Saturday, February 11, 2017


Hey folks! As old school Dirt readers are already aware, yer old pal Jerky used to provide plenty of room for readers to express themselves, be it in the form of letters to the editor, guest editorials, "First Amendment Zone" commentary, and other such venues. Today's offering comes from our old pal Mojo, who has been among the Daily Dirt's hardest of core enthusiasts for a very long time, indeed. His musings on race and racism in Canada, a series of thoughts kicked off upon reading this MacLean's story, are hereby presented for your infotainmentational delectation. Enjoy! - YOPJ 
Dear Jerky;

Racism was hit and miss in Canada when I was young. In my little town if you heard a racist comment it was directed toward First Nations people. At the time, we mostly saw them only after they'd received their allotment, when they'd come into the towns from the Rez to get drunk. We just called them Indians back then. I won't mention some of the other names, but there were as many as there were for blacks in the U.S. 

These were not the Noble Savages we learned about in history class. The ones we saw were mostly mean and nasty drunks. We used to go to court on Wednesdays to sit in the audience and see who got caught doing what. The nastiest thing I heard a judge say was during the case of a native woman who had stabbed her husband with a poker because he was being abusive ("went Indian" as the phrase was back then). He whined about being stabbed and the judge said: "Pity it didn't go deeper; it might have let some of the wine out."

Now, they've improved themselves in our neck of the woods, and I'm proud to call them my neighbours, and several are my friends. 

I never witnessed truly hateful racism until I lived in Toronto. The things I heard Italians calling Greeks, and most whites calling Asians, made me mad. And all based on false stereotypes. But the racism was not institutionalized the way it was in the southern states. Things have improved vastly since then, though you will still find isolated instances.
Unfortunately, thanks largely to the American government using fear to control and manipulate their population starting around 9/11 and escalating ever since, I have seen prejudice occur more and more often in Canada, pushed by the media and the politicians, particularly the Conservative Party of Canada. That's the party that rose from the ashes after Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives suffered a terminal defeat at the polls, forcing them to join with the far-right Reform Party, creating something more like the American Republicans. 

Before the merger, Reform had serious trouble growing beyond their regional, rural roots, because many of their policies were openly racist and discriminatory against minorities and women. Now, thanks to their re-branding as the Conservative Party, formerly fringe right-wingers have gained some apparent respectability, and it's becoming more common in Canada to hear politicians say nasty things about Muslims. They're instilling the same fear in the population that was so successfully used to manipulate the American people. 

There is nothing to fear. It is stupid to be afraid of something that hasn't happened and probably won't. By all means people should always be prepared if something does happen, but it becomes far more likely to happen if people allow fear to colour their feelings and actions towards these groups. 

I have read the Qu'ran and Islam is a religion of peace, no more encouraging violence than the Torah of the Jewish people. Shari'a is not of the religion of Islam but is a tool used by the leadership to control the people. It is one of the things they are coming to Canada to escape. they are entitled to their rules of Halal just as the Jewish are entitled to rules governing kosher. 

A Muslim is just like any of us. They want to be able to enjoy their customs (not Shari'a) and holidays. They no more want our government shoving their beliefs down our throats than the rest of us do. They want quiet and peaceful lives, free of injustice and tyranny. They want to live, work, learn and be happy, just like the many ethnicities and races that make Canada the wonderful place it is. 

Let us leave the past in the past. Build a bright new future. It's the least we owe our children and the world.

Yer Old Pal MoJo

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