May 21st, 2018

Court verdict an affront to conscience


By Letter to the Editor on February 14, 2018.

The not-guilty verdict in the murder trial in the killing of Colten Boushie is a disgusting and conspicuous manifestation of extreme racism and white supremacist devilry at its ugliest. It cannot and must not stand.

Not only is this verdict an affront to every Indigenous person in the country, it is an affront to every person of conscience, Indigenous or otherwise, and I am becoming increasingly convinced that conscience is a faculty undeveloped or atrophied in the majority of those who identify themselves as “white.” I have come to loathe the use of the word “white” as a racial description and loathe it with intensity.

White is the colour of the snow today. Light is white. White is all colours of the spectrum combined. There is not, has never been, and never will be a “white race.” Those who advocate white supremacy or claim to fight for white nationalism, or white racial purity are diseased, deluded and dangerous, and they are being emboldened and lured out of their filthy crawlspaces by the emergence of a hideous “white” nationalist government south of the border, to wage war on diversity and decency. My ancestors may be a mix of Scottish, Irish, English and a hodgepodge of other nationalities and ethnicities, but first and foremost I’m Canadian and today I am enraged, depressed and ashamed.

To not be outraged and ashamed, to not take a stand against this hateful, racist mockery of justice is unconscionable. Those who are not familiar with the case need to familiarize themselves with it. This could have been my own son or grandson, daughter or granddaughter at one time or another. It might have been your son or grandson or daughter or granddaughter. Anyone who does not take a stand against this verdict lacks conscience, sense of shame or decency, plain and simple.

You can also write to your local newspaper, MLA, MP, prime minister, minister of Justice, and the premier of Saskatchewan. Mass letter-writing campaigns are more effective than social media petitions, though every signature helps. Just speak out. Make a noise. Demand justice for the family of Colten Boushie.

Gordon McFarlane

Lethbridge

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21 Responses to “Court verdict an affront to conscience”

  1. Montreal13 says:

    Mr. McFarlane,if reports are true that Colten Boushie went on private property with a cocked gun ,that was between his legs, pointed up when the farmer went to take out the keys of the atv that Colten had started and was sitting on- if it was my son or daughter – yes I would be ashamed – of them (my son or daughter). But you and I are not party to all the facts , as we were not on the jury. If we were to think that we actually knew all the facts as presented in court , we would be hugely mistaken. So, are only source of info is second and third hand reports thru the media or members of the audience. Is it entirely rational then ,to go with a final opinion?
    Case in point:” However the reason there was no Indigenous Canadians on the jury in this controversial case is because so many deliberately opted out of the process. Other First Nations prospective jurors, meanwhile, were openly and outwardly biased during the selection process,according to one prospective juror who spoke to the Sun”.

    Now, before you form an opinion(not a fact) about this quote from the Calgary Sun you might ask yourself one or two questions first. And then you may wonder if the juror quoted above was an Indigenous Canadian or a non- member of an Indigenous community? Should it matter? If their quote above is a fact , that “many deliberately opted out”, does it matter which community they come from? Can you make people against their will be on a jury? I don’t know the answer to these questions and many, many more that I would need the facts for.

    • dedcow says:

      read the court transcripts. First of all, the so called “Cocked and Loaded gun” was nothing more than a hunk of metal (I have seen pictures of it, and it couldn’t shoot any more than a turkey sandwich could) Farmer even testified that he never even SAW the “gun” until AFTER he shot Colten, and it fell out on the ground with his lifeless body. And BTW, as soon as you quote an opinion from the “SUN” , that immediately makes it nothing more than propaganda. The Sun is the LEAST reputable “News” source in the country, along with the REBEL! Fact is, there was no attempt to balance the jury with Natives, and every person that LOOKED native, was turned away BY THE DEFENCE THAT is a fact! I think you better do some more research. You will come to see, IF you have an open mind, that this was Murder, and that there was No HANG FIRE!

  2. Blue says:

    Mr. McFarlane your anger is truly noted; we definitely need improvement in our justice system so juries are fairly represented. But there are 2 sides to the coin. Natives also need to improve the way they behave. Driving around at night drunk and high on drugs terrorizing their neighbors is deplorable. I haven’t heard any of the family mention this even once. Why? What kind of children are we raising? Why aren’t ‘elder’s’ intervening; speaking out?
    These are acts acts of intrusion and violence that well up fear and anger. Anyone would be scared out of their wits and could easily act irrationally as seems to be the case here.

