White People: Missing the Point Since Forever

I guess this should be considered “Dear Defensive White People: Part 2″ since this will cover the same ground as “Dear Defensive White People.” Only this time I want to focus specifically on white people’s reactions to anything related to Indigenous peoples and the issues that are specific to Indigenous people. There are many arguments that inadvertently defend the white-male dominant culture from being rightfully criticized by the oppressed and with many recent incidents of racism in Canada currently in the news, I think some of these arguments should be addressed.

These people are just looking for something to complain about!

Well, they don’t have to LOOK for it, do they? It appears before them without any effort on their part; violence doesn’t even need to be committed against them. All racists need is validation that what they do to people of color and Indigenous people  will be excused and that there are people who will defend his “freedom of speech.” The main problem with this argument is that the arguer is assuming that Indigenous people are emotionally hypersensitive ninnys that need to “get over it.”

My question is, how do you get over something that continues to happen to you and your loved ones a daily basis? How does a group of people that have faced serious trauma for five hundred years or more “get over it” when that trauma is passed down to their children? The arguer (the one who has never experienced this trauma and does not know anyone who does or is) is also insinuating that Indigenous people have some sort of obsession with being the victim of racism all the time; that they enjoy the attention that they get for being victims. This is completely false, no victim of  abuse or trauma will purposefully seek attention just for the sake of getting attention. What Indigenous people are doing is bringing attention to the many facets of society that are connected to the generational trauma that they still experience, and white people dressing up in what is “commonly” associated with Indigenous people (feathers in head-bands, white people wearing war-bonnets) is one of the many things that are connected to that trauma. To demand that they simply “get over it” is erasing how deep the impact of colonialism is and how young people (both white and Indigenous) easily adopt these concepts of domination without an adult telling them that’s it’s wrong.

It’s no big deal! There are bigger things to worry about then what a bunch of cheer-leaders are wearing!

I hate to break it to you (not really) but it is a big deal. It’s a big deal because what those cheer-leaders (and other young people) are wearing is what white people think when they hear the word “Indian.” Never mind that Indians are actually from India and that this is an incorrect term. Those feathers, short “animal skin” skirts, and war bonnets? Those things are what white people think the average Indigenous person wears daily; those images are connected to the narrative of the “noble savage.”

You might have heard of that term, it’s the Indigenous version of the “Magical Negro” in which a person associated with a certain group is denigrated into a cardboard cut-out of what white people perceive to be an Indigenous person. He has no voice of his own, he is a white person’s puppet, a ventriloquist doll if you will. You only have to see films like The Lone Ranger and see some of the criticism of the film to realize that everything that we do has an impact on people. There are big things to worry about and this one of them, if a group of college women can’t even stop to think about how harmful these type of actions are to Indigenous people then not only have we failed as a country but our education is system is a BIG failure. Our education system doesn’t even begin to address the trauma of the genocide against Indigenous people and why it still continues. It still continues because white people as class cannot for the life of them stop for a few seconds and a gain of a bit of empathy for the people who deal with the blunt of our colonialist system.

We can’t have fun anymore without offending somebody!

No one has said that you cannot have any fun. No one said that you are not allowed to play silly games. There is a difference between having fun and being a total asshole to people who have been excluded from even being considered human for generations. Weren’t you ever taught to be nice to others and that includes taking their complaints into account?

Of course, white people are taught that they are the only group of people that matter, that those scary brown people are not human. Don’t trust them! They are thieves, they will hear from their parents and society. The mainstream media just adds shit to the already large pile of shit with their false images of Indigenous people and the history classes which sugar-coat the blood-soaked horror that various Indigenous tribes have suffered. Multiple nations have been wiped out because the British wanted the land that they had at any cost, pox-infected blankets and various tactics have resulted in the death of various Indigenous people. Do you think it would be “fun” to be constantly reminded of how the dominant group views you? Go ahead and have fun but remember that there are other people and not just your group.

You are judging me by my skin color! I am not responsible for what happened in the past! 

