Straight Pride…where is that parade?

If you feel you need to ask that question? Go back to your parents and demand a do-over because you’re a fail.

Why is there a Gay Pride parade, why isn’t there a straight pride parade??” I heard that today. I actually heard those words come out of someone’s mouth. Brain cells were involved…okay, weeny-tiny mutated cells but brain cells none the less.

I’ll try to keep this short and the words as simple as possible.

  1. Straight people did not have their bars and social clubs busted by police with the patrons beaten to pulps and arrested for who and how they loved. Not because they were selling drugs or beating on passers-by but because of with whom they chose to spend their free time.
  2. Straight people don’t get beaten up on the street when they hold hands with a loved one.
  3. Straight people don’t lose jobs, opportunities or shelter because they are straight.
  4. Straight people don’t have to prove their worth day after day.
  5. Straight people don’t have to prove they are not pedophiles on a daily basis.
  6. Straight people are not the favoured target of the religious nutbags.
  7. Straight people didn’t have to fight for the right to get married.
  8. Straight people are not thrown out of their families for being straight.
  9. Straight people do not have to fight discrimination based on their “straightness”.
  10. Straight people are not the subject of derogatory jokes based on their sexual preference.

Montreal is holding a Pride Week and in my opinion, it is an important event. It is an event promoting solidarity and community. It is a joyous celebration of acceptance. Of the dream of total equality, without fear of violence and injustice.

I was asked how I can tolerate the young men wandering around nude or in ass-less chaps. Didn’t I find this behaviour disgusting?

Well, frankly – if I see something that I don’t like? I look away. I don’t like girls with their ass and tits hanging out; so I don’t look. I DON’T LIKE IT – that isn’t the girls’ problem, it is on me. I don’t like going to the store and standing behind a woman hiding a gallon of cottage cheese on her thighs, underneath Spandex stretched beyond human belief. I either change lines or play Candy Crush until it is my turn at the cash.

So some of the dudes are naked; are you so dense, so shallow that the message eludes you? They do this because they CAN do it now. They have that level of freedom.  If you want to wander around naked with them?  Go for it.  Give me some warning so that I might duck into the nearest pub but hey…feel free.

What is it that really bothers you about gay pride? Is it that you are worried that you’ll leave the dance by yourself?

Gay Pride is important; it is important to the gay community and it is important to society at large. This is a monumental step forward toward a society that is equal for all. Not a difficult concept.

gay-pride-300x252

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Simon-Pierre Canuel; I Don’t Believe A Word….

This is the photograph that has been blasted over the internet and media.

What’s this? The photo was provided by Simon-Pierre Canuel (aka Cipi Kanuel on Facebook)? The “alleged victim“? Seems a little contrived, the more cynical may see this as an orchestrated attempt to elicit sympathy for a lawsuit.

Keep in mind, the only way the press would have their wind up on this is if Canuel or someone under his direction, contacted the press; that, alone, casts all sorts of doubts on this guy’s veracity.   In addition – it appears that  a Simon-Pierre Canuel obtained a certificate in an arm of health science at La Cite Collegiale; wouldn’t it be poetic if this were the same guy?  A certificate in health sciences would certainly raise the personal responsibility and due diligence bar a few notches.

In later stories, it was reported that this “severely allergic” and the correct term is “profoundly allergic” individual left his Epipen in the car. Right. Yet another claim by this guy that must be taken at face value and I don’t value his face, so I don’t believe him. I call BULLSHIT.  He left his Epipen in the car…can it even be proven that he had one in the vicinity?  Nobody but an irresponsible jackass leaves a temperature sensitive medication in a vehicle when, knowingly, entering a situation that is inherently hazardous.  So yeah – bullshit.

He further claims to have told the waiter, “numerous” times that he was allergic to seafood. Well, first – if I believed him and I don’t, what kind of proof is there?  Again, if he was so concerned about his allergies to have told the waiter “numerous” times?  Why was his Epipen in a hot car?

