November 20th 2002
Ah yes! The whole irony of the situation over the last few weekends was brilliant.
The Toronto Star, in one more totally biased attempt to prove their politically correct left wing biases, decided to run a series of articles on “racial profiling” and the Toronto Police Force.
Off to the records department went a few cub reporters full of vim, vigour and the need to get as much attention as possible. Hopefully resulting in a slew of awards dedicated to whatever passes for journalistic intent lately.
Despite being informed that the Police Force doesn't keep statistics on the racial breakdown of their actions, the intrepid investigators weren't at all deterred. They merely took all the data they could lay their hands on and then toddled off to find the figures to fit their own facts.
I should also point out at this time that the reason that the Police Force doesn't do it's own racial number crunching is as a direct result of a newspaper making a huge song and dance many years back when a rookie Police Chief made some comment to the effect that certain racial groups were involved in a higher percentage of crime in certain parts of his area. As is so depressingly familiar in Canada no attempt was made to ascertain the validity of this statement, it merely served as a whip to beat the Police with.
ALL Police were racist. The Chief was a racist. This must not be allowed to happen. Racial profiling is disgusting. On and on. To the extent that merely keeping statistics on who is involved in what crime and where is now Streng Verboten!
Well not exactly actually. It is still permissible to target white criminals such as the Hells Angels or the Mafia but heaven help you if you so much as think of keeping statistics on any “visible minority” group of thugs!
Having said all that it is now appropriate to also point out that the newspaper involved then was… surprise surprise!….the Toronto Star!
And the Rookie Chief? None other than the current Toronto Police Chief Fantino!
Ah yes. No hint of bias on the Stars part there at all!
Which is why it came as no surprise to read that the Toronto Police were racists once again.
This time it wasn't because they were keeping statistics on the race groups involved in crime. They weren't!
This time it was because, according to the arrest records cleverly manipulated by the reporters, they were “targeting” young blacks unfairly in things such as random car checks. And not letting them out of jail as quickly as the white miscreants.
Oddly enough, in order to put across their point about targeting, most of the first hand comment in the series was from Americans! And not Americans in Canada either. I'm talking about what seemed to be comment lifted wholesale from American newspaper articles.
I was halfway through one particular article before I realised it referred to a Police arrest of some black youths down in New York State, I think.
No doubt this was cleverly designed to stir up the emotions of those who merely glance at the first few paragraphs of any article. Which, I am told is the majority of people.
What that did do though, is make me take a closer look at the rest of the articles and I discovered that much of the comment and so-called “eye witness” accounts appeared to be from the United States!
I wasn't aware that the Toronto Police had such a wide jurisdiction. In fact isn't it only the RCMP that always “get their man”? Ah well let's not ask too many questions and spoil a nice story shall we?
As soon as the Star came out with its story the usual suspects rallied to the cause and started mouthing off about “racism”. All the black groups who have thrived on turning every incident into a race based cause leapt into the fray. Most interesting of course being the East Indian groups who are always the first to scream racist even if they aren't involved. And generally when they are screaming racist loudest they aren't!
Of course due to the nature of the beast there was very little discussion about the disproportionate amount of black youths engaged in criminal activities.
Don't look at the cause. Go after the people who have to deal with the fallout!
In true Canadian fashion it was decided to have an inquiry into racial profiling by the police headed up by a respected member of the judiciary. This wasn't to the liking of the “African Canadian” groups who had already decided that the outcome would be biased. Mind you seeing as there had been a good dozen similar reports over the years I could see some merit to not starting another one that would sit on the shelf with the others gathering dust.
Tempers were boiling over the next weekend when the whole affair was stood on its head! In the bloodiest weekend so far this year four black youths were gunned down.
Even the lefty bleaters were stunned at the toll!
As per usual these people were wonderful fine members of the community and no one knew why they were murdered.
Only all were Jamaican and all were members of one or other gang and all were involved in the drug trade!
The next weekend more murders.
Once again Jamaicans. Once again gang members. Once again apparent retaliation.
Only this time people started to ask a few questions. Well not the Star obviously but others. Suddenly it turns out that maybe there may be fairly good reason to look at certain sections of the black community as far as criminal activity goes. The Jamaicans seem to be involved in both drugs and murder far out of proportion to their actual numbers in the community.
Suddenly small voices could be heard questioning why the black community was shielding these criminals. From within the black community! Questions were being asked as to why a small section of a community should be holding the whole community up to ridicule and suspicion. Why were so many witnesses so afraid to come forward to point out the miscreants?
Last weekend the trend continued. Yet again a gunman was murdered. This time one of the original murderers was gunned down himself.
