I was just in the Thunder Bay area, this week and last week, so I saw first hand how ugly some of the racist white folks are towards Aboriginal people.
A Thunder Bay woman is demanding an explanation after a teacher’s aide at her son’s school cut his long hair — an action her lawyer says is clearly assault while the Crown insists there are no grounds for charges.
The seven-year-old boy had chin-length hair before the incident last month. His mother said staff at McKellar Park Central Public School were aware her son was letting his hair grow so that he could take part in traditional First Nations dancing.
The mother told CBC News she was stunned when her son told her it was a teacher’s assistant who lopped off 10 centimetres of his hair.
“I said, ‘Why did she do this? Did she say anything?’” said the mother. “And he said, ‘No, and after she cut my hair, she took me by the shoulders and forced me to stand in front of the mirror. She made me stand there and said look at you now.’“
Reading this story, as I sit in my apartment in Toronto, I’m reflecting on the realities that I barely know and understand of what it can possibly be like for Aboriginal communities in the near- and far-North, in dealing with the white population, and having vile ugly racism at every turn.
Hearing this story now, allows me to understand to a bit of a greater extent the levels to which white folks disrespect, disregard, invisibilize and render person-less, anyone who is Aboriginal.
They have to.
Settler discomfort is so great, as well as “family secrets” of Aboriginal relatives and ancestors, that vile hatred is the only response, all the while claiming friendship and caring. As long as it’s done by white rules and on white terms. I’m truly not sure what can be done to begin to touch on this level of racism, as it’s not only imbedded in the society, laws and culture (as it is everywhere in Canada) but exists as a tangible reminder of white superiority. No generation shift will change this, as I saw this level of racism in white women under 30. Unlike the ways in which progressive values can begin to take over in larger centres, there is no possibility for that kind of change in smaller more remote centres.
Full story here.