We must all make efforts to choose to not allow ourselves to be divided

By on February 14, 2017

Dear Editor:

I am proud and humbled at the same time.

For Canadians, I stand with all who support the victims of terrorism in our country and abroad.

It was beautiful for me to see the support of all of our federal, provincial and municipal leaders and the recent candlelight vigils for the people of Québec City Islamic cultural centre, also known as the Grande Mosquée de Québec.

I believe we are all equal and valuable.

It can be difficult to see current events in our world and to still keep our sanity.

At the same time, all that is happening is serving to show what is going on beneath the surface.

People are divided, polarized. We choose, “us” or “them”. We have chosen to allow ourselves to be divided. We can choose to not allow ourselves to be divided.

What is happening in the world can be a catalyst for conversation, for debate, change, human rights, and dignity.

When we, when I – use terms like, “the immigrants”, “the blacks”, “the French”, “aliens”, “Liberals”, “Conservatives”, “rednecks” … our whole humanity is diminished.

I have a choice and I am a part in all of this.

If a white supremacist or another person persecutes a Muslim, than I am a Muslim.

If a Muslim persecutes a Christian, than I am a Christian.

If a Christian persecutes a Jew, or a gay person, or a transvestite or any other person … than I am all of those.

And when anyone persecutes a woman, than I am a woman.

If a Democrat persecutes a Trump supporter, then I must stand with the one being persecuted, not with the persecutor.

You see, when a white supremacist commits an atrocity, it may be because he is afraid, angry, and feels marginalized, persecuted in some way, by others, and thinks he is doing the world some kind of weird justice.

He can be educated, cultured, and all the rest, and still carry murder in his heart. And the cycle goes around.

Do I carry this in any way towards any other human being?

And if so, please, let us talk. Let us share our concerns, our differences, our fears.

We may disagree, sometimes fiercely.

We have different points of view.

Good.

Let us do so with kindness and with respect. Not with hurting.

People of all faiths and people having no faith persecute. We make other people less than ourselves.

Even and especially within our own families, our churches, synagogues, mosques, community centres, clubs, and groups, we do this.

Men fear Women.

Women fear men.

People fear people.

It is time to talk.

We can and we do hurt others by our willful ignorance and by our turning away, by our silence, when it is time to speak out.

The time has come to support each other and those among us who most need help.

Thank you.

Jaret Blidook

Oliver, B.C.

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