What a crazy few months its been for Aboriginal People!
- Patrick Brazeau senate scandal and assault charges
- Idle No More movement
- Theresa Spence hunger strike
- AFN Meeting with the Prime Minister
- Tom Flanagan pedophilic sympathy
Idle No More?
Although it seems the INM protests have died down in their frequency and intensity, I doubt very much that any anger, discontent or frustration has changed at the grassroots level. It seems bill C-38 and C-45 remain in effect and the high level discussions with AFN and the PM have yet to truly start.
It was quite confusing at times with the founders of INM on the one hand calling for no official leaders of the movement, yet still making directives from time to time to event coordinators and criticized others for “Usurping” the momentum for their idea. Many different messages about the purpose of the movement were relayed simultaneously with seemingly every individual protest, with a fair amount of misinformation thrown into the mix as well. There was a lot of discussion about “Unity”, yet there was a clear distancing from AFN, “Indian Act” Chiefs and even Theresa Spence. The whole thing made for some awkward reporting with certain news agencies like Sun Media appearing to delight in deliberately “muddying” the waters based on a few isolated and poorly researched incidents.
Still, the INM protests could have been a whole lot more serious, I half expected things to get worse before they got better. At the height of protests on Parliament Hill, talking heads on Facebook and CPAC made threats of “indefinite economic disruption” and “shutting down all transportation corridors” if their demands for real change were not met by January 22nd, 2013. Now that we are well into March and these threats never came to fruition, it seems that its business as usual for just about everyone. While things have appeared to have settled down a bit on the news ticker for now, it makes me wonder… where to from here?
At least there was a highly publicized national discussion during this 15 minutes of media fascination. The fact remains that conditions are bad in many communities, there has to be meaningful change. I highly doubt that the government will be the bringer of this change.
Tom “They’re Just Pictures” Flanagan
Well for once, even his own supporters disagree with him, this time on the topic of child pornography. Subsequently, a whole lot of backpedaling, rationalizing and blaming of a young student for asking about questionable statements regarding child pornography made by the conservative ideologist hasn’t achieved the desired redemption. Really? You were “Trapped” by voluntarily explaining your own statements freely made in two separate public forums?
Regardless Mr. Flanagan has built his reputation and fame (Canadian version), based on polarizing and controversial statements on everything from being ruthless with people who don’t share the samepolitical ideology, assassination of Julian Assange, to the outright assimilation of aboriginal peoples. His apologists claim he was just being “academic” and “is being attacked for free speech”. I am not sure I agree, I guess it is true that some things when spoken can never be taken back. At least there is no question as to where he stands.
I am no media genius, but it strikes me as counterproductive to expect compassion as a public figure if you announce you were on the mailing list for North American Man/Boy Love Association.
Senator Patrick Brazeau
While I haven’t exactly been a fan of his, I actually feel sorry about the predicament he is now in. Almost every time he has been in the news over the past few years I have cringed. I am scarred by the image of him at the 2012 charity boxing weigh-in “flexing” in his banana hammock, oversize watch, gym shoes and socks. All the trash talking and bragging about being a black belt in Karate, then losing… *shudder* it was for a good cause right? Calling a reporter a b#@ch on twitter,allegedly making fat jokes about Theresa Spence,singing a song on youtube about missing and lmurdered Aboriginal women after saying a year earlier that the issue was already dealt with, allegedly lying about his place of residence to make an extra 20k per year, making meat pies to make extra money when he isn’t at work, having the worst attendance record of the senate,sexual assault charges and getting dumped by his party.
Even if he doesn’t lose his job for life, doing whatever it is that he does, he is likely to be a pariah (if he wasn’t already). As long as he can refrain from “shooting from the hip” he might actually be able to maintain, although this may be trying to “shut the door after the horses have already left the barn”.
If he is convicted of Sexual Assault, then there is a good possibility he will lose his senate seat, after that it will likely a long road back to the rez.
I do hope he can turn all this around, there is a lot that he can do for Aboriginal People in his position; it would be a shame to see that opportunity go to waste.