Events of the past week have crystalized a number of feelings inside me, and rather than do another “Fuck Canada Day” post (see my post on July 1, 2009) I thought I’d do something that I’ve meant to do for a long time.
I seem to need containment these days, or my blogs will just be a long scream of inarticulate anger. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just doesn’t make very interesting reading.
Those of us born here are taught it in school. Those who come here from elsewhere learn it. Or else. Those who are Aboriginal are probably offended by the whole thing. As is anyone who calls themselves an ally.
O Canada, our home and native land
Many people have taken this line to pieces, most popularly, “our home ON native land”. But I still have a problem with this. Who is “our”? Anglos? The broader category “white folks”? Are white folks still the centre of the fucking universe? For fuck’s sake. And “home”, such a loaded term. Ward Churchill talked about colonization in a very personal way. Someone comes to your house, sits down and then says “Hey I live here now. Get the fuck out.” And when you protest you’re either taken out of your home, or killed. Or both.
True patriot love, in all thy sons command
Leaving aside the sexism, which is barely an irritant at this point, all sons are commanded to love the country, like patriots. Nice. Cute. Cosy. Cuddly. Fucking imperialist bullshit. And if you don’t love your country in true patriotic way, that you’re commanded to do? What then? Sound canons?
With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the true north strong and free
For the love of all that’s good and groovy. Glowing hearts, sentimental crap, whatever. But true north? Like there are no other northern countries? Strong and free? Free? Free from what? Free for who? The thieves who stole the land and divided it up? Been to a First Nations reserve lately?
From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee
Here’s the first of a bunch of “standing on guard” crap. Who exactly is standing on guard? Oh, right, armed agents of the state. And we all know how warm and fuzzy they are. And what are they standing on guard against? Hordes of Americans? Other people designated as “outsiders”? What does “stand on guard” mean, really? “Defending our way of life”? Such useless, vague language. Has just enough teeth to silence dissent where necessary. Fucking hell fuck.
God keep our land glorious and free
This was added about 20 years ago. The original words ,”O Canada” were replaced by “God keep our land”. Too many “O Canada”s was the critique, like anyone gives a shit. “God”, well that’s a whole other ballgame isn’t it, bringing Judeo-Christianity into the fucked up mess of patriotism, colonialism, genocide and imperialism? Um separation of church and state? Hello? But the truth is, they work from the same trope (compliance and unquestioning of authority whether that authority is “divine” or “elected”), and to the same end (elites who lord it over the rest of us). Pun intended.
O Canada we stand on guard for thee ( X2)
Bla bla bullshit whatever.
Today, I’m especially angry about Canada Day, given the events of last weekend and the gross violation of human rights and civil liberties that the federal government mandated and that the armed agents of the state carried out. In order to throw a party and “impress” other elites aka world leaders. The mainstream media was mostly bullshit for the most part, until they absolutely couldn’t deny the brutalities that were, again, mandated and not a bunch of “bad apples” or whatever the fuck they would try to say.
And today I’m angry, because the brutality, harassment, physical threats and physical abuse that’s faced EVERY DAY by poor people, homeless people, people of colour, immigrants, Aboriginal people, sex workers, queer folks and trans folks, at the hands, fists and boots of the police, gets no attention unless it’s a particularly brutal attack, it’s a slow news day, or framed in such a way as to make the police officer look heroic.
So, how will I be spending Canada Day? I’m going to a Commemoration of Chinese Railroad Workers in the morning. July 1 used to be called “Shame Day” in the Chinese Canadians, in protest within our community of the unjust Head Tax that was charged to Chinese migrants in the early part of the last century. Everyone is meeting at 10:30 on Blue Jays Way between Spadina and the dome stadium.
And at 5:30pm I will be attending yet another protest rally at Queen’s Park, demonstrating against the vicious police brutality against hundreds of protesters last weekend, including the over 1,000 people who were jailed at the make-shift Eastern Avenue Detention Center. Some people are still in jail right now.
VIDEO: How to conduct an efficient kidnapping in seven steps.
Canada is unjust. Fucking do something.