In addition, a 22-year-old waiter is not an Ichthyologist and would not have known that salmon is seafood.  Most 22 year olds, living in Sherbrooke, Quebec – far from any ocean would assume, based on what they’ve seen on television or learned in their classrooms, is that salmon swim UPSTREAM in FRESH WATER.   Those are the facts that stick with most people; upstream – fresh water.

This narcissistic son of a bitch had a 22 year old kid arrested and his home searched because he, Simon-Pierre Canuel is a self-indulgent example of the worst of his generation,.

The kid didn’t make the tartare. He places the order and returns to pick it up. He then serves it. If Simon-Pierre Canuel cannot tell the difference in the scent of Salmon tartare and Beef tartare, then he should be eating at MacDonalds and saving society the headache.

This kid, this waiter, has probably been profoundly impacted due to Canuel’s irresponsibility as well as the minimizing by Canuel in his discussions with the press, his personal negligence.

How can I be so mean to this “poor victim”? Because the real victim is the waiter and by extension, the restaurant.

This Canuel is just your garden variety irresponsible idiot who should not be eating in better restaurants.

I can be so mean because I am profoundly allergic. I am profoundly allergic to shellfish, to tree nuts, to many types of legumes and as a result,
take the responsibility of MY allergies. I have had “incidents” and I certainly didn’t blame the restaurant or the caterer. I know I am profoundly allergic and I base my life style decisions on those allergies.

I hope these charges are dropped without another second of delay and that this Canuel gets sued into tomorrow for defamation and wrongful arrest or whatever it is called.

And in addition?  Show support for this poor waiter and the restaurant.  If you are ever in Sherbrooke?  Have a meal or a drink at: http://www.bartapageur.com/

ADDENDUM – the English media is lazy with its reporting…here is what appears in the French press:  « Je ne m’attends pas à ce que le serveur fasse de la prison, poursuit-il. Moi, ce que je veux, c’est qu’il soit condamné pour le geste qu’il a posé. Il aurait pu me tuer, et dans les faits, il m’a tué puisque j’ai fait un arrêt cardiaque. Je réclame aussi de l’argent pour le stress que ma famille et moi avons subi. »  Translated?  Quel SURPRISE!!!  He is also demanding money for the stress he and his family have suffered.  Bastard. 

Here is the story as it appeared in the Montreal Gazette;

Man arrested for serving fish to customer who was severely allergic

PRESSE CANADIENNE
More from Presse Canadienne

Published on: August 4, 2016 | Last Updated: August 4, 2016 2:42 PM EDT

Police arrested a young restaurant employee in Sherbrooke Wednesday after he served salmon tartare to a customer who was severely allergic.

The 22-year-old was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. Sherbrooke police say a man ordered beef tartare at a local restaurant and specified numerous times to a waiter that he was allergic to both seafood and salmon.

A short time later, police say a plate of salmon tartare was brought to the table and the patron took a bite, unaware of what he’d been served because the lighting had been dimmed.

The client fell ill and was hospitalized for several weeks, even falling into a coma for two days and suffering cardiac arrest.

Martin Carrier of the Sherbrooke Police says he realizes the case is an unusual one, but notes the definition of criminal negligence in the Criminal Code allows for an arrest if there was carelessness or lack of action to ensure the health and safety of others.

Carrier says the waiter allegedly didn’t take any notes and the victim repeatedly warned the staffer about the allergy to ensure there wasn’t any cross-contamination in the kitchen.

They also searched his home on Wednesday in Sherbrooke, about 150 kilometres east of Montreal.

Police are recommending a criminal negligence charge, but Carrier says it will be up to Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions to determine whether charges will be laid.

Sherbrooke police opened an investigation on July 28 after receiving a formal complaint.

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STAY AWAY FROM QUEBEC!!

