“But It Can’t Happen Here”

As one of the few Canadian’s in WEOC, I Can Assure You, It’s Happening Here

Photo from Rotary Picnic Park — Canada, Credit @AllCndnsAreBuds on Twitter

The thing about Blood and Soil is that the people screaming it, and putting up these stupid ass stickers, aren’t concerned about their own blood. They’re talking about YOUR blood.

Women, LGBTQ2S+, Black, Indian, Indigenous, Asian, Jewish, anyone who doesn’t have blonde hair or brown hair, and blue eyes. Anyone who is broke or poor.

Anyone who is addicted to drugs, or non-religious, anyone who is pregnant out of wedlock, anyone who doesn’t follow the status quo, is at risk, as long as it’s not “white” blood that’s spilling.

When they spew this crap they don’t think about the consequences of their actions, they take pleasure in the harm it causes because there are so few consequences for this clearly racist behavior in Canada, and yet so many of us are silent on the issue of racism UNTIL something bad happens.

UNTIL an Asian man is thrown into a street lamp and onto the ground and beaten. UNTIL a Black woman is raped so severely she kills herself because she can’t handle the trauma and no one knows how to help her. UNTIL A Jewish person dies because the police can’t get there in time.

On and on it goes and in Canada we remain silent on the issue of open racism because we’re the “good country.”

When Jagmeet Singh was attacked with racist epitaphs and people stood around and watched sure the politicos came out and said something, but almost as quickly as the fire sprang up, did it vanish, and we stopped talking about it.

When are we going to stop, not talking about racism in Canada? When something so terrible happens, that it’s too hard to ignore anymore?

How many more people need to be raped, beaten, tortured, branded, locked in churches, and shot at before we’re done pretending the kinds of shit that happens in America, is actually happening here in Canada too?

Florida is right now trying to pass a bill and I quote:

A Florida bill that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach students or train employees about discrimination in the nation’s past received its first approval Tuesday. — Associated Press

Canada isn’t far off from this kind of crap, and it’s fair enough to say that “well there are too many colored folks for something like this to pass in Canada,” but how long until those people are outnumbered the way they are in America?

Canadians are so quick to point the fingers at America when it comes to racism, but slow as ice when it comes to admitting that we have the same problems here.

Already we’re starting to see people in the Canadian Conservative party reiterate the same kind of bullshit that Trump has been spewing for the better part of forty years and that’s being (haha) conservative because it’s been a lot longer.

This “white is right” bullshit is crap I’ve been hearing my entire life, from friends who protected my abusers, to enemies who tried to murder me because of the color of my skin, so I know what I am talking about when I say these people are dangerous and if we give them a pass over a sticker, then it’s not so far off before we give them a pass for murder.

This article I’d like to add doesn’t even discuss the number of Indigenous men and women around Canada that were killed by cops in the dead of night, largely because I can’t bring myself to open that can of worms, but then I guess I just did.

The SS Komagata Maru was a chartered ship featured in a dramatic challenge to Canada’s former practice of excluding immigrants from India. This challenge took place in the spring and summer of 1914, on the eve of the First World War. It proved to be a bitter and tragic experience for the passengers, first in an unsuccessful and eventually physical confrontation with officials, police and the military at the Port of Vancouver, and then in a deadly encounter with police and troops near Kolkata on the passengers’ return to India — The Canadin Encyclopedia

Less than a week ago, the monument which I spent much of two summers ago sitting at while sipping coffee while contemplating my future while recognizing the way things used to be, was completely destroyed by nazi and other racist graffiti, because someone thought it would be funny to destroy such a beautiful spot in Vancouver.

Very few people who talk about racism have the opportunity in British Columbia to say it publically enough that their voices get heard, which is why The 1619 Project while an American project, is so important to the history of Canada.

In 2017 before I started Loud Mouth Brown Girl dot com, I was on a trip to Winnipeg. I mentioned before the woman who felt the need to remind me that I was Black as if I didn’t know while she was surrounded by a pack of white folk who were just as surprised as she was.

