Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sign on a Door.

Before I moved to the Yukon, I thought my husband and his entire family were, to put it gently, racists. They way they talked about a certain group of people was not very nice. They muttered about being harassed for the loonie in their shopping cart. They grumbled about the high number of drunks staggering around down town. They read they papers and delivered long speeches at dinner about the preferential treatment being given out.
I was properly horrified. My own sister (both of us adopted) is Native. The history books clearly pointed out the evils of the White Man. In my home, all races and cultures were equal....Unless of course, we were talking about marrying a black man, and then my mother showed her true feelings....But that's another story.
I think I lived here in the Yukon for at least two months before I first uttered "Those damn cart people! I wish they'd leave me the hell alone when I'm loading my groceries into the car! Do I look like I want to hand over money for drugs or booze? Doesn't the government give them enough already?" It wasn't long after that I noticed just how many drunks were looking familiar. I saw the same faces wandering around the liquor store every Friday. And the ones swaying down the sidewalk seemed to be all from the same village.
Now, I know that not all natives beg off of shoppers. Not every drunk is First Nations. Yes, they lost their land and rights for a long time. I love it here now, and I think that the mix of cultures has created a very rich and varied environment. But I think the pendulum of "Cultural Rights" has swung too far back, now. For example:
What would happen to me (and my job) if I set aside a room in a public building, and said it was a place for white children only? Hmmmm?

4 comments:

for what it's worth said...

We live in a part of our city that is considered by many to be "Paki-land". The hair on my neck stands up everytime I hear it. We moved here so we could show our children all the wonderful cultures that our country has. And sure, there are undesirable folks around...but there would be anywhere...even in a "white-bread" society.
Life is tough...on all of us, and a little more compassion wouldn't hurt...so well done...you're being a great example to your family.

wendy said...

Umm you'd be shot tammy! lol
There are lots on injustices like that here. Don't get me started...

Beth said...

Oh I so know how you feel - I've always considered myself very non-racist - but my best friends is the world make comments that make me sick!! I long ago refused to get into debates with them. Then my daughter got to the age where she would ask "Why does Vyrna hate Pakis" or "Uncle Wayne says immigrants are stealing our jobs? " Hello - they were doing job none of the rest of us wanted!! I work everyday with women who took the first job they could find in Canada and 30 years later are still doing it .......East Indian, Vietnamese, Croation etc....and they are the hardest working, most loyal bunch of ladies I've ever had the privlege of working with.
When I first came to Victoria, everyone thought that every drunk on the street was First Nations.
That has changed dramatically - now , it's the 'street people' themselves that are under attack ( regardless of their race)
Perhaps this is progress????
They say we're losing tourism dollars because of the amount of panhandlers in the city ( couldn't be the decline in the American dollar, the price of gas, or the increased border restrictions)
I simply despise one group of people being singled out as the cause for whatever is going wrong!!
Having said all that - I admit that when I get yet another telemarketing call from someone who cannot begin to pronounce my name and I cannot understand a word they say...........I see red!! Do not hire someone to sell something to English speaking people when the seller can't speak English!!!
End of rant - thanks for listening

Carmi said...

Government-imposed diversity seems to follow the path of state-sanctioned racism that's supposed to somehow cancel out the historic racism imposed on a given minority group. Affirmative action is simply one form of it.

You'd be crucified if you tried. Which underscores the hypocrisy of our supposedly enlightened modern world.