… and if you don’t confess you’re a racist, then clearly, you’re a HUGE racist.
I suppose, for many people reading that title, thinking themselves sophisticated, progressive thinkers and knowing immediately that I’m being sarcastic, already know that I’ve set things up for the tone of the rest of this post. Bravo. You’re welcome to read on to confirm those suspicions. Or not. It’s always your choice. People will always want to find out what “side” you’re on. But I’m just not on any side, and if that means I’m on the “wrong side of history”, so be it.
So, I was googling for a snappy explanation of this still-popular, manipulative verbal construct, “if you love me, you would…” and one of the first matches was this post:
After reading it, I’ll say that, while I cannot confirm whether the author has any sort of academic pedigree to make her a credible authority, my opinion is that she’s 100% right. If you haven’t already, please go read it now. Come back after you’ve read it completely with your full open mind.
Go on. I’ll just wait here.
Now, I don’t know this particular author’s politics, but given that she’s on social media, blogging, trying to build a brand, I understand she has to deal with the nature of this beast. You need to make friends and influence people. Which means a certain amount of pandering to the views of so-called influencers in order to garner wide-scale support. I grant that she may or may not condone my using her work to further my own, especially if my views are contrary to her own broader perspective. Oh well…
Anyway, I’m sure many readers who arrived here outraged at my (clearly?) sarcastic title after reading that post will come back still seething with rage, because they already *know* what I’m driving at with the title of my post. No, I don’t denigrate progressives for being stupid. On the contrary, going to school and memorizing stuff, that’s work. It takes brain power. At least as much mental effort as what any blue-collar job-monkey puts in to learn their job. (And that’s not being sarcastic. I may not like job-monkeys, but I recognize their work is valuable and it does take brains to do it.)
So, while I don’t care for the romantic notion of blue collar workers, I’ve always voted NDP, because members of the useless class like myself need to feel like we’ll be safe when the blue-collar job-monkeys lose their jobs to the robots and start robbing us petit bourgeois.) Except for that time my eyes couldn’t align the circles on the ballot with the names and I ended up ticking off the Christian Heritage box. I realized it right after checking it off, but when I looked at the two octogenarian poll workers serving my booth and I realized how long it would take to sort this mess out, I said, “fuck it.” The voting population in my riding is 50% white working class and 50% first generation immigrant working class and 99% of all of them have no fucking idea what a Christian Heritage Party even is. They ain’t gettin’ elected here.
Anywho, here in Canada, the only party of significance more to the “left” than the NDP is the Green Party. I love Elizabeth May, bless her heart, and while I generally agree with their views, they haven’t run a candidate in my riding in the past 12 years. Oh wait, they did? Who was that, you say? Sorry, don’t know ’em. So, I think you’re just making them up. Plus, the last white people to get elected around here were the Cadmans and then Priddy. And besides, nobody of voting age in this neighborhood cares about progressive politics.
So, back to the NDP. Of all the federal leaders, Singh was the only one I can say I had any respect for *and* considered electable. (Though I guess, maybe that’s not saying a lot, really, considering… at the time we had M. Blackface and Robot Weasel Scheer) When COVID came down on us, Singh was the only federal party leader to propose making banks suffer along with the rest of us. Those banks, who, of course, continued to innovate in finding ways to shield themselves from the worst of the financial hit, while being committed to sticking it to their hostage-customers.
And over the years, he’s been given many opportunities to pander to “aggrieved” racialists who felt that things like this needed to be made into a story. But as far as I’d seen, he always managed to deftly side-step that cesspool. I admired and respected him for that.