Please! STAY OUT OF QUEBEC. KEEP YOUR TOURISM DOLLARS IN YOUR POCKETS. If you do not understand French – this is the mayor of Quebec City. He has declared pit bulls outlawed in the city and boroughs as of January 2017. Owners of pit bulls have 6 months to get their dogs out of the city or risk having them destroyed. This is not a place that deserves your or your money. Go to the Maritimes, go out west, if you must visit Canada – stay out of Quebec and send Maitre Lebeaume an e-mail explaining why you are spending your money elsewhere.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FRegisLabeaume.pageofficielle%2Fvideos%2F531281203743358%2F&show_text=0&width=560

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Family leaves grandmother in ER for a week

elder neglect

http://globalnews.ca/news/2752214/family-leaves-grandmother-in-er-for-a-week/

So the family – while visiting in Florida – threaten the hospital with media exposure. Well, they got their wish – media exposure. They have been exposed as narcissistic, self-centered low lives, more concerned about themselves than the welfare of their elderly grandmother. Personally, if it weren’t for the grandmother, I would love to see their names. A little public shaming may be just what the doctor ordered.

Perhaps equally as disturbing are the comments found below the story. Lots of blaming the system and whining about how nobody understands the burden caring for an elderly relative can be.

Well, I understand. I understand a generation that puts themselves first. A generation of selfish narcissists, who feels that the government and this means, you and I, as taxpayers are in place to solve their problems.

This doesn’t take much of an I.Q. to figure out; but apparently, younger members of the population, lack the I.Q. or common sense to understand that family members age and as they age, they may not be in a position to “plan” ahead.

Family is responsibility; it means looking ahead and understanding that there may be a time when an elder relative will need care – constant care perhaps. Nobody plans to break a hip, to suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s or other debilitating illnesses. Family should have a plan in place for the eventuality.

Lives will have to change. Work full time? Well, then – a change in job may be necessary in order to provide care for the family member in need. A change in lifestyle – scaling back. Selling a home in order to find something more suitable to this new reality. Florida vacations put on hold.

The elder relative is not society’s problem. The elder relative is the new life path for the family. It is no secret that long term beds are at a high premium. We have all known this for decades. We all know that outside help is expensive and hard to come by and so contingency plans are required. Family called in to help. It shouldn’t be an option.

I know, damn well, what it is like. My husband and I took it as a matter of course that one, if not all, of our parents would be our responsibility. In the end, there were only two that required any special care; my parents. My Dad required constant monitoring by a local hospital – blood transfusions, help around the home – then came dialysis and appointments at various hospitals and doctors. He passed before it became necessary for him to move in with us. His passing left my Mother alone; she could not be left on her own. We made the decision, with her, for a move to our home.

Was this something we dreamed of, the three of us? No. Our kids had moved out; for the first time, in our married lives, we were alone, as a couple. We saw ourselves living without the responsibility of caring for other human beings in our home. We envisioned dinners out, vacations away from the city in which we live. We were anticipating freedom. This was not to be and that’s life. My Mother needed a secure environment. She was not yet ill but she was depressed and grieving. She took a nasty fall in her home and no one was there. She put her home up for sale, my husband and son went about building a place for her in our home, something that would afford her some measure of independent living, yet security should anything occur.

We adapted, all three of us. My vacation time was eaten up by doctor’s appointments and other needs that surface when dealing with an elder relative. This went on for 3 years – Mom became very ill and I had to take off a great deal of time from work. There were no vacations away, there were no worry free dinners out. There were middle of the night calls for an ambulance. There were hours spent sitting beside her gurney in emergency rooms. There were days spent running back and forth from my job to hospital. But she would have done the same for me. We were family and this is what family’s do. It isn’t up to the hospital, to the nurses, the doctors and it certainly isn’t up to the government or taxpayer to care for a family member, a “presumed” loved one who sacrificed for us.

Had my employer objected to the time off I needed to care for Mom – I would have left the job. It was a contingency plan. But they hung in there, luckily and Plan B was never required.

