Sunday, October 26, 2014

Torn and troubled

If you are Canadian, this has been big week in Media.  Perhaps a HUGE week in media.

First, we had the tragic events in the Capital.  Where a man, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, armed with a shot gun that held a maximum of 8 rounds, ran to the war memorial & gunned down an unarmed solider.  He then proceeded to walk into the parliament building, towards the conservative and NDP caucus meetings.  He was then shot down by Sargent-at-Arms, who emptied his semi-automatic side arm, into the chest of the man.

Second, late last week, we have had (argueably) the most beloved radio-host in Canada, fired from the national broadcasting corporation, CBC.  He was fired, apparently, because of his fetishes and sexual acts.  As you know, there are reports that at least 3 women state that it was non-consensual acts of violence and domination.

Let me be clear:

  1. I do not condone acts of violence.  Not towards individuals, groups, or nations.  I grieve with our nation over the violence that has occurred this week in our Nation's capital.  
  2. I agree that the private sexual acts of men and women, are not for employers (or anyone other than the people engaged in said behaviours) to be privvy to.  That is, however, as long as someone is not being hurt or abused.

But... i am torn. Both of these things hurt my heart. Both of these stories are incredibly troubling to me.

I am torn about the fact that Micheal Z-B does not seem mentally well: its difficult for me to know that he lived in the very shelter that I do outreach nursing too. I have said many times, "one does not become homeless because they have everything going for them in life." One who is mentally well does not end up sleeping in homeless shelters.  "Everything is awesome" generally doesn't apply to the homeless.  There is more going on there.  This man tried to rob a McDonalds with a pointy stick... comon', now.  It is obvious that there was more going on in this man's life than the attack on Parliament.

I am torn that Micheal Z-B was gunned down in a repetitive and violent manner. The manner in which he died appears to be quite drastic and over-the-top.  Yes, I understand that he was in parliament, had a loaded shotgun, and was close to our MP's and PM.  He was shot more than a dozen times. To me, that is scary.

I am worried that Stephen Harper will use this as an excuse to back war & pry into the privacy of Canadians: there is no evidence to show that Micheal Z-B was a "terrorist" (in the way that the world defines it today).

I am troubled because violence against women exists.  The Toronto Star had to even say that the women who are alleging these acts are "Educated and employed," as an argument for their legitimacy.  If women are not educated and employed, does that make it OK to have sexual violence directed at them? I think not.   It is NOT OK to endorse that myth.

I am torn about the fact that I love Jian as a radio-host.  I find him compelling, engaging & excellent in his role. I am torn about the way the CBC has handled this, because I don't believe that one should be fired for consensual-sexual acts. I want to believe Jian, because the public image that he gives is a pretty good one.  It's troubling, because Jian did do something wrong if he used that strong public persona to dominate choices in sexual relationships.

I am troubled, because I know the stats about violence against women in middle-eastern and south asian cultures. If this unveils that truth further, it sucks.  It sucks that there is the possibility that a well-loved Canadian-radio-media star may fit into that stat.  It sucks for Persian-Canadians that want to fight that statistic.
It is time, my friends, to stand up for those who cannot help themselves.  

It is time to stand beside the mentally ill and those who struggle with addiction, when they are asking for help. 

It is time to stand against violence.  Violence against strangers who do not deserve it, like the two soldiers who passed away this week.  Violence against women, both the educated and the uneducated. Yes, it is even time to stand up against violence towards criminals. 

Lord, have mercy upon us.  
Forgive us all that is past, that we may ever here-after serve and please thee, in newness of life. 

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