Sunday, 25 March 2012

grief

The weight of cumulative grief that is crushing the Missing Women Inquiry, the need for some to be exonerated leading to cascades of official cruelty to bring the original callous and inhumane treatment outward to every door in the province, and the country, is painful to behold.

Poor Wally Oppal, sitting alone with his two dozen tax-payer supported lawyers,* every one of them there to defend the dirty fingers of the state, with all two of the new lawyers appointed to represent every other person and group, living and dead.**

Christy Clark has a lot to answer for. Come on, Vander Zalm, where's your populist fervour now? I got my shovel, where's yours?  When have we had a more important issue to put to the voters of BC: what do we want to pay for, collectively, with our tax payer dollars? Who do we want to hear from, officially, with all this time we have on our hands?

+
Watch Tina House report on APTN National News:

=

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
like a breath of fresh air: 
yes, this is absolutely a national issue,
let us do that instead.



Okay, officially, the new lawyers are there to represent "the interests of Aboriginal people," as general, specific, and diverse, as that may be. The horror of the frank racism of the state's cumulative decisions in this matter has got to be affecting a huge swathe of people, though, who are not indigenous, and also made voiceless, by the twin sins of not being invested in burying the sins of the state, and not being detached enough from the emotion of what is going on to effectively expose and attack the mechanics of what is going on.

How deeply delving is a commission led by the culpable expected to be? There are limits to humanity, and it is a rare saint indeed who can see clearly past his own contributing education, conditioning, perspectives and decisions to be able to spot everyone else playing "not my fault."

My vague impression of Mr. Oppal as a man of character was severely over-stretched when he failed to effectively protest Christy Clark's flagrant settlerism, her soccer mom approach to killing off the opposing team, then dancing across the field calling woot woot! Now there is a lady who definitely enjoys her purse strings.


Why is it that women can be so utterly callous toward women's interests?

How is it that the twin cloaks of privilege and power make people believe they are both invisible and not accountable?



I know it is the weight of grief that is doing us in, because for myself, i tend to flinch away from the whole thing. I tune in periodically, but most of the time i spend with my mop, dealing with being a woman among the walking wounded who has a number of sisters who are the walking wounded, who live within a family of the walking wounded, within a cluster of families of the walking wounded, within communities of the walking wounded, and, all of the reverberations and the cascading effects of the same. These are the facts as i see them, and spending decades in therapy has not made me more white nor more middle class, and has not improved my economic status one iota. (The glass ceiling in my neighbourhood has been set astonishingly low. I have been thoroughly educated in all the wrong things, it seems.)

If only I could say that I was the only woman in my family who survived a near-fatal attack, then I could be the designated wounded one and everybody else could pitch in and help. But that's not how social oppression works, is it?  It is whole swathes of people marked  OKAY TO ATTACK, and whole swathes of people taught, THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO RELIEVE TENSION. It is clearly marked categories of humans who must be correctly identified, and unrelenting systemic attack on all of these and all of their allies.

If only I could say that I was the only woman in my family who, as a teen, fled a hostile sexist-racist milieu in one province, only to find an even more dreadful open season of options in another (province or territory or state). We have been run ragged seeking out our safe space, and have settled across two countries and three provinces, just waiting for the white ball to come rolling this way again, and relocate the all of us, scatter me more.

To say that all of my siblings survived to adulthood, is that really what counts for Canadian-style "bragging rights"?

Okay, i've found something positive to say. Perhaps i can truthfully say this: I was probably the only one in my family who, within months of escaping the dangers that beset me in one province, spent an entire day in a court room listening to two witnesses in a gang rape, murder, and dismemberment trial, the victim a young woman of undisclosed race.*** The witnesses were an 18 year old male participant and the coroner. The day went on and on forever, and it still goes on, each one endlessly telling and retelling the same deeply painful, deeply shameful tale, each in his own words.

Quite the education for a girl about to turn 16.

Too bad that Christy Clark hasn't seen half the shit I've seen.  

Just for the record: financial abuse by the state registers the same, in the body politic, as the physical attack of any individual human being within that collective. Policy abuse shines through window dressing and spin, all day, every day.

As for the prospects for a national inquiry, well, at least all of us who have felt pursued by the violence against poor + brown + isolated + female + small enough to pick up and walk off with, or demonstrably and officially deemed timid enough not to "effectively protest" when out numbered and out gunned, all who have been deemed prostitutes by virtue of class, race, geography, all of the actual prostitutes, all of the allies of all of the above, of whatever class, origin, or location: we will all be able to begin to weave a fuller cloth of the in-your-face truth of Canadian social history, that the official versions of "us" have been working overtime in keeping apart. Why keep the pig farmers separate from the barbers, to whose advantage is that?****

If we want clarity, we have to take a step inward, opening hearts and minds, as well as a step outward, encompassing the full picture. 

Let's call that the Two-step Solution, and dance.

The three or five people who most applaud Christy Clark will not be speaking out for her come election time, she is just another misled patsy, and not a Patsy Cline.

Likewise, the UN stirrings of interest, we have faith in it and expect nothing to come of it, all at the same time. That is what must be done to survive.


Let's talk about sexism just a little more. Why should we expect these new lawyers, with no structural changes to the commission, to fare any better than the lady officers back in the day, talking to the empty heads and the empty hearts of their bosses?  Who will nourish these two lawyers to the degree that they can bring about, in conjunction with Mr. Oppal and that flock of well-paid other lawyers, any thing much at all?






Good luck, ladies, wherever you are.

* + **
I am not clear whether these general figures include the lawyers for the families of the identified victims, and certainly i mean no harm and no disrespect to any of the friends and allies and families, or to any who do hold some hope for the inquiry.

***
no doubt the coroner + press disclosed it at the time

****
i have no grudge against farmers, this is a reference to serial killing & official neglect


Sources:
Neal Hall, March 7 in the Vancouver Sun: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Missing+Women+inquiry+credibility+with+aboriginal+community+Grand+Chief/6259696/story.html#ixzz1q9vBUsRZ

Tina House, Josh Grummet, March 23, APTN National News:

http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/03/23/new-lawyers-appointed-for-missing-women-inquiry/

First Nations Summit, Open Letter
http://www.scribd.com/doc/84207940/PDF-Open-letter-to-Wally-Oppal-from-the-First-Nations-Summit

Also see Sarah Hunt, March 6, mediaindigena: http://www.mediaindigena.com/sarah-hunt/issues-and-politics/any-illusions-of-credibility-for-sham-missing-women-inquiry-fade-as-aboriginal-rep-resigns#disqus_thread

For a wider view and context, read Larry Nicholson's very moving essay here,
http://thebrowntowncrier.blogspot.ca/2012/02/kind-of-symmetry.html

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