Posted in Books, Canada, Family, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

People are People

1funny414“People are people so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully? So we’re different colours and we’re different creeds and different people have different needs. It’s obvious you hate me though I’ve done nothing wrong. I never even met you so what could I have done? I can’t understand what makes a man hate another man. Help me understand…” ~Depeche Mode

How can we assume that by birth, or race, or religion some people are somehow less? It’s easy. Just make sweeping generalizations.
Drunken Indians. Stupid blondes. Lazy fat people. Violent black people. Muslim terrorists. Nerds all grow up to be millionaires. People with Autism don’t have empathy. All rich people are greedy and unfeeling. All poor people are lazy and want a handout.  If you’re depressed you just need to cheer up. Everyone can beat cancer if they fight hard enough. Fibromyalgia is just another word of lazy. People with anxiety just aren’t trying to get over it. And on and on.

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I can’t understand why you could automatically like or dislike someone, love or hate someone just because of their: colour, height, weight, religion, bank balance, celebrity status, education, ancestry, culture, etc.
People are people. You should feel the way you do because each person has earned what you feel for them, as an individual.
We need less arguing and letting ourselves be distracted from real issues.
Tolerance isn’t over-rated, it’s just withering away from lack of use.

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Imagine a school with no playground, but with a cemetery. It sounds like something out of a horror story. It is.

Schools are about: learning, growth, safety. Aboriginal Residential Schools were just named schools to hide an ugly truth, they wanted to kill the Indian in the child.

Children torn from their families and physically, emotionally, and even sexually abused. Not given proper medical care or nutrition. Used for research and experiments.
This cultural genocide was not only government sanctioned, but paid for by taxpayers.
Generations flayed at the altar of religious and government depravity, because they not only lived on coveted land, but they had the audacity to worship a different Creator, speak different languages, have different customs, and a different skin colour.
At least 6000 children never made it back to their families. Approximately twice the number that died on 9/11. The odds of dying in residential schools in Canada was about the same odds of a soldier dying in WWII.
Many who returned home felt those who died were lucky.

So damaged, they passed that damage along.

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How do we reconcile this? Broken systems still abound, half of children in foster care in Canada are Aboriginal; over 40% of water for indigenous populations is high risk; suicide rates are skyrocketing; Aboriginal students get 30% less funding than non-Aboriginal students…yet there’s billions in lapsed funding, arguing, corruption, prejudice, and endless political games.

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We like to think horrifying residential schools, workhouses, orphanages can only be found in the pages of a Dickens novel. I wish I could pretend everything has changed since the times of the horrifying details in The Truth and Reconciliation Report and Nicholas Nickleby (recently watched 2002 adaptation with Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Bell, Nathan Lane, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Plummer and a veritable who’s who of UK film, by the by, quite decent). Yet each day, children around the world are: abused, neglected, sold as slaves, used as child soldiers, tortured, and raped. If we close our eyes, can we pretend it’s all fixed? It’s not.

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The world is looking more and more like Disney’s Fantasia where the Sorcerer’s Apprentice/Mickey Mouse tries to find a solution without doing the right things. Everything gets out of control, all the problems multiply, and get poured back in.

No matter the intentions, we need to face the truth, too many children and adults aren’t being treated well and don’t have enough.

They look to the future and see darkness instead of dreams. That needs to change.

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Author:

Very me

99 thoughts on “People are People

  1. Three cheers for every word Donna, If I only knew how to help and what to do. The problem of the individual – if we all do our bit I suppose that helps but it’s easy to feel powerless against institutionalised blindness and prejudice?

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      1. I’m afraid you’re right – times haven’t changed much really since the times of ‘rotten boroughs’ in the UK a couple of centuries ago! It all just looks nice for the media now. Double sigh…

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  2. Oh Donna you express this so well. I don’t have adequate words to respond at the moment because I am still digesting this brilliant post and its sorrow and its hope. Julie xx

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  3. Brilliant and timely. I often look around and think, isn’t each successive generation supposed to be smarter, kinder, better looking? I just am not seeing it.
    I work for the First Nations Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada and thought I’d mention, we have two mental health programs, one dedicated to IRS students and their families. Also, unless something has changed, Status Indians have their education 100% funded by the Feds, (I’m just a cog and don’t pay attention, my school days being behind me, so I may be wrong on that).
    I think it’s important to acknowledge and repair actions of past generations but not forever. At some point, we have to stop holding our future hostage to the past, otherwise no one will be able to move forward without that albatross round their neck. (this is a very Coles notes version of a thought, I hope the spirit comes through. I feel I should qualify that last with, my Dad is Mi’kmaq.)

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    1. Thank you kindly. 🙂
      I’m sorry, I thought it was clear, but I was trying to keep the word count down and sometimes, oops, I meant Aboriginal children receive 30% less funding than non-Aboriginal children, 100% of their education is paid for, they just get 30% less of the amount non-Aboriginal children receive. Not that throwing more money at the problem is the solution, obviously the issues are systemic and have to be addressed first.
      There are many programs and certainly, some indigenous people are doing quite well, much has to do with location and resources, leadership, etc.
      The spirit does come through. My Grandmother was Native, she passed away when I was very young and I don’t remember her well except she smiled a lot.
      I have to respectfully disagree, I don’t think acknowledging the past and trying to do right in the here and now holds us hostage, but rather sets us free to all respect and enjoy each other on a more equal footing. Unfortunately, the record of various governments treating this issue like a fly that won’t go away is long and too similar. I wonder, if the Treaties were respected and we found a way to get past the paternalistic attitude and work, Nation to Nation, if things wouldn’t begin to get better.
      I find the generalizations about Aboriginal people disturbing, you’re right, I thought each generation was at least supposed to be kinder, smarter, maybe even wiser…I’m not seeing enough of it.
      Thank you so much for dropping by and sharing your insights. Hope this day treats you kindly. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The silver lining is the Canadian government is now admitting what it did. They can’t reverse time and solve the problem, but nothing can be accomplished unless you admit there is a problem, it’s the first step and they’ve taken that first step. Still a huge mess and the Europeans seemed to do it to the aboriginal people where ever they decided to settle, or at least the English speaking ones did – the Australians did a similar thing to the Aboriginal population there and in the US we tried to kill them all off, not just their culture.

