Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sins and Sticks

Montana’s last year in elementary school began with a classmate (who hailed all the way back from junior kindergarten) shouting out a few choice racial epithets directed towards Montana and a few other male classmates during a heated moment in a game on the playground. The language imaginary invoked by the child centered on Slaves, Jews, Spics and Gooks.

According to the kid’s rule of the playground a turn deserves a turn, and so the child’s own ethnicity came under the attack respectively by the “slave”, the “spic”, and the “gook” as a member of the “dog-eaters”. The boy stormed off the playground in a huff. The boys continued on with their game never thinking anything more of it. But this child was well schooled by the cult of political correctness and stormed off to the office to take advantage of the ignorance and earnestness of a new principal to cry about the injustice of the “racism” directed towards himself by the “other”.

I would never have learned about it except for my son’s conduct when confronted indirectly by the principal. Certainly, the old principal, an old hand, well-schooled would never have put himself so foolishly in the position that the new principal did. The new principal saw it as his moment to shine and strike a blow for racial equality harmony, and justice for all - in one go. Admirable and well-intentioned, but a trifle misguided.

The entire grade eight-class was subjected to a two hour lecture on the evil of racism. Now Montana can be a rather patient soul, and had the principal just stuck to an hour lecture, all would have been well, but by the end of the second hour with no sign of the man easing-up, Montana reached the end of his tether. He raised his hand and when the principal acknowledged him and gave his permission to speak. Montana stood up and said, “Sir, do you really think it’s appropriate for you as a white man to lecture me as a black male on the evil of racism? Take a look around Sir; you’re the only white person in the room.” And with that he sat down as mayhem and havoc broke out into the classroom.

Montana was sent forthwith to the office. Let us just say the little one-one dialogue face-to-face time in the office between my son and the principal didn’t get go down any easier than the confrontation in the classroom. It probably didn’t help that my son literally towered over the man and the “I am going to have to call your mother card” was played. Montana just smirked and told him it was his call to make.

Let us just say the conversation with the mother of the Last Amazon didn’t go easier on the principal’s psyche or liberal sensitivities and I almost felt sorry for him – almost. I did what I could to patch up the ill-will between the principal and Montana, but when a person’s pride and sensibilities has been injured by their own foolishness; it’s a task really beyond my talents to fully mend. It probably didn’t help that I was powerless to contain my laughter when he first told me what Montana had said.

The rest of the year didn’t get any easier for Montana and the principal. Montana had made an enemy and he learned with it was like to live under the authority of a man who held a grudge and was actively gunning for you. In the end, despite being valedictorian of his class, and winning numerous awards in core academic subjects; he lost out on the scholarship to a private prep school which required the principal’s personal endorsement. No matter, my son will succeed wherever he goes, and he learned a valuable lesson on the innate dangers involved when skinning a progressive of their well-horned sensitivities who possesses any measure of authority over your life.

Why this turn down memory lane? Well, the lynch mob of well-meaning progressives response to this blog posting, puts this memory front and centre in my mind. While the language and imaginary invoked in the original blog post are confrontational and crude, and the judgments contained harsh and hurtful - perhaps, just perhaps, the well-intentional rabble should take a moment to pause and ask themselves; where did the blogger come from? What motivates her to speak thus? Whose shoes does she wear? Does this come from a position of experience and pain? And then, perhaps they should ask themselves - just why it was her family chose to take the road leading out of the Rez before they put the rope around her neck and string up a granddaughter of the tribe.

15 comments:

Alice the Camel said...

Wise questions.

You have really cool kids, I think.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Well Alice, I think they are absolutely marvelous beyond words and think I am awfully lucky to be their mother though they do have a tendency to be hard on their teachers. And the whole questioning thing can get a mite irksome

Balbulican said...

Golly, Kateland, I think the respondents to Right Girl's post are showing considerably more restraint than she did, or deserves.

My father in law and a number of my friends are Aboriginal men. She's just accused them of being...what was her charming phrase? Oh, yes...daughter-fuckers.

Honestly now, don't you think it's the least bit disingenuous for her to try to don the misunderstood victim mask after that one?

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Gee whiz Balbulican, I really don't understand where you are coming from - are you accusing me of being Wendy? As far as I can tell, Wendy has yet to put on the "misunderstood victim mask".

Wendy has her own blog and I have mine. She has her point of view and I have mine. And Wendy is more than capable of posting her own defense. There is absolutely nothing disingenuous about it.

