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Phil's rants are in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Click on one of those languages above to see the latest rant.
March Rant from Jonny
My partner Amanda recently attended an Indigenous Forum at the Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria. On her way inside, two separate people, both total strangers to Amanda and likely to each other as well, one a young woman in what looked to be her early twenties, the other a forty-something man, showed racial hostility.
With separate actions (one pretended to be about to spit on her, the other made a western movie style "Indian call") these two white people spontaneously and separately transmitted some hate to Amanda, who is visibly and rather unequivocally Native-looking.
Maybe they were drunk and silly, and didn't mean it in a bad way. At 9AM on a weekday, not likely. Although they probably didn't know it, these two were acting out the hatred upon which the governing system of Canada was founded. Transmitted via culture to each new generation, hatred of Native people is still there to find in random places every day.
Amanda's morning reminded her that despite official pretenses at including a few Native Canadians in the Olympics held nearby, despite last year's official apology for endemic residential school atrocities including the widely acknowledged 50% death rate, to be visibly Native in Canada still marks one as "fair game."
February Rant from Jonny
Brothers and sisters, the handful of rich people at the top only want one thing; everything! The world needs community empowerment more than ever, we need to be strong enough to hold on to and expand/improve our public institutions and our well-being.
I am a part-time cabdriver, and this job plus my love for conversation have alerted me to some amazing people in the cab. I have discussed the 1983 US invasion of Grenada with a Grenadian who survived it, and also with a British government agent who participated.
The cab offers me great opportunity to interact with people in a natural and relaxed way, and learn their stories. What sociologist call "deep qualitative interview" happens quite naturally on a long trip to the airport.
"What an interesting accent" uncovers the national origins, and works much better than "Where are you from." The second question sets off alarms, cuz it can be interpreted as another challenge or attack like the ones from xenophobes, racists and national chauvinists.
Happy February, all.
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Community Empowerment Collective