  3. biff says:

    great response, mtl13. the writer is so, so far off base. i am not the greatest fan of our justice system, but responses from g.m, our pm, min of justice, and the usually overly reactive masses to the gerard stanley ruling remind me how much worse it all could be.
    first, this is not a “white” people are bad issue. this is about a group of people that chose to trespass, that had already displayed ill intent, and through their stupid and selfish and allegedly criminal choices set in motion a lot of tragedy.
    how is boushie suddenly some sort of saint? stanley was minding his own business on his property; boushie and entourage were not; they were allegedly in the process of breaking the law, and stanley could have no idea to what extent the safety of he and his family might be threatened. they came with a gun – how has this escaped your understanding of the scene?
    yeah, we are all so brave – we all know exactly how we would react to a group of people showing up at our house with what could only be perceived as ill intent. we would bravely discuss the purpose of the surprise visit, perhaps offer a coffee, lemonade or beer, and then maybe see the good folks off with a few bucks and words of wisdom that would inspire the poor, uninvited and playful “kids” to become useful, contributing and upstanding citizens…isn’t that how the good tv show would play out?
    not sure about boushie’s past, but there appears to be no indication that stanley had any prior issues with peers or the law. in other words, we can assume that he is, within reason, a lawful person. so, how do we come to paint the victim as villain, and villain as hero? where are the grounds upon which the sheeple find fair reason to quickly hop aboard the lynch machine? that is the real affront to justice.
    the vast majority of those calling for the lynching know nothing of the evidence presented. loose lipped, reactive, simple souls clamouring for a cause – but as is too usual, a wrong cause. i, too, know too little of the proceedings, but the process was either fair and lawful, or there will be an appeal/retrial. as it stands, it was the actions of boushie and pals that created this tragedy. based on the history of stanley, it is most unlikely this ever would have happened. in other words, a group of people choosing to behave like idiots set in motion an outcome that had a catastrophic effect for many, and particularly for boushie and stanley.

    • Montreal13 says:

      Yes ,it is a tragedy and good points.

    • dedcow says:

      BIFF Again, confirms that it was self defence and racism, and therefore that makes Farmer GUILTY as charged! Its amazing how these RACISTS continue to argue that Farmer was DeFENDING his property, when thats EXACTLY what the defence lawyer tried NOT to prove! If he so much as said he was defending even a pebble on his land, that would make him guilty under Canadian law! We have no Castle Doctrine in this country, so the only defence is for RACISTS like BIFF is to say that the VICTIM was a criminal and deserved to die just for BEING driven (he was passed out in the back when he entered the property) onto Farmers land. There are so many holes in this case, that ONLY racism can be the factor that found this murdering racist innocent!

  4. grinandbearit says:

    The Crown presented some evidence supporting conviction, the defence presented some evidence favouring acquittal and a decision process from which Indigenous people have been systematically excluded from playing a significant role for many, many generations created the decision. This stinks.

    This problem needs to be fixed.

  5. already extinct says:

    I agree there’s a “hateful racist mockery of justice” in our system at times, and I’m sure my view of that racist injustice departs widely from that of Mr, McFarlaine. I do share and feel deep down outrage, the disgust, when people like him fuel the divide with hateful rhetoric directed at one race offering not a hint – ZERO – balance in his argument, it’s all about – skin color and race! How dam sad!

    I believe it’s past time we’ve moved beyond the racism, we see coming from the case in Sask – if nothing else asking ourselves, how long would it take a non aboriginal person to gain an audience with the supreme man in the land the Prime Minister or anyone of his cabinet .

    Is it permissible to question if that fast track to the door of the PM has anything to do with race, color, or indeed racism – of course not!!

    Because I’m white and my opinion carries no weight, I’d rather like to share with the reader a native elders concerns about what she observes inside her space on the reserve. I have removed from the narrative any hint of location as I believe, and have plenty of proof of such, that this story could have been written about pretty much any reserve in Canada.

    The hugely brave local newspaper which carried this story carried it anonymously, something very rare, but which had to be done as they explained in the preamble ” a concerned ……..elder (who has requested to remain anonymous for the safety of her family) approached the……………..and asked for assistance in getting her message out about what is happening in her community”.

    This elder came forward expressing her concerns over increasing gang violence becoming widespread on her nation. The elder is a lifelong member of the (tribe name).First nations community” Here in it’s entirety is that elders message, as sad as it is, it’s one that hasn’t changed with money pouring in, or location.

    Yes something needs to be done, and it has more to do with humans being treated equally, working together as equals, same rules same laws same codes of conduct to live by, rather than special status due to skin color, or place in history. Of no small concern to anyone looking in would be that on page 21 of the bands financial statement shows salaries of the leadership to be 9,556,161.00 – the resource revenues far ellipse anything imaginable to those on the outside looking at the travesty of it all.

