Ok, so today's the day I touch upon the ultimate taboo subject: race.
Sure, it probably isn't too smart to talk about it on a blog and it may kill any political aspirations I might have had, but screw it. Today I came across an article in the Toronto Star that really hit a nerve with me. As my RTA classmates can attest to, racist talk gets my blood boiling.
Maybe it's because I was raised in a bilingual, multi-cultured, (multi-faithed!) Catholic school in Canada and was not exposed to racism as a child that I have this idyllic view of race relations. Maybe it's because I just graduated from Ryerson University which, on top of being poorly run, actually promotes reverse discrimination that I get angered by talk of race.
In any event, I will summarize my view of racism in the world this way: I think all races are equal. Period. No one should be treated with any favouritism, no one should be treated with any disrespect, and no one should get a leg up based on the colour of their skin for any reason. Even if it is in the name of making amends for historical inequities or wrongdoings.
In case you've been living under a rock, there was a shooting in downtown Toronto on Boxing Day wherein several people were injured and one 15-year old female bystander was killed while shopping with her parents. 2005 had been dubbed the Year of the Gun long before this occurrence, but this certainly put the exclamation mark on it. Politicians have been scrambling.
So, a (no doubt fruitless) conference of some sort was held amongst the three levels of government. This bothered an activist group and here's the quote from the Star explaining why:
"The Coalition of African Canadian Community Organizations — made up of more than 30 groups — questioned at a news conference yesterday whether politicians would have reacted as quickly if a black youth was slain. More than 40 black youths died from gun violence last year, but the coalition said it took Creba's death to move politicians to act. "
Like I said, guns had been a massive issue in Toronto long before this shooting, but regardless, I would think one might attribute the conference, not to the fact that a white girl was shot, but that SEVERAL INNOCENT PEOPLE WERE SHOT OUTSIDE A TORONTO TOURIST ATTRACTION AT RUSH HOUR ON BOXING DAY!!!!
Even for the Year of the Gun, that was a new one.
Memo to all activist groups: pick your fights wisely or you will lose all credibility. Jumping on every issue that even has a whiff of relevance to your cause looks desperate and unreasonable. It's the lobbyist equivalent of crying wolf: pretty soon, people stop listening to you.
You want to end racism? Stop accusing the world of being racist, you bigot.
You're right: a meeting is being held because a near-massacre of holiday shoppers only killed one white girl? Hell, they MUST be racist.
Give your head a shake, CACCO.
You want everyone to be treated equally? Start treating everyone EQUALLY.