What I object to is the lynch mob mentality and tactics Wendy's detractors engaged in. If you want to call her a bigot, racism, “redneck” and accuse her of intemperate and crude language – go ahead – cast away - that’s what the blogsphere for. But it was the call to action outside the blogsphere which inspired my post.

I, too have known a number of Aboriginal men. Some were princes among men and others were lower than a dog's breakfast but since you have donned the mantle of protecting the honour of Aboriginal men - shall we discuss the truly horrific number of sexual abused children within First Nation communities? Because -honour be damned – I, for one, would never opt for denial in the face of the sexual abuse of children, and I would far rather be known for standing up for the protection children than protecting anyone’s honour.

Balbulican, be honest, would you be still be as outraged at Right Girl if she wrote something like this instead…”I was reading an article which summarized The Nechi Insititue, The Four Worlds Development Project 1988 study and was absolutely chilled to the bone to read this:

--Formal studies that examine the prevalence of child sexual abuse among native communities do not exist. However, clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests that the incidence of sexual abuse among Canada's native peoples are as high as 80% (The Nechi Institute, The Four Worlds Development Project, 1988). In one study, service providers in six Western Arctic communities estimated that in these native communities between 75% and 80% of all young girls under the age of 8 and at least 50% of the male children were sexually abused. While few statistics are available, child sexual abuse appears to be a serious problem within native communities; female children seem to be sexually victimized in greater numbers than male children, with both male and female native children apparently abused at a substantially higher rate than characteristically reported for non-native groups.--

Here's the link -http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:29Ww1iDZC1MJ:findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3711/is_199508/ai_n8726838+nechi+study+1988+sexual+abuse+of+children&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca

And sadly not a great deal has changed since the 1988 report but I will leave it for you to google the truth of it. Here’s what I cannot comprehend – Children are sexually abused at absolutely horrific rates within First Nations communities so why is Ministry of Indian Affairs dragging their heels and either not setting up and/or funding effective treatment/preventive programs like this one in Hollow Water, Manitoba?

Here's the link to the Toronto Star article -

http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:FYou6bCCFqAJ:www.thestar.com/Special/article/144909+sexual+abuse+first+nations+communities&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=82&gl=ca

Personally, I think your outrage is misplaced by focusing on Right Girl’s epithets and it would be better served demanding justice and healing for the aboriginal child victims of sexual abuse by blogging and lobbying hard at the Ministry of Indian Affairs for real change. Of course, you could always multi-task and do both.

Balbulican said...

"I really don't understand where you are coming from - are you accusing me of being Wendy? "

Ummm...nope. Don't know how you extracted that from my post. What I said was that Wendy said a horrible thing about Aboriginal people, and is now scrambling - with the indignant aid of some supporters - to position herself as a bullied victim of us nasty lefties.

I've lived and worked in the Arctic, and as I noted, my family through my marriage is Aboriginal. Sexual abuse is a problem among some communities, as it is elsewhere in Canada, and it needs to be addressed on several front. No disagreement there. If you believe that labelling Aboriginals as daughter fuckers is the right approach, you're wrong.

You're also being a bit dishonest. It's very dramatic of you to be "chilled to the bone" by a twenty year old anecdotal estimate from six Arctic communities. However, you somehow missed the finding of the actual study in which that story is contained...that the actual rates estimated in 1995 were actually 25% of the numbers you cite. (Granted, the numbers you selected make a much more scary argument.)

"And sadly not a great deal has changed since the 1988 report."

Wrong. Rates of Aboriginal urbanization, education, employment, income and health are rising across Canada. (There are now three sets of solid data from Statscan censuses to compare). ALL those indicator are traditionally linked to levels of child abuse in any community (not just Aboriginal), so be comforted: things are getting better.

In any case, that's not the point. Framing Right Girl's racism as a heroic outcry against injustice ain't gonna fly. Her subsquent statements of contempt for Aboriginal kind shoot the wings off that one.

"Personally, I think your outrage is misplaced by focusing on Right Girl’s epithet."

Do ya? I think your expediture of energy in defending her nauseating racism is misplaced too. Chacun a son gout, I guess.

"Of course, you could always multi-task and do both."

Thanks, that's exactly what I do. I don't know why you assume otherwise.

thwap said...

That's pretty cool.

