My Country

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Is my country in the clear?
Do we speak against the fear?
Are we better than the rest?
Our vision truly best?

Or is our history
A darker mystery
Filled with not-so-secret shames
So many forgotten names
And things we’ve no wish to see?

Is it better to pretend
There’s no need to extend
Our thoughts and hearts and minds
Knowing that we’d find?
We aren’t nearly as kind
As we want to believe
And so we don’t conceive
That we can still improve
Because there are mountains yet to move

And more than mountains. I wrote that at almost the same time as “America Is Burning” but kept it a separate piece because it’s a separate, if related, thing.

I wrote it knowing about Regis Korchinski-Paquet and Chantal Moore and Chief Allan Adam and the Inuk man deliberately knocked down with an open truck door as the RCMP came to a stop. The last two people in that last survived their encounters. The first two did not. Chantal Moore’s death was fresh that day.

Since writing the poem above, I’ve seen the footage of Chief Adam’s arrest, and learned more about the other incidents. I’ve also learned about Rodney Levi and Lloys Chatel-Elie. Mr. Levi died Friday night in New Brunswick. Mr. Chatel-Elie was assaulted in his own home by Montreal police.

Canada is not innocent. We have the same problems as the US when it comes to systemic racism and over-policing of minority communities. It’s not as out of hand here as it is there, not yet. Maybe. But we’re following the same path.

Stay safe and be well, everyone.

And stay angry. Then find ways to channel that anger so the people in power have to hear it. It’s the only way things will change.

Update on 18 Jun 2020 to add the Youtube video of me reading the poem.

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