up until 2 year ago my province had a river called “Nigger Rapids”, along with “nigger rock”. I won’t lie to you and tell you I knew about these spots for longer than an hour, I’m new to this. I’m actually 34 years behind when we’re talking about Nigger Rapids.
i don’t know who to blame for this, i mean I know I’m partly to blame that’s for sure, I don’t think of myself as ignorant, but I do feel my refusal to educate myself about a Province that I find overtly oppressive definitely puts at least my big toe in that coloumn.
But, who else is to blame for something like this? Government? I guess you could put the onus on them, as long as you’re willing to admit politicians only move fast when their position is challenged by the people who elect them. And even then if what is being asked of them diminishes their political power among their peers they are more than likely to compromise.
How about the people who live around these “Landmarks”? Is the word Nigger no big deal? im guessing the people who lived or currently live in these areas see it as something that’s always been, and because they don’t use the word in a negative fashion it really doesn’t mean anything.
Its an amazing feat in my mind for a person to see a wrong, a slight, abuse, disrespect and say or do nothing. This is something I’m guilty of. Guilt, that’s what hit me immediately when I stood by, and it burned in my stomach that night as I tried to sleep. And now, 10 years later; it still bothers me to my core, and as I write this I feel the exact same way as I did when it first happened. That’s why I call it an amazing feat, to be able not to feel empathy for someone is something that baffles me.
So tonight (morning now) I will take on a responsibility that I flirted with at a younger age. From the moment my brother brought home the Autobiography of Malcolm X (I was 8, read that cover to cover), from when my city decided it was time for Recylcing Collection because of a few kids in elementary school who wrote a letter to their reps. From the moment 3 kids in that same elementary a few years later challenged the faculty for not observing Black History Month. I’m here now, I’m done observing.