Do Not Stand Idly By

I have never been one to stand idly by, I have far too many points of reference to choose from to list. This is not about me though, this is about us. Why have I waited 11 days to write this? You may or may not remember Politics Aren’t Professional where I stated my stance on personal views on LinkedIn, but this is not a time for being quiet & equality for people of color is not a personal view, it is a basic right. 

“But Canada isn’t racist. This is America’s problem”. As my wife likes to say, we mumble our racism as opposed to yell it. My wife is a strong person, she has a quip for everything & is not afraid of confrontation. I cannot count how many times she has been quiet out of fear of reprisal as a brown woman. Three times in the last week alone has she had to sit quietly and watch, because as she says “Neanderthals know Neanderthals & I don’t want us to be a target”. She is double double colored. She cried when I asked her last week when should we tell our children their skin color & curls may be an issue for them. If this is light brown in the GTA, what does darker brown, wearing a turban or hijab feel like? 

Do not stand idly by when you see passive racism such as refusal to serve, refusal to make eye contact or people pulling their children closer. Do not stand idly by when a colleague or friend makes a “joke”. Do not stand idly by when you see injustice in your neighborhoods. Say something, anything if you see physical or verbal harm to anyone. 

One day when poverty rates, standardized test scores, health outcomes, food access, access to education, police detention rates, imprisonment & pay are equal across all ethnicities & races, then and only then can we say “all lives matter”. Until that day, which I hope our children & those marching today will get us to, Black & Indigenous Lives Matter.

I have faith that we are at a turning point. I have faith that the millions of voices will be heard. I have faith in the youth of today. I have faith that those who are older will listen. I have faith that racists, if unwilling to learn, will at very least sit down in shame & know the world is not with them.

This is not a moment, this is a movement. If you can say “equal rights for all”, you can say “Black Lives Matter”. 

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