Oh, so now you know how it feels to be Indigenous in Canada, yes? You have lost members of your family through racist violence? Have authority figures and government disregarded you and your family and said that you don’t matter because of your skin color? Have you had other people say to you because of your skin color that you are not human? Has any of this happened to you? If your answer is no to all of them then I suggest you actually seek to understand what racism is.

Racism is more then just hurt feelings, it is direct and indirect violence. It is being paid less then your white co-workers. It is being trapped in poverty with no long-term solution being offered by the government. It is police officers beating you up and yelling slurs at you. It is being denied opportunities because of your skin color. It is your female relatives being raped and the court immediately dismissing your case because of various and offensive reasons. Racism is what white people do to make life harder for people of color and Indigenous people and then get upset when Indigenous people and people of color tell them to stop. You are not responsible for what happened in the past but you ARE responsible for the unearned privilege you have because of your skin color. You are responsible for addressing the wrongs that are currently happening to Indigenous people and your reaction to that injustice.  You are responsible for what you will do after addressing the wrongs. You are responsible for your own education in regards to issues that affect Indigenous people.

Conclusion

There are many thing that need to be done to address and ultimately eradicate the racism and colonialism that still continues in Canada in the year 2014. The arguments for the degradation of non-white people are the most accepted and “accurate” arguments in this society; that needs to be stopped. If people want to help with the liberation of Indigenous people, they need to stand behind them and to tell other white people to stop contributing to the oppression.

International Women’s Day: A Reflection

I woke up this morning and suddenly realized that it was International Women’s Day. I want to take a moment to thank all the women that have helped me on my path of becoming a Feminist and helping me realize that my words do matter no matter how much people try to drown out my voice. It has been a long journey to this point, heartache was one of the many things I have experienced when becoming an activist; the pain is not over yet. Several things have happened in the past week up here in Canada that need to be addressed.

Over the few years I have been an activist, I have realized that people who are in positions of power do not want to leave their comfort zone. Marginalized people had to fight tooth and nail to get what they want from those in power and we are still fighting tooth and nail. Indigenous women are still murdered, prostituted, and raped in high numbers and the government refuses to accept any responsibility for their apathy to the suffering of Indigenous women. Just yesterday, Peter Mckay threw down the report to the floor in a fit of childish male-rage; that report contained 16 recommendations that the government suggests would be beneficial for Indigenous peoples. Of course, like any typical Conservative government, the recommendations do not even strike at the heart of the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Instead, there isn’t even a mention about an inquiry into the 800+ Indigenous women that have gone missing which is what the opposition has requested. Events such as these are reasons why women should no longer trust the government, all the government is, is just a bunch of rich white men who abuse their power and authority over the people they rule.

Harper has proven this point for the eight years he has been Prime Minister that he does not care for the people; he has silenced the voices of Feminists and various people who speak out against his crimes and his lack of regard for women’s lives. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has recently rejected a article about International Women’s day because the article had a section in the article in which the ‘Communications’ at the Museum deemed “unacceptable.” What does this say about Canadians when not even a historian can speak about the government in a way that people won’t like? Can’t anyone criticize a man without being seen as a big meanie and needing to be silenced? This just proves that women need to push harder for a woman-centered society, that the government needs to be taken down and the state abolished. Women (especially women of color and Indigenous women) are still seen as second-class citizens; replaceable baby-makers for the male state to use and abuse, tossed to the side when they grow bored of them.

It is a sobering fact that women’s history is constantly erased on a daily basis, any contribution that a woman makes to society is immediately taken away from her and a man’s name is slapped on it. Women either die or kill themselves because not only is their genius not being recognized but their pain is made illegitimate; we have lost too many women to the death grip of Patriarchy and male violence. Many women that have contributed to the Arts and various pursuits will not be known for these contributions and instead their deaths will be romanticized and remembered as such. These women must be remembered and their legacy must be protected from being erased by the Father-Right; all women must be protected at all costs.

