I am sad and furious this morning – a very uncomfortable emotional state. We’ve been “tsk”-ing about political goings-on south of the border, and then one young man shoots six total strangers in their house of worship right here in smug, tolerant Canada. Six citizens are dead because somebody didn’t like the way they saw God. Okay, I know he wouldn’t have said that; probably he thought he was taking revenge for terrorist acts by some Muslim somewhere. Well, by that logic, we can just start taking potshots at people of his faith. Hell, all white Christians should have to pay for his insanity, right? White Christian terrorism, that’s what it is, and they’re all the same, we should kick them out, can’t trust a single one of the blue-eyed, pasty-skinned bastards, can ya? They should have to wear some kind of distinguishing clothing so you can tell who to avoid. We shouldn’t let any more of them in, that’s what, and them that are here, we should herd them into – um – special neighbourhoods, yeah, that’s what we oughta do.
Oh, I’m sorry, was that offensive? Yeah, it was, deliberately so. I know many, many people who are shocked and angry about this. Maybe one or two of them are Muslim, but the majority, as far as I know, either are Christian-by-default (the dominant faith in Canada, I think) or self-identify as atheists or agnostics. Those people who were murdered were our fellow Canadians, entitled, as we all are, to worship God in whatever form we conceive Deity to be – hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin – in safety and peace.
I am ashamed that such a thing could happen in Canada. At the same time, I am proud of my fellow Canadians who have spoken out in protest, even put on hijabs as a way of expressing solidarity with the Muslim community. And my rant in the first paragraph is intended to highlight the absolute stupidity of judging a whole community by the acts of a few. Nobody talks about White Christian terrorism, even when people like Ted Kaczynski or Timothy McVeigh commit acts of terror.
What we need to remember is that acts of terror are, in the end, committed by individuals. The organization can indoctrinate, but it is the individual who pulls the trigger or detonates the bomb. I am struggling with my own feelings of revenge. We cannot tolerate such a murderer any more than we can tolerate a rabid dog. Fortunately for Bissonette, the process for dealing with a murderer who is not killed at the scene is not the same as that for dealing with a rabid dog.
My anger is hotter because a few weeks ago a friend of mine was targeted for supporting Sault Ste Marie’s small Jewish community. The coward who scrawled Nazi and sexist graffiti on her lawn in the night is probably going to get away with it.
The people who perpetrate these acts threaten all of us, even if we aren’t part of the target group. We have to stand up to them – they are thugs and bullies and cowards.
Okay, rant over. And a lesson for Canada – Trump is still a jerk, but there are jerks north of the border as well.