Dear Humans, Knock it off

In yesterday’s post I wrote about the racism that I have had to deal with in my life.

Today I came across a post talking about Muslims. The writer says we must take a radical approach to our safety. He has in just a few paragraphs, tainted every Muslim man woman and child with the same tarred brush. I couldn’t be more ashamed, as a human, a woman, a Canadian.

Years ago in high-school one of my teachers was talking about how proud we should be to be Canadian. I smiled softly and quietly admitted that I was not in fact of being Canadian. Why should I be? I was at the time seventeen, I hadn’t done anything to be proud of. I also didn’t have a clear reason for why I wasn’t proud I just didn’t in my heart feel proud of my country.

People in my class were incensed. Had we not been a part of the saving Slaves from America? Had we not fought hard for England and won our freedom? I countered by quietly saying, “Did we as a Canadian people not bear the sins of our fathers who had destroyed an entire culture for years to come?”

When I first moved to British Columbia I will never forget being taken on a tour of Sands Jr High school. One of the girls leading the tour told me “Don’t hang out with the brown kids, their just…just stay away from them. They’re so gross.” I looked at her with a raised brow and replied, “I’m brown.” “Yes, but you’re black, so you are the right kind of brown.”

I didn’t make any friends that first year in that school. It was the most awful thing I’d ever heard anyone say. It was also the most shaming. I did choose to make friends with one of the “brown” kids. Turns out she wasn’t allowed to be my friend, because her family didn’t like talking to people outside her culture.

I can’t quite remember her name, but I have never forgotten her. I never forgot how sad it made me to know that because her father saw us walking her home from school she was immediately pulled out of our school.

To this day I wonder what happened to her.

Several years later as an adult a Muslim family moved into my apartment building. In our building sometimes people leave clothes or extra groceries out by the front door for those that might need them.

I remember seeing the mother grab a jar of peanut butter off the give away counter and because I had connections to the food bank I started bringing food home and leaving it in front of their door. I would knock quietly and leave, because I didn’t want to embarrass them. They moved out in the middle of the night, never to be seen or heard from again.

I don’t know what they were running or hiding from, they were clearly hiding however. Only at night did they leave the house, they had no friends, the manager at the time said they didn’t even have any furniture. They had nothing, the children were terrified of people, and when on the rare occasion I would try to say hello to the mother she could never meet my eye.

The author of this post,  claims that Muslims were hiding terrorists in Paris and in Belgium. I don’t remember reading anything about that. If that’s true I can certainly understand why. Imagine if you would for a moment a man or woman who is willing to blow up an entire city. Imagine for a moment if you would what you might do to protect yourself or your family if you know you have no escape?

I’m not saying I understand those willing to kill an entire city for their radical beliefs, no fuck you. If you choose hatred and death over life and death then you deserve what you get. However we must as human beings stop blaming victims.

I have never been held at gunpoint. I do however remember sitting on the skytrain next to a man that I knew was a terrorist.

I looked at this very friendly looking Indian man and out of the corner of my eye I happened to notice his computer. At first I thought he was playing a game, I quickly noticed the words “missiles and delivery” and knew instantly in my soul, he was not playing a video game.

I told a skytrain officer who thought I was nuts. At the time I was working at the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, I told my co-workers who also thought I might be crazy. Sure enough the next day in the 24 hours news paper I happened to catch a three or four word blurb talking about a man who’d been arrested on a skytrain on suspicion of terrorism.

I think about that every day. Who was that man? What happened to him? Was he actually a terrorist? I cannot tell you if he was Muslim or Seik or French because I didn’t stick around to ask questions. It was not long after 9/11 and the terror was real. I admit I was afraid.

I wonder sometimes what we as Canadians would do if a domestic attack hit our country. How would we survive? Would we survive? What if that man had decided to blow up the train that day, how would I have reacted?

I remember once walking towards work, for some reason rather than take the same route I took every single day for nearly ten years I took a different route, no idea why just did. Turns out one of the banks on my usual routs was being robbed at that very moment at gunpoint.

What would I do in that situation? I honestly have no idea. I think about these things because I get so angry when people point the finger at others. When we can look at an entire race or culture or nationality and say “you you you it’s all your fault”.

Do you remember San Bernadino California?

I do. I remember watching as an entire city was shut down scared and terrorized. People afraid to leave their homes. An entire office of people destroyed in a matter of moments.

Wafah Dufour is a 36 year old woman who was born in Los Angelas California. She’s a singer, a song writer and a socialite. You’ve probably heard of her and have no idea why.

It was her dream to be a famous singer, however she will never achieve that goal. She will never be the next famous singer that all young girls get the chance to look up to. Her dream no matter how hard she works will never be achievable. Not because she is not talented, not because she isn’t beautiful or because she doesn’t deserve to have her dreams come true.

She is the niece of Osama Bin Laden.

I live in Surrey, B.C. When police officers look up my name it will say “Gang Affiliated” Even though I am not in a gang, and have never been charged, arrested or put in jail.

I live in a town filled with people who sell drugs and carry guns. It doesn’t matter that I do not. When I go out to my favorite club and sit at a table next to my friends there are under cover police watching.

I’ve been followed from protests, I have been followed around 420, either because I am black or because I have friends from all walks of life.

I don’t personally know a long of “Gangsters” these days. I do know people who know people who know people who know people…etc. Forever after for the rest of my life I will be considered “Gang Affiliated”.

I once started seeing a biker, it wasn’t serious but because he owned a motorcycle (That he never drove with me because winter) My family was terrified. As soon as I said he owned a Harley friends and family jumped to the conclusion that he must be a member of the Hell’s Angels. To the best of my knowledge, he was just a guy who owned a motorcycle.

I think I’ve given enough examples here. Our Country is indeed beautiful and yes we have come a long way but the moment we decide that we are going to judge a person based on their race or who they might be associated to however tenuous that association must be, we fail as a society. We’ve proven that for thousands of years, when the fuck will we begin to understand that hate does not create it destroys?

What makes me even more angry about that post is that it is written by someone who claims to be a “True Shamen”. As a Witch I find that so fucking offensive.

Shamanism is about healing. It’s about entering an altered state of being – entering into a place of light and love and beauty, as well as dark. I once had a teacher who claimed I had the ability to  become a great Shamen one day.

I said no. I wasn’t interested. A Shamen must see the balance in all things, light and dark – at that point in my life I was far too much in the dark to be able to see the light. It is a process of growth. It takes years to become a Shamen, most do not take the title until well into their Elder years.

I don’t want to create a blog war, and I’ve probably done that but I don’t really care.

I have so many beautiful wonderful friends that are Muslim, Witch, Druid, Shamen, Seik.

I don’t talk to my friends on a regular basis I am after all a hermit but for Goddess Sake I appriciate you, I LOVE you, I cherish you.

In all your wonderful creeds, nationalities, orientations, sizes, colors…I love you.

My favorite quote of all time comes from quite possibly one of the most annoying movies of all time but it stands true and I will end my rant with this.

“I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie”
― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

I love you. I will never stop loving you, no matter who you are.

With all of mine, to you and yours,