Monday, August 31, 2009


Sometimes I take short cuts in my writing. I assume that everyone will make the leap with me from one thought to another without my stating the obvious step in between.

This is a mistake on my part. It is bad writing.

Twice in recent days I have spoken here about "racism" in the heartbreaking instances of missing aboriginal women in BC and Manitoba and all across Canada.

The racism which I am suggesting is NOT in the selection by lunatics and murderers of aboriginal women as victims, although that may in fact be an issue.

I am referring to the sluggish reaction of the police.

Let me be clear.

If 20 young blond white women were abducted or murdered or gone missing from Vancouver's west side, all bloody hell would break loose.

One woman was tragically murdered here in recent months and 75 police officers were assigned to the case.

Nobody begrudges the dedicated and thorough response that this shocking incident enjoyed.

But it does point up a dreadful double standard.

Three years before Robert Picton was even suspected of anything, three years before the police launched the final concerted effort that would end at Picton's farm, I had an aboriginal woman and a female Vancouver police officer on my radio show. We were talking about the native woman's missing sister. We were all suggesting that there was an awful pattern here, that some serious investigating needed to begin.

Both the woman and her sister had lived in my house with my wife and son and their two brothers many years ago when I was running a treatment centre. They were all children at the time, the children of a very wonderful woman who had spent many horrible years drunk.

Some of those children developed into citizens as adults. But one of the girls ended up on the street - a prostitute and addict.

While officials ignored the obvious, more women disappeared. They were murdered.

We are encouraged to learn from history.

But the Highway of Tears shows that we have not.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

But investigation delayed is murder.

And racism.


Chris M said...

I have worked with many at risk youth. Youth in general for that matter.
The hardest thing I have dealt with is getting them to understand that things like hitchhiking, drinking in bars to the point of oblivion and then leaving with someone they don't even know is DANGEROUS.
There are predators who are out there looking for victims.
I don't believe this is totally a racism issue. The First Nations communities are struggling with systemic abuse (both addictions,sexual,poverty etc).
We as society must stand up and say we will no longer tolerate the abuse of children of any race,religion,gender.

Anonymous said...

How can many police officers shift their thinking in this regard when so many of them disrespect even the female civilians that they know and work with every day, treating them like second class citizens? I've heard this from female civilians repeatedly--women who work hard to support law enforcement.