An Honest, Open and Frank Conversation

Can we have an honest open and frank conversation? Without the ’emotion’? What is happening now reminds us of the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown/quarantine.

Remember at the outset of the quarantine Gov Cuomo of NY said he would need tens of thousands of ventilators? When everybody was hysterical? Turns out ventilators are what killed a lot of people and that was not the right way to go. It was a massive overreaction.

But in the heat of the moment, the pendulum was swinging to the extreme end of all scenarios.

The same thing is happening now. We are in the heat of the moment. Please – not all policemen are racists. Not all cities have entire police forces that are racist. There are many  who are, but the majority of the men and women who choose to spend their lives protecting us from the bad guys are good, decent human beings.

Let’s deal with taking a knee.  Colin Kaepernick ‘took a knee’ because he refused to stand for the American flag due to his country oppressing black people and people of color. That’s a very general statement.

We will also remind you that at the same time, the NBA’s Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, formerly Chris Jackson before converting to Islam, also refused to acknowledge the flag in protest, citing similar reasons as Kaepernick, saying that it conflicted with some of his Islamic beliefs.

At that time, the police were part of the problem, not THE problem. Guess what? The police are still part of the problem but still not THE problem. It is multi-layered. There is not one reason nor is there one answer to this issue.

Now let’s deal with our Prime Minister who could not hold himself back last Friday when he saw a large demonstration outside. He had to go. What he did not have to do is ‘take a knee’ which, if we are speaking truthfully here, is an apology to black people  for being white. 

Yes, it also means one is ‘standing in solidarity’, but don’t pretend that the innuendo is not apolgozing for being white.

Trudeau is standing with black people? Is he not the prime minister of all Canadians? If so, what about native Canadians? They are equally, if not more oppressed than black people. Racism is rampant in the north. What’s our prime minister doing about that? We’ll tell you. Doing a lot of talking but almost no doing because out of sight is out of mind. No one sees those people because they are well-hidden in far-flung northern communities.

And then there’s the pandemic which in the heat of the moment Justin totally forgot about. The day before he waded into a crowd of over 1000 people, he sternly told Canadians to social distance, to stay home. And then, when it became convenient or he simply could not control his very tender emotions, he went right into the crowd, social distancing be damned.

Next up is defunding police departments. What exactly does that mean? No more money to be given to police departments? Robbers, murderers and rapists are free to roam around with no fear of being caught?

Defunding police departments is shorthand for divesting or moving money from local and state police budgets and reinvesting it into communities, mental health services, and social service programs.

That is also very ‘feel good’ as much of what is happening now is, but practically what does it mean? You don’t have to look far.

This past weekend in Chicago there were 18 people, many of them young and black,  shot and killed. Which brings to mind Stalin’s famous quote: One death is a tragedy. A million is a statistic. Guess what? 18 are also a statistic. Can you name one black person who was killed this past weekend? No you can’t because it is not romantic nor does it bring headlines when black people murder each other.

On May 31 alone, Chicago’s 911 emergency center received 65,000 calls for all types of service — 50,000 more than on a usual day. Not many police were found.

If you think the police have a healthy fear responding to 911 calls in Chicago’s inner city now, wait until they are ‘defunded’. They are going to send social workers to stop gangs from killing each other? Change must happen, but it appears that it will be black people who will suffer the most as a result.

Somewhere in all of this huge mess lies the middle, sensible ground. It starts, as we learned on Sunday night, with five very simple words: Say Hello To Your Neighbour.

Weeding out racist police starts in each and every small community in the United States and Canada. Making it a broad issue will do nothing but create inquiries and committees where, as we all know, nothing gets done except ensure that politicians keep their well-paying jobs.

What will help? Communication. Talking to each other. Getting to the root of why there are so many black men who are absentee fathers. Figuring out how to help create a lasting family unit.  How to make sure black kids living in inner city projects get a better education. How to make sure these kids are taught social skills. How to make sure that if they can’t go to university, they learn a trade.

These are not emotional things, they are practical. Doing all of the above requires hands-on hard work, slugging it out day after day with no social media following you around.

Reform will not take place in two weeks no matter how many people ‘take a knee’. All that does is make people feel good. Enough with the feel good. It’s time for action.

US Congressional Democrats were all over the media yesterday. Nancy Pelosi and her ilk’took a knee’ while wearing a traditional African cloth called a Kente. That gross spectacle was 100% pandering to the media. What a sick stunt.

There are times when Donald Trump gets it right. And then there are times when you wonder what planet the man is living on. Two Buffalo police officers were charged with felony assault for shoving longtime activist Martin Gugino to the ground outside City Hall, resulting in Gugino hitting his head and bleeding from his ear. He’s still in the hospital in serious condition and it was caught on video.

Trump is now tweeting that perhaps he was part of antifa. Seriously? He doesn’t have researchers who can verify such things in, oh, about one minute?

Gugino is a 75 year-old activist, busy with climate change and nuclear disarmament. He’s whiter than white and kind of sickly looking because his health is not great.

If Trump is trying to change the channel here, he picked the wrong clicker to use. Gugino was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s far from being a provocateur activist.

We are going to reiterate, yet again, that in the province of Quebec, which has one of the highest fatality rate of the coronavirus in the world – with over 5,000 deaths, our Premier is lying through his teeth.

He has said day after day that health-care workers are not going from one place to another to care for sick people.  In fact, they are going from one place to another, untested. He said he’s going to fix the senior home problem. Let’s wait and see what happens because as we all know,  the senior homes are in the city and his base is in rural areas and they don’t give a rats what happens here.

Right now he is pandering to everyone. Give it six months and let’s see what happens.

We left the  most in-your-face ’emotional’ part for the end. Blanche, did you know that the mayor of New York, Bill di Blasio will rename streets in the five boroughs Black Lives Matter? Indeed he is.

He went further. He intends to paint roadways to honor the movement. As the roadways are already black, we wonder what color he intends to paint them. Wait. He’s probably doing what the mayor of Washington did and will paint the words black lives matter on the street. Now that will do a lot of good.

We’ll talk…

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