So to all those commenters railing against the government and the health care system? What is wrong with you? What part of your nasty little brains does not understand personal responsibility? Plan for it – plan to have an elder relative as part of your nuclear family core. Plan to look after them and plan for the eventuality of long term care. Step away from your perception of being the center of the universe – step away from thinking that you have the RIGHT to a carefree vacation or personal life. You don’t. Your responsibility is to family, first. That isn’t up to me or up to the tax dollars that I pay to government. There are a lot of seniors in care facilities who could, very easily, be cared for by a family with a handle on the definition of humanity.

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Listen Up Business.

I have something to say to business – commercial, industrial, home business – service industry – all of it. Customer service – if you don’t have stellar customer service?   

Internal and external; you are losing business.

Lots of it.

Most customers don’t bother with complaints; their feeling is that if you can’t be bothered to answer questions, to respond to e-mail or voice mail, then they can’t be bothered telling you why they are moving their business elsewhere. The impression, with which the customer is left, is one of apathy and unprofessionalism.

There is always another business, out there, that recognizes the importance of positive customer relations.

Never underestimate the impact of networking, the internet or simple conversation between individuals. For example, a couple of people connecting at a conference or other business specific functions, one individual mentions that they are or will be working with your company – the conversation partner reacts with a negative comment based on their experience with one of your staff. It IS enough to give someone pause for thought. From then on, your company will be watched, carefully, for any sign of the issues mentioned in that casual conversation.

There is nothing more frustrating for a client than an e-mail that goes unanswered, a voice mail for which they receive no response. This is not only unprofessional; it is extremely rude. E-mail and voice mail are important forms of communication – they are your direct line to your client. If your staff does not respond to an e-mail or a voice mail within an hour’s time – even if it is simply to say that the message was received and a response is pending, your staff has created a negative impression of their importance to your business. Negative impressions are long lived, far more long lived than are positive impressions. This is just human nature.

Customer service is not just an external issue – customers, vendors, suppliers; it is internal as well, including co-workers, colleagues at other branches, sales personnel. When someone on your staff does not treat other members of the company with professionalism and alacrity, there will be a communication breakdown that will impact your business. Again, human nature steps in; an e-mail or phone call, text message or internal messaging is left unanswered, then your branch, your office is deemed uncooperative and you can bet that when you need a swift response of your own, it will be a long time coming.

Common courtesy is an absolute, regardless of whether you are dealing with clients externally or internally. It is the foundation of success. I, myself have chosen to not do business or communicate with uncooperative or unresponsive companies/individuals. I choose my business dealings based, in a large degree, on the customer service provided. In my professional life, I try to build relationships with those individuals with whom I will work; people who also understand that our main goal is customer satisfaction and that we have the same end game – success and through that, job security.

Simply because your customers are not complaining does not mean that your business is the best it can be. Listen and watch the interaction between your staff and clients, between your staff and their colleagues. One negative experience can colour your future success.

All business has a human component; staff are not necessary liabilities – that is the thinking of the company doomed to mediocrity. Your staff is your vehicle for success. Ensure that your vehicle is well maintained for high performance.

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Transgender – keep ‘em out of our toilets!

  I had hoped not to have to touch on this issue. I had hoped it was a “southern redneck – my sister is my wife” blip due to the free access to media, regardless of illogical and irrational hate-speech. Apparently, I had underestimated, yet again, the stupidity and ignorance of the human race. Much to my amazement and deep disappointment, this is, actually, a “thing”.

  Who, in their right or left mind, believes that a sexual predator is stopped by a stupid pictogram on a door? Can you see a Ted Bundy/Tommy Lynn Sells standing outside a bathroom, spotting the sign with a dress and stopping short:

  “Gee, I can’t go in there…its for women only!!”

Or spending hours and lots of money amassing wigs, clothing, make-up so they could hide, lying in wait for a woman to use the facilities? Are there that many stupid people, on this planet, who would believe such a thing?

Transgender human beings don’t wake up one morning and say to themselves; “Gee, I think I’ll mash my junk into a pair of pantyhose today…just because…” Or, “Heck, I think I’ll lop off my hair and raid my brother’s underdrawers ’cause I feel like being a dude today.” This is not a “feeling”. This is a gender miscalculation on the part of nature. It is real.