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    1. Our government loves to make announcements and even gave an apology, but like our veterans, it’s all for photo ops. No one is asking anyone to fix the problems of the past, it’s been 7 years since the apology, if anything, things have gotten worse instead of better. Action speaks louder than words.
      Yes, this was done all over the world and in many ways is still happening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure you’re right – the same types of things happen here. I’d like to think that if enough people were aware of the issue and were irate enough about it something would be done, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

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      2. Me neither, maybe we’re too easily distracted, or maybe it just doesn’t matter if it’s not happening to us, or maybe we just feel powerless. Not sure.

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      1. I think it will take time (unfortunately) but if people raise the awareness of these issues or question the kind of thinking that lies beneath the surface, it may have a difference. I like posts like this because it’s not a fanatical kind of message that is either going to be ignored or only accepted by the choir. People read your stuff often, so when you drop something like this in, I think it probably sticks. I know it’s inspiring me to sneak more of these messages into my blog.

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  5. Residential schools were one of the most shameful parts of our history – all tied to that good ole “white man’s burden” 😦
    No amount of apologies or compensation will ever make it right. Never again – we can only hope.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been reading the current stories in the newspaper. How many fixes does it take for one to take?
    I read something like, that was in the past and we must stop beating a dead horse over it, time to move ahead with a clean slate and do something about now. Money helps. Caring helps. Are not all people / humans created equal? Why has the government been tight-fisted when it comes to our Aboriginal peoples?
    Brilliant post as always, Donna. And timely. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. I know, the problem is systematic. I think it would help if the government dropped the paternalistic attitude, respected the Treaties, and had Aboriginal people not involved in serious consultations, but to get their consent before changes. I know throwing money at the problem isn’t a solution, but when I hear that a country as well-off as Canada has parts of it that are like a third world country, I’m baffled and filled with sadness.
      Thank you kindly, Tess, my heart was full of sorrow and it just spilled out I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very well written and interesting post. It reminds me of something the comedian Margaret Cho once said, “Why hate someone for the color of their skin, when you can get to know them and hate them for that.” I feel there is a lot of truth in that statement. People should be judged by character alone. Thank-you for the nice read.

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  8. Your brain is exploding with good knowledge and I wish I had a 10th of your ability to state my thoughts!

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  9. Well, opening with Depeche Mode is always going to get you a like from me!

    That aside, a very good post raising the very important questions. One to be considered. I tend to judge people on what I have read from them, rather than by looks or anything else. I mean, the lack of ability to spell will always lose my attention quite quickly.

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    1. Yes, I can never get that out of my head, great tune and message.
      Oh oh, I’m an ok speller, but a terrible typist (two fingers sadly), so if I don’t spell check well and proofread, oops. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words, David and the lovely reblog! So thrilled. 🙂
      Hope this week has treated you well and I can’t wait to hear about it. 🙂
      Massive megahugs!!!

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  10. Insightful post.

    My sister and I were talking about prejudice today, and how we didn’t recognize it as such because we were immersed in it as children. Then there’s the, “If you don’t see it, it isn’t there” syndrome where people don’t recognize that many of the products we use are created in other countries by slave labor.

    I like the poster that says, “This has all happened before and it will all happen again.” Disturbing, but much too true.

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    1. That makes it difficult, if you don’t know, I grew up in a small town in Northern Canada so I understand.
      Yes, this love of more and more and more products has lead us to care less and less and less.
      I thought it made the point, sadly, too much so.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I get angry and frustrated at how slow some people take to evolve and become humane in their handling of each other. I am appalled at how prejudice is still rampant, not just one group of people but many diverse cultures have their negative opinions of each other. Hoping and praying it will be a better world, for my grandchildren who I dearly love!

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    1. I worry that we’re regressing instead of moving forward, undoing all the good work that been done. But I continue to hope for the best and think each of us can make a difference. 🙂

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  12. Coincidentally I just watched Nicholas Nickleby – cried through most of it. There are so many examples of cruelty in the world. Why? So many reasons. Thanks for a very thoughtful post.

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  13. So much is broken, Donna. Your voice rings out as a reminder that fixing needs to addressed, from the institutional decision-makers at the top to the conscience that makes every choice for each individual. Thanks for this great post.

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  14. I have never seen the data spelled out so clearly before. It’s horrifying. Your Fantasia analogy really hit the nail on the head, in my opinion. So much time is wasted in trying to “find a solution without doing the right things.”
    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Yes and that’s just a small part of it, it literally makes me feel ill.
      Watching the various players try to achieve something and somehow making it worse, the Fantasia thing popped into my mind.
      Take care. 🙂

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  15. Thanks for mentioning the residential schools and the TRC. On CBC Radio recently, I also heard a historian say that the aboriginal people and British made a historic pact, The Great Treaty, that established them as equal partners. Today, we live a shocking and shameful reversal of that pact.

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  16. Very moving post. You’ve shed some light on an area of ignorance for me. Ordinarily, I love learning new things. I wish I hadn’t learnt this. 😦 I’ve never thought of Canada like this. Xxx

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    1. There are some wonderful things in our past, present, and hopefully future, but we have some darkness in our past and present as well, I’m sure it’s the same to some degree with every country, but I wish it doesn’t have to continue. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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