I do not want to see another article or news story about a woman dying in her home or raped by a large group of men; I do not want to see another act of injustice committed against women. This will be an impossibility because the death of women are an everyday occurrence, that doesn’t we give up because it seems impossible. I didn’t want to be the party-pooper on this very important day, though I have a hard time understanding why remembering women’s accomplishments should be relegated to one day, but we have to remind ourselves that there is still work that needs to be done; the liberation of women from male power still needs to be accomplished.

Paul Russell’s Gas-lighting Parade

I cannot believe that a day such as this would come; a day that should be forever remembered by everyone in or out of the internet. This is the day is which a white man whose head is SO FAR up his own rectum that he is having bowel issues. A white man that is SO ignorant and so morally reprehensible that, I dare say it, Naomi Lakritz’s piece on Indigenous people is TAME by comparison.

A writer, by the name of Paul Russell, thought it would be “good journalism” to write the most racist and inflammatory piece in The National Post called Could it be that residential schools weren’t so bad? Yes, you have read that title correctly. Russell is IMPLYING via a rhetorical question that residential schools-those state sanctioned “schools” whose faculty and staff physically and sexually abused Indigenous children- weren’t “that bad.” If I may make the comparison, it is almost like saying that the Holocaust wasn’t “that bad” because the Jewish learned what starving and working in poor conditions felt like or how rape isn’t “that bad” because the woman knows what it’s like the be sexually violated. What is EVEN worse then the title is the content of the piece itself; Russell quotes several letters the National Post has received since they published an article about residential schools and how 4,000 Indigenous children have died in those schools. White people got very upset about the article because it is not “partial journalism” according to them.

“Nice work, National Post, as you continue to dump on the charitable work accomplished by generations of selfless missionaries, physicians, nurses and teachers of the Canadian North,” wrote C. Lutz, of Haliburton, Ont. “[This story] heavily spins out a ‘physical and sexual abuse’ [narrative] as if 150,000 Indian and Inuit children had gained nothing good from taxpayer-provided white education. At least some of them learned enough English and French to, fluently, play the system and bite the hand that had fed them.”

“By today’s standards, 4,000 deaths out of a total of 150,000 students is shocking,” wrote Russel Williams of Georgeville, Que. “But given the period covered, 1870 to 1996, it may compare quite favourably with Canada at large, or Canadian aboriginal communities specifically, for the same period. One must bear in mind that much of this period predates immunization for smallpox, whooping cough, and diphtheria. It also predates penicillin for treatment of TB. Given the above, perhaps the statistic is not as alarming as it first might seem.”

Yes, those Indigenous children sure learned something, alright. They sure didn’t learn astronomy, chemistry, or English. They did learn that they are non-humans because they do not believe in the same “God” as the faculty and staff of these “schools.” They learned to abuse and harm others. Sure, they learned English and French but if they had a choice, which they did NOT have, they wouldn’t be speaking English or French under such terrible and dangerous conditions such as the conditions they were raised in when they were kidnapped by government officials and clergymen. To simply say that they did “great work” at educating these Indigenous children, leaving them confused and afraid of the outside world because their education was sub-par, is simply placing blame on the victims for their own abuse and poor livelihood which is no fault of their own. Russell Williams seems to be under the mistaken impression that 4, 000 deaths is “not a big deal” by that time period’s standards because of TB and other such diseases. Williams never seems to stop and consider the fact that Indigenous people never had to suffer these diseases until the settlers came along, bringing their diseases along with them on their ships. Why was it that these “good people” with all their technology and medicine that they could not treat and cure at least HALF of the children that died? Could Williams also explain the nutrition experiments that were carried out in those schools too, since he seems to know everything about what went down in those schools. Any death at a school should be considered alarming but to Williams, it’s peanuts.

“It was undoubtedly a terrible thing to be taken from your family, but in the early days, the reserves were impoverished and 90% of First Nations people were infected with tuberculosis,” added Michelle Stirling. “It is hard to say if the students got tuberculosis at the residential schools. And until the 1950s, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death of all Canadians.

“I am aware that some people will feel that I am defending the known cases of abuse and cruelty — I do not defend these,” Ms. Stirling continued. “My own father was the victim of the same [abuse] at the hands of his own white Anglo-Saxon teachers at his British boarding school. He used to have his left hand beaten black and blue and tied behind his back because he was left-handed.”