  • I mentioned before the white record producer who stole my keys and went through my room and the all-white staff at the University of New Brunswick who threatened to kick me off the property if “my” behavior didn’t change.
  • I mentioned before the fact that Winnipeg is where many freed and escaped Black folk who had been imprisoned and seen untold amounts of torture in America, ended up on their journey to freedom and into Canada.
  • I mentioned before the first church in Winnipeg, was built by both a Black man and his friend, a white ex-Confederate soldier. These stories are real but we don’t know anything about them because we don’t study Black history in Canada, as if there are no Black people here at all as if we haven’t been here for centuries.

This crap needs to stop, and when the members of Writers and Editors of Color talk about the issues that they are facing in America, I scream every time :

“WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT?”

Mainly my frustration comes from the fact that in Canada we do DON’T talk bout racism, not until something bad happens. Not until someone or several people are murdered. We refuse to acknowledge that that fateful day in Charlottesville when Heather Hayer died, there were Candian’s there, who talked to the press, who were proud to be there supporting their white supremacist ideals.

Right now, white and many racist truck drivers are planning on blocking off highways in Canada AND AMERICA because they don’t want to get vaccinated, because too many of these “white is right” morons believe that the vaccine is really an effort to wipe them out. I don’t wish we were that diabolical, but I do wish that we could knock some sense into these people.

I am tired. As a Black woman in Canada, I actually got so frustrated with the conversation about race that I left WEOC for a while because I needed a break for my mental health, but unfortunately no matter how tired I am these racists aren’t going any fucking where, and so we have to keep fighting.

Supporting projects like The 1619 Project is hugely important because whether we like it or not the history of America is woven deeply into the history of Canada and vice versa. You may not like the fact that these conversations are uncomfortable, but I’d rather have an uncomfortable conversation, than have my neck knelt on for 8 and a half minutes by a racist cop who's genuinely shocked when he realizes he’s going to prison for the crime of being a racist cop.

I was that girl. I was the girl with a cop who knelt on her after I was arrested for having a panic attack on an airplane, no one took video, no one intervened, no one said a GOD DAMNED THING, while he screamed in my face, called me a loudmouth brown bitch and left bruises on every inch of my body.

He could have killed me and no one said a fucking word. In Canada. The Nice Country. Fuck y’all and your “Canada is a safe place” bullshit, it’s not, it never has been, and it’s never going to be if we continue to remain silent about the racist, misogynistic abusive, psychotic shit happening in behind our borders.

The night I wrote this essay I took a break to go to the mall to grab some food. I didn’t get on an elevator because a woman was with her three children and for a moment I wondered if she thought I didn’t get on because of the color of her skin. I hate that, I hate that we as Brown women can’t acknowledge each other openly, in the middle of a pandemic, the way we used to, because behind the mask we have no way of knowing when someone is smiling at us.

It was a small thing, being able to smile at someone, being able to show solidarity with another woman of color, yeah we could wave, but we had a whole language in this city, and now we’re learning to learn. new one, and it’s difficult. What’s even more difficult is being in a city as diverse and culturally populated as Surrey British Columbia, and doing an internal leap of joy every time I see a Black person in my town because it’s so rare.

Do you have any idea what it was like to be the ONLY Black girl in this town for twenty years? Sure there were football players on the CFL team the BC Lions, but there were almost no Black women here, and when you did see them they tended to duck and cover because heaven forbid we be seen connecting with each other.

I often laugh at how many white people support my Loud Mouth Brown Girl writing because I wonder if they even read any of my anti-racism work, it’s not as extensive as Johnny Silvercloud or Allison Gaines, L.A. Justice, or the other Writers and Editors of Color I know and love, but it’s not because I don’t have anything to say, it’s because as I’ve said, I’m fucking exhausted.

I’m exhausted because not enough of us Canadian writers are talking collectively about the racism that we face, and when we do get white supporters we’re so judgemental of them that we push them away rather than include them because we’re afraid they’re going to turn on us.

The only way this behavior is going to change, the only way people of color in Canada are going to be safe, is if and when we start having the tough conversations about racism and white supremacy in Canada. But I KNOW Y’all ain’t ready to have that conversation because then you might actually have to DO something about it.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall, Loud Mouth Brown Bitch, and Proud

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