The 215 and other atrocities…

It seems like every time I turn around, there’s more and more bad news. And the thing is, the bad news goes from bad to worse.

The discovery of the bodies of 215 children buried on residential school grounds is so disgustingly heart-wrenching– it’s taken me this long to process. I can’t even imagine what the Indigenous populations are feeling right now – and my whole heart goes out to them.

Hearing this news angered me too – on what planet were people living to think that this was justifiable behaviour? And are we not seeing the very same in other places today? In 2021, a good portion of our Indigenous population doesn’t have clean water to drink. Would you tolerate that in your communities? There would be international outcry if the rights of the “non-BIPOC majority” were not being met.

I’m sickened to think that people of a certain faith group, who claimed to follow the teachings of their holy book, would invoke such incredulous and grotesque conduct towards people who looked nothing like them. (I understand that those people are not representative of the Catholic whole, the Catholics I have met are indeed nothing like that. )

It’s taken two whole years for Canada to finally have movement on the Truth and Reconciliation committee. Two years!! I suppose we should consider that lightning speed given that people are still under a long-term boil water advisory!

I think the real atrocity here is that there has been silence from the Catholic Church on this issue. Even when pressed by world leaders to adapt to changing times, the Catholic church will recognize people of differing sexual orientations, but won’t admit to cultural genocide. Should this be surprising in light of how many of its pedophilic-oriented bishops and archbishops were promoted rather than jailed?

Is it really surprising that Israel is getting away with murder because they have aligned themselves with the most Non-Bipoc oriented of allies? The U.S. congress hated having a black president so much, that they forgot who elected them and made it their mandate to get rid of him no matter what.


The saddest thing is that all this bad news is deafening the wonderful things that are happening in the world. Clean energy tech and organizations are skyrocketing. People in Africa, India and parts of Asia are “re-greening” desert areas! We are learning how to fish and farm responsibly – and repair the environment at the same time. People have remembered their humanity.

One day, I would like to turn on the news and see more good than bad. We can do it people — there is hope for us yet!


Peace and love

Palestine

and the reckoning of past institutional hatred:

I’m so tired of lecturing to the world. I’m tired of giving advice and yes, even a little tired of speaking truth to power.

W(hy) T.F. is it so hard for us as human beings to treat other human beings as human beings?

When something like a pandemic happens, or incredibly difficult social strife occurs, we learn a lot about peoples’ behaviours. Those of us who chose to wear masks and abide by governmental health orders had to square off daily, against those who just don’t give a damn. Why was that necessary?

Your rights are your rights yes, just as my rights are mine. When you do something stupid, you remove the agency which governs our lives. And by extension, my right to protect myself from you.

Much in the same way that Israel is doing to Palestine. which brings me to the “reckoning of past institutional behaviour.” How do we condemn this apartheid when Saudi Arabia is basically doing the same thing in Yemen? Where is your moral outrage for them? For the Rohingya or the Uighurs? The Yazidis, the Syrians, the Lebanese, the Afghanis, et al?

There doesn’t seem to be a country on this beautiful, struggling planet that has “gotten it right.” If there is one, please do correct me. What I mean by getting it right, is treating each of citizens, regardless of race, colour, creed, gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs, as human beings. One that doesn’t rely on preferential treatment based on institutionalized gender preference. Indeed, that is the larger problem. Women, on the whole, prefer dialogue to war.

Hateful words, behaviours and attitudes are taught. Sadly, mostly at home. Children do not go to school to be taught hatred. In fact, most have to be “untaught.” The deconstruction of home-taught hatred is a hard battle to fight, but so damned worth it!

There is no planet B. There is no superior race coming to save us. Trust me, there’s no chance of that. We blew that the moment we made war a method of behaviour and discrimination a way of life.

Palestine needs saving. And Israel needs to give their land back. That’s all there is to it. They are long-lost cousins who need to forgive each other, love each other and live in harmony. That may be a pipe dream, but it’s also it a fact.

