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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Think before you speak or just don't speak at all

Posted on Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM

We've been working together for about three years now and up until now it's been a pleasure. But that sentiment was crushed when we got into the discussion of aboriginal culture last week, when you let it slip that you "always thought half of them were lazy" (direct quote). Your wife (also a co-worker) didn't lend a sympathetic mind either; she couldn't develop any explanation as to why people that live on reserves: "just move out if it's getting so bad" or simply "get over it" (direct, unembellished quotes). This is only the tip of the iceberg of the kinds of remarks I witnessed that day. I was shocked beyond words and it took time to articulate my rage. Hence, I am writing this bitch.'re two bright, educated people. I know this because you both hold university degrees and one of you has travelled extensively. But you really need to shut the fuck up before you say something so ignorant and insensitive. Whether you want to admit it or not, you're part of these problems you read about in the newspaper. You say "why don't they move out or get over it," but would you want to move away from your family and friends only to live among people that think about you in a shitty way? No. Your ignorance and lack of respect perpetuates stereotypes that last through generations and other people suffer as a consequence.

Even though we all share some form of culture, heritage and human values, I sincerely believe that the failure to recognize the individual leads to prejudice. And we all know what prejudice can lead to—cross-burnings, drug/alcohol abuse, suicide and even genocide. It's a slippery slope, some people don't think it can lead to these things and many more don't think they can be victims of it. But it does happen, and it is happening as I write this. And it will continue to happen until you learn to put yourself in someone else's shoes before you open your mouth. —Finally Off My Chest

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