For shame

Dear editor:
Thank you for this space in our paper. It takes a lot to get me angry enough to struggle with a black marker in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other.
I’m sure almost everyone already knows what I’m talking about.
I find it most disturbing to realize that our local schools still are turning out people who appear to be racists. This is the 21st century, but this deplorable incident has set us back several decades.
For shame! When will we learn that just because some of us happen to be “white” does not give us “carte blanche” to do or say whatever we wish to anyone who doesn’t fit our idea of perfection.
This situation has been going on for centuries—ever since “white men” first landed on the shores of the Americas.
Some of them passed along various diseases. Others undertook to ravage the vast herds of buffalo, thus decimating the livelihood of the natives. Some chose to share their alcoholic drinks with the natives, not out of generosity but for their own gains.
Then there were the “do-gooders,” who naturally assumed they must “save the souls” of the natives. No respect for the centuries-old beliefs of the residents of either North or South America.
The newcomers, later on, even went so far as to take away many of the youngsters and put them into residential schools—far away from their homes and parents.
I guess we all know how that idea turned out.
And, of course, we mustn’t forget how certain Europeans killed thousands of Aztecs and Incas just so they could plunder vast amounts of gold and silver.
This treasure ended up on the other side of the Atlantic. It helped to finance subsequent voyages back to the New World.
These are but a few of the atrocities perpetrated by whites against natives.
Of course, we must not forget the cotton-growers in the U.S. South who were too fat and lazy to do the manual labour. They came up with a brainstorm—go over to Africa and steal large numbers of natives to work on the plantations.
Everyone knows how that idea has backfired.
I mention the above examples to illustrate how various groups of non-whites have been victimized by several diverse groups of “white.”
It is my hope that the racist incident of last week will be severely dealt with. The perpetrators must not be allowed to get away with a small “slap on the wrist.”
They must realize how serious their behaviour was. It must not be tolerated, not now—not ever.
I apologize to all of the members of our various First Nations bands. I know there are many of our local citizens who feel the same. I hope you can, and will, be able to forgive us.
Thank you for staying with me this long.
Yours in
friendship,
Shirley A. Russell
P.S. I need to mention a couple of things. One is that not all natives, or whites, were (or are) trouble-makers.
Another thought: In this modern world, we are so close together that we cannot afford to act as we have in the past. A little food for thought.