By now it will probably come as no surprise to hear that he was Jamaican. An illegal immigrant as well apparently. Involved in the drug trade. Part of a gang. And so on and so forth!
Of course this whole story is now passé with the Star who are on to whining about the nasty Americans racial profiling at the border posts. Same story. Same bias. Different enemy!
They've stirred up the mud beautifully. There is no need to ask pointed questions about the local Black community. It's disproportionate involvement in crime and the lack of co-operation when it comes to cleaning up it's own image. After all we are actually talking about blacks murdering blacks here!
In fact the saddest aspect of the whole process is that this last week all the so called community leaders were in a typical racist meeting listening to Johnnie Cochrane telling them how to sue the Police to stop racial profiling.
You remember Cochrane don't you? O.J. Simpson's lawyer. The one that played the race card at every available opportunity. A fitting racist talking to the other racists running opportunistic community “groups”. Lashing out at everyone else but themselves when it comes to finding blame.
And so no doubt this weekend we can expect more murders.
While everyone looks the other way and lets the real racists drag down the black community.
November 13th 2002
I have a confession to make.
Despite all my efforts to be as even handed as possible, even I have a degree of bias resulting from my upbringing and through having lived in South Africa.
During the week the local expat community managed to set up a concert featuring Jannie Du Toit and Christa Steyn.
On their way out West to Winnipeg and Vancouver they were diverted to experience the local sights and sounds of Toronto. Technically Oakville actually. But lets not quibble about that for the time being. What is important here is that the two were going to give a concert at The Meeting House out on Speer's road.
As it was I was in two minds about attending.
For starters I have an eclectic taste in music, which runs from classical to pure rock. With the odd foray into blues and Marshall Mathers even. The younger among you will probably raise your eyebrows at that one, but hey, I was a rebel long before your grandfathers had that twinkle in their eyes!
What it doesn't include is the Bless Bridges school of schmarm. Which is why I was a bit worried about attending this event. And where my bias comes in I might add.
I suppose that growing up in South Africa you come to associate various groups with different types of music and this bias tends to linger.
So for me boeremusiek has come to epitomise the really schmaltzy country liedjies that we used to hear all the time back when Corike was the forces favourite.
The “I'm sitting here in my wheelchair talking to the truck driver on my CB who is going to give me and my three-legged, one-eyed dog, my only friend, a drive in his truck and then fall in love with my chronically ill mother who is pining for my father who was an alcoholic and left us when I was only a baby so I want a real father and true love” school of room clearing drek.
Which is why I was pleasantly surprised at the night's proceedings and enjoyed myself totally.
Both artists belong more to the new country rock style of music, which is right up my street.
Aside from the odd ubiquitous favourite such as “ver in die ou Kalahari” retooled to fit Jannies style most of the songs were self-penned. Which meant that you were treated to a more sincere form of music closer to the Dylan style from the old period.
For those of us a good 17,000 kilometres away from home the songs about going back to childhood roots were perhaps a little close to the bone. Nostalgia setting in amongst the many people who attended.
Which is why Christa had the rocked up classical section I suppose.
In fact Christa is one seriously mean keyboard player!
I realise that the Star of the show was Jannie yet she managed to steal the show on numerous occasions with her playing and, oddly enough, the comedic persona she appears to enjoy acting out.
In fact when the old Tannie first appeared on stage in the beginning I was a bit bemused as to who the hell she was. It took me, and I presume, most of the audience, a while to work out that she was the other part of the act.
Do you remember the “Blou Rokkies”?
Think “Pinkrokkie” and you will have an idea of the get up that she was dressed in! Even down to the carefully crafted look of disgust that the ou Tannies always seemed to have on them.
A sort of “who stepped in what?” look that most of us remember from way back when!
After a few of these looks I was scratching my head as to what the hell was going on. Sure her actions were funny but so out of character as to what I was expecting that it was only when she began tinkling on the piano that I began to realise who she may have been.
Oddly enough this start to the show set up the audience for a very pleasant few hours of good solid music and reminiscances.
Carefully extended by the half time koeksisters and melk tert!
While the first half of the show was given over to mainly well remembered liedjies the second half let both entertainers loose on their own works and whenever artists perform their own work the heart comes to the fore. Which is why I enjoyed the second half more than the first I suppose.
So at the end of the evening I felt a little refreshed from not only the music as such but by the fact that I was able to listen, understand and even feel a bit of nostalgia for what was a part of my life for such a long time.
Nothing like music and humour to reinforce your roots is there?
November 5th 2002
Oddly enough, for the first few years of my life I had a Queen as the nominal Head of State.
Now, forty odd years later, and I'm back with the same Queen as Head of State in a different country.
Still nominal I might add. Still a figurehead as well.
