I pondered long and hard about how to focus this political and social comment in my blog. My blog is not about political and social issues, but as other bloggers expressed their horror and concern about ongoing world issues, I realized that if I stayed silent and simply kept publishing my fluff, I was a part of the much bigger problem.
No photos today, dear friends. We have all seen too many sad photos lately.
By now, many of you will have seen Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s famous 22 second wordless period, after he was asked by a reporter what he thought of the events occurring in the USA.
At first, I thought this was a blunder on his part, but after 22 very lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng seconds, he came up with a typically Canadian response, saying that like all Canadians, he was horrified at events, but that we could all do better in the way we treat others. How Canadian. Like my Mom always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
What good would it do to speak his mind on what he actually thought? The only change that would come for being honest is retaliation of the kind that would redirect his attentions from the problems at hand in this country.
Yes, dear friends to the South, I come from that blank empty, white space at the top of your nightly weather map. We do have a different accent, even though we think we don’t, we have 6 months of cold weather and 6 months of mosquitoes, we love hockey, curling, bacon, poutine, maple syrup and Canadian beer. But, perhaps, not surprisingly, we are very much like you.
We too are not without our warts. We mistreat people, we label people, we act all superior and we do a lot of wrong thinking, but being Canadian, we apologise, we try harder and we move on. Are we perfect? HELL NO, we are not. Nobody is.
Our Prime Minister is a photo op waiting to happen. Is there a Pride Parade? He is there. Is there a military forces death? He is there. Is there a First Nations crisis? He is there. When he goes to India for a state visit, does he go all Bollywood? You betcha.
Does he ever threaten to send in the army? DAMN straight. Somebody has to help the over-worked first responders in Quebec and Ontario, somebody has to help fight forest fires, somebody has to fill sand bags to fight a flood. Damn STRAIGHT, he will send in the army.
What happened to George Floyd in Minnesota is horrifying and very painful to watch, but the reactions of some in power to this, as well as to the current COVID 19 pandemic defy description.
I have friends, relatives and acquaintances who live in that populous country to the South that appears on my nightly weather map in such detail, with state and city names. To me, it is not just a blank placeholder. It exists, I have been there many times and met many fine people, from all walks of life. I weep with you, I pray with you and I hold out hope for a great future for your fine country. We all want you to succeed, but humanity and people must always be the first focus, for no country can be great without her people. We want you to be successful. We need you to be successful.
When I rewatch the 22 seconds of silence by our Leader (who admittedly is not my favourite politician), and see the comments from Stephen Colbert and Reverend Al Sharpton in America, I see now that this reaction was carefully planned in advance. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. No Justin Trudeau is not Jesus Christ, but, hey, he was born on December 25.
All of us allow this to happen, either through our actions, inactions, words, thoughts or deeds. We are all guilty of prejudice in one form or another and we have all made mistakes. But, the first step to correcting these mistakes is admitting them and learning from them.
Leadership begins at the top. The current crisis has given all leaders and all of us the opportunity to step up and do the right things. Let’s hope we all do.
Have a great day, eh?