Friday, July 08, 2016

What We Can Learn From the Madness in America

The last thing I wanted to do was write about the violent horror show that is Crazy America.

Because I was so traumatized by the Orlando massacre, I've had trouble writing about ANYTHING. 

But with two more black men being shot dead, for nothing. 

And after this latest explosion of violence.

I feel I need to force myself to say something.

(1) Joe Walsh, a former Tea Party Congressman, should be arrested for sending out this tweet.

Charged with threatening the President and inciting a race war.

(2) Barrack Obama is right about this. 

“When people say black lives matter, that doesn’t mean blue lives don’t matter,” Mr. Obama said. “It just means all lives matter.” Still, he added, “The data shows black folks are more vulnerable to these kinds of incidents.

“People of good will can do better.”

And I can only imagine how frustrated and bitterly disappointed that great black President must feel, to see his time in office end with such an eruption of hatred and violence.

(3) With some of that violent madness starting to rear its ugly head in our country.

And with more death threats aimed at Justin Trudeau than I have ever seen aimed at any politician in this country...

I think it's time the police cracked down on those violent hate mongers before their threats inspire some crazy to actually try it. And turn our hopes for a better future to tragedy.

Oh yeah, and one more thing. You may have heard that Black Lives Matter (Toronto) wants to ban police officers from the Gay Pride parade.

But after what happened in Dallas last night, I think it's even more important to welcome them with open arms...

Because it's only by building bridges that we can make things better and safer for all of us.

As these Dallas police officers were trying to do a few hours before five of their colleagues were killed...

No justice no peace is the right message. 

But in this country ALL lives should matter.

Unity is better than division. 

And only by respecting and reaching out to each other in these very scary times.

Can we keep our beautiful Canada peaceful and safe...

Please click here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.  


  1. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Can't believe shit like this is happening on almost a daily basis now. Every other day there is some mass terrorist attack or shooting. I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better.


    1. hi MC...yes, the world does seem even crazier than usual these days. But we are still living in a relative oasis of sanity. So we've just got to stay cool and make sure that our values protect us...

  2. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Last photo is what I will keep in mind in coming days. Truly heart breaking news out of the US these past weeks.

    It just takes a few bad apples on both sides for things to escalate. I do worry about our PM and his family. These nut jobs just feed off of each other. Hoping the RCMP is keeping busy with security for all of our democratically elected representatives.

    I think that this also shows that Canada needs to keep fighting for our health care, education, and other social structures that differentiate us from the US. If you look at average police officer in Canada compared to US, I think you see a better educated, more fit, and high functioning individual.


    1. hi is a poignant photo, and it just another American tragedy. Its long history of racism, its celebration of violence, and all its guns have finally caught up with them. But yes, we need to focus on the positive, and do all we can to set a good example....

  3. Anonymous11:24 AM

    And the media refrain is ALWAYS "why, why why"? Perhaps ask "how, how, how"? The focus needs to be on how the weapons end up in the hands of the perpetrators.

    1. hi anon...yes, but the real problem is that everybody knows the answers to WHY and HOW? But there is just not enough political will to do anything about it, racism and economic inequality are a huge problem, and it must be said, Americans really love their guns. For how else can one explain that there are now enough guns for every man woman and child in the U.S? Or that there are now so many places where you can walk around in the street with a semi-automatic rifle slung casually over your shoulders. It's madness, nothing more than madness...

  4. Anonymous12:06 PM

    On February 5, 1981, 168 of Toronto's finest kicked down the doors four gay bathhouses and arrested 286 men. It was the largest mass arrest since the 1970 October Crisis. The cops publicized the names of those arrested, ruining the careers of many.

    The first Toronto Pride event was the protest marches that followed organized by Gay Liberation Against the Right Everywhere (GLARE) and the Right To Privacy Committee (RTPC). Note that the name of the main organizing group explicitly identifies the enemy as *THE RIGHT*. And who are the main enforcers of right-wing policies? That's right, the cops!

    There's no way in hell the first Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Committee considered inviting the cops to any of those early Pride Day events because the scars from police actions against the community were far too fresh. Well, the cops have since eased off on their beat-downs on middle-class, white cisgender gays and lesbians who now want social respectability and the corporate sponsorship and police floats that go with it.

    But the cops haven't stopped their beat-down of low-income queer and transgender people. Queer and trans people of colour are especially targeted for police abuse, arrests and surveillance, which is why #policeoutofpride is a phenomenon across North America. How about some solidarity with them for a change, instead of with the right wing's enforcers?

