Letter: Column shows ignorance of missing women issue

Effects of colonialism experienced daily by First Nations

Re: Missing women inquiry pre-determined, Oak Bay News, BC Views, Aug. 10

Why Black Press continues to publish Tom Fletcher’s incoherent snark is beyond me. I guess it sells papers. Normally I just let it slide, but he’s sunk to a new low that merits some comment.

Fletcher’s sneering dismissal of “racism, sexism, and the lingering effects of colonialism” as “political correctness” only exposes the fact that he doesn’t know what any of these words actually mean.

Racism and sexism are real, and harshly experienced daily by First Nations people in this country. The effects of colonialism can only be described as “lingering” by someone truly ignorant of the multi-generational impacts of Canadian settler policies.

The suicide, homicide, and overdose deaths mentioned in Fletcher’s column are direct consequences of these “lingering” effects. As for political correctness, it’s clear that this is simply Fletcher’s go-to phrase for patterns of critique that make him uncomfortable. His use of the phrase has nothing to do with its real resonance as a sign of ridiculous over-sensitivity to the everyday irritations of social life.

Just because he doesn’t like the idea that “racism, sexism and … colonialism” are indeed “root causes” of the crisis of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls doesn’t mean that isn’t the case. The facts, thankfully, don’t care what Fletcher likes or doesn’t like.

The incoherence in Fletcher’s thinking would require a book to elaborate sufficiently. But we can be happy in one bit of knowledge: if it makes Fletcher uncomfortable, then it’s likely a good thing, even if it doesn’t sell so many papers.

Stephen Ross

Oak Bay


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