Before the last federal election, NDP folks texted me about an upcoming “town hall” event with Mr. Singh, right here in my hometown. I was excited and I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce my 17-year old son to politics. I’d always talked a good game about civic responsibility, why we pay taxes, what it meant to be engaged in the community you live in, but really, it’d been years since I’d volunteered for anything other than my strata council (and that, under duress). Nevertheless, every parent wants to instill the values in their children that they dutifully failed to uphold themselves, and so…
… on the day of the event, we took the bus down to the reception hall where it was happening. Along the way, we looked out the window near the King George Canadian Tire and saw a man passed out behind the bus stop. A young man who’d just boarded told us that this man was his buddy and, yes, he was high, but he was not ODing, and, somewhat sheepishly admitted that, yeah, they did drugs that fucked them up pretty bad sometimes. I didn’t begrudge him that and appreciated his candor. 20 years earlier, living in Montreal, a guy had told me he had to drink enough to make the sidewalk comfortable enough to sleep on. I’ve paraphrased to make it sound a bit more poetic. The guy had not been trying to craft a social media sound bite. It just was his reality. However you want to rationalize people sleeping on concrete (“they’re lazy”, “they’re drug addicts”, “they have mental health issues”, “they were sexually abused at home and need our love and support”), sleeping on concrete is not comfortable for any human being, regardless how they ended up there.
And so, we arrived at the event. The media-savvy handlers saw to it that my son and I were seated front and centre on the stage bleachers behind where Mr. Singh would be speaking. My ethnicity is difficult to determine, while my son clearly falls in that desirable “visible minority” category, which makes us great representatives of the demographic the NDP is after. Awesome sauce.
At the designated hour, Jagmeet came out and answered audience questions with mostly canned responses (to be expected), what you would expect from a left-leaning party. I do find him likable, unlike the leaders of the other major parties. Most interesting were the old-timer, first-gen Sikhs asking questions in Punjabi. I don’t speak Punjabi, but it was clear from the English terms in Singh’s response that they were concerned about homeless drug addicts like the ones my son and I had encountered earlier that day. Mr. Singh promised treatment facilities (as expected), so, sure, yeah, again, awesome sauce.
Once the candidate talking part was over, it was time for meet-and-greet. Now, I’m not a “people person”. (And no, fuck you, the period doesn’t go inside the quotes when it’s a recognized quoted phrase. Fuckwit.) But perhaps that’s why I need to spend more time “reading the room”. I met a lot of very political, young, brown guys and a couple idealistic, white libtards (sorry not sorry, but that’s what they were). I met the candidate for our riding, who really had nothing going for him at all. Was he somebody’s cousin who had no other practical skills? A few people approached us tepidly looking for maybe volunteers? (That’s uptalk I’m trying to simulate there.) And that was that.
Anyway, I still came away from the event with a positive feeling about Jagmeet the guy. The platform was what I expected and thankfully, not too much pandering to grievance studies nonsense.
But now, with the pandemic and the sudden (yes, sudden, sarcastically, because it’s not new) media attention to black guys getting killed by cops in the United States, we, in Canada, feel the need to toot our horn and acknowledge the salience and now recognize our own not-so-wonderful track record.
So, uh… DISCLOSURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I work for a post-secondary education institution dedicated to training public safety professionals. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, sheriffs, and corrections facilities personnel. My views here would likely get me fired if they were traced back to me. Not that I’m particularly concerned. Coz who’s gonna find this anyway, amirite??
All humans are not born “equal” in terms of our socio-economic circumstances. Our individual circumstances are determined by a complex set of factors, both genetic and environmental. We are all a victim of history and genes. You could say some of us have been favored. Others, maybe not so much.
Recent highly-publicized events, particularly in the US, are shining a light on the problematic nature of modern law enforcement. I talked a bit about this 4 years ago. You have a profession with a military lineage that continues to be advertised as a high-drama experience. (Turn on the TV, and that what you see. And those Gen Z kids who say they don’t watch TV, I’ve seen them on the bus. They still stream that fucking broadcast TV shit on their phones.) Is it surprising that the people who continue to be attracted to this profession are people who crave drama? And the metrics used to evaluate the worthiness of candidates for this profession are *still* geared toward these high-drama (and *low impulse control*) types.
Personally, I would like to see law enforcement professionals subject to the same laws as the general public. Stepping on a person’s neck is (or should be) a crime, period. I would like to see police on patrol — community law enforcement — *disarmed*. No reason to have a sidearm for most of the situations police are dealing with on a daily basis. I would like to see police training re-orientated toward mediation and away from lethal force. Really, how many typical calls in North America in this day and age actually need lethal force? We absolutely still need law enforcement personnel who know how to shoot people dead. But that’s NOT what 99.99% of the calls out there need. I seriously do believe media accounts of police agencies’ responses saying that officers accused of using excessive force are only doing what they were trained to do. Heh. Yeah. That training? It’s a problem! Also, some of these fucking low-impulse control fuckwads you’ve hired.
