As a Canadian, an immigrant, and just as a human being, I don’t merely feel sadness and outrage at the acquittal of Colten Boushie’s killer by an all-white jury in Saskatchewan. I feel soiled.
If the defence is to be believed, the bullet that put an end to Boushie's young life sat in Gerald Stanley's gun "hanging fire" until the weapon was properly positioned behind his head. At that point, the bullet left the gun, untriggered.
Only in a profoundly racist society could such a ludicrous defence succeed. Only in a profoundly racist society would the police (RCMP) put out a news release right after the killing indirectly accusing Boushie of attempted robbery -- then go to his mother’s house, surround it, search it without a warrant, and in the course of this violation, tell her that her son was dead. When she collapsed at this news, she says (and there is no reason in this world not to believe her), one of the cops asked if she'd been drinking. Needless to say, the RCMP soon cleared themselves, while admitting they might have been a little insensitive, so that’s all right, then.
They bungled the investigation too. Unfunny Keystone Kops, deepening and widening the tragedy.
My sympathy and my feelings of grief, anger and helplessness are with Boushie’s bereaved family and his friends today. But, like "thoughts and prayers," those aren’t worth a damn. The only thing that matters now is change, real change, delivered at speed. Genuine nation-to-nation and person-to-person reconciliation in this tortured, racist land in which we co-exist, but not as equals.
Last night, that hope was set back by decades. It was Mississippi North, except that you can’t deliberately pick all-white juries in Mississippi any more. The verdict was a body blow to decency and right, and to any remaining self-delusions about the sort of Canada we live in.
Once again, justice for the Indigenous population is absent. It’s 2018. What the hell do we do now?
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