Nature makes mistakes. Sometimes…they are little mistakes, like the platypus or a proboscis monkey but sometimes they are huge mistakes, like Donald Trump or Kanye West.

Gender neutral bathrooms are a no-brainer. I don’t care who is taking a leak beside me, as long as they wash their hands – I don’t care if they squat or stand. This is social progress. It is acknowledging that we are all the same, regardless of gender, nationality, race, creed or colour. Let’s face it – this is something we all do. We pee and we poop. We like to stand in front of a mirror and ensure that there are no pieces of food stuck to our teeth or visible boogers in our nostrils.

Your daughters and sons are in far more immediate danger in your schools, from the people they see every day than they are from a transgender individual trying to perform a normal bodily function. I don’t know about you but when I need to pee or poop, the last thing I am thinking about is peering at someone else doing the same thing.

It makes me wonder about the mindset of those who oppose gender neutral bathrooms. How depraved are you to even consider someone peeking at little kids doing their duties? What kind of mouldy thing is your brain?

Your kids, your wives, sisters and girlfriends are in far more danger walking down a street than they are going pee in a public bathroom. Take a look at my previous blog; watch the video.

Get your minds out of whatever gutter you have created and realize that your loved ones are in no danger from an individual with gender identification issues. Transgender people are not the monsters of Silence of the Lambs; they are someone’s loved one, with real, heart wrenching struggles.

With all that is going on in this world, with all the real dangers out there? A group of socially challenged idiots with some real potty issues grab headlines?

Who cares what pictogram is on a toilet? Go in, do your business while minding your business and wash your freaking hands. We are all in far more danger by those who use the can and don’t wash their hands than we are sharing a bathroom with someone who is transgendered…

Jesus in a handcart people!!!

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A Secret for Men/Boys

Saw this article this morning : http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/women-harassment-washington-1.3587568?cmp=fbtl

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Seriously? This is addressed to the guys: this method has never worked and will never work. I’m going to let you in on a secret, something women know and keep from you; the only outcome is your total loss of dignity and providing comedic relief the next time your intended victim gets together with her homies. We do an “asshole” comparison. We discuss who was harassed by the biggest dickhead and we laugh at you. We make comments about compensating for the lack of standard sized equipment and intellectual capacity. Women/girls laugh AT you, not with you but AT you.

The only females that this method may attract are the females that end up costing you the price of a restraining order and a lawyer. No sane woman finds public harassment a trait of sexual attraction. And it is harassment. This behaviour is not complimentary. Women are not flattered. They are insulted, embarrassed and sometimes, depending on the number of knuckle draggers in your group – she will be fearful. You will have all the personal magnetism of a dung beetle.

Engage your brain before opening your mouth. How would you feel if this behaviour was directed at your sister, your mother, YOUR girlfriend? I know you can think, okay, I’ll qualify that, MOST of you have that ability, although when you’re on the street, in herds, you hide it well. Catcalling and comments regarding a woman’s body is sexual HARASSMENT. It isn’t welcomed attention. It is crass, rude and is actually against the law. It is unacceptable.

Where did you ever get the idea that invading the person space of a fellow human being is going to attract a mating partner to you?

Did your mothers’ drop you on your head? Did that action create a distain for all females? In my opinion, she didn’t drop you hard enough.

Take a look at this video – it illustrates the behaviour, see if you don’t recognize yourself and if you do? CUT IT OUT. It is disgusting.

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Elder Abuse – One Root Cause

This is my Mom in happier times. The Montreal Gazette presented an article recently, on the topic of elder abuse. It is a very real and very disturbing trend.

http://montrealgazette.com/storyline/montreal-program-to-combat-elder-abuse-will-go-nation-wide

Root causes need to be addressed. The stress of the primary caregivers is very complex. In many cases it is the child of the elder in the position of primary caregiver. Not only is caring for the elderly a challenging role but when the elder is a parent, the psychological impact cannot be under-estimated. This person was a parent – the giver of strength. The role model. To watch such a person ill or perhaps suffering from the destruction of self that is dementia is beyond comprehension. It, truly, is something that you have to experience to understand.

