rise up, stand up

There’s a pathetic old woman named Kathy Shaidle, a Canadian blogger, who recently posted this on her site:

“Shame those smallpox blankets were just a myth, eh?”

The old woman in question was slamming a Plains Cree man who took his two daughters into a freezing blizzard last winter while he was drunk. He lost his children going between houses. They froze to death. The man pleaded guilty to criminal negligence. But the old woman with the blog took the opportunity to express hate against an entire race of people, and to advocate mass murder and even genocide.

Just like the good old days, huh.

Of course, when other bloggers confronted this compelling reason for retroactive abortion, she trotted out the usual excuses: settlers never practiced this method of mass murder; it was just a joke. Such despicable idiots eventually seek the refuge of cowards by wrapping themselves in the cloak free speech, wherein they portray themselves as defenders of democracy, decency, family values, blah… blah…

I wouldn’t comment about this pitiable old woman or her lame excuses except for a study conducted by Canadian and U.S. researchers at York University.

Take two classes of 60 students each. Put two actors, one black and the other white, into one of the classrooms. This is what happened next according to CBC.ca:

The black actor then left the room to retrieve a cellphone, lightly bumping the other actor on the way out. The white actor then responded in one of three ways, saying nothing, saying the phrase “I hate when black people do that” or uttering an offensive racial slur.

When the black actor returned, study participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire rating their emotional mood and then were asked to choose a partner for what they thought was the actual test.

The researchers found that in cases where the white actor made a racist comment, participants did not speak out, did not report any emotional distress and actually chose the white actor as a partner more often than the black actor.

The other group of students were told what had taken place in the other classroom, then were asked to make the same choice. Most students chose to partner with the black actor.

OK. What does all of this mean? Here’s one of the researchers:

“The failure of people to confront or do anything about racist comments is pretty widespread in the real world,” said Smith. “People may feel uncomfortable if someone makes a remark like this, but it’s rare they will actually confront them.”

It also shows why racism continues to be as Canadian as Hockey Night in Canada.

That’s my reason for this post. I’d like to send some applause to a few bloggers StageLeft and Balbulican, Dr. Dawg, who routinely stand up and speak out against racism in the blogosphere.

As for that old woman and others like her… They deserve nothing but contempt.

An article on the study is published in this month’s (January) issue of Science Magazine.

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Filed under Aboriginal peoples, Canada, Indigenous peoples, racism

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