I saw a headline today about the annual meeting of premiers to discuss aboriginal concerns. The headline read:
Aboriginals are so vastly overrepresented in Canada’s federal prison system that current policies are clearly failing them, said Howard Sapers, the correctional investigator for Canada.
This also echoes the statements from the US regarding blacks being proportionally overrepresented in the prison population.
These are interesting statements and paint a picture that can be interpreted a number of ways. The first interpretation is that these communities are being discriminated against by the powers that be. In the US, this is the basis of a significant proportion of the protests in the Trayvon Martin aftermath, and in Canada is being used as a wedge to increase funding to Aboriginal programs.
The second interpretation is that these communities are failing, both themselves and in a larger societal sense. There is no doubt that historically, both of these communities have significant grievances to what has been done to them, but just like any victim group there is a choice. The first choice is to wear victimhood as a badge, and the second is to move forward, use it as motivation to improve things. The race card is played regularly, usually by people that have something to gain on both sides of the discussion, the latest being Obama and in Canada by groups that again have vested interests. The aftermath tends to be ugly and polarizes rather than fixes.
I’m tired of it all. I’m sick to death of agendas being put in front of progress and I’m sick of political correctness being used as a shield to stop meaningful discussion of solutions. There are huge problems with both of these communities, far larger than the Trayvon Martin case or meaningless hunger strikes in the Aboriginal community by the same people that are ripping their own communities off. Lets truly discuss these problems in an open way and then maybe, just maybe there may be some actual progress. I don’t claim to have the answers, but hiding the problems sure as heck isn’t going to help.