Sunday, August 21, 2016
Racism or a realistic perception of danger?
A farmer in Saskatchewan lives near a "First Nations" (Canadian Indian) settlement and there has been a great deal of crime among the Indians concerned. So when he saw a carload of Indians driving onto his farm, he fired first and asked questions later. He was probably too impulsive but if you were in fear of being violently attacked, you might shoot first too.
The shooting was undoubtedly based on a perception of racial differences but it was also a realistic perception of racial differences. So are we here dealing with realism rather than racism in any other sense?
That the farmer has been charged with murder has enraged many Saskatchewan whites who think he acted reasonably in self defence. They back up that belief with many critical comments about Indians which justify the farmer's fear. Are such comments "hate speech" or are they a reasonable comment on real differences? A bit of both, perhaps
Comments like “He should have shot all five of them (and) be given a medal” and “his only mistake was leaving three witnesses.” undoubtedly express hate but what has provoked that hate? Two things mainly, dysfunctional Indian behaviour and coddling of Indians by the government.
Government favoritism is undoubtedly a great way to poison white attitudes to Indians. Racism begets racism. A new system in which Indians and whites are treated equally would undoubtedly do much to defuse tensions. A perception of injustice would be removed and a perception of injustice is almost always a great source of anger. But such a reform will not happen while Pretty Boy runs Canada. Odd how Leftists are great preachers of equality but are in fact major sources of unequal treatment. Wouldn't it be great if Leftists had some real principles that they stuck by?
Much has been said and written in recent days about racism following the shooting death of a young man on the Northwestern Saskatchewan farm of Gerald Stanley, who stands charged with murder.
What happened that day to 22-year-old Colten Boushie was tragic; for his family, loved ones and community it is an unimaginable loss.
Racism against aboriginal people in this province is very real. It is part of a long and sad chapter of our history and culture.
As recently as the late 1990s, an interesting analysis of this was undertaken by Mr. Justice Ron Barclay of the Court of Queen’s Bench when asked to rule that prospective jurors in a murder trial could be questioned on their perceptions of an aboriginal accused.
He wrote: “Widespread anti-aboriginal racism is a grim reality in Canada and in Saskatchewan. It exists openly and blatantly in attitudes and actions of individuals.
“It exists privately in the fears, in the prejudices and stereotypes held by many people and it exists in our institutions. Furthermore, examination of racism as it impacts specifically on aboriginal people suggests they are prime victims of racial prejudice.”
What possessed a landowner to allegedly pull out a loaded gun? All the self-defence laws in the world will not excuse the use of lethal force for trespassing on land.
The context of life in rural Saskatchewan will be considered, where increasingly vandalism, thefts and occasionally grotesque acts of violence befall some farm families that are alone and living miles away from help.
The area around Colten’s hometown of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation is particularly notorious.
It is where the execution-style slaying of two men happened on a nearby farm in 1994; recently stolen cars from Wilkie appear on Red Pheasant; in 2005, a family at Cando, fed up after eight attacks in a year, said they were being driven off their farm after two Red Pheasant men and several youths trashed their farm, set vehicles ablaze and looted their house.
Racism happens when someone becomes a target not for what they did but for what they look like, or, in this case, where they live. The death of young Colten Boushie, in the wrong place at the wrong time, deserves answers.
There are many facts yet to be revealed. Allowing the courts, the rule of law and justice to prevail is the correct first step.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).