There is an interesting social and political energy in Canada and in the world right now, and I thought the time had come for me to share some news.
A thought about stereotypes
I pointed out in a recent blog post that sometimes, a group in society is perceived in a certain way. For example, if you believe some of the stories that have been told about gay men, you would believe that I was a pedophile. Those of you who know me know that this isn’t true. If you believed some stories about Jews, you would believe that my husband is a cheapskate who will do anything to save a penny. Many of you have also met my husband, and know that this is also a ridiculous story.
Why do I bring up stereotypes? I gave these examples because in recent weeks, there have been stories about how the people in Canada (and the world) who are protesting the government measures are racist, misogynist and, basically, terrorists.
So, what is my shocking news?
My announcement is that I have participated in a few of the protests in my local area over the past 24 months.
If you were to believe the stories about the current protestors, are you surprised to hear that I have participated in these events? Does this fact change your perception of me? Do you now think of me as a racist, misogynist terrorist? For those of you who have met me, you know that is the furthest thing from the truth. You would also know that I would not surround myself with people who are full of hate, so I wouldn’t participate in a protest led by terrorists.
Some of you might be watching the Six O’Clock News and hearing some of these stories. However, news programmes often zoom in on negative aspects of a news story (and generally only the negative), and this has been known for a long while.
At this point in my post, I was hoping to provide a link to a video that explains how news reporters will immediately contact police chiefs for reports on events that occurred during a protest. Of course, a police chief deals only with the outliers, the troublemakers of a protest. The media outlet won’t explain how a protest was peaceful for hours before troublemakers arrived late and caused mayhem, nor will the media give the nuances or the in-depth explanation of why the protest was taking place. Why? Violence sells.
If I find the video again, I will add it here.
In the meantime, I believe this caricature summarizes this point nicely.
My point with this blog post is that perhaps one shouldn’t believe everything one hears on television. If these stereotypes about protestors don’t fit me, perhaps they don’t fit many of the others participating in the current activist movement.
Your Six O’Clock News is not likely to tell you that the Canadian prime minister has enacted the Emergencies Act to protect us from hugging “terrorists” at a protest in Alberta:
To conclude, here is a quote for your consideration: