The Dashing Chronicles: Is Dirk on the Right Planet?
- Winston McLean | June 10, 2018
You might think race relations are getting better or worse in Saskatchewan. I’m here to add to the confusion.
First up, the Dirk worries for a certain celebrated Saskatchewan radio personality. To protect his identity we will call him J. Gormley. No, that’s too revealing. We’ll call him John G. Yes, that will work perfect.
Dirk is not worried for John G’s soul. This guy is a Christian, or a Muslim, so he’ll not go to hell, but to that other place. Cupar.
No, I worry for his well being, for I fear the antics of a certain population in this province are giving him…issues.
He has a tough job. To stay relevant, he reads the mood of his constituency – a constituency that has hardened opinions of a certain population in this province.
So far, he has been up to the challenge.
Consider his deft handling of the murder of a dreaded Indian. Celebrated radio personality verbally stickhandled around the truth, and like a champion he cherry picked facts to embed the dead firmly in the role of villain, and the murderer as righteous.
Of course, his constituency agreed. And there is a certain satisfaction that comes when ones’ half-assed pronouncements are validated.
I wouldn’t know. When I make lofty statements I tend to make them whole-assed.
Second, we have the “joke” at a recent country music show.
For the Humboldt Broncos benefit the organizers hired a comedy duo, The Indian and the White Guy. All is well until the dynamic duo whip this gem from their back pocket: “Shake it from the river, shake it from the trees, shake it for the Indian with STD’s.”
Now you might think, “THIS is outrageous! How can entertainers rely on stereotypes to reinforce ugly perceptions of an entire population? Using racism for a cheap laugh?”
Apparently, concert goers went bananas with laughter. I have taste in music, so I wasn’t there.
Even better? Part of the comedy duo was an Indian! They’re doing it to themselves, just like that Chief in B.C. who revels in playing to the mainstreams’ perceptions and stereotypes. Laughing at Indians is fun.
The third thing that had me wondering if I was on the right planet concerns the Pope’s refusal to apologize for the residential schools. It seemed a no-brainer.
On the one hand, Matthew 18:5-6 says “And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of them to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
On the other hand, we got no sea on the prairies, so no worries there.
On the third hand, apparently Jesus said, “Yea, go out to the hinterland and reap artworks, land and sculptures, and there will be a thing called FacePlace. Hoard these investments, ‘cause I dig the gold!”
Some will say, but the Catholic church did apologize. And it did issue a statement of regret and sorrow, like, “Hey, sorry things went down back there, but we’re not sorry, so, yeah. We good now?”
And finally, we have that tormented black kid in Balgonie who took his life after being bullied and teased for being black. When the kid stood up for himself the RCMP bravely stepped in to arrest him because bullying classmates must be kept safe and snug.
The message seems to be, don’t you dare interrupt other kids from having their fun. Congrats Balgonie.
Now I am sure Balgonians are hoping this issue goes away. It doesn’t look good and its making people have uncomfortable conversations. It’s inconvenient as hell.
Clearly, we have work to do in this province, and this country. You’re damn right its inconvenient, awkward, and there are those who will defend their privileged positions to have their fun and sense of peace.
Thankfully I happen to know the majority in the mainstream realizes this and they are wanting to take up the challenge. As allies.
Dirk says, “This is the tame version of what I originally had in mind.”