I’ll admit it. I am prejudiced, judgemental, and tend to sarcasm when I’m waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to speed. I was reminded of this when an article I recently wrote (Caledon Councillors Get Crackin) got widely circulated, causing some audiences to wet themselves with laughter, and others not to appreciate the evicerating humour.
My Dad had a great expression: “Let the person who has not screwed up cast the first snide remark,” … his down-to-earth take on the glass house and stone throwers lesson. My Mom, on the other hand, always went for the jugular, with a lighting speed judgment of good or evil.
I suppose this dichotomy lives in most of us, the constant strain between the light and dark of our characters, For example, when a speeding driver cuts me off, my first reaction is to pursue and get the licence; my wife, on the other hand always counters my sword of justice balloon by saying something like, “Gee, Skid maybe he’s rushing to the hospital to help his sick child.” Deflated, I slow down and take a breath.
However, for some things, I have drawn my line in the sand and picked my hill upon which to die. I am allergic to stupidity and will fight it at every appearance of its “Burn The Witch” cattle call whenever I hear it. To be perfectly clear, there is a distinct difference between ignorance and stupidity. An ignorant person is simply unaware of the background to a situation and can be taught. A stupid person has been given the opportunity to learn and chooses to ignore that opportunity: the don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up mentality.
I also admit that I am prejudiced against misogynistic race supremacists and nationalists, the KKK, Nazis, and totalitarian dictators. Sorry, but the “good people on all sides” argument doesn’t fly with the Khmer Rouge, or the Roman Catholic Spanish Inquisitors, or the architects of Canada’s residential school system, or the racists that marched through the streets of Charlottesville. Or the rat packs of stupid white men who daily pontificate their love of the alt-right perspective in coffee shops across this country.
Yes, I will be judgemental here. Your opinion is only valid if formed from valid information – otherwise garbage in, garbage out. Climate Change is real, there is no link between vaccines and autism, there is more danger of radiation from cell phones than cell towers, and Evolution is NOT a theory. The problem in getting to these valid conclusions is that there is a plethora of fake news sites and fake degreed professors who will try to panic you into believing otherwise.
So, I continue to teach and to write and to try my best to bring light into the darkness. Be warned, if I find someone beating up on a woman or child, violating the norms of social justice, denying civil rights, or generally being an inconsiderate, disrespectful, antisocial jerk, the sword of justice will be in my right hand and I won’t bother to ask if you might really, deep down inside, be like one of those good people from Charlottesville who marched proudly chanting ” Blood and Soil” and “Jews will not replace us!”
Sorry, if it chants like a Nazi, and it marches like a Nazi, it’s a Nazi. It may look like a whining old man in a restaurant, or a skinhead with a swastike tattoo, or a well-dressed politician but the mentality is still the same and deserves no place in our civil society. Silence in this case, is not golden – it is consent.
They drew a line in the sand at Vimy Ridge, they drew a line on the beaches of Normandy, Time to draw a line in the communities of Canada.