I guess if David Duke writes s'more about black males and their violent sexuality, you'll be totally cool with that?

It's not as if his musings influence anyone is it?

It's not hurtful is it?

It's just freedom of speech. And honest questions 'eh?

Like, how come so many US blacks live in poverty? Why are so many black males in the US prison system?

Maybe Wendy has something to say about that too?

"Lynch mob." Do you know what a lynch mob is? Do you know what they do? We asked the Canadian Embassy to withhold official endorsement of one of the initiatives of a disgusting racist. We took a stand for human decency. If you think that is acting like a lynch mob, then I'm surprised you had the mental ability to type a blog post.

Get real.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Balbulican:

“Do ya? I think your expediture of energy in defending her nauseating racism is misplaced too. Chacun a son gout, I guess. "Of course, you could always multi-task and do both." Thanks, that's exactly what I do. I don't know why you assume otherwise.”

Chacun a son gout - I prefer live and let live myself.

1)I am not assuming anything about you. I have no idea what you do or not do. I don’t know you from Adam but you show up from - I don’t know where, calling yourself Balbalicon. Fair enough and I am even prepared to accept the claims you make about yourself or your expertise at face value.

2)“In any case, that's not the point. Framing Right Girl's racism as a heroic outcry against injustice ain't gonna fly. Her subsquent statements of contempt for Aboriginal kind shoot the wings off that one”

I don’t believe I did that but since you seem to take that position from my posting, I will call it my failure to communicate in a way in which you have internalize what I have written. I did try to re-communicate my position in my first response to your comment. I will re-quote myself here:

“What I object to is the lynch mob mentality and tactics Wendy's detractors engaged in. If you want to call her a bigot, racism, “redneck” and accuse her of intemperate and crude language – go ahead – cast away - that’s what the blogsphere for. But it was the call to action outside the blogsphere which inspired my post.”

I have never really warmed up to lynch mob mentality no matter how self-righteous the alleged cause is. Furthermore - search my blog, I have never or referred to Aboriginal men “daughterfuckers” nor would I on my blog or in my real life.

3)“You're also being a bit dishonest. It's very dramatic of you to be "chilled to the bone" by a twenty year old anecdotal estimate from six Arctic communities. However, you somehow missed the finding of the actual study in which that story is contained...that the actual rates estimated in 1995 were actually 25% of the numbers you cite. (Granted, the numbers you selected make a much more scary argument.)

"And sadly not a great deal has changed since the 1988 report."

3a), I asked you a direct question. If Right Girl had written the following as in “I was reading an article which summarized The Nechi Insititue, The Four Worlds Development Project 1988 study and was absolutely chilled to the bone to read this:” Would you still be as outraged? I didn’t quote from the study because I had set up Right Girl as writing a mythical posting and as “reading an article” and the ‘dramatic of you and chilled to the bone” was if Right Girl had written that rather than her “daughter-fucker” screed.

3b) I didn’t wade too deeply because the source material coming up in the searches not only made dark reading but was very grim going. I only have a limited amount of time in any given day to comment and depress myself. Obviously you are far more stoic and with way more free time than I. And if your experiences and searches have led you to conclude there has been a dramatic turnaround. Okay fine. All is well in the world then.

3c) “you somehow missed the findings of the actual study etc”.

Well I deliberately left in the line which reads “Formal studies that examine the prevalence of child sexual abuse among native communities do not exist. However, clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests”

If was striving to be dishonest I would have omitted the first sentence and removed “anecdotal” from the paragraph – nor would I have left the year in which the study came from.

And since we are bringing up anecdotal - my life experiences with alcoholics/drug addicts has led me to conclude that a childhood sexual trauma often lies at the source of the addiction. Not always but just usually.

But I will give you credit for one more thing. You have conducted yourself here with a relative amount of decorum which has not been my experience with “progressives” in general.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

"Thwap" let me put this in the schoolyard language you should be fully cognitive of; "Get Lost"

Balbulican said...

"1)I am not assuming anything about you. I have no idea what you do or not do. I don’t know you from Adam but you show up from - I don’t know where, calling yourself Balbalicon. Fair enough and I am even prepared to accept the claims you make about yourself or your expertise at face value."

It's "balbulican". And yes, I've done the things I say I've done. It's been a long, complicated life.

