Saturday 19 May 2012

Who Knew? Turns out I am a (gasp) Racist

While riding on the streetcar this morning, and reading the morning edition of Metro (a free rag distributed in Toronto each morning), I stumbled upon a story describing the murder of a bride on her wedding night. There was a phone call to the sister, containing a tearful confession, saying that there had been a terrible fight, and that now the groom had fled.

Immediately I jumped to the conclusion that this was an Honour Killing. In Canada, we have recently suffered several recent events: most notably and recently, the horrid murders of two daughters and their mother, in Kingston, Ontario, about which I have previously written.

But that is not the point of this particular blog. This is: immediately upon reading the headline, I assumed that this was another Muslim-extremist Honour Killing. Only upon reading the details did I learn that the suspect was named Jimenez, a native of Chicago, and is still on the lam.

Based upon nothing more than a headline, I leapt to an erroneous conclusion, and I am not proud of it. I fancied myself a 21st-Century Canadian, lugging no cultural baggage, prepared to treat everyone equally, and priding myself on the fact that I have good friends from the spectrum of colours and religions around me. That much is demonstrably true. But I also thought that I was above ethnic/racial stereotyping, that I was the very model of a modern Major General. Sadly, I have discovered that I am not.

There's not much solace to be gained here. The best I can do is reflect upon something Noam Chomsky wrote:
“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” 


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