In all my years at the kitchen, many were the times there would be an angry outburst by one of our clients.
When asked what brought it about, we soon learned that they believe because of their position in life society has and continues to marginalize them.
One fellow in particular stood out. He suffered from Tourette’s disease; a disease that includes involuntary expressions, making him one of the ‘ugly ‘people in our community, one to be rejected by the populace at large.
There are many cases where the person is handicapped in one form or other, only their diversity is not celebrated, embraced or loved in a manner that Mr. Trudeau says we should.
These people feel like outcasts in their own country, and in large part it is through no fault of their own.
Society rejects them on a regular basis, which in large part is why they have chosen the street.
You see, they are not here to change our society, nor do they want to be celebrated.
They only desire to be accepted and if there is a chance, to be loved by the very society which birthed them.
One young woman who worked the street would complain that because of her vocation she was rejected by society, to the point where offtimes she no longer felt human.
“You might not like what I do” she stated once, “but I am still a human being who wants to be loved”.
I disagreed with what she did, but I learned over the years to never throw folks like her away, she is made of the same flesh and blood as I am.
Created by the same God as me, whether white, black red or brown, it makes no difference.
With fear of ostracism and labels of bigotry or worse; racism, the general public is being told to ‘celebrate’ others who are diverse.
I have no problem with that other than we should then celebrate ALL diversity.
This includes the politicians who are forcing this mindset onto a public that I fear is beginning to resent being told how to live.
To be ridiculed by the leader of this country for our own diversity is definitely is tantamount to being ostracized.
You cannot pick and choose whom you will celebrate; it’s all or none!
Maybe we are at a point where we should examine our choice of vernacular for including all the residents of this beautiful country.
You see, I have my beliefs and biases, but so do you and all others in this country.
This then is where problems can arise, especially when we are told to celebrate a diversity which we know nothing about.
Would it not make much more sense to inform and learn than to just say this is what you must do?
One young black man that is on the street is respectful and pleasant when sober, but when under the influence changes totally and so becomes someone to be avoided.
Only when you look into his past do you learn that he was torn from his mother’s arms at seven years old and forced to become a child soldier. I’m not sure how his entry into Canada came about, but over time, acceptance of those around him made him change.
His seeking a life change in drugs or alcohol has slowed down a lot. I hope and pray that soon after all the mind altering concepts have been dealt with, we can truly celebrate his recovery, acceptance, his individuality and his life.
By promoting one concept over another we have to be careful not to make anyone feel like an outcast in their own country!
Chris Salomons is a Retired Red Deer Resident with concerns for the downtrodden.