Covid Journal, June 2, 2021
Today is the day that we’re supposed to see fewer restrictions on life in Ontario.
Let’s see how that works out. I’m OK with continued vigilance, balanced with respect for people’s right to movement and reasonable levels of gathering.
I’m trying to digest a number ofstories that came out this week. Thankfully, none of them were directly related to Covid.
Unfortunately, they continue to remind us that we have a LOT of work to do to repair and remediate our past treatment of people.
Racism: #215 in Kamloops
How many more?
There are an estimated 150 additional residential schools across Canada.
How many other schools have mass graves like that found in Kamloops?
Roman Catholic, Anglican, United, Methodist and Presbyterian churches were the major denominations involved in the administration of the residential school system, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
About 70% of the genocidal attempts rest on the shoulders of the Catholics.
Sadly, the Catholic Church continues to live in denial of the crimes they’ve committed, while the other organizations have issued formal apologies.
Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has warned Canadians to expect many more graves and sites to be revealed as we unearth the horrible and wretched past brought to us by organized religion. His calls to have funding to support additional work were rejected.
Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), said the commission asked the federal government to allow it to conduct a fuller inquiry after hearing stories from residential school survivors that “proved to be horrendous.”
“We submitted a proposal, as it was not within the mandate of the TRC, and that request was denied,” he said in a statement. “So largely we did what we could, but it was not anywhere near what we needed to investigate. Now we are seeing evidence of the large number of children who died.
“We know there are lots of sites similar to Kamloops that are going to come to light in the future. We need to begin to prepare ourselves for that.”
Folks, the time has come to #TaxTheChurch.
I’m just an average guy that feels pretty helpless about the whole situation, but I know that hitting them in the pocket books will be the only way we’ll ever see any action out of them.
If the Catholics want to keep a presence in Canada, they’re going to have to atone for their sins.
Should they refuse, we can up the ante, particularly by expropriating their property. We could even go further and give that land to the First Nations peoples of Canada, giving them the right to decide what to do with the schools, churches and other buildings and property. It would be a massive shift in wealth in Canada and it’s about time.
I would personally vote for anyone that pursued this on a political level.
NWAC was among 19 Indigenous organizations involved with the development of a national action plan to address violence against Indigenous women and girls.
NWAC said it will not be a signatory on the document, calling the process flawed.
Whitman said they were “shut out of the major decision-making processes,” were denied a seat on key working groups that provide input on the plan, and were subjected to lateral violence, rude comments and hostile email exchanges on committees where they were permitted.
“We could no longer be part of a process that was so toxic and dysfunctional,” said Whitman.
“Although other organizations were supported financially to carry out the work and to meaningfully participate in the action plan process, NWAC was not, despite the fact ending the violence against Indigenous women is central to NWAC’s mandate and the fact that we have been the leading voice on this issue for decades.
“We were an afterthought and perhaps an unwelcome intruder in the government’s process.”
I don’t know how the Liberals could screw this up any more than they have already, but they have a small window to repair the damage that they’re doing and start helping our First Nations peoples address their challenges (most of which we’ve created for them).
NOTE: if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the news about the residential schools, there are resources available:
The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line at 1-866 925-4419.
Within British Columbia, the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis toll-free line 24/7 at 1-800-588-8717 or online at kuu-uscrisisline.com.
Racism: 100th Anniversary of Bombing of Tulsa
I’m ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t really know much about the bombing of Tulsa until it was brought to my attention by the TV show The Watchmen.
That was just a couple of years ago.
Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the bombing of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s ‘Black Wall Street’, an area that was perceived as a threat to white capitalism.
The creation of the powerful black community known as Black Wall Street was intentional. “In 1906, O.W. Gurley, a wealthy African-American from Arkansas, moved to Tulsa and purchased over 40 acres of land that he made sure was only sold to other African-Americans,” writes Christina Montford in the Atlanta Black Star. Gurley provided an opportunity for those migrating “from the harsh oppression of Mississippi.” The average income of black families in the area exceeded “what minimum wage is today.” As a result of segregation, a “dollar circulated 36 to 100 times” and remained in Greenwood “almost a year before leaving.” Even more impressive, at that time, the “state of Oklahoma had only two airports,” yet “six black families owned their own planes.”
Success was abounds and a community was thriving.
Until it was destroyed by the American military.
“the evidence does indicate that some form of aerial bombardment took place in Tulsa on the morning of June 1, 1921 — thus making Tulsa, in all probability, the first U.S. city bombed from the air.”
THIRTY-FIVE city blocks were destroyed, at least 300 people were killed and at least 800 people were injured.
Nine thousand people became homeless in an instant.
President Joseph Biden was the FIRST president to commemorate the Tulsa bombing and to have made apologies to the black community.
Healing requires steps. Let’s hope his acknowledgement was the first of many to come.
More about the massacre can be found here: