of an ethnic homeland where Low German is spoken and churches don’t have steeples. Security will, of course, always be an issue because Canada, Manitoba and the thousands of refugees who have been driven out will always continue to challenge the sovereignty of Nee-Mennogrebelmanzheim, and exiles who abandoned farms that had been in the family for ten or more generations will continue to press for a right of return.
               A few days ago, the current Prime Minister of Nee-Mennogrebelmanzheim, the Rt. Honourable Tchnalz Freezen met with President Obama, who urged him to stop building settlements in the Sandilands Provincial Forest and to return the area to Manitoba. Prime Minister Freezen scoffed and declared that “the reality on the ground” made that option unthinkable. President Obama also pointed out that the land the exiles had vacated had never been relinquished legally and that they should be given the right to return to live in Nee-Mennogrebelmanzheim if they so desired. This proposal met with similar disdain and Freezen declared that no settlement with Manitoba would ever include the right of return. Freezen then reiterated that the Mennonites have a right to an ethnic homeland and that their existence is fragile because of the unreasonable hostility surrounding their borders and the occupation of the Sandilands Forest was vital to these interests.
               Many said Obama came out of the dialogue looking like an unreasonable idiot.
               Score one for Tchnalz. Long live the Mennonite Kingdom Democratic State of Nee-Mennogrebelmanzheim!


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