Did Ms. Stirling, in her activity of spewing nonsense from her rectum, stop to think that maybe the government was responsible for the impoverishment in those reservations?  As previously mentioned, Indigenous people were not suffering from TB before white settlers arrived on their land; she provide NO CITATION for her assertion that 90% of Indigenous people were suffering from TB. Did she forget that white settlers INFECTED them with smallpox or is that just some weird accident that happened and it’s all the Indigenous people’s fault for getting sick? The abuse her father suffered from was terrible BUT it does not compare to the pain and suffering that Indigenous children suffered from at the hands of the staff. Children who grew up to be adults trapped in their own version of Hell.

We also heard from a non-native who attended the St. Paul’s Indian Residential School in southern Alberta (the Blood/Kainai Reserve) for six years.

“When so many Canadians rely on publications like the National Post to stay informed on important issues, it is disappointing to see an article like that,” wrote Mark DeWolf of Halifax. “How does this figure compare to the number of First Nations children who died outside of the schools? Over 126 years and out of 150,000 students, the figure is perhaps not so surprising, given the deplorable health conditions on some reserves and high rates of communicable illness. More could and should have been done to ensure the health of these students, but let’s have responsible journalism, not emotional pandering to readers.”

“The last of the Truth and Reconciliation Canada (TRC) national events comes up at the end of March in Edmonton, and I hope to be there,” Mr. DeWolf added. “It will be interesting to see if the media just parrot what native leaders, TRC employees and other aboriginal activists repeatedly say, or if the occasion gives rise to some serious discussion of the schools, the harm they did and the more positive aspects as well.”

How interesting that Mr. DeWolf considers quoting the words of the victims of abuse and oppression to be “parroting”and yet considering the “positive” aspects of this abuse is not given a second thought. Notice that it is “non-natives” who are given a platform to talk about how great residential schools were and that they suffered absolutely no abuse from the staff at those residential schools? Every one of these people seems to think that dying outside of the school would be far worse then dying INSIDE the schools, it’s not like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which may I remind Mr. DeWolf stays with you until you die, which resulted from that abuse is a problem or anything! RIGHT?

On Wednesday, we ran a letter that began as follows: “There are many native Canadians who appreciate the benefits of the schools where they received an education that enabled them to cope with life outside the reserves. How about recounting some of their testimonials?”

A few more notes came in after that, each echoing that same point. Here is one example.

“How refreshing to see the letter from Michael Barnes,” wrote Jeannie L’Esperance. “When traveling by plane in the North, I have had people tell me how grateful they were for the training they received in a residential school, which helped them find employment.”

I wish these white people who make such claims can name these Indigenous people that benefited from these schools but then they would actually be caught in a lie. We all know how white people are ALWAYS truthful when it comes to people of color and Indigenous people “benefiting” from their system. None of the victims of those systems are real, they are just the imagination of those silly non-white people! They always want the world handed to them and stuff! The nerve of them asking for justice for the abuse they received!

I ask my readers to not read the comments in the original article for they are far worse then the letters that were quoted in this piece. Read the article at your own risk of high blood pressure and poor mood for the rest of the day, week, month or year. Ignorance and abuse apologism reign supreme in this country of Canada; a country that has been ravaged by colonialism and racism with its original inhabitants fighting to keep their cultures alive. I, as a white ally, can do many tasks for them; bringing awareness of these issues to my fellow white people being one of those tasks. I sincerely hope that the people that were quoted in this piece will finally understand what these victims have gone through but that hope is constantly dashed. I hope they can prove me wrong in that regard.

Personal Statement About Supreme Courts Recent Ruling on Prostitution Law

The Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled the current prostitution laws in Canada as “unconstitutional” and struck them down today. This does not mean that prostitution is officially legal, the government has a year to write up legislation for a new law. For now, the current law still stands but this does not stop the Liberal pro-exploitation crowd for having hopes for full legalization. I consider this recent ruling to not only being a step back but a major fallback for the rights of the most vulnerable women. The women that Liberals tend to (purposefully) erase when prostitution is being discussed.

