The recent events in the US have been pretty gross. Right up front, I’ll admit I’m Canadian but I’m not high and mighty about it. Sure we’ve got health care and moms can take maternity leave up to a year and we don’t have mass shooting like they have every day in the USA but we’ve still got issues. Big issues.
Canada has racism and white supremacists. I live in Alberta – I think they breed here. We have been just as horrible to first nations people; our first nation residential system devastated generations. I heard that apartheid was based off our model so that’s even more gross because it means we spread that evil around the world. We interned Japanese people in World War II. If you want to know about a truly horrible aspect of Canada, check into the investigations of missing and murdered indigenous women or the highway of tears. When I listen to the many POC that I know, I hear how they too have been the targets of racism and hate. I believe we are being much more intentional about addressing our darkness but the present reality is we’re no better than the USA.
With that said, it seems the recent events in Charlottesville have taken things up a notch south of the border. And now that similar hate groups are becoming even more vocal in Canada! As a white male, I believe those of us who have benefited most from our cultural structures need to speak up even more. Let us wake up and press back against injustice.
To that end, I want to share something I found a week or so ago. I saw the chanting mob. I think this a powerful counter perspective; it needs to be shared widely. I asked for and received the author’s permission to post it here. If you want to see a comic made from this post, check out Melissa Mendes.
To the Mob Who Chant
“Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry.
Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for ‘male health care.’
The law never:
Enslaved their great-grandparents
Robbed their grandparents
Imprisoned their parents
Shot them when unarmed
There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote.
There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to ‘proving’ their intellectual inferiority.
There is no travel ban on them because of their religion.
There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weaponry publicly.
Their churches were never burned.
Their lawns never decorated with burning crosses
Their ancestors never hung from trees
Their mothers aren’t being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever. They won’t be forced to leave the only country they ever knew.
The president has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands.
They are chanting ‘we will not be replaced.’ Replaced as … what? I’ll tell you.
Replaced as the only voice in public discussions.
Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena.
Replaced as the only life that matters.
THIS is ‘white people’ oppression: We used to be the only voice. Now we hold the only microphone.
THIS is ‘white man’ oppression: We face criticism now. We were free from it, because others feared the consequences.
THIS is ‘oppression’ of white Christians in this country: Christmas used to be the only holiday acknowledged, now it’s not.
I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see.
Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas.
A world where the name “Geoff” on a resume puts it in the trash.
Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more.
Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they’re kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.
Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really is.
Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out.
Put THAT in your Tiki torches and light it, you sorry Nazis.”