    1. hi anon...I don't share your view of the police. I've worked with them and other first responders and I've found many of them to be extremely decent Canadians. There are bad cops, and racist attitudes do persist in some. But the TPS has made positive moves to repair its long broken relationship with the LGBT community and they should be encouraged for doing that, instead of being banned for no good reason. I believe in the power of of justice, love, and inclusion. I believe in building bridges not blowing them up...

    2. Anonymous4:47 PM

      I also believe in the power of justice, love and inclusion. However, queer and trans people of colour say they are receiving messages from the police, and indeed from the dominant white, middle-class gay and lesbian Pride organizers, that their lives are less important than other lives. They are making us aware that they're being treated with injustice, hate and exclusion. So it becomes a cruel distortion of their reality to scold them for not being inclusive of their oppressors.

  5. When politicians apeal to our tribal nature, its a self fufuling prophecy. Overcoming our tribal nature should be the first goal of goverment, not reinforcing it.

    1. hi Steve...overcoming our tribal nature should be the first goal of humanity. For if we don't work together, this planet is truly doomed...

  6. e.a.f.11:58 PM

    The killing of black American men will continue until the courts start sending police officers to jail for doing it or their families are awarded such large settlements cities start to go broke.

    Police officers who are tried for killing black men are usually tried in areas where the jury will not be predominately black. If they were, they'd be in jail.

    the open carry law is only for white males. Men of colour get killed, even if they aren't a threat.

    I don't condon what the sniper did, but I sure understand where he was coming from. Much is being made of the 5 dead police officers. Now lets check how many black men have been killed by the Dallas police dept. and what was done about that?

    The hatred in the U.S.A. runs so deep, it will never be righted. The best we can hope for is the police stop because they will be sent to jail.

    of course we aren't off the hook either. Last nights news in Vancouver showed a video of 2 Sky Train cops beating the shit out of foot ball player, with their batons, on a skytrain platform. They didn't believe his I.D. was his. So it happens here to. One cop resigned, the other has a desk job at $90K a year. So the message is, you can beat another person and still keep your $90K a year job. Until the message changes, the tune will always be the same.

  7. To paraphrase a Presidential candidate...

    I'm with Him, aka you.

    Well written Simon, well written. Like you I was more than mildly traumatized by Orlando, and likely for a lot of the same reasons, especially since the night before I was out at a gay sauna enjoying my birthday, and for a solid weeks after Orlando my memories of that night were blended with an Orlando type incident happening there and then. I jerked awake out of nightmares so many times that week I lost count, and most of that week is fuzzy because of how bad and limited my sleep was. I've refrained from discussing it too much because of that effect, and I am not normally someone prone to such reactions to these mass murders, even when the targeting hits close to home. This one though, Orlando, I think because of the overlap with my birthday and my own activities, this one really hit hard.

    So I hear you on that on, and as for the rest of this week and what you said, I'm with you. I also agree with your disagreement with anonymous regarding the involvement of the police and Pride, and I AM old enough to remember the incident that person is talking about, and I still agree with you. I wouldn't have in the 80s, but that was a very different social time, and without legal protections for we LGBTQs, these days I agree we are far better off taking your approach than anonymous'.

    1. Anonymous6:04 PM

      Anon 12:06 here. I too love Simon's blog and look forward to his views. But on the involvement of police in Pride, I have to respectfully disagree.

      Scotian, you say you wouldn't have accepted police involvement in Pride in the '80s. Why is that? I'm willing to bet it's the same reason BLM(TO) is objecting to it now. Yes, times have changed for some of us, but until they change for all, I say we side with the oppressed.

    2. hi Scotian...yes it's hard to explain to our straight friends what Orlando meant to gay people, and how shocked we were by the massacre and the reaction that followed. When so many seemed to have so much trouble even calling it an act of homophobic violence. And one had to be at the parade to see the reaction it caused. Especially since ISIS had made threats to attack the parade. And although I tried to focus on the positive, after seeing the reaction in the media, and seeing so many progressives siding with BLMTO's selfish action, an daring to lecture gay people, I got really angry, which only contributed to my very deep depression. But it was a useful reminder that we can only count on ourselves, I'm slowly recovering, and on we go....

    3. hi anon...look I don't want to argue anymore, I can only tell you how me and all my gay friends felt about what happened. And all of us have fought racism as hard as we have fought homophobia. But as I've said, I like to see police officers, as well as paramedics, soldiers and firefighters in the parade because it not only sends out a powerful message of inclusion, it also tells gay kids that they can be anything they want. Which for a marginalized community is also very important....

  8. Anonymous12:13 PM

    We need to build a wall to because the old USA is self destructing faster than the Roman Empire, JK, still they are going down hill fast.

    1. hi Rae...I agree with you it is a very disturbing situation, but I think the wall that can best protect us is the wall of our Canadian values. If we preserve them the madness that is destroying America will not be able to hurt us...