Thursday, February 15, 2018

The question of racism

It is with a very sad and heavy heart that I write this blog. My heart breaks, as I watch the world unfold around me. I try to make sense of it, but I can't. I don't understand, and I think that's what frustrates me the most.

I've been asked many questions over the last week. Questions that I don't have answers for. I don't understand all of it, I don't think that I'm supposed to.

Someone asked me if I have experienced racism.

Directly? No.

Indirectly, absolutely!!

I experienced it when I sent my boyfriend who was First Nations to the store when my son was young to get some Vanilla Extract for his birthday cake. He came back with no vanilla extract. Why? Because the sales clerk refused to sell it to him. Why? Because, you know, vanilla extract has alcohol in it.

I was livid. I marched to the store, which will be unnamed, because it's not the only store that does it. I went to the shelf, got the vanilla extract down, walked to the cashier (the one who refused the item to my boyfriend), and she sold it to me. No questions asked.

I then asked to speak to her manager and raised the problem with them.

Most people don't know this, but my son has Metis background. By standing idly by, and seeing un-justices done to those of First Nations people, is saying that I refuse to stand up for my son's heritage, something that he should be proud of.

Do I think it's okay for the federal government to give money to the First Nations reserves, yes!! Sadly, money is the least their doing for them.

Turning a blind eye to over 1200 murdered and missing indigenous women and children, is like saying that I am complicit in their disappearances and murder.

Saying it's "Okay", that police officer's drive indigenous people up, and drive them out to the middle of nowhere, in -40 degree whether, does not sit right with me.

Such a huge representation of indigenous people in the criminal justice system, is wrong.

I should be thankful for my white privilege, instead, I'm ashamed.

Why does a reservation improperly manage their finances? I don't know. Why do our municipalities, provinces, and federal government improperly manage their finances?

My only answer is: Find out why. Go to the reserves, talk to the band councils, and learn the issues.

Why don't the indigenous parents teach their children from right and wrong?

Wait a minute.....

They do.

My parents taught me from right and wrong. I was a rebellious teenager, and I caused shit.

Why are there shootings, and stabbings, and suicides, and drug issues on reservations?

I don't know.

Why are there shooting, and stabbings, and suicides, and drug issues in towns and cities?

These are hard conversations to have with our friends, neighbors, families.

They're also very important conversations to have.

But, I don't have all the answers. So I go to my communities, I ask the hard questions, I listen, learn, and maybe not completely understand, but I empathize.

Because to do otherwise, is being complicit.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Digital Communication Officer

I have, for a long time, kept this story a secret.

Mostly because it's shameful, and emberassing for me, but, I also have to write this story while I am not in an emotional state of mind.

Now that we have come to almost the end of this, I have the willingness to share, in part, this part of my life.

I started communicating with the Digital Communication Officer's of the Calgary Police Service in 2015 sometime, after one of them made contact with me after seeing suicidal messages on Twitter.

I developed a positive rapport with this officer. And we talked when he could on facebook.

There were three other officer's working on the digital communications team at the time. One who responded to the occasional question, the other who automatically blocked me from the beginning I tried to communicate with him. The fourth, responded to me at first, and then ended up blocking me.

For some reason, I remember this frustrated and frightened me. It was around the same time that the first digital communication officer, who I had developed a positive relationship with, started to ignore my messages.

So, I was starting to feel like a nutcase, and, in a great need, I wanted to feel like I was "normal". So, maybe if this fourth officer saw me as "normal", maybe he would not reject me.

So, I went on to facebook, and developed a false persona, and then slowly began to contact the fourth officer.

Unfortunately, this officer found it appropriate, to proceed to engage in sexual conversations on his professional profile through the Calgary Police Service facebook account.

Around the third or fourth conversation we had under my false persona, he demanded to know who I really was.

This was my time to confess, I had to, otherwise he was going to abandon me. A terrifying fear came over me, and I begged him not to abandon me once I showed my true identity.

So I gave up who I really was, and he continued his sexual conversations with me, under my real name and account.

Me, being the one who wants to be normal, and fearing abandonment once again from this officer, willingly took part in these conversations, because God forbid he abandon me if I didn't go along with anything and everything that he was willing to give to me.

I'm not sure if this is a common trait for people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, I know fear of abandonment is a very vital part of it. But, willing to do anything and everything to not be abandoned, I'm not sure if that is common, or not.

So, after months of frightening and terrifying nightmares, and sexual abuse counselling, I've learned that no matter what I did in this, he was a police officer, and he had absolutely no right, to be taking part in sexual conversations on his professional profile to begin with.

We finished the trial on Thursday, December 14th. He has pled guilty to insubordination and professional misconduct.

The prosecutor has recommended 80 hours unpaid suspension for each charge, to be served 10 hours every three weeks to avoid him any "undue financial hardship".

Out of all of this, I have had to be the one to chase the professional standards unit down to find out what was going on with the information that I provided to them. NOT ONCE, did the professional standards unit call or contact me and tell me what was going on.

I would have liked to have had input on this.

I would have liked to see him go for mandatory counseling, to have him complete a sensitivity training, to have him banned from using CPS social media accounts.

Most of all, I would like an apology. If not from him, from the Calgary Police Service.

I trusted them, I trusted them to not hurt me. To be there for me. To protect my safety and my security.

I trusted them to be fair, and honest, and respectful.

To work with Integrity, honesty, respect, fairness, compassion, and courage.

They've failed, to maintain what their values mission states, in serving the Calgary residents, who they are paid to maximize public safety, in Calgary.

We find out the verdict on the 21st of December, at 9:30 a.m.

When I hope, the terrifying nightmares will stop, and I can move forward in my life.

Move forward, in setting healthy boundaries with people. And not allow them to change me, just because that I fear that they will abandon me.

I'll let you know, how it goes.