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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

WUN FEATHER -- Just because Justin Trudeau says us Canadians are racist, does not make it so. When people like him say stuff like that, the rest of us know he is a liar

I can't keep quiet about what I read yesterday on a Facebook group.


Because I spent a great deal of my youth in the central interior of BC, I pay attention to the Prince George, Fraser Lake, Fort Fraser and Vanderhoof, BC, Facebook pages.

Yesterday I read a comment that made my blood boil; someone said ... "Vanderhoof is still racist"


The way they said it made it sound like all the people there are bigots and racists.

I have reached the brink of my endurance when it comes to generalizations like that one. Way too many people speak matter-of- factly about groups of people, or communities, or sectors of society, and they lump them all in as one.


I have lost track of the number of times that I have heard the following:

 

"Indians are drunks" ... "Cops are corrupt" ... "The RCMP treats brown people bad" ... "Muslims are terrorists" ... “White people are trash"

And the list goes on and on.

When it comes to discrimination, people have asked me what I do to fight it. Well, the very least I can do is speak up about it whenever I am given the chance. Yesterday, when I heard that Vanderhoof is racist, I almost blew a gasket. Back in the old days there were definitely a few people who had issues with us Indians, but there is no way that I can say the whole region was racist.


I became very close to a couple of families who had immigrated from the southern United States. My own daughters’ grandparents had strapped all their belongings to horse drawn buggies and rickety old trucks, and made their way to the land of opportunity.


I can remember when I first met old George and Anne Millard on their ranch, the old timer gave me the second degree. I thought he was training to be another Sigmund Freud the way he pumped me for information. But he and the majority of his family always treated me with the deepest respect.


I won't stand idly by and let someone say that the village is racist. That would mean my children's own aunts and uncles and grandparents discriminate against them!


Okay, so maybe one or two did not like me, but I bet it has nothing to do with me being an Indian guy. And I must admit that there were a couple who were bigots, but I think that they have passed on.


My point is that we need to stop saying stuff like that. Just because Justin Trudeau says us Canadians are racist, does not make it so. When people like him say stuff like that, the rest of us know he is a liar.


Racism and bigotry are real, and it is still a major issue, but I know that if I take the thousands of friends I have, not one of them admits to being racist. I bet if I conducted a survey of all my Facebook friends, and asked them if they were racist, they would say no ... and I think most of them are being truthful.


So, what we need to is start calling out the people who have those tendencies. The same thing applies to crooked police officers, politicians, and people who hold influential positions in our society.


Let's stand up for the people who are honorable, and root out the ones who are not.


That is the only way we can end systemic racism, and this situation we are in right now.


And I will continue to stand up for my friends ... that's the least I can do for you.


Feel free to let me know if I am wrong about this -- I have an open mind. Or maybe Justin Trudeau is right when he says Canadians are racist?  It would be nice to know so I can give them shit.

 

 

About Wun Feather ... I am one of the last of my generation to have actually attended residential and Indian day schools. I have lived on and off reserve, and have seen the benefits and the hardships of my people in both situations.

My parents taught me that any time I fell down physically, or emotionally, I just needed to pick myself up, shake myself off, and continue in a forward direction. So, I cannot claim that I did it on my own; I had great Elders.

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