I want to add that just because prostitution has been around for centuries, it does not mean that it is or should be morally or even legally acceptable. It is like arguing that just because rape has been around for centuries, that means it should be considered morally acceptable or war if we can take the argument farther. Of course, I have no hope for the Harper government to actually consider the fact that women are human and that they will actually consider writing a law that will ensure that women do not have to turn to prostitution to survive in patriarchy. The Harper government couldn’t care less about anyone but themselves and the only reason that the Harper government would even consider such laws is if their reputation is at stake.

When I heard of the ruling, I thought of the women that have been murdered and raped by their pimps and johns. I think of the forty women or so women that have been murdered by Robert Pickton. I think of the young girls who have been prostituted and abused from  a young age. I think of the Indigenous women who have dealt with the hardest blow in their lives when colonialism, racism, misogyny, and other forms of abuse are being drowned out by the Liberal anti-woman rhetoric. Terri-Jean Bedford did not think of these women when she argued for the right to run a bawdy house and neither did the courts.

There is no hope for any progress for women in a male-centered society and the Canadian Supreme Court just proved that such institutions cannot be trusted to make any sound judgement; they proved themselves to be on the side of rapists and abusers and people who profit from that abuse. I sincerely hope that anti-prostitution activists fight against the pro-exploitation lobby because the courts decided that women’s lives were not as important as the personal entitlement of men. This is not about “choice”, this is about the lives of women; this is about the woman’s right to a life without having to endure extreme abuse just to put food on the table.

Let Me Make One Thing Perfectly Clear

My last post on Indigenous people being blamed for their own oppression has really seemed rattle a few cages. And by “rattle” I mean, making people believe that I am excusing Indigenous people for rape or murder. It seems that these critics have very poor reading comprehension so I thought it was time that I clear up a few things.

1) Throughout my post I have never said that it was perfectly okay for Indigenous men to murder or rape anybody. The post was an attempt to show how the original author of the article was demonstrating her racism and hypocrisy and also the racist system in our capitalist patriarchy. Men do not commit murder without a reason; for the case of white men, they often commit murder when they do not receive the thing that they believe that they are entitled to. White men are not an oppressed class unlike Indigenous people who carry the weight of colonialism, misogyny, homophobia, and racism. This pressure to conform to white hegemony can often lead to destructive behavior, it’s not an excuse but an explanation.

2) Plenty of Indigenous people will tell you that there is violence against women and children on reservations, this is due to the indoctrination of colonialist ideals and also abuse from residential schools. Abuse is often passed down onto the children of those abused in residential schools and if Indigenous children were not abused in these residential schools then there would be no pattern of violence especially against Indigenous women and children. White men do often come into Indian reservations to rape Indigenous women and know that they will get away with it because authorities on reservations cannot persecute people who do not live on the reservation. “Why not?” I hear you ask. This article will explain everything. Even though this is talking about Indigenous people in America, it also applies to Canada too.

In 1978, the Supreme Court caseOliphant v. Suquamish stripped tribes of the right to arrest and prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes on Indian land. If both victim and perpetrator are non-Indian, a county or state officer must make the arrest. If the perpetrator is non-Indian and the victim an enrolled member, only a federally certified agent has that right. If the opposite is true, a tribal officer can make the arrest, but the case still goes to federal court.

So, even if tribal officers can arrest the person outside of their reservation, they cannot take the criminal to Indian court. Instead, he will be charged (if he even has a day in court) in Federal court and we all know how white men easily get away with any act of violence especially against Indigenous women.

3) Wishing an Indigenous man either rape me or murder a member of my family makes your argument null and void. I know plenty of Indigenous people and they would never even pull a hair off my head but I know plenty of white men that wish me great harm. Your petty crusade and your slandering of my words does not help you look like a hero. So, stop your racist tirade against Indigenous people and look at your fellow white people that are committing the same crimes and not receiving the same harsh punishment. I would like you to also ask yourself why white men do not receive the same punishment as Indigenous men or even black men.

