It may be time for me to shut up for awhile…..

The murder of George Floyd is, sadly, just another in a series of tragic results from a militarized police community and an increasingly amoral society that has lost it’s sense of humanity, community and tolerance for each other.  The police have gone way off the rails in way too many places, in way too many instances, in way too many ordinary situations.  They have lost their way.  But so has society.  So has the government.  So has the environment.  So have a lot of us.

A lot in our world seems amiss, confusing and perplexing to the point of despair.

But for me to write about all that is to assume extra knowledge, to assume superior behaviour, to assume holier-than-thou status.  And I cannot claim any of that. I know of racism, discrimination, prejudice.  I know of marginalization, exclusion and systemic bigotry.  I have seen it in ageism, sexism, racism and all the little and large, rotten ‘isms’ woven throughout all the cultures of the world.  I have even suffered on rare occasions from it in very minor ways.  And I consciously strive hard NOT to be part of it.  But I do not really KNOW it.  Not really.

And I don’t DO much about even what I know of it.  I don’t march.  I don’t send money.  I don’t even write about it unless it is ‘in the news’.  In that sense, I admit, I am complicit.  For evil to be done, good people only need do nothing.  And I do, in effect, nothing.

And so, to then write about it, somehow lessens the truth of it. To write about it makes it about me in very much the wrong way.  I just cannot seem to address the problem in any way properly.  I really do NOT have the extra knowledge or the better perspective.  I am a bit thick, a lot protected and I am mostly unaware of all that is wrong.  Worse, I am in no position to do a lot even if I wanted to.  And I do want to but……well, not enough to actually do it.  Does anyone in Chicago really want an old, white Canadian carrying a sign?  I doubt it.  So they don’t want me.  And I do not want to be there with them.  But, well, something is wrong there.  We are all in this together and yet, in so many ways, we are not all in this together.   Some of us are removed, largely protected, not engaged or aware.  We are unburdened.

So, how can I write about that?  It may be time to shut up for awhile.

 

17 thoughts on “It may be time for me to shut up for awhile…..

  1. Here in Victoria, yesterday, two adults unknown to each other but each passing consecutively ahead of me wore stencilled fashion tops with “ go fuck yourself” in the text.
    Women about 35 guy about 58.
    not that long ago I thot this city was a bit more evolved, delusional thinking on my part.

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  2. An article in the Toronto Star recently writes about social cohesion in Canada. The Star cites social cohesion as one of Canada’s many strengths. Aldo mentions signs of a growing lack of civility hence the ‘fuck’ epithet on t-shirts. When I said that as a child the remedy was threatening to wash my mouth out with soap. Likely that ship has sailed. Social civility has not yet sailed but in some places it is under attack. It is common to conflate the events in the USA as equivalent to the events occurring in Canada. Otherwise know as a false equivalency. My preference would not be to fade to black and say ‘all is lost,’ Canada is a failed state. So far Canada’s social cohesion remains intact but signs of fragility are evident here and there. I recognize that Canada has challenges. I prefer that it not have challenges but it clearly does. But the sky is not falling. We have examples of bigotry and intolerance but civility and tolerance can encouraged. I get it the glass is half full so fill the glass! By the way I’m no Pollyanna but being positive helped me on my life path.

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    • No, you are NOT an optimist. For the most part, I have found you eminently reasonable and grounded. BUT we have different views and, if pressed, I would argue that you are a smidge ‘faithful’, a bit invested in the system, a bit Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. You think it is all as good as we can expect. Trudeau is OK.
      As you put it, “OK, the glass may be half empty so let’s fill it up!” I am more negative and critical by nature. I am more inclined to say, “Damn! The glass is half empty! Which greedy pig took that first half!”
      It’s a perspective thing….and I can be wrong….. (but not about the Drama Queen)

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  3. So I’m a bit institutionalize which is to be expected after working in a bureaucracy for nearly forty years. Ordered, predictable.and task oriented. Year after year teaching sixteen year olds invested in the future. Not all are invested. Some have other paths in mind. Watch a class graduating and feel their energy it’s contagious. Catch the wave.