"I have never really warmed up to lynch mob mentality no matter how self-righteous the alleged cause is. Furthermore - search my blog, I have never or referred to Aboriginal men “daughterfuckers” nor would I on my blog or in my real life."

I think this is my fault. I didn't know what was going on with the "Outside the Blogoshphere" stuff (I assume you're talking about the Soldiers' Angels events?) I finally caught on after reading a few other sites, and I understand your point completely. My apology for being a bit dim.

"3a) If Right Girl had written the following as in “I was reading an article which summarized The Nechi Insititue, The Four Worlds Development Project 1988 study and was absolutely chilled to the bone to read this:” Would you still be as outraged?"

Nope. I would have gone to the study, read the abstract, and pointed out its limitations. But that's not, in fact, what she wrote.

"3b)Obviously you are far more stoic and with way more free time than I."

Can't speak for your stoicism or my free time, but I deal with a fair amount of this stuff for a living, so I know where to look.

"And if your experiences and searches have led you to conclude there has been a dramatic turnaround. Okay fine. All is well in the world then."

Nope. All's not well with the world. Priests are still buggering altar boys and dads are still screwing daughters all across the planet. But my statement - that the social indicators most commonly linked with child abuse are ALL improving in the Aboriginal community - stands. How "dramatic" the turnaround is...don't know. As the article you cited notes, there are very few reliable studies, which is why I'm guessing, based on secondary indicators.

"If was striving to be dishonest I would have omitted the first sentence and removed “anecdotal” from the paragraph – nor would I have left the year in which the study came from."

I think you were striving to make a point, as you explained above. If your intent was not to mislead, I apologize. But I needed to reframe your statement so that casual readers didn't take the Nechi data (which is pretty weak) as valid.

"And since we are bringing up anecdotal - my life experiences with alcoholics/drug addicts has led me to conclude that a childhood sexual trauma often lies at the source of the addiction. Not always but just usually."

Sorry, can't grant you "usually". I'll give you "sometimes".

"But I will give you credit for one more thing. You have conducted yourself here with a relative amount of decorum which has not been my experience with “progressives” in general."

I'm always civil with the civil, and I'm always looking for conservative sites where the emphasis is on discussion and not ranting and insults (and for some reason, it's almost always women who run them...go figure.) You were clear and patient in this discussion. Sorry again for not getting the gist of your key point - henceforth I'll pay more attention.

thwap said...

What an idiotic response. I've made a simple argument with moderate language. I see you're not up to a coherent response.

You are simply an idiot, unworthy of my time.

I bid adieu to this sorry waste of bandwidth.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Sorry about “balbulican” – not only am I ESL but I am decidedly spelling challenged. Yes, I was talking about Soldiers Angels stuff. No my intent was not misled. Nor do I particularly mind you that you clarified the content of the Nechi study for causal readers. In retrospect, I wish I had framed the whole thing somewhat differently for just those ‘causal’ readers.

I am not sure I qualify as a true blue tory nor have I even been a member of the Blogging Tories. And I started politically from a kind of libertine-ism which evolved to a conservativism which favours less government interference/regulation, less taxes and more for letting people decide for themselves the quality of their own lives based own their own inititative.

While I favour free markets/trade per say; I have to admit to a certain squeamishness for free trade with totalitarian countries. I remain unconvinced that free trade with anyone but equals leads to the freeway out of modern serfdom. While I may have libertarian streaks I still appreciate and value certain forms of tradition. My moral code dictates helping those less fortunate or able but from an individual rather than state subsidized initative. OMG, I think I have just qualified as a Canadian.

Balbulican said...

Nice to finally touch base with you, and to find a site where conservative principles are discussed with civility.

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Sorry to hear about your son missing out on the scholarship.

Many among the progressive set seem to have a very selective outrage filter and it does exist among some on among the right as well. Rightgirls comments were crude and even hurtful but the mob will not care to examine this too deeply, however this too shall pass.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

balbulican, your welcome anytime - even if I disagree with you.

blazing cat fur - I concur on selective outrage filter on both sides of the divide. And I wanted to say, in retrospect I am okay he didn't get the scholarship those I was a towering rage at the time.

Truth is, I really never warmed up to the school and when my daughter went there I was kind of creeped me out by the "cultish" ethos of the school. He's been really happy at his public high school and has hours of fun entertaining us at dinner with the stories of his day.

Balbulican said...

"balbulican, your welcome anytime..."

Excellent. So...what was that about brunch?