Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mildred or whatever her name was

Christian crusaders throwing heads of Muslims over ramparts

I told myself last night that my last post for 2009 must be positive. No more Debbie Downer. But then I didn't expect to turn on the radio and listen to The Current on cbc, like I often do, only to hear a racist rant. I listen to The Current, one of the few shows in Canada that actually addresses racism, not expecting to hear racism. The commentator, Kevin Sylvester, who was filling in for Anna Maria Tremonti, was highlighting some of the listener responses to an earlier show on racial profiling. Supposedly this removes him from commenting on the comments?

An old white woman from Calgary had phoned in. Her name may have been Myrtle or Mildred. Her voice was shrill. Her message was to bring racial profiling on. In fact, she repeated it a few times in a loud voice, Bring it on! Bring it on! Bring it on! Bring racial profiling on! Old white women or old men with white hair don't threaten to blow up planes, she reasoned, so why should we be racially profiled? Profile those with brown faces.

The guist of her message was that it is ok to racially profile brown skinned people and those with Muslim sounding names. Her rant came on right after another commenter, Muslim Canadian Tarek Fatah, one of the most conflicted Muslim Canadians who always gets put into the spotlight as spokesman yet who, as Wahida Valiante, vice-chair and national vice-president of the Canadian Islamic Congress (which Fatah founded), told the Globe and Mail, "Tarek Fatah's views are diametrically opposed to most Muslims." So, what did Fatah have to say about racial profiling? He commented favorably on yes! racial profiling of Muslims and brown skinned people. I'm all for it.

How pathetic. The authentic Other speaks the neocolonial message. What could be better than that? What could be better for bolstering racism than the brown skinned supporting it themselves?

On the last day of the year, on the last day of the decade, this is what I had to hear? Support for racial profiling? Blatant ignorant racism on so-called progressive Canadian radio? The depths of racism and ignorance that Canadians have sunk into shows no end in sight; indeed, racism is increasing and ignorance is getting louder and more confident. Well, why not?

Why not the average Canadian spout racism when government representatives and media lead the way? We have government officials who out-and-out support racial profiling of groups -- the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Kenney, leading the pack, no less, as well as a Prime Minister who favors the exclusive racism of Israel, war on poor brown-skinned people in Afghanistan, denies the there was ever colonialism in Canada (hence wiping out the historical state oppression and dispossession of Indigenous peoples and its continuance) among other human rights injustices.

Mildred or Myrtle, you should be reminded that while it is true that old white ladies and old white men with white hair are not threatening to blow up planes, it is old white men with white hair and white ladies who went into the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, India, North America, South America, Central America, Australia and on and on to exploit, steal, rape, plunder, kill, pillage, maim, and destroy communities, peoples, animals, and habitats in the name of God and imperialism and civilization.

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