Thursday Tidbits

Posted on June 10, 2021 under Thursday Tidbits with 2 comments

Yes. Be kind


“We can bridge the distance,

Only we can make the difference,

Don’t ya know that tears are not enough.

If we can pull together,

We could change the world forever,

Heaven knows that tears are not enough.”

Tears Are Not Enough – Northern Lights

Are we a racist country?

Are we anti-Black?

Are we anti-Indigenous?

Are we anti-Semitic?

Do we have anti-Islamic tendencies?

Are we anti- anyone who doesn’t look like us or speak our language?

Sadly, I think the answer is possibly yes.

First of all, we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants with the exception of Indigenous people who have inhabited the land for millennia. As far as I can tell, my roots are in Inverness, Scotland and Tralee, Ireland.

It saddens me that we have to have an entity called Black Lives Matter. It is devastating to see four innocent Islamic people run over on a sidewalk. It is heartbreaking to learn of the 215 young children, unceremoniously buried in a mass grave in Kamloops. It is pathetic to know that our own Atlantic Provinces is home to people who hate Jews.

I am not a historian, a sociologist or an anthropologist. I am not going to try and explain that which cannot be explained: man’s inhumanity to man. What in the hell is wrong with us? What gives us the right to be intolerant?

It is easy for many us to finger point, sitting in the comfortable pew.

Now, I am being unduly harsh, using the royal “we” flippantly. I am pretty lucky. I have been blessed with great family and friends over my lifetime and as far as I can tell, we are not overtly racist. I realize that this is a sweeping generalization. I believe a very close examination of conscience would reveal that just about everyone of us has either uttered something racist or had racist thoughts. “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” John 8:7

During my quarantine, I have been doing a lot of thinking about racism. It seems to have dominated the news lately. I am particularly distraught by the events in Kamloops. It is much more personal to me after having spent the better part of two years in an Inuit community. I had an opportunity to meet and talk to, people who attended residential schools. A few admitted that not everything was bad about these places. Some attributed their success in life to the good education they received but this, I believe, is a minority opinion. The scars of residential schools are evident.

What is even more shocking is that some of the churches who inflicted much of the damage have refused to own up to their transgressions.

I have a Jewish friend in Victoria, B.C. She told me recently that her grandsons go to a Jewish daycare which is attached to a synagogue, and she fears for their safety. In Canada. So sad and disturbing. She went on to say that no one, anywhere, should be persecuted for being who they are. I couldn’t agree more.

What is it like to be a minority? I got a taste of this when I travelled to India five years ago. Walking the streets of Hyderabad and then Kanyakumari, I certainly received a few stares but never felt uncomfortable. I walked the streets at night alone and never once felt threatened. When I went into shops to buy things, nobody followed me around suspecting me of thievery. Nobody pulled me over on the side of the road just for being white.  I can’t imagine what it is like to constantly be the victim of racial profiling.

Not all Canadians are racist, and it would be unfair to hang that label on the country as a whole.

The best I can do is examine my own conscience.

The second best thing I can do is to be kind and tolerant.

How about you?

Have a great weekend.

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