Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm Feeling a Little Discrimination Today

Fix That Please Ms. HRC

I was born in 1950. My father was a Spitfire pilot in the Big War, and came back home in the mid 40's somewhat physically disabled, before that was understood. He had married my mother before he went, and she worried her way through the war, as many others did. Her father , though aged, served in the merchant marine during the war, giving her and her own mother more to worry over. As well, my grandfather, being of Irish descent, had a fondness as many do for the drink. He wasn't an alcoholic officially, because he didn't go to meetings, but he could have qualified. In an alcoholic household suppression of expression of emotions, particularly those that could be considered to be negative becomes the rule of the day because you cannot risk offending the potentially volatile alcoholic. My mother was the second of 3 daughters, and it usually happens in the families of alcoholics that the middle child also becomes an enabler.

So, my parents settled in London where my father went to university and started to work in a small business he ran from the house, before that was fashionable. In 1950 I was born and my sister came along in 1953. That makes me ... old, and my sister ... oldish. Our lives seemed normal to us, because it was the only ones that we knew. Here's where the enabler part of our mother kicks in. Our father's health deteriorated, and he spent considerable time in the veteran's hospital here in London, no in and out in a day like now. For us as kids, life was confusing without our dad, and our mother basically taught us not to feel our emotions. She had many tools at hand, shame being a particularly good one. I remember particularly this one that she hit us with. We were raised in a Catholic home so she would say to us: "Anger is a sin. Good Catholic boys and girls don't get angry." Wow! What a heavy burden for little kids to bear.

The point is that I entered adulthood and up until the last few years or so had very immature emotions. My wife on the other hand, has a strongly developed emotional maturity. Boy, did we clash, until I finally got it.

Life for me was very fact based, or so I thought. I remember saying to her during one battle we had almost 7 years ago: "Don't give me this emotional Bull Sh?t. Give me some facts." At the time she called me an arrogant a??hole, and she was right.

If I was going to have a better life, and have a marriage at all, I had to get in touch with my emotions. I had no idea what I really felt about anything. It took a ton of therapy for me to get to a place where I understand where emotions come into the fabric of my life, and what part they play in my decision making on a day to day basis. I realised a lot of things about feelings that I believe are important for me, and significant in this whole HRC situation we find ourselves in today.

Because I was not in touch with my emotions, they were actually running my life. So, here I was telling my wife I wanted facts, when I was angry as h?ll, and could not even realise it, and that was driving me at the moment. Go Figure Eh!

What's that got to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing. But, it has a lot to do with the cost of discrimination in Canada.

Here is what I learned. What I feel about anything is my choice. Two of us look at the same sunset. I feel great joy at the beauty of God's creation. You feel sad that the day is over. Is one of us wrong? No, just different.

Two men find a Nazi internet site and read scurrilous drivel denying the holocaust. One feels that he is discriminated against and files an HRC complaint. The other feels sadness only, and goes on with his life.

An 8 year old black boy in Grade 5 in Ontario steals $6 from the principal's desk and confesses to it in writing, and the principal disciplines him with detention in her office. One parent feels anger that her son has been discriminated against for some reason that defies logic to everyone but her and her local HRC, and so she files a complaint with the HRC. A similar parent is saddened by the behaviour of her child and disciplines the child at home further to ensure that this behaviour is never repeated again.

A Pastor writes a letter to the editor of the Red Deer Advocate about the Homosexual Agenda in the school system, and one teacher gets angry and holds onto this anger and files a complaint with the Alberta HRC. EGALE, who has a real dog in the fight if there were to be one reads the letter, dislikes the content, but calmly dismisses it as a right of free speech.

The problem that I have with the cases I have studied is that they are almost all based more on feelings than on hard data, and the HRCs are finding people guilty of hurting other people's feelings. Well, here is a fact for you HRC folks out there that I taught my kids even before I knew it myself. My kids would come to me and say: "She hurt my feelings." A very popular thing to say in this day and age, I guess. My response is and was: "Nobody can hurt your feelings. Your feelings are hurt. You own that."

Why does it matter if Stephen Boissoin said that the Homosexual Agenda in the school system is wicked? Certainly not because it hurt Darren Lund's feelings, or because it might cause somebody to feel hate, because his words can't make someone feel hate. Give me a break.

For the last several years, the HRCs have been called the "thought police". I think that is a misnomer. I think they are more elusive than that. I think they are the "emotion police."

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