There is a reckoning that is happening here; for all the ways in which we have harmed each other, the universe is responding. The earth is responding. And now, so are all the communities who have been oppressed, suppressed, depressed and recessed into marginalization. You can’t keep good people down for very long.

You see, ethnic communities teach their children about what not to do around “white people.” We grow up being taught “learn the system, beat the system.” because “the system” was not designed for our success. Ironically, Israel has done this beautifully. It’s like when two people who are attracted to each other meet and get to know each other. One of them says to the other “this is what hurt me in the past.” Then the other turns around and does exactly what hurt the first one, but does it in a spectacularly evil fashion. “Learn the system, beat the system.”

Behaviour is taught.

Israel has learned a great deal, and the Palestinians have no choice but to live in fear of a short-sighted Hamas and hate-filled Israelis. From whence does strength come when strength is always being tested?

So you see, as tired as I am, I will keep “getting into good trouble.” And I will keep deconstructing unnecessary behaviour. I just need your help to do so. Will you step up?

It ain’t just the economy stupid…

Social and print media have been bombarded with images of war and state sponsored terrorism lately.  No more so than images being leaked from Syria and not surprisingly, from Israel and Palestine.  France struggles with electing a new President in the midst of continued economic down turn and America is on the road to deciding once again if change is necessary.  In Canada, we recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Yet, I ask you, how many of you Canadians even knew that our Charter is only 30 years old?  Better yet, how many of you even knew we had one?  Our “culture” is so consumed by Americanisation that it surprises me that many do not know that there is an entire “Charter” that protects fundamental freedoms, like our right to freedom of expression.  While we have miles and miles to go before the Charter is reflective of every walk of life, we have come a very long way since 1982.

Rights activists will no doubt be screaming out that the Charter is lacking in a great many areas, however, compared to living in Syria or Palestine, I think we have things pretty good.  While we could undoubtedly give more recognition to our Aboriginal Peoples and to those who identify through sexual orientation, we are incredulously, among the luckiest people in the world.  Our government has not sponsored its forces to commit terrorism against us. Nor has our government walled us off from friends and family telling us that due to religious beliefs, we have no right to life or no access to water.  Although I am sure that many in Attawapiskat would tell you otherwise, the people of Palestine are facing a struggle so dire that, left unchecked, will result in the most covert, deceitful form of apartheid there is:  civil apartheid.  Human Rights activist and coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, Frank Barat writes on Al-Jazeera that “we’ve gone way beyond Apartheid.”  That annexation of certain areas of Palestine to Israel is happening on such a civil level that the offer of citizenship to Palestinians in areas being annexed is nothing more than apartheid because it forces the walled in separation of Arabs from Jews.

Check out his article:

We’ve gone way beyond Apartheid

What is more concerning to me is what happens when most Palestinians are walled off from water sources.  Many no longer have access to water wells and sources that once belonged to them through ancestral inheritance of land. Is this the new level on which wars will be fought?  And has this been done deliberately so that each party can turn to the world and say “see? we told you they would….!”

We have become so complacent in our lack of understanding others that there is no longer outcry when Syrian forces kill young students without hesitation.  When people are starved of their rights to provide for themselves and educate themselves, what is left are a people so marred by violence and hatred that even the mundane activity of buying bread can become an event in rage.  Why is it necessary to murder in the name of a man who is so far removed from his own truth that he is creating a nightmare for all those who have the misfortune to be living under his rule?

For a world economy that is so fragile, so based in deceit to repair itself, will take leaders of all nations to come together to recognise the validity and the value of human life.  Even if it takes fifty or one hundred years, the end result will be well worth the effort.  Without the energy and the spirit of human kind, no amount of money will replace the lives, the dignity of all those who have fallen victim to apartheid, genocide, economic disaster, civil strife and war.  Today our lives aren’t just about the economy — they are about the meaning we derive from every moment.  Perhaps one day, Palestine and Syria will have charters akin to Canada’s. Perhaps one day, resources that are part of our environmental commons will be shared between all peoples, regardless of historical ancestry.

Here’s hoping….