"We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege." ~ (Pierre) Trudeau
First off, I want to say I denounce the protest in Ottawa and I truly believe that it is just one part of a completely calculated, strategized coup and that recent events at an Alberta border crossing are linked. I believe there will be others.
Canadian people are weary. We are broken. Two years locked down will do that to you. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on every single one of us. And we each feel it viscerally.
But we’ve all seen the pandemic through our own unique lens, each one of us recounting the days and weeks differently, with a completely personal experience.
I live in Ontario and yesterday, our gym opened back up and I went to my first spin class since before the holidays. Our instructor, a dear and close friend, played Jann Arden’s new song “Steady On” as a warm up and I openly wept, sitting on my spin bike. And it isn’t the first time I’ve spontaneously wept through this pandemic.
There is so much hurt happening in the world right now, especially right here in Canada.
I am afraid for us, but I am also hopeful.
I believe what we’re witnessing is a dismantling, a pulling apart and a redefinition of what Canada stands for and what Canada doesn’t.
I am trying to keep an open mind and an open heart. But I have been frustrated and disappointed.
I am an ally and I am so deeply troubled about how recent events are affecting marginalized groups. I have reached out to friends to check in and to listen.
I have also had conversations with folks who support the protest. I listen and explain. I have posted facts. I do understand how folks are swept into the excitement and celebration of bringing people together, of being together. But I also saw early on the folks behind organizing and strategizing how this would all play out. And the symbols of hate are not surprising to me.
But I keep coming back to love, empathy and forgiveness.
In order to move forward, to create something new out of the systems that aren’t working, we have to be heard. Everyone wants to be heard and seen. It’s a basic human trait. What we’re seeing right now is the dominant entity, the one that holds the power and the privilege, stepping to the front to be counted, like they always have.
And to hold on tightly to what has always been, and our society has dictated. They want to 'get back to normal' but that's not possible. Things have changed. Many of us have changed. Many of us want something different.
We’re just seeing blatantly, what has been shrouded before.
I don’t know what’s next, but I am watching and researching. And I believe it'll get worse before it gets better.
I'm thinking about my values. Thinking about what I know to be true and the people that I care for, I'm asking why they might be defending this. I'm trying to hear them and gently explain my position. I'm having uncomfortable conversations with kindness.
Be curious. Listen. Pay attention and if you want to chat, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org .