Willful Ignorance

I can no longer remain willfully ignorant.
No longer can I close my eyes and see myself through rose colored glasses.
This week my country was again devastated; this time by the act of premeditated murder of a Muslim family.
A 9 year old boy is the sole survivor.
A 21 year old white male has been arrested and charged with 4 counts of first degree murder and one charge of attempted murder.
And all because they were not the same color?
Because they did not worship a white god?
Add in the fact that while getting items out the car one of my neighbors walked by followed shortly thereafter by a man wearing sunglasses carrying a knapsack.
I took note of him.
He was Indigenous.
I came into the apartment and put my groceries away internally interrogating myself.
Had I noticed him because he was new to the neighborhood and appeared to be following said neighbor or had I noticed because he was Indigenous?
Am I being overly sensitive with myself now?
I do not think so.
I have preconceived notions that were ingrained in me through childhood.
Through articles read.
Fear inducing.
And now I am working to overcome this.
I need to overcome this.
When I woke this morning one of the headlines I encountered had to do with the family I speak of in the beginning.
A video shared on Tik Tok and appearing to be taken from within a home near where the family was killed showing three individuals walking down the road and someone jokingly saying where is so and so when you need him. (I refuse to name an individual so evil and disgusting)
Followed by laughter.
I cannot even.
Children murdered and lives of families destroyed to ‘get the Indian out of them.’
A family murdered and the life of a 9 year old boy forever changed because someone was so afraid of their differences?
Nothing I write will make a difference.
Nothing I can say will make anything right.
But I cannot denounce the evil and abuses that are a part and parcel of the lives of others who are not the same color as me or worship a different god (I worship no god I suppose that makes me a target too) or live a different lifestyle if I am not willing to confront my own prejudices.
©June 12/21
Picture is my own

Naive I am

My weekend off.
What time do you think that I slept until?
How doe 5:15 a..m. without the alarm sound to you?
Because that is the time I woke up naturally.
Made my coffee and unloaded the dishwasher.
Put away the bigger items that had to be hand washed last night.
Poured my coffee and sat down on the couch.
My intent was to check the headlines and settle in to read blogs before starting the day.
That was at about 5:30.
An hour later and in need of another cup of coffee I finally put my phone down.
I read headlines and stories that are of interest to me.
I follow various stories from one writer to the next each with conflicting ideologies on the same subject.
Each one colored by the author’s own world view point.
One headline is detailing the horrors that the Palestinians are going through.
The next is decrying the deaths in Israel.
One headline that I almost missed and a story that showed me my own preconceived notions of people.
As I was scrolling I stopped to read the partial blurb on a story and underneath was the picture of the next story.
Just the picture.
She is a beautiful woman with long blonde hair.
And I thought ‘ugh another story about a beautiful woman leading a life no one else can attain to’.
Yup.
The second time I scrolled down I actually went to the headline.
Which lead me into the story.
The beautiful woman is Michelle Latimer.
An Indigenous Film Maker/Actress and Canadian.
I read the  article with growing outrage.
A) She does not look Indigenous.
-well hell my ex’s nephew who is 1/2 Indigenous takes after the ex’s family.
Blonde and blue eyed.
You would never look at this young man and think that he was Indigenous.
B) She has become very successful.
C) One of the reporters who dug into her called her a ‘pretendian’.
(C really has no bearing other than that it is an appalling designation to attack someone with)
First comes my own bias.
I saw a beautiful blonde woman and I thought it was another airhead fluff piece.
I am ashamed that that was my first thought.
That if I had not scrolled further down and seen the headline I never would have read the story attached to it.
So here I come and my world view of myself gets knocked over.
This beautiful successful Ingenious woman is being torn apart for her oral family histories.
Oral histories that are to be considered on equal footing as written histories.
In this article there is also reference to Kent Monkman.
He is a Canadian First Nations artist of Cree ancestry.
He is a member of the Fisher River band situated in Manitoba’s Interlake Region.
Ha he is from my own province and how ashamed am I that this is the first that I have heard of him.
His work has been seen in the Great Hall of the Met Museum of Art in New York.
And in an article written at that time he was accused of being trite.
Pandering.
I mean that is what I took out of it when I read what the author of the article had written.
I have never been a fan of the big named Canadian authors.
The few that have made it to the limelight and beyond.
Truth be told I cannot read what they have written.
Too literary?
Too pretentious?
I like a story that I can sink my teeth into.
And there are many a Canadian author out there that I have read and loved who are little known other than to their faithful readers.
All in all this morning has been an awakening of sorts for me.
The behaviour that I have been quick to point out in other countries that bothers me is happening right here in my own backyard.
The fact that I have been aware and yet still so ignorant on the matter.
The fact that I have my own set of biases which leads me to dismiss articles that are lead with pictures of beautiful women.
When did I begin to think that they would have nothing worthwhile to say or produce?
Quite an awakening on day 301 of being sober.
The article that I was reading was written by Jonathan Kay and posted on the nationalpost.com.
Jonathan Kay: The Cancellation of Michelle Latimer has become (another) disgrace to the CBC.
As well if you do a Google search of Michelle Latimer that is the first story that pops up.
My information regarding Kent Monkman was copied directly from the info blurb you get on the side when you google someone famous.
©May 15/21
Picture is my own
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