John Robson: Stoking fiery division over the Boushie verdict doesn’t show you care


Many prominent Canadians appear to be in a vindictive mood over the tragic shooting of Colten Boushie. It seems terribly divisive and lacking in compassion.

A few, including the prime minister, paid lip service to fair trials. But their passionate extended remarks make publicly clear that they wish farmer Gerald Stanley, acquitted by a jury, had instead been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter.

If Stanley truly believes what happened was an accident, there must be at least some compassion for a man who will live the rest of his days with the knowledge that he took a human life under frightening and fast-moving circumstances. Also, possibly, living in the fear of facing vigilante justice, with so many whipping up hatred and hysteria by claiming this white guy right here, in this photo, basically got away with racist murder and we all know where he farms.

Rampant crime and ineffective policing are a huge issue in the rural parts of Western Canada. And it cannot seriously be argued that citizens everywhere would only object to repeated thefts and burglaries if the perpetrators were exclusively white. Disagreement over the verdict is one thing, but to suggest that Saskatchewan in 2018 is Mississippi burning is a reckless calumny.

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Where, for that matter, is the compassion for Aboriginals who are also stuck living in communities riddled with crime? Including Colten Boushie himself, victim as well as perpetrator of a reckless spree that was almost certain to end in some sort of disaster. To deny that such destructive conduct is too common on many reserves is callous, not considerate.

It is difficult to see a path toward reconciliation with so many, including the prime minister, reinforcing the impression among some Aboriginals that the courts are a bigoted scam while suggesting to their non-Aboriginal neighbours that their fear of armed robbery makes them little better than Klansmen. That includes Trudeau’s sanctimonious “we have come to this point as a country far too many times.”

If he is claiming white Canadians routinely kill Aboriginals and get away with it, he is spouting inflammatory nonsense. In 2015, for instance, a quarter of all reported homicide victims were Aboriginal (148/604), almost three quarters (107) male. But in over 80 per cent of solved cases, victim and killer knew one another. When those who murder Aboriginals or anyone else here are caught, they are prosecuted vigorously.

Lots of people evidently believe Stanley walked up to Boushie, put a gun to his head, executed him and then lied to a complicit white jury. But unless those people happen to be exactly right about all of that, then what happened can be tragic without being a miscarriage of justice. There