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They need work and a future and faith ... not handouts and drugs and patronization

Today I pleased to be able to present a guest commentary from Tom Birch.  A former resident of the North Okanagan, and a gentleman who states he is a "proud conservative", he now resides in the City of Prince George.  Out of everything I have read regarding the Colten Boushie** murder trial, this is by fair the most honest, and balanced.

The Boushie murder trial is tragic on many levels.

It is not about the right to defend yourself. Self-defense was not the plea. It was about whether the death was accidental due to the chaotic events created by the crime in process.

For those saying that the farmer, Gerald Stanley, had the right to kill Boushie because he was committing a crime, please stop.

It was not about race. What happened was the result of the crime in process and the question is whether it was an accident or not. Those who bring racism to this trial were already carrying it with them. And for those few who say he had it coming because he was First Nations, you have serious issues and you need to rethink your life.

This is not an excuse for political grandstanding and race baiting that undermines our judicial system. I would tell the those politicians who sink to this depth to stop but they can’t see (or don’t care about) the damage they are doing.

But these events do highlight racial issues. The tragedy began years ago when Boushie and his friends lost all hope and decided that crime was fun and somehow justified. This can happen to any young people from any racial group, but it is rampant in some bands.

The lesson here is to give them hope. To do that they need work and a future and faith ... not handouts and drugs and patronizing.  Redeeming a lost generation should be the focus.

It was too late for this young man, but if you want to do something in his memory, let it be to reach the others while there is still time.

My heart does go out to his family. Not because they were denied justice, I don’t think they were, but because they did not know how to reach their son with hope and no one was there to help. 

And now they are political pawns, being used in a way that will widen racial gulfs and make the problems for their youth even worse.

And those, as I noted above, are the comments of Tom Birch.   Got a comment to make?  This is your chance to share it now.

**  Colten Boushie was a young Indigenous man from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, in Saskatchewan


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