Saskatchewan Racist as Fuck No Surprise To Anyone But Folks Who Don’t Like Indians

Yeah, I stole the title from my own Twitter stream.

I’ve seen these headlines over the last couple of days that talk about how SHOCKED everyone is to find out that SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH has PROVEN that Saskatchewan is full of people who pretty much hate each other. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has lived in this province for more than ten minutes. Seriously, we can’t stand each other. But because it’s so goddamned cold in this province, we help each other because there’s a good chance that at some point in the near future you’re going to be stranded on that stretch of highway #1 between Moose Jaw and Swift Current where literally nothing happens for days unless someone is looking, which nobody ever is.

"Deny" image by Asif Akbar used royalty-free from freeimages.com
“Deny” image by Asif Akbar used royalty-free from freeimages.com

White folks are racist towards “The Indians” (or, if you’re outside of a small town but not quite in one of the cities, “The Natives”), “The Immigrants”, “Those Mooselimbs”, “The Catholics”, “The Protestants”, “That Black Guy” [excluding football players], “The Chinese” (sometimes also referred to as “Asians” as if Asia weren’t, you know, fucking immense and full of many nationalities, but whatever. See “The Indians” above.), “The French” and basically anyone who can’t trace their own lineage to other white folks. French people are not included as “white folks” because Quebec. And of course people (mostly dolts) talk about “reverse racism” (which doesn’t exist) which is what happens when a brown person hates a non-brown person. It’s still racism. It’s just the kind of racism that happens when an historically ill-served and abused culture ends up hating the privileged class or race.

And yes, I’m just going to go ahead and use the term “racist” and “racism” synonymously with “bigot” and “bigotry” because sometimes when I get going on a rant I don’t much care about the vagaries of nit-picky word origin when we all know what we mean. We mean the kind of knee-jerk, ingrained, culturally insensitive distaste and prejudice we have against an entire class/culture/group of people based on a single or small select group of characteristics. SO GO AHEAD AND TELL ME IT ISN’T TECHNICALLY RACISM TO HATE MUSLIMS. It’s still ruddy bigotry so that’s what we’re dealing with.

Look, we have a long and storied history of misunderstanding, ignoring, mistreating, and basically hating the Aboriginal peoples of our province. And the immigrant peoples. This comes primarily from the long and storied history we have, as descendents of Europeans, of hating each other. THIS IS WHAT WE DO. It should come as no surprise to anyone that WE STILL HATE EACH OTHER. Because what have we done to change our own behaviour?

Sure, you watched a movie about Gandhi, and boy howdy he was a really smart little Indian dude. You thought Nelson Mandela was kind of keen. You said you’d have voted for Obama. It’s sure easy to point our fingers at all the hate and intolerance all over the world and still be unable to see our own prejudices. To be unable to acknowledge that we still comment about how our doctors are “darkies, but they’re not quacks” (that’s a direct quote from a guy I know). To express shocking ignorance at our own history of systematic destruction of entire nations’ language, culture, and religion in what any other place would be called genocide or ethnic cleansing but what in Canada we choose to call “that nasty business with the residential schools”.

It’s pretty easy to say shit like “well all that nasty business that happened with the residential schools – you should just get over it. If it weren’t for the Europeans, you’d still be living in tents, for God’s sake”, which is something I still hear people say. And they’re not joking. Heaven forfend you should mention Treaties. Because somehow, magically, these internationally-binding agreements that *our government* signed on *our behalf* don’t apply to us? Because, what, that was just, you know, a thing that some dudes did, like, a hundred years ago or whatever but it doesn’t apply now.

Do you know why there are a bunch of different countries in Europe? Africa? Asia? BECAUSE OF INTERNATIONAL TREATIES, you boob.

Anyway. Yeah. That Saskatchewan is racist as fuck is not news. That very few people seem to be able to figure out that ACCURATE INFORMATION and education is the first way out of the hole into which we have all, seemingly quite happily, jumped is pretty sad. The first step in eradicating racism is a very, very easy step. But it involves leaving your ego at the door, and sadly, I don’t think we’re even close to that yet.

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

7 Comments

  1. Reminds me of the shock liberal Australians expressed in the 1990s when Pauline Hanson brought some of the most blatant racists out of the woodwork and onto TV. Presumably liberals don’t listen to talk-back radio or their own thinly veiled racist remarks so they just couldn’t believe it still existed in Australia (other than the racism all those foreigners bring in from overseas of course).

  2. Coming to this a little late but yeah, are “we” ever! I’m surprised you didn’t get some outraged feedback on this entry, because we’re so blind to our own prejudices. “We’re not racist; they really are you-choose-the-word-here!” and “We’re just telling it like it is!” and so on. Oy.

    1. I mean. The only way to really be “outraged” about a post about how racist we are is to prove that you are actually a racist, so maybe all the bigots are just afraid to comment?

      1. I loved this article. You nailed it. A rare and enlightened voice. You give me courage to state the obvious too. Thanks. You made my day.

  3. This was a brilliant read. I was considering a future move to Saskatchewan from Ontario with my family. So out of fear and curiousity I googled racism in Saskatchewan, and this post made me realize perhaps we might stay put a little longer- among other reads of course, but this one is honest and I appreciate that.

    1. I mean.

      Don’t let the shitty attitudes of some of the people who live here keep you from experiencing all the actually great things about this province. Canada is full of racist assholes.

      The real trick here is that IN SPITE of all the dickbags who can’t seem to get their heads out of their rectums, Saskatchewan is a wonderful place to live. The good people here outweigh the bad and we’re doing our damndest to change things for the better.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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