And, as with so many years before, still a damn side more gracious and regal than either of the bunch of politicians who were, and are, in power!
I'm still trying to work out whether it was an intended snub by Chretien when he decided to let John Manley, his Deputy, meet and greet and then escort Her Majesty around Ottawa.
The rumour around town was that Chretien was miffed at having to attend the Queen Mothers funeral on two accounts.
The first being that he had to cut short his trip to Africa to go and attend the funeral.
Seeing as Africa is high on Chretien's agenda as “The Place” to secure his legacy, I am sure that schmoozing with Dictators with more up to his taste than seeing off some old woman in a foreign country.
Even if she had been his Queen at some stage, as was her daughter currently.
After all the Little Guy from Shewinigan is not exactly an Anglophone. His Quebec roots show through quite strongly on many occasions. Most notably when it comes to handing out millions from taxpayer's money to his mates!
It was also rumoured that he was really put out at having to use the side door at the Abbey when attending the Funeral. His Excellency the Lord High Poobah of Canada felt that he should have been allowed to waltz in through the front door in a grand entrance more suited to someone as patently magnificent as he.
Unfortunately not many other dignitaries were as bedazzled by his excellence as Chretien is himself. Consequently he was relegated to coming in through the tradesman's entrance with the rest of the riff raff! Jolly fitting too I say! Show the upstart just where his real station in life should be!
However we all know that Chretien is a mean spiteful little man when he perceives himself to be bad done by. Ask quite a few potential Liberal Party leaders about that little statement!
So he decided that Manley would do the honours.
Because he didn't like Manley? Well no! Not at all. In fact Manley is an avowed Republican and as expected within a short space of time he opened his mouth and inserted his foot. Whether this was with the tacit approval of his Boss is a moot point. Manley in a rather crass display of rudeness decided to question the need for Queen Elizabeth the Second to be the Queen of Canada.
Whether you agree with him or not, the point here is that as her Government escort in Canada and as a member of her Parliament, he was way out of line. Even on the minor technicality as regards manners alone, he should have shut up, done his duty and debated her relevance after she had left these shores.
Such is the lack of understanding of plain decorum and the arrogance of the current incumbents of Canada's Government, that they all looked most upset that this would annoy anyone.
About the only person who seemed nonplussed by all the fuss was the Queen herself who took it all in her stride with aplomb and dignity.
It was very interesting to follow the Queens progress around Canada. I would hate to have to do all the mundane boring things that she seems to have to do.
Even worse would be the need to smile and pretend to be interested in patently boring sideshows she seemed to be dragged off to.
Not to mention the precocious little brat that gave a “spontaneous” speech to the Queen as she was walking past. This particular effort garnered the local media's attention as said brat was not only an immigrant from the “right” multicultural country but had been coached to say the “right” multicultural message as well. Actually shout would be more appropriate here. It was the shouting that caught the Queens attention. Not necessarily the message.
And did I get a hint of sarcasm in her comment to the Mother pushing her brat forward? Maybe. But if so it was probably lost on the majority there. After all Mommy dearest seems to have been a dab hand at pushing her brat into the limelight on quite a few occasions according to the media.
It did however get even the Star gushing unashamedly about the Queen. No mean feat in itself considering the ”lets make Canada a communist Republic” stance they seem to follow.
Actually it was probably more as a result of the English Tabloids fevered attack on the Canadians for daring to treat the Queen unkindly and even “shock horror gasp etc.” trying to kill her by leaving her stranded in an icy river up North.
Odd how the gutter press in the UK attacked her for being nasty to Diane and yet will get annoyed if others don't show due respect.
The real howls of protest however being reserved for the Canadian Olympic medal winner who asked the Queen to pose with him and then, “shock horror gasp again”, PUT HIS ARM AROUND THE QUEEN!
Which as everyone knows is a tremendous breach of protocol and once upon a time would have had the head attached to the arm removed. Ah well! How times have changed eh? This time the Queen even looked like she was not too put out by this lack of etiquette.
Mind you selling the photograph to the press was probably going a little overboard in total lack of manners but, hey, this is Canada after all, where even the Prime Minister's feel obligated to show disrespect to their head of State. Chretien after all merely following in Trudeau's famous pirouette footsteps earlier!
So the Queen has been and gone. Traffic returns to normal. The media has other fish to fry. Even the Government has returned to denying that the reason that people are resigning is because of pork barrel politics.
In fact right now when the future of the Queen as the Head of State could be debated openly there appears to be no attempt to do so.
Before we know it, it will be King Charles as the head honcho instead.
No doubt the major breach of protocol involved here being some yahoo shouting out “Hey Chuck feel like a tampax eh?” during a Royal Talk-to-the-Trees.
We wait with anticipation.