4) I acknowledge that the violence that men commit against women and children is horrible and inexcusable but to also not acknowledge that our system is also racist would go against my political beliefs. I do not wish to contribute to the problem of colonialism and racism as a white ally.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

 

White People Need to Stop Blaming the Victim

I often wonder how most people even receive their Journalism degrees or how they even got a job working with people that are different from them. How did they even get past Grade 10 English because in my honest opinion they have no clue how to write anything without coming off as either condescending, idiotic, illogical and just plain ignorant. I have come to this conclusion from a writer named Naomi Lakritz in her latest piece from The Province called “First Nations Need to Quit Blaming the Past.” The title is already inflammatory at first appearance. It comes off with a hint of victim-blaming and racism with the right amount of denial.

Lakritz begins her piece with such precious sarcasm that I want to puke rainbows all over the person who thought it was a great idea to post this garbage.

It was edifying to learn that colonialism was responsible for the death of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair of Fisher River, Man. I always thought that her mother, Samantha Kematch, and Kematch’s common-law husband, Karl McKay, were responsible. After all, they’re the ones serving life sentences for her murder. They’re the ones who chose to torture her to death.

It’s so interesting that she doesn’t seem to understand the concept of colonialism and how it causes negative effects on society especially the victims of a century long genocide that still continues to this day through forcing Indigenous children to be white and to put up with racist harassment from white people. It is terrible that this child died a horrible death and no child deserves to die but we need to be serious on what is mainly the cause of these acts which is male-patterned violence that can come in all forms such as colonialism, rape, war, child abuse, murder, genocide and injustice. She doesn’t even seem to care that a child died, she is using this child’s death to attack Indigenous people and their righteous anger at our patriarchal, capitalist, and colonialist system. Where Indigenous children were kidnapped (Using correct terminology here because let’s face it, they were kidnapped) by government officials and forced to adopt the ideology of their oppressors, suffering horrifying forms of abuse and continuing the cycle of abuse after they left these schools. It is not surprising that the actions of these people and the continuing oppression of Indigenous peoples is that it results in horrifying events such as these. Lakritz has the nerve to say that Residential schools and the people that ran them are not responsible for the results of these practices against previous generations of Indigenous people. Does she not realize that that abuse continues through new generations if there is no break in the cycle? She continues her piece by placing more blame on Indigenous people for colonialism and racism in the following quote:

According to Jay Funke, a lawyer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Southern Chiefs Organization, it was colonialism. Last week, he told an inquiry into the little girl’s death that “First Nation leaders believe that the tragedy suffered by Phoenix was, in large part, the result of centuries of colonial-based policies and practices which have been forced upon the First Nations people of Canada.”

That’s odd. All the colonials I know had the same reaction when they heard of the terrible abuse Kematch and McKay inflicted on this poor child, including beatings, shooting her with a BB gun, choking her until she was unconscious, forcing her to eat her own vomit and leaving her to die on a cold basement floor, eight years ago. That reaction was: “I wish I could have adopted her and loved her and saved her life.”

She doesn’t explain how giving an Indigenous child to white people would exactly solve the problem because we should know that white people are just fucking saints when it comes to Indigenous people! AM I RIGHT, LAKRITZ? No, there is no sexual abuse or murder with those white people who adopt Indigenous children. Nope. Never. Nor are these Indigenous children snatched out of their homes by government officials who think that an Indigenous woman is just prone to abusing drugs. I mean, it’s not like she can get help for her drug addiction while the child is in her care or in the care of her relatives, right?

Oh, these heartless colonials, eh? But First Nations leaders believe colonialism was responsible. Deflect, deflect, deflect. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Poor Kematch and McKay, they’re not to blame. They were just puppets of forces bigger than themselves. Apparently not endowed with the ability to make decisions, know right from wrong or take adult responsibility for their adult lives, they were victims of colonialism.

Can’t you just see it now? “Karl, our ancestors were misled and lied to by David Laird after he was made Indian commissioner responsible for Manitoba in 1898. So, shoot Phoenix some more with the BB gun. She isn’t crying hard enough.”