So, with all that pre-amble, let’s get to “systemic racism”. I said earlier that there are differences in our individual — and group — situations when we get up each morning, within the context of our “free-market economy”, and some of those differences are beyond our individual control. Setting aside one’s emotions and political affiliations, it’s possible to see how history and so-called “free market” economic forces can reinforce those differences, inequalities. In other words, when you have, it’s easy to get more. When you don’t have, you can still get more, but it’s gonna be a grind. Some people are on the shitty end of that stick. And this is not something that dates from yesterday. It’s generations. And unfortunately, recent events and the media frenzy around them are making a lot of people feel like a better future is not coming fast enough.
So, on the heels of a number of very ugly incidents involving non-“white” people interacting with law enforcement, the NDP leader felt it was time to tag the RCMP with the “systemic racism” scarlet letter. Effectively branding the entire establishment and everyone it employs, as racist.
We’re fortunate (or unfortunate) enough in this day and age to have video footage of almost every fucking thing that happens in a public space, especially if it looks potentially news- (or social media-) worthy. So, let’s watch this video:
Now, CTV, which has been my main source for local news for the past 20-odd years, *never* shows the first 1:10 minutes of this video, which includes this individual’s clearly belligerent attitude and his Karate Kid stance around the 0:23 mark.
I’d say Cop #1’s attitude is fairly chill in the face of this. We still don’t see what sparked this whole thing. Maybe the Karate Kid thing is justified. Maybe he knows this cop from somewhere else and he’s a douche? No idea. Anyway. Around 1:04, the video is edited. Presumably CBC thought it was boring, not showing any civilians getting beaten up by cops… Then around 1:13, cop #2 — I call him ‘roid-head cop, shows up and goes fucking nuts.
If you watch this thing through, you might say it’s a fuckin’ drunk Injun gettin’ what he deserves. Or, you might say it’s a brutal racist pig, demonstrating the systemic racism of the RCMP. Or, if you have half a brain in your head and you’re capable of setting aside whatever biases you have, you might say hmm, well, maybe it’s more complicated than my knee-jerk biases would allow me to admit.
Another recent event, which the general public knows much less about, is the now-infamous “wellness check” in New Brunswick where police allegedly banged on a woman’s door at 2 in the morning and then shot her 5 times when she supposedly came at them with a knife. This was apparently in response to someone from the public asking the police to check in on her. As it stands, the only living witnesses here are police. So far, they are not saying she was suspected of any crime. To my earlier point, this was a community matter, not a drug bust or a violent armed criminal situation. There was no reason for armed police to be walking up to the door of someone who was not a suspected violent criminal at 2 in the morning. I’ve had random fucking people fucked up on drugs bang on my door at 2 in the morning and try to come in my house. If I’d had a knife handy, I might have tried to stab them too.
Anyway, back to “systemic racism”. I’ve said for a long time we need to reform law enforcement. At the same time, I’ve seen first-hand how the Police Academy trains new recruits in de-escalation techniques. No, not all cops are fucking ‘roid-heads like we see in these videos. So demanding that Parliament brand the entire law enforcement establishment and the people who serve in it and who genuinely want to serve their community, branding them ALL as racists, is the wrong way to go about it.
And when people stand up and say, no, we don’t agree with that, calling them racist. That’s… what do they call that? Emotional blackmail? That relationship blog I pointed to back at the start didn’t label it as such, but that’s what it amounts to, and it’s what many so-called progressives have relied on to push their agendas on a naive population. I’m ashamed that Jagmeet felt he needed to lower himself to that level. Yes, advocate for reform. Push hard for practical measures. That’s what I want to see. Not fucking airy-fairy bullshit. And not casting everyone who disagrees with you as a racist. That’s just weak.
I don’t feel at all bad that Jagmeet was kicked out of Parliament. Frankly, I think he deserved it. Although, Bloc Blanchet expecting an apology? Awww, pauvre bébé! Mange de la marde! And Trudeau can just STFU. Blackface.
I’ll still probably support NDP next time around, but they need to lay off this emotional blackmail garbage. That’s not what we need to govern our country. Do better.