    “I am one of the elders from …….. As far as I can remember in the earlier days of my life ………..was a quite, peaceful reserve. In the old days, parents and grandparents would tell their children, young people not to fight or hurt anybody and to be polite and give respect to elders – to listen to their elders without talking back because elders have wisdom and life beyond their years and know what is right from wrong. And elders would tell the young people of all the positive and negative things, show them to lead their lives down a positive path, It was a quite time. Nowadays it’s really different. It looks like the reserve has been turned upside down and is now filled with hardships, with negativity and violence. Some of the young people turn to violence and to hatred. I wonder if they have parents and grandparents who have encouraged good behavior or could have been good role models to look up to? Right now people who wear the color ….. have created a gang in ……called the …….. Innocent people who wear the color….. or …… clothing get beat up. The gang members who wear …..go around spraying graffiti signs all over the reserve. They beat up anyone – young kids – even girls because they don’t care….they think it makes them look tough and strong and they want people to be scared of them. It seems that the RCMP and our leaders (the chiefs) don’t really look in to it. The youths on the reserve – alcohol and drugs have corrupted their minds. Maybe if one of the family members of one of our leaders was beat up then they would try and do something about it. Will it take killing someone and winding up in jail for these gang members to realize what they have done is wrong? I want someone to do something about these problems because if nobody can do anything it will only get worse and more dangerous. It is especially dangerous for people who wear either …..or …..; People from outside ……… – if you come to visit watch yourselves if you were …..or….. clothing because those gang members who wear …..are going to beat you for no other reason than you wore the wrong color” Anonymous concerned elder from…………….nation.

    The words of that elder were wasted- the reserve continues on the path spoken about, neither tribal councils nor outside authorities have been able to do anything about any of it! – something no meeting of any duration with a Prime minister or anyone else in Ottawa is going to fix ongoing on 600 Indian reserves across this country.

  6. old school says:

    Seems Gordon McFarlane. Has his head in the sand or up somewhere else ,so he can’t see truth.
    Colten wa a drunk,stoned thieving trespasser who along with his partners in crime were literally on a crime spree.
    Mr Stanley aw protecting his property and his family.Yes he took extreme measure.accidently shot a low life,but ultimately no one else was going to protect him.
    Your comment about this could have been your or mine sonor daughter- – – – ,we try to teach our kids different.
    Colten’s family didn’t!!

    • Montreal13 says:

      Yes, old school and apparently (I said apparently) one of the trespassers struck the farmers wife. I don’t know if the farmer and his family had an opportunity to lock themselves in their house or not? It is not like in the city ,where you could try that and wait for the cops to come? The terror would be extreme waiting for ,at the minimum hours, while several people are drugged,drunk and armed running your family home.

    • dedcow says:

      So you’re saying it was self defence? You just convicted Farmer of Murder!

  7. Incal says:

    Unfortunately this has turned into a racial wedge drive, hasn’t it. There wasn’t this much outrage when Boushie was actually shot. In his too-brief span of years, what influences pushed this young man onto the path that led to his death?

    Was his dad around for him to look up to, when he was young? When he was in his teens, did he get some kind of direction from his parents and adult relations? Did it withstand rival pressure from the gangs?

    At his funeral, was there a song played that summed up his life? Who was the artist, and what sort of legacy would this artist leave? Is the message one of antagonism toward people outside the immediate circle?

    We need answers to these questions, because we need a clear picture of what tens of thousands of other young lives are being influenced by/led into. What we don’t need is another round of “Native Goooooood!!! White Baaaaaaaad!!!” as though that simplistic lie ever solves anything. It’s racism in itself.

    And Trudeau appears willing to get dangerously close to tampering with the judiciary, a process which needs to be left clear of politics. The whole point of a judiciary is that persons are tried on the basis of their individual actions, in the impartial eye of the law, and that the facts of the case alone have any relevance.

  8. phlushie says:

    For anyone that is interested the following URL gives a full transcript of the judges order to the jury. After you read it you will realize that there was no racial bias in the procedure. The racial bias came because of the result of the procedure.
    http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/full-transcript-of-judges-instructions-to-colten-boushie-jury-put-yourself-in-a-jurors-shoes

  9. biff says:

    gord’s good intentions are awfully misplaced here. he should take a cue from blue, and get a better grip on what responsibility entails. thieving and violent behaviour patterns are too often being accommodated more than shunned; too little is being done in many communities – of all stripes – to ensure youth understand they have a responsibility to uphold the rights of others.

  10. already extinct says:

    biff, you are correct – very correct along with blue. Responsibilities should be taught along with this bogus thing councillors and premiers like to harp on about – inclusiveness.

    OK so I buy in!

    So let’s begin the journey where parents and schools blend inclusiveness and social responsibility and dispense – oh wait wait wait!

    Maybe that will not work as the exercise would probably interfere with someone’s charter right to live off my back – return to square one.

  11. Montreal13 says:

    Yes already extinct the circular talk from politicians is not helpful. Personal responsibility doesn’t get much play , it seems.


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