Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Racial profiling, stereotyping, and labeling

I grew up in what the news has been reporting as Montreal's North end. In fact it's called Montreal-North - but technically it's a north-east chunk of Montreal. I went to school right around the block from Henri-Bourassa park. It's also right around the corner from where I had my ballet lessons.

I saw the event reported as a problem in Montreal's Haitian neighborhood. I wonder how long someone has to reside in a country before his ethnic background no longer becomes an issue?

When I was a child in the early 60's living in Montreal-North, I had neighbors from Haitian background. How long is it before they are considered Canadians or Quebequers? Forty years? Fifty years? Montreal-North when I was a kid, was a mix of French, Italian and Haitian backgrounds. I doubt it's character has changed all that much.

When are law enforcement officers going to stop stereotyping people by a quick glance? Just because you're not white and French speaking doesn't mean you're up to no good.

You know to this day, I have never been stopped by police for no reason when I am alone in my car or with my daughters. Of course I'm alabaster white, all year round and I speak "de Joual" perfectly.

However while I was dating this half-Mohawk feller, we got stopped at least 3 or 4 times for 'verification'. They would ask my bf for his papers because he had long hair and looked very native. Usually upon reading his name [a very pure-laine name I might add - you know like Tremblay or Duplessis] on his driver's license, they would let us go. But sometimes it was tense.

He's not the only person I've been subjected to verifications with....

As for the riot, it's sad that whenever enough people accumulate with emotion, it turns into a riot with looting and violence. Usually it's over winning or losing the Stanley cup... but I suppose any excuse to cause violence and unrest for some groups is a good thing.

It's sad when the people who are paid to protect us end up harming us. Or in this case an 18 year old boy. There are laws in most suburbs of Montreal that prohibits being in parks between 11pm and 6am. Or something to that effect. However during the hot summer months when school is out, where do the teens hang out? Traditionally in parks... The younger kids use parks in the daytime, the older kids in the evening. If we aren't providing safe places for our teens to be able to hang out then we are failing as a society.

Often those good kids who fall through the cracks are from single parent homes, who have to take jobs in the evening or night, to pay bills. Leaves teens with no adult supervision We need youth centers where they can go hang out, and stay out of parks, streets, trouble and avoid getting shot at in general.

Stereotyping of people based on race, religion & nationality should stop. Just because you live in a 'poorer' neighborhood doesn't mean that you adhere to lower moral standards either. Same applies for having a different religion or no religion. Just because you follow the teachings of prophet XYZ doesn't mean that you practice what you preach. So spare me your speeches your moral righteousness, and indignation.

Montreal is a great city to live in and I love it's multi-cultural aspects. I love the fact you can find someone from just about any nationality in Montreal. I would really hate it if it got so ghettoized, that you couldn't do that anymore.

Let's hope that something good comes out of this... though it will never bring back Freddy, may he rest in peace.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Attention Whores, all of them, I tell ya!

What is wrong with those people? Their idea of a fun week-end is protesting funerals. I mean are their lives so boring and lacking of excitement that they plan trips to protest funerals...

The big problem I have with fundamentalist Christians is that they don't follow the word of Christ. No where does Jesus ever say to picket funerals. Jesus carried a message of love and tolerance. Something the people from the Westboro Baptist Church should perhaps consider.

What did Tim McClean ever do to them? He was some poor sap at the wrong place that the wrong time who got killed and beheaded in a greyhound bus by some crazy dude. And somehow this bears picketing? Oh right! Because we Canadians are a bunch of immoral people.

With some people it comes down to one thing, they hate anyone who aren't them. If you aren't with them, then you obviously are against them. Their view of the world is so narrow minded that it doesn't include having the choice of your own opinions.

Personally I like The adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Highly entertaining film. Any man who feels uncomfortable with this movie, isn't the type of man to hang out with me. In fact my girlfriend and I like watching this movie with the men in our lives to ensure that we didn't chose close-minded jerks. :)

Perhaps we should all send the Westboro Baptists copies of this movie :)