Financial abuse is theft – there is no root cause other than a despicable personality at work; so I’m not going to bother with that other than to say, anyone who rips off an elder person is a thief and deserves to go to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect that $200 that isn’t theirs’. Slime.

The psychological abuse of elders is much more destructive. This is something that can be addressed. I would think, more often than not, that abuse is born of stress.

My mother came to live with us, following the death of my father. I am a very lucky woman; my husband is a rock so that the stress of caring for her as she became ill was not something I had to bear alone. He was my eagle eye; he knew when I was starting to come apart and would insist that I go for a walk, take a break. Watching my mother become so frail, watching her in pain and witness her sharp mind being to fail was horrendous. It was heartbreaking, soul wrenching. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for someone without my support system.

If someone in your family is the primary caregiver to an elder parent/sibling/relative; there are ways you can help to prevent elder abuse. Don’t wait until it happens to mount your soapbox. Because? If it happens? You are just as culpable.

Take the elder relative out for lunch, give the caregiver a break. Have the elder relative over for an afternoon, take them shopping or to a movie. If they are too ill to go out; then go over for a few hours allowing the caregiver to decompress, shower…get a haircut…do some shopping.

Go over and do some housekeeping, particularly where the elder relative lives.

Take over a doctor or hospital appointment or three….

Take the elder relative for a drive.

Give the caregiver some personal time; allow them to process what is going on in this new role, in which they find themselves. The gift of time to themselves, away from the worry, the constant monitoring of medications, the cleaning, the heartbreak…this is the root core. Caregivers are 24/7. When you are home, watching television, scrolling the ‘net? The caregiver is on high alert for any sound. Their sleep is light. They are constantly going over mental lists of medications and times, doctor appointments, worrying about the emotional health of the relative as well as physical. Trying to come up with new ways to ease the life of the elder. Worrying about future challenges; studying safety technologies – elder proofing their homes. Worry is their state of being. Fear is their companion.

The caregiver needs care as well, in order to be the best they can be for their Mom/Dad/brother/sister. There is a way to stem the tide of elder abuse; attack that root cause. Be the support system for the person who stepped up and took charge. They need our help.

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I Don’t Understand….

bowieI don’t understand.

Prince died and a whole lot of folks lost their shit. It puzzles me. Causes me to make strange faces and forces me to do a whole lot of tongue biting as well as heavy editing on my FB newsfeed.

I didn’t like Prince’s material but that isn’t relevant. I didn’t understand people losing their shit when Bowie passed, when Lemmy passed or years ago, when Bonham died. John Lennon, George Harrison. Okay, yeah…they died and at the precise moment of their death? A child died, somewhere in the world, a mother, a husband, also died.

I didn’t know Bowie or Bonham; never met Lemmy or Lennon; listened to their music but I probably wouldn’t have recognized them in real life.  I didn’t know their favourite colour or their shoe size.  Never spoke to them.  They never came to dinner or popped in for a coffee.  Didn’t text with them or e-mail.

I’m a music lover.   I cannot go a day without listening to music so it isn’t that I don’t respect good artistic endeavours but that doesn’t mean that I go all “fan mad” over an artist.

2016 has seen a few artists pass away; well yeah – they are of that age. Boomers. We are going to start dropping.

What the hell? Are people going to lose their minds every time one of the artistic community, of the Boomer generation kaks?

Are there songs that speak to me, on some deep level. Of course, there are but it is the song, the words, not the artist. The songs don’t give me some kind of magical connection to the artist. Among my family and friends, it is common knowledge that I am an Ozzy fan. I, certainly, do not believe that I have some kind of soul-tie to the dude because he performs music that I enjoy. I am listening to the “Sounds of Silence”, the Disturbed interpretation and one that I prefer to the original; I identify with the lyrics and I love the depth of the melody. I like the song. I like the band and their various offerings; they don’t have an effect on my day to day living. They don’t hug me after a rough day, or bring me roses at work. They don’t pay my bills or clean my home.

