In a recent episode of the podcast, we discussed the proper reparations for both the Canadian Indigenous community and their genocide and the American Black community being murdered during the Tulsa Race Massacre specifically. In that discussion Fidel pointed out that the Black American community should at least get financial reparations because they were well off and lost their wealth, their families, homes, and lives. I pointed out that while money is always beneficial, it is only a starting point. Here in Canada a settlement was given to those who survived the Residential Schools but that was a very weak band-aid to avoid caring for the Indigenous community properly and sort of used money as if it could fix all trauma caused when it could not. I have often written about proper white allyship from the perspective of white people I know. What can the common white person do to help our cause, to listen better, to speak about Black people in positive ways? I know I don’t hold all of the answers, and politically speaking I know very little, but I do think that in light of these events, and with Emancipation day on the way we should be asking ourselves what proper reparations for such atrocities are on a political scale so we can hold governments and politicians accountable.
I don’t want this blog to come off as if money can not solve a world of hurt. Money certainly can ease some traumas, but money simply given to individuals and not to entire communities where there is infrastructure is, again, a weak fix to a bigger issue. When I see how the Canadian government has treated the Indigenous, I think a settlement was a good start, but where is infrastructure? Where are the rebuilt homes, Community Health Centres, small businesses run by Indigenous with the support of government? Where are actual trauma responses and mental health resources? What about addiction and suicide awareness programs? We can’t expect an entire group of people suffering from years of intergenerational trauma to simply get over that pain and suffering with a dollar sign. It is in this regard that I don’t think giving money to those who suffered during the Tulsa Race Massacre 100 years ago would have been the perfect response. A good start, but not a great response overall.
The more awareness we bring to issues, the more I se your government do the bare minimum in acknowledging the severity of the atrocities in Canada’s history. Making September 30th National Truth and Reconciliation Day, giving Black people August 1st as Emancipation day… what is that actually doing for those who continue to suffer? Holidays, murals, coins, commercials are all B.S. ways of saying we as a government acknowledge we have treated your horrible and we are recognizing it but we are not actually meeting any demands to move forward with reconciliation, with accountability, with dismantling systemic racism. On yesterday’s episode our guests talked again about the disproportionate representation of BIPOC people in Canadian jails. The Liberal government said they would rectify that and did not. The government is still not helping fund the search of Canadian grounds for Indigenous children in mass graves despite the staggering number of children found since the original discovery of 215 dead children in Kamloops. The provincial government of New Brunswick has still not appointed a Commissioner for Systemic Racism though they have chosen the end date for the role and yet we have watched Blaine Higgs say incredibly racist things against Dr. Ngola. These are actual concrete evidences that both the provincial and federal government, both the Conservative and Liberal parties do not have the interest of any BIPOC people in mind.
I firmly believe inciting real change, electoral reform, appointing the Commissioner for Systemic Racism, changing school curriculums, looking at the race based data in jails would make serious changes to the overwhelmingly white systems we work in. Unfortunately those systems serve those in power and until someone selfless, someone who is a minority, someone who the system does not immediately work for (Jagmeet Singh maybe?) is elected will any of these changes happen – and even then, who is to say. The current system is certainly not working. I do not need more paid days off. I do not need holidays. We need healthcare equity, we need Universal Basic Income, we need higher minimum wage. These aspects greatly affect BIPOC people because they are often lower income and forced to use these services because of the system we live in. And as always, for the love of all that is holy, get every human in the country CLEAN RUNNING WATER. We have the means, we have the money.