No matter where you look today, there will be one headline to rule them all. His downplaying of COVID-19, his refusal to take it seriously, to protect people, and his administration’s piss poor handling of the pandemic has caused chaos. Now his positive diagnosis will also cause chaos. This is not what leadership should look like.
But please, there can be one major headline but let’s not forget about the other ones. Because Joyce Echaquan was continuing to make headlines before last night’s breaking news. I posted about Joyce yesterday – she’s the Atikamekw woman who died at a Quebec hospital after livestreaming the sh-tty care she was receiving from the staff at Lanaudiere Integrated Health and Social Services Center in Joliette, Quebec. They were racist. Their anti-Indigenous racism resulted in the neglect, abuse, and subsequent death of a patient. But anti-Indigenous racism is not just practised by a few. It is systemic in Canada, it is a cancer in our institutions. And this country needs to be called out for it. As I wrote in yesterday’s open, international outlets like The Guardian and the NY Post were starting to pick up on Joyce’s story. The BBC then covered it. Late Thursday afternoon, Joyce was featured at PEOPLE.com. So now the MiniVan Majority is being informed about Canada’s shame, the anti-Indigenous racism that non-Indigenous and non-Black Canadians have ignored, that we have enabled.
More. Let there be more. Let more people know the ugly truth about Canada. Let more outlets around the world tell us about ourselves. So that Canadians can stop pretending that we’re so much better and stop ignoring reality: that our complacency has only exacerbated the generational trauma inflicted upon Indigenous people by colonisation and white supremacy. To those of you reading in Australia or Japan or Italy or Sweden or Nigeria or Mexico and other parts of the world (and we are grateful that you visit this site from where you are – hi!), talk to your friends and family about what happened to Joyce Echaquan, how anti-Indigenous racism in Canada is systemic and contributed to her death and now her seven children are without their mother. Learn about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and how for years our institutions and our citizens didn’t f-cking bother to care about their lives and their disappearances. So that the next time you hear someone outside of Canada speak wistfully about how this is good place? Tell them. Tell them what you know. Tell them, no, actually, Canada has behaved like trash. Maybe then we’ll f-cking get it.
Yesterday I called my MP, the first time I’ve ever reached out to speak to any government representative. I got voice mail so I sent an email. And if I don’t hear back I’ll send another one. My goal is to be as persistent about demanding to know how my MP is working to end systemic racism in this country as I am about posting about BTS. As you may have seen, I can be pretty persistent. Can we be persistent together?
And finally, if you are able to, please visit the GoFundMe page in support of Joyce’s family.
Yours in gossip,