Odd, too, how colonialism could have such a huge effect on McKay, but leave his teenage son unaffected and perfectly able to distinguish right from wrong. The boy testified at his father’s trial that he noticed how “skinny” Phoenix had become in the spring of 2005, but that Kematch threatened him if he tried to give Phoenix food. He told the court he never saw the little girl eat and then, weeping, he testified that “I waited until those guys left and gave her food. They didn’t help her.”

Why yes, colonialism DOES have a huge effect on Indigenous people. McKay was not born to murder and torture an innocent child, much like any human being but for some reason Indigenous people get all the flack while society looks for any excuse in the book to take any blame away from a WHITE MAN that did the same crime. Notice a pattern here? An inconsistency, Lakritz? No? Does it ever occur to you that white men are highly favored above everyone else? Just a thought.

They didn’t help her – not because of the historic wrongs done to aboriginal people, but because “those guys” were scum. They alone are responsible for her torture and murder, not history. This is about individuals and their character, not their ethnicity.

Funke also told the inquiry that a lot of aboriginal people see the seizing of native children as being like the residential school system. Who cares how they see it? If they are not going to take proper care of their children, then they have nobody to blame but themselves when their kids are seized. If Phoenix had been placed with foster parents, white or aboriginal, and not returned to the piece of garbage who is her mother, she would be alive today.

Just a few questions, Lakritz. How do you sleep at night? Does it bother you that you are blaming Indigenous people for their oppression and the State-sanctioned kidnapping and abuse of children? Does it even bother you that you are speaking in the same way that any white supremacist would say in a White Power conference? Do you know that children in foster care are often abused either by officials or their foster parents? I do not see how putting a child in another possibly dangerous environment just because some self-righteous white people thought that they can raise an Indigenous child better then that child’s parents! You are not proving your case with your victim-blaming and in-your-face racism. Foster care won’t make the child any better nor put her in a better place then she was before this whole thing happened and it is despicable that you think the state would solve the problems of abuse when it IS the state and the men that run it that are responsible for the abuse and for why it still continues!

There are no circumstances which prevent anyone from deciding that they are going to be the best parents they can be. Nothing prevents them from seeking help to achieve that goal, if needs be. No situation, whether it took place in history or is being lived right now in the present moment, is so bad that it makes individuals decide to shoot, choke, beat and otherwise torture a five year-old child. At the trial, McKay’s lawyer said that his client was just performing “fun choke holds” he’d seen on TV wrestling shows and was surprised that he had hurt Phoenix. Performing “fun choke holds” from wrestling shows? Colonialism no more makes you perform fun choke holds on your child until she blacks out than it makes you a fan of TV wrestling.

Funke told the inquiry that “the First Nations leaders of (Manitoba) are committed to ensuring that Phoenix did not die in vain.” Sadly, Phoenix did die in vain and nothing can change that. But those leaders can see to it that more children do not die in vain by dropping the victimization mantle because it is not doing aboriginal people any favours.

Are you sure that what has been done in the past doesn’t still happen in this century? Still using the death of a child to give “reasons” for your racist vomit? This society actually did influence a person to murder an innocent child, just like how our violent culture influenced men like Robert Pickton to murder Indigenous women that were being prostituted. This culture influences men to be violent to the most vulnerable people in that culture and we are surprised when they murder those innocent people? We make excuses for them, illegitimate excuses but we can’t seem to do the same without tying it to their race or use racist tropes. White people try to make themselves superior to them. You are doing that, Lakritz. You are making yourself superior to Indigenous people with your-nose-in-the-air attitude about colonialism and white privilege. Your “logic” fits nicely with people who blame women for being raped by their husbands or boyfriends. Such a callous attitude towards a group of people who suffer from racism, a system that they are not to blame for. You must be a fun person to hang out with.

