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Monday, November 19, 2007

In Memory of Robert Dziekanski

The Honorable Stockwell Day
Minister of Public Safety
Parliament Hill

November 19, 2007

Re: Outrage
Dear Minister Day:

I would like to share with you also, as I have with others - in no particular order - my outrage at:

1. Drunk driving.
2. Drug trafficking
3. Home invasions
4. Braking and enters
5. Canadian "Peacekeepers" engaged in hostile activities in Afghanistan.
6. The continued death of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan
7. Our lack of independent thinking as grown-up Canadians
8. Homelessness
9. Poverty
10. Hunger
11. A Police Force - RCMP – somewhat out of control ?
11. Taezer use
12. The rampant lack of self respect and respect for others that has become common place in our society.
12. Murder
13. Mass murder
14. Prejudice
15. Intolerance
16. At times, a seriously flawed Justice System and, many, many other things

Last, but by no means least
17. the recent murder of a would be immigrant named Robert Dziekanski ...

My "outrage" does not mean anything if you/we are unwilling to even acknowledge the fact that each and every one of the above need to be addressed in a compassionate and humanitarian manner.

The outrage - actually, the profound sadness, disappointment and helplessness I felt when I heard the news of Mr. Dziekanki's (unintended) murder - further confirmed by a totally unmistakable video, many days later - no matter how distorted (?!) my and the rest of the public "perception" might be (irresponsible and disgusting that it was even suggested) you Sir, made a mistake, if I may, in suggesting what we should be outraged about...

This matter carries a graveness of it's own, coupling/associating it with other "outrage causing" situations is not only detaching but also deflecting from its seriousness, as not only it represents our country's internationally known force, but it also represents all you in government, and the rest of us in public as well as private lives... our beliefs, our dreams...

This disgraceful and regrettable event must not be taken out of context, as only keeping it in focus will bring forth/address what must be changed.
This Sir, with all due respect, was a crime – uniform or not.

Just because an individual wears an uniform it does not mean - unfortunate reality - that he/she is "holly and above the law".
A uniform does not make "a trustworthy" individual or police force for that matter, it's individual and collective behaviors and integrity, at all times, does.

Having been one of a handful of first female Immigration Officers in 1976, this latest incident confirms that nothing has changed; that intolerance and prejudice are still alive and well at our border crossings - but now days are accompanied with taezers and guns - a very dangerous combination in “uneducated and unsensitized” hands - worth taking a long, good look at.

Peace, love, joy and laughter
Alicia M B Ballard

Copy posted on my blogs

Follow up in the PM
To put it all in context...
The 1976 Summer Olympics just followed the Berlin ones where a large number of Israeli athletes were massacred in a terrorist attack....
So, we were not at all free of terrorism - way back when - we dealt with it in a different manner!
No guns or teasers at our disposal, the largest border crossing in Alberta open, 24 hrs a day that, had added volume due to an air strike in progress.
We certainly had our FBI "lookout" reports via "telex" - no such thing as pc's, emails, etc.
There were no RCMP officers stationed at our location. As a matter of fact we had to contact the detachment in the town on Milk River about 20 minutes up the highway.
We had a badge between seven of us, most times it was locked in the safe; I never learned to open it and had made a couple of arrests only with goodwill and cooperation of the border-jumpers... :)
Those were also "turbulent times" - it appears we had a kinder, more compassionate, less aggressive and combative heart than nowadays... perhaps we were not insensitized by the gratuitous violence dished out throughout the day at shorter and shorter increments.
We are indeed a very violent society - let's not kid ourselves.
Violence begets violence..., don't you agree?
Solicitor General Jon Les finally apologised to Robert's mother yesterday

Tuesday, Nov. 20
I was glad to hear just moments ago in the 5:00PM news, Mister Day in a somber and entirely more appropriate tome of voice, for the first time, address the matter and express an apology.
I am sure that the fact that so many of us are not letting this matter die down is a great contributor to the changes to come.
As this is being written a 30 year old man is in hospital in critical condition after being taezered this PM in Chilliwack - apparently he too "was agitated". Pepper spray and batons were also used. No one said he was armed....
Are police being paid by the hour these days?
Valium anyone? Everyone!?


Pauline said...

Great post and I agree with all your statements. Just one question what makes you believe we are a civilized society??? It seems to me the more deeply I search for answers the more cave-man style approach reappears. We have modernized the club but we unfortunately still use force.

"Angeldust" said...

Just one question what makes you believe we are a civilized society???

You caught me!
I heard the propaganda for so long, I am repeating like a parrot.


What is worst, is that I see/feel a large segment of our society actually reverting to a state of (complacent) barbarism in all areas of life, as a minority struggles to whole-heartedly create a healing balance.

It also appears another human condition is the eternal capabality to have hope.

Peace, love joy and laughter

Pauline said...

I think we could all use a hefty dose of laughter at this time! The news is so negative. Yes, terrible things happen and we need to be informed;however we are bombarded with one horrific story after another and it is my opinion that people are shutting down emotionally to protect and survive.
You and I are mature enough to recall the balance of news reporting. It represented the good and the bad allowing people time to process and respond appropriately.
We unfortunately cannot change the media but I do think they could change their ratings with stories that fully represent humanity.
Thank you for the brain tease. It is always helpful to exchange opinions. :)