Saturday, June 30, 2007
The Day of Action and Canada's Invisible People
I was so happy to see that the National Day of Action unfolded peacefully. I was so proud of our First Nations people. Because after everything we've done to them, it just shows again how great and beautiful they are.
I know some people were inconvenienced and that brought out the racist rats.
But as for me....I just wish MORE Canadians had been inconvenienced....or had joined in the Day of Action.
Not just because it would have reminded more people that a National Disgrace is EVERYONE'S problem.
Or because what's a day of inconvenience a year compared to 365 days of suffering.... bad water, hunger and teenage suicide?
But also because in a country as rich and fat as Canada raising a little shit is sometimes the only way the poorest and most oppressed and most desperate of Canadians can hope to get any ATTENTION.
Deseronto was just one of hundreds of events across the country. But it got ALL the TV airtime because they closed a highway and a railway track....so it was a BIG STORY ...so more Canadians noticed.
So at least for one day more Canadians couldn't shove the National Disgrace out of sight and out of mind.
So at least for one day the First Nations people weren't the Invisible People of Canada. Like these other poor and desperate Canadians...
They are everywhere in Canada. Every year there seem to be more of them. But we don't seem to see them anymore. Or don't seem to care...
Even though homelessness in Canada is now a chronic problem.
Canada's homeless population is somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 people, while another 1.7 million residents struggle with "housing affordability issues," says an analysis of the latest research on shelter.
Bad for them. Bad for EVERYONE.
"The high cost of homelessness in Canada results from the role of homelessness as a proven multiplier of societal ills: malnutrition, unemployment, addiction, mental illness, family strife and lack of income security are all intensified when an individual or household becomes homeless..."
But because so many homeless Canadians are too poor and desperate or ill to fight back...because they have no political clout...because they don't raise shit.... Canadians can easily put THAT National Disgrace out of mind....if not out of sight...
Pretend they just don't see them...or if they do just shrug their shoulders and walk on. Or pretend it's somebody else's problem...as they hurry back to their comfortable homes...
The sad truth is that because not enough Canadians care enough about the problems faced by First Nations people and the homeless, to force our politicians to take immediate and emergency action, both human tragedies just keep getting worse and worse.
Even if so many of us can't seem to see them...or don't want to...
Until that changes NOTHING will change.
On the eve of Canada Day I still think this country is the most beautiful country on earth. But until those two national disgraces are history...until those ugly and shameful stains on the Maple Leaf are removed.
For me Canada won't be beautiful enough.
So if it takes more Days of Action to shake things up....
For me they can't come soon enough...