In response to the events in Charlottesville and to racism here at home, I wrote this blog entry the other day, and I stand by it.
Hate does not live on many sides; it lives only on the side of evil. And if we don’t stand up against it; if we don’t condemn it vocally and visibly, then we are no better than they are.
Many people – all white – don’t think racism resides here. They think because we live in Canada; because we officially embrace multiculturalism, we are immune. People think that because we are “not as bad” as the United States, we have nothing to worry about here.
But hold up there. Not being “as bad” certainly doesn’t make us good. Whether you want to admit it or not, we have a lot to work on in Canada. To name only one issue, we have a looooong way to go in our relations with our indigenous sisters and brothers, who go missing and murdered and are incarcerated in much higher numbers per capita than any other group in Canada; whose youth are committing suicide in horrifying numbers; whose communities are constantly fighting for clean water and on and on and on.
On Wednesday night, I attended the rally that was organized to stand in solidarity with Charlottesville and against racism in our own community.
Whilst at the rally, I was moved by the number of people who showed up. I was moved by the speakers and what they shared with us. I was moved by these things, because – if only for a few moments – it allowed me to believe that our community will stand up against the men who drove by the rally and shouted “white power!” at us.
After the rally, I came home and unfriended people who have been too quiet; too wishy washy about racism. I decided that not showing up to the rally; not being clear in denouncing racism was a message to my children and me. I cannot and will not have people in my children’s and my life who are not unequivocal in their condemnation of racism. Period.
And I will leave you with this….
Before heading to the rally, I had yet another conversation with my children about racism, Nazism, white supremacy, and white nationalism. Trying to explain racial “purity” to children is enough to make one sick to their stomach.
In response to my explanation, my little girl looked at me perplexed and said, “but we’re pure humans, Mommy. We’re all pure humans.”
We’re all pure humans.