Let’s get started

Dear editor:
On Feb. 15, aboriginal communities decided to pull their students from Fort Frances High School, citing safety concerns, in response to an overtly racist video that surfaced on the Internet of six female students who made a mockery of aboriginal peoples.
Education Director Jack McMaster’s comments that the video is “an isolated incident,” along with principal Gord McCabe’s reference that the video is a “teenage mistake,” are perfect examples of how those who hold positions of power attempt to monopolize and trivialize oppressive realities.
School officials responded with silencing tactics, which sent the salient message that the aboriginal communities were over-reacting to this “isolated, teenage mistake.”
The public letter written by the six female students who starred in the racist video makes a very good point. Their letter of apology is a beginning and we do have to start somewhere. So let’s get started.
If we are to learn something from this, it is absolutely imperative that we do not stop with the apology and pretend that this video never existed.
I would like to say thank you to the young ladies who created the video, as it has presented the Town of Fort Frances and our aboriginal communities an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue with one another about the racist society in which we are all marinated.
Although racism clearly exists, it usually takes the form of covert racism which helps to maintain its elusiveness.
Let’s move beyond ignorance, denial, and the refusal to accept responsibility for the racist conditions in which we live. Let’s examine our ideologies which guide our behaviour.
Jana-Rae Yerxa
First Nation