Prince is dead. Same age as me, actually.  IMO, 57 is a little young to die but by the same token, my grandmother died at 55.  My grandfather was all of 26.   To learn of a child dying, of someone losing their life due to war or famine – that impacts me on a far deeper level.

I open my newsfeed to all sorts of wailing over Prince’s demise – come on. He was a singer, songwriter, and entertainer. He didn’t cure cancer. He didn’t walk on freaking water. He sang and made a good living at it far more money than say, a member of the Médecins Sans Frontières.

Just one more aspect of human nature that boggles my mind. One more thing to cause me to make funny faces at my computer monitor.

disapproving-husky

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Racism – It isn’t just for white people anymore

A young lady tweeted something rather unfortunate a while back. A reporter – apparently known for being a hate-filled blockhead found the Tweet and spread it around. Rather large (for Canada) firestorm ensued. I won’t repeat the tweet, it was born of the frustration, born of anger. We are all guilty of unwise words when we are angry, at some point in our lives.

Having lived through more decades than I am able to remember, with any clarity, I can say that we have come a long way from the murderous rampages for civil rights. We have come a long way but baby…there is still a mountain range and vast desert to cross. I site the Herouxville manifesto and the appalling reaction to the acceptance of Syrian refugees by some Canadians. A vocal few, I would hope, that seem to have forgotten that many of them have the blood of refugees running through their veins.

Racism. As a white woman, apparently, I have no say in the topic, to some. I can’t possibly know what racism does to an individual, a community.

Yeah well..that is tantamount to racism, in and of itself.

I do understand how violence, the threat of violence, a constant barrage of insults, the barring of opportunities can tear down the self-respect of a human being. It isn’t neurosurgery. Simply because I have never been the recipient of such behaviour does not mean that I cannot see the terrible inequality of such actions and call out the perpetrators.  It does not mean that I am incapable of understanding the issue.  I do possess grey matter that extends beyond basic presumption.

Over the decades, I’ve seen unconscionable acts. I’ve been exposed to the appalling impact of bigotry in the world. The Holodomor, the Holocaust, Selma, Watts, the Killing Fields, Apartheid, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq….on a lesser scale, the FLQ. All over the world, people are judged, found guilty and die because of the race, creed and/or culture. A young man was hacked to death in Bangladesh because he was an atheist just a few days ago.

The colour of our skin, the faith of our families, our gender…in an intelligent society, none of this should be of relevance but history tells us, the human race is far from intelligent.

Personally, I don’t care whether you are white, black, yellow, olive or purple. My motto is that assholes are all the same colour; religion, creed or culture simply isn’t relevant when you are an asshole. You have one purpose, to fill up and expel feces. Something bigots of any stripe do and do well.

Pointing fingers is so damn easy. Walking the walk, talking the talk is how I determine if an individual is a part of intelligent society or a member of the rectal group.

Are there horrible white people out there? Absolutely. There are horrible black people out there, horrible Asian people out there, horrible Middle Eastern and aboriginal. The common denominator is that they are people. Lack of empathy, of conscience, of humanity is not the sole domain of one race, one creed or one colour.

We need to move forward. Remove the racism label and call it what it is – hatred, mindless, ignorant hatred. This is the common enemy. Vilification based on race, creed, colour or gender is wrong. Division based on these labels weakens any fight for equality. Black lives matter, well yeah…however, this is divisive and counterproductive. The cold, hard truth is that all lives matter, regardless of community, city or country. The lives of people forced from their home due to political violence matter. The lives of people struggling to feed their families matter. The lives of people torn apart by violence in their streets matter. The problem is, admittedly, easier with which to deal, when you divide it. True solutions are never easy. Hatred and violence is a global issue. It is a global tragedy and while I am a pessimist when it comes to the human race, I do find myself hoping that one day, a solution will be found. I hope that one day, hatred based on bigotry will be a crime from our past.

I hope that our descendants will read from their history books and shed a tear for our ignorance.

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