Tuesday, June 02, 2020

What do you say at a time like this?

by Rick Blechta

Last Thursday, I already began thinking about what I would write for this week’s post. As the weekend progressed I realized it could not be “business as usual” for me at Type M. We try to keep our pages as apolitical as possible because that’s not why we’re here, but I think recent developments have to override that mandate. I cannot remain silent.

For the record, I was born in the United States, moved to Canada for university, and basically never returned home. My wife and I have now lived in Canada for more than two thirds of our lives, and are also Canadian citizens. For all intents and purposes, we are Canadians. But for several reasons, we also remained Americans.

It is simply overwhelming for me to observe the convulsions sweeping the US. I’m not going to lie: I now fear what I’m watching is the death of that country. Will the United States of America disappear? No. But it is going to change. It has to change. Things can no longer remain the same. It might be for the better, but it also might be for the worse.

America has been hit by a pandemic which is taking a huge toll in illness, misery, and death. With that came an economic downturn only seen once before in its history. The effects of both only seem to be getting worse as the weeks pass.

However, every other country on the planet is currently facing similar challenges, some handling it better than others.

Then a week ago Monday, the US’s dirty history of racial injustice boiled over again in the most horrible way imaginable: a black man slowly murdered by a white policeman live and in living colour right on our TV screens and devices. The actor Will Smith perhaps said it best: “Racism is not getting worse. It’s getting filmed.”

What can be done? I wish there was a clear answer to that. The leadership of the country is pulling in two different directions making things worse, not better — with no end in sight. For anyone living out of the country, regardless whether a US citizen or not, comes the knowledge that demonstrating against racial inequality in the US will be blown off by the administration in the White House. I believe they just don’t care what the rest of the world thinks.

My plea to all of you reading this is to speak out and do whatever you can. The only obvious way forward for me is to make it impossible for racial/religious/whatever injustice to continue being tolerated, to stamp it out wherever it shows it’s ugly face. The time has come to not let this scab over again, ready to be ripped off once another racially-motivated murder takes place — regardless of where it happens.

This problem is not present only in the United States. Vigilance and will must be applied in every society where injustice is found — and in that quest, all of us have a part to play.

Your choice is to be part of the problem or part of the solution. Your actions can make a difference, even if it’s only in a small way. Please consider doing whatever you can.

Thomas used a funny graphic yesterday from Star Trek. I’ve always felt the most profound takeaway from that show was the Vulcan saying, “Live well and prosper.”

That is my fervent wish for everyone on this planet.

I’d like to thank everyone for letting me ventilate, and I’m sorry if I upset you. You don’t visit Type M for Murder to hear political diatribes. But I’m upset, angry, and confused, and I know I’m not the only one. I needed to share my thoughts with my friends, which is something I consider everyone who writes for and reads these pages. I won’t presume to take up your time in this manner again.


Anna said...

Rick, you needn't apologize, or promise not to do that again. You may have to do that again. Meanwhile, pondering what I can do in my disabled condition, living in a very white rural area, where I go out for errands and park in parking lots, I have made mini-posters to attach to both side rear windows of my car (with thanks to the unknown person who first began circulating this text on the web):



The longer I leave the mini-posters there, the more people will see them. It's my little bit (and I'm well aware that it is little). More bits to follow as I discover them.

Rick Blechta said...

That is most excellent, Anna!

Many thanks for sharing it.