There is not an ethnic group in the world that has not suffered terrible injustices at one time or another in its history. No one has escaped this. To name just a few, the Armenians suffered genocide in 1915, the Tutsis of Rwanda in 1994, the Jews and Roma suffered unspeakable horrors during the Holocaust, the Ukrainians were victims of Josef Stalin’s forced famine, with more than seven million starved to death in Stalin’s diabolical plot to destroy them for the “crime” of wanting independence from his reign.

None of these ethnic groups blames their own histories when a member of the group abuses, neglects, or tortures to death their own children, as Kematch and McKay tortured Phoenix to death. If First Nations leaders want to start somewhere, a good place would be with the concept of individual responsibility.

Do not bring other sufferers of genocides into this! I am very sure that they do not want to be used BY YOU to excuse your racism. How strange that you would say that Indigenous leaders should “take individual responsibility” with the racist attitudes and centuries of white supremacist conquest in both a social and legal context. Most of these people have yet to have their oppression recognized by society and yet you use them to excuse your oppressive attitude. Would you throw a tantrum if Jewish people said that the effects of the Holocaust and anti-semitism still effect them today? How dare you be so selfish in your white entitlement. How dare you ask Indigenous people to “take responsibility” when no one asks the same from white people or even white MEN for that matter. I most certainly do not want my Ukrainian ancestors to be used by you. I am certain that Indigenous people don’t want your help nor your advice. Some accountability from white people such as yourself, would be a start.

http://www.theprovince.com/life/First+Nations+need+quit+blaming+past/8729774/story.html

MuchMusic and Bell Media Thinks That Human Trafficking is Hilarious

From OneChild:

MuchMusic airs a popular prank TV show created by Hallock Healey Entertainment called Scare Tactics. The pranks are, for the most part, harmless. But a while ago, OneChild happened to see an episode of this show entitled Human Auction.

A young woman was tricked by a friend into thinking she was being trafficked, sold into sex slavery!

You can view the episode here: HTTP://YOUTU.BE/K2KH4GCQAIQ

What’s actually scary about this episode is that Bell Media, the owner of the two channels, thinks that this kind of program makes for good entertainment! The episode was sickeningly offensive and insensitive, using an atrocious human rights violation affecting millions of children, women, and men across the world as a gimmick to get some cheap laughs.

After seeing the episode, we quickly mobilized a small group of young people to send messages using the twitter hashtag #humantraffickingshouldneverbeapunchline to Bell Media, declaring that the youth of Canada do not appreciate human trafficking and sexual slavery being turned into an entertainment punch line.

The good news is that your efforts managed to get them to pull the episode.

The bad news is that that isn’t enough. Bell pulled the episode, but they declined our request to proactively address human trafficking as an issue in Canada. In fact, they declined to even just acknowledge that human trafficking is bad! A Bell representative we spoke to said that pulling the episode was “good enough.”

What about the people who have seen the episode already? A quick look through the Youtube comments shows that the vast majority of viewers not only don’t care about human trafficking, but think that sexual slavery is really funny, and that the pranked victim – and sometimes even all victims – deserve it.

Even worse, what if a person who actually was trafficked/is being trafficked had seen the episode? How must they feel knowing Canadian youth are laughing about the misery they endure, laughing at the rape and the torture?

Bell media told us that MuchMusic “lends its voice to raise awareness about important issues relevant to our audience,” and yet they’re choosing to remain silent about an issue that affects us: human trafficking of children, women, and men.

OneChild feels that MuchMusic is in the unique position to influence hundreds of thousands of Canadian youth, and lead the way into a future where human trafficking is taken seriously in Canada.

What scares us is the possibility of Bell Media quietly sweeping this under the rug, but Bell Media has stated that they care what their viewers say. This means YOU have the power to make a Canadian telecom giant stand up and tell the entire country that human trafficking is a terrible crime, and should never be a punch line.

The THINK BEFORE YOU PRANK campaign is your opportunity to stand up and shout out for the invisible victims of human trafficking. This is your chance to change how Canadians understand human trafficking.

This is your chance to demand justice for the voiceless and the vulnerable.

Sign the petition at HTTP://WWW.CHANGE.ORG/EN-CA/PETITIONS/THINK-BEFORE-YOU-PRANK.