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  4. I am dismayed! I feel I should do something, but not sure what. I grew up in Los Angeles and saw a lots of racism. From my perspective the wounds scab over, but never heal. When the scabs are ripped off, the festering wounds are worse than before. And it happens over, and over again. The one thing I can do is help my community. Each month I send a donation to the Powell River Food Bank. Families hurting from the logging strike, the mill suspension for months, and now COVID-19 need food. So that is what I’ve chosen to do for now. – Margy

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  5. Bravo David !, you have made me proud with your epiphany! Fact that we all know, our civilization as we knew it is over, although very few see it. To scream endlessly into it , is without meaning. We can drink wine and then Scotch upon my return and chew it to smaller pieces,
    😊

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  6. In my humble opinion, you don’t need to know it all, have more in-depth info then we do to write down your opinion. Not every specialist has it right when voicing his or her opinion, and most of the time it will be very biassed. Just you writing how YOU feel and think makes a difference to us, your readers. And talking about it in this small group DOES make sense, even if we will not change the course of action. But when smart people shut up, THEN there is something wrong. And even if you don’t solve anything, you make 1 guy happy with your blog….me….as I wake up every morning, I open my computer to see if there is a post from you so I can read it over morning coffee, and also get to know a little bit the opinion of the other people in your little group. An d although I don’t know anyone of them, I look forward to reading their opinions on your opinions. Sometimes it makes me smile, sometimes it makes me think. So that has to count for something, no?

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  7. Dave, you cant shut up ( even if you want to).
    We pathetic rabble live our lives vicariously through you.
    Weekend warrior OTG’ers as it were.
    And if you go off on a tangent we disagree with……. who cares.
    ITS YOUR BLOG !
    🙂

    As a reporter once said when asked about a story he wrote,
    ” I was furious! The editor rewrote part of my story and published it without my knowledge or consent. When I confronted him with what he had done he looked at me and said, ” When your office door says “Editor” instead of “Reporter” then I’ll listen to your complaints”

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    • Support appreciated but it was me self-shutting up.
      This racism thing is deeper than a white guy can fully know – especially in the US. I mean, I am NOT stupid and I have all sorts of friends of colour from beige to coal-black but none of us spend much time on that topic. They are here in Canada (HK, USA, Britain) mostly and they deal with their issues and they don’t complain to me. Jews are not ‘of colour’ and they have suffered discrimination, too. And they don’t complain all THAT much (mind you, kvetching is a cultural thing). The only time I feel what they feel is if I am the odd man out and I am in a white-hating country. And that feeling is NOT a good one.
      Hell, we po’ white, trailer trash have even had an inkling or two of not being wanted or respected in our own country! But all that said, I really think this is one topic I will never have much street cred with. I am basically a white guy in a white society. I am NOT elite or privileged in the sense that I understand those words but it seems I am at some other level. And I get that. So, I would defer to a half dozen friends of colour before ranting on too much, myself.
      But I will point out one thing – it is not new. It is not unique to white societies. Racism is a common trait amongst all societies, cultures, races and even religions. I don’t really get that. I GET fear and jealousy. I get cultural differences. I even get ‘fear of the stranger’….but discrimination based on NOTHING but skin colour just makes no sense. When I was young and dating I had girlfriends of a few different races and cultures. They were all pretty. I didn’t look much deeper than that. Still wouldn’t. Of course, over a bit of time, we drifted away from each other but I can only think of one where the problem was race – and that was me being white! R’s father hated white people and it was just too damn awkward trying to overcome all that. R didn’t want to fight her dad. Neither did I. He was Chinese. So was she. So, we just took the simmer off the heat. It seems most people think their ‘identifiable group’ is best and the rest are second at best. That seems to be the way it is. Mind you, being second was fine in Hong Kong – whites are a close second. But being tenth or lower in the country in which you are born must be all kinds of hardship. I’ll stay mostly quiet on this….for awhile…until I think I have something to say……maybe…
      I will write about other stuff….

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      • True enough.
        The thing I find scary is the self appointed “liberals” who determine what is “appropriate”.
        The university crowd these days seem hell bent on destroying anyone they deem “privileged” ….and from what I’ve seen that is anyone , financially successful, white, english speaking and (usually) male.
        I’d like any of these people to spend one day with me crawling through the filth, dust and noise of any job site I work at to realize…..
        I aint “priviledged”.
        I just work.
        And the vote pandering populist politicians like Trudeau will spend this country into financial purgatory to appease that growing voting cohort who will realize, far, far , far too late, ………..”spend and tax” punishes the poor far worse than the rich.

        As for the racial divide……
        We are lizard brained monkeys, with our millions of years of ingrained suspicions, stupidity, prejudices and faults.
        Survival instincts with suits.
        No laws, no social justice rules, no punishments will “make” us become politically correct.
        I guess the “American Dream” is showing its ugly side after 2 months of Covid 19 shutdowns, rising unemployment and the worst President ever in this situation, goading the rabble on…..gas on a fire.

        Just be glad you live where you do.

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