I mulled over whether to write this story or not. I get abused and attacked every time I highlight something negative about our city; even though what I write about is true.
When I wrote about Swastikas in a local high school and used the R word it led to being legally bullied by a school board. It was silence or face huge legal bills and potential loss.
“It’s 73 years ago today that Canada declared war on another tyrant… The people of Nazi Germany didn’t know what was going on, and over my time here I find it hard to believe how hard it is to find out what’s going on and how easy it is for the government to hide things”
When our racist or simply stupid MPP Jim McDonell dropped the N word (quote above) at Queen’s Park I offered to assist him out of the mess, but he made it worse eventually leading to an apology after comparing the government to Nazi’s.
“Although I have already retracted my original statement in the legislature,” wrote McDonell, “after hearing from B’nai Brith Canada, I understand it is necessary for me to state unequivocally that my comments comparing the Ontario government to Hitler’s Nazi regime were inappropriate. I look forward to working with all communities in the future to raise awareness of these issues.”
McDonell of course boycotts CFN on the public dime. The school board had boycotted CFN prior and has since.
Politically locally our premier, Kathleen Wynne gets roasted for openly being a Lesbian instead of being roasted for her horrible politics. Is it any wonder that some local politicians like Eric Duncan choose to stay in the closet?
Calling people out has a price. I was speaking with one health care worker who shared her own horror stories and when I asked if I could quote or interview her she refused citing fear of reprisal and losing her job.
That happens a lot in Cornwall. Ever wonder why Laura Vincent isn’t teaching at her school after the ice hockey rink story? Now that wasn’t racism, but it’s sadly the culture of this city. If you don’t roll over you pay a price. If you voice out when someone crosses a line you could end up unemployed.
Now we have of all things a charming group of girls hockey parents getting the boot from a game after allegedly shouting “Go home Mohammed” to a ref at a game. LINK
Some hurried apologies have been issued, but would they if the CBC had not done a story? The Freeholder even jumped in, but honestly they’ve been missing in action for the most part, and would they too have written about this if the CBC had not exposed it?
Nobody likes to admit a negative. I don’t. I’m at fault for tons of socially incorrect things like calling people like these parents retards which a friend reminds me is totally inappropriate.
But then she’s not a visible minority or born into a non Catholic religion in Cornwall. Recently I received an apology from our out going Bishop as the Diocese was not sending us their press releases. (the vast largest religious group in the riding are Catholic, over 55,000) Who knows? Maybe they too are sensitive after we covered some stories about sex abuse by some of their clergy?
When I linked the CBC story on one of our local facebook pages I was of course attacked and accused of having a grudge against Cornwall which is kinda retarded, because if I really hated Cornwall I would have left ages ago as so many others have. Bullying and racism are not hallmarks for building a community. Mix in some ignorance and corruption and you have a recipe for a place that gets socially isolated and has a reputation worse than fungus.
I’m a firm believer in trying to make my home better rather than running away or leaving for greener pastures which are rarely ever there.
Is there intolerance in Cornwall Ontario? Well we’ve offered the City a discount to say Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish community for a few years now (as we offer them for Christmas) and the city doesn’t even reply even though some councilors do.
Is that more about racism or the bullying that this newspaper is going through via City Hall? It could be both?
Kisa Lanctot didn’t respond to our interview request after she posted this, but she’s a big fan of Councilor Bernadette Clement whom many have cited of losing this past Federal election for factors like Dundas isn’t big on Colour, rather than her lack of Moral compass or honesty with her constituents.
I’ve felt racism from our Interfaith group even. After not being invited to their Holocaust Memorial events for a few years I was invited to speak and share about the project I created which was nominated for an Oscar in 2003, about the Holocaust. I was uninvited a few weeks before and later told it was because a Muslim woman said I had physically struck her daughter which of course was not remotely true, nor was I asked to comment on.
Muslim’s in Cornwall suffer the most when it comes to racism, especially if wearing traditional garb. Our friends in Akwesasne don’t fare much better, but then are almost as racist themselves.
Terms like Paki, rag head, nigger, fag, “don’t jew me down” are not rarity’s in our city. We are after all in Eastern Ontario.
Nobody expects to live in a perfect world and Cornwall isn’t unique. What is a bit unique is the reaction to those that are brave enough to hold people accountable for when they cross the line; which is usually harsh and abusive in nature.
In a sense you can’t blame some when they are condemned for something that comes natural to them that some may actually consider normal behavior.
It’s not an easy situation and may never really change. What ends up happening in that the good people shrink back like sheep and simply wait out the bad guys and gals hoping for a better future.
Solutions? Well if proven true all of the parents that participated in this hockey game need to be banished for at least one full year. Their kids need to understand that what mom and dad did was utterly wrong. It’s ok to have differences. It’s ok to not even like some of them, but it’s not ok to shout out to them like that or to limit their ability to earn a living.
In Cornwall for example it’s annecdotally been stated that visible minority owned convenience stores pull in about half of those with “white” people behind the cash registers.
We can do better, but only if we, the people of Cornwall Ontario wish to.
Do you wish to do better? Do you have a story of racism or bullying in Cornwall? Email yours to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want it investigated and you can post your comments below.