Racism and Noise in Canada

My neighbours above eat sour weeds because of racism in Canada, which created weedlands for them at the same time it created Indian reserves for their people. Right now, the country’s writing community is tearing itself to pieces over racial issues, between loosely (and poorly)-defined indigenous and non-indigenous communities. It is even lecturing itself on the tragedy of indigenous voices being silenced by uproars about race. I don’t think voices like this are meant:

They should be. Other recent writings on race circulating in the writing community assume that earth experience is all about race, when humans get involved with it. That’s rather self-absorbed. It’s called looking into a mirror. It would be more helpful to say that human experience of a certain kind is that. It can also, however, be described as dehumanization, dispossession, silence, rape, enslavement, genocide, murder, love,

wariness, respect and noise. None of those are solely human. All are powerful. Let’s remember that in the indigenous game of s’lahal, noise is meant to distract players and their spirit guides from the game. Let’s remember the silent ones, the animal peoples, and that it’s not about us. The earth is dying. Let’s stop that form of human self-absorption, because that’s the critical outcome of this whole horrible story.

It’s caring for the other peoples of this earth, including but not limited to other great apes, including the mis-named homo sapiens, that makes us human, not some frightful story of skin colour, evolution and human brotherhood or the lack of it. That’s predator talk with an old patch that is just, simply, exhausted. Let’s make something better together.

 

The alternative is continued silence and noise.

6 thoughts on “Racism and Noise in Canada

  1. Sorry to reply this way, but the comment part doesn’t like me.

    I say “Amen” to this entire post. cg

    On Mon, May 15, 2017 at 10:50 PM, Okanagan Okanogan wrote:

    > Harold Rhenisch posted: “My neighbours above eat sour weeds because of > racism in Canada, which created weedlands for them at the same time it > created Indian reserves for their people. Right now, the country’s writing > community is tearing itself to pieces over racial issues, betwe” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The box to which I, as a writer, would be confined appears to be a small one. If I write outside the lines I will be told by the thought police to get back to the box. cheers, Bob

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  3. Not one of us sprang from the earth. Only the ground we walk on is native. All ancestors came from somewhere else. Using terms like “decolonization” and referring to white Canadians as “white settlers” only inflames the debate about who deserves what and how much. In my box of crayons I took to school as a child white was a colour, alongside black and brown. Our world is made up of human beings who deserve respect from each other.

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    • I agree, the word “white” is as much a problem as the word “indian.” We can leave it behind soon, I hope. Still, there have been very good studies showing how human potential is set into specific patterns at a young age in relationship to environment, and becomes hard-wired in a more-or-less final form at puberty. Much good work can be done with this knowledge, because in an important way we are all our various environments, and can help guide our children by creating better ones, even ones that aren’t machine environments. Powerful stuff. And, yes, respect is essential. There has been a real failing on this front of late, but growth as well. Let’s keep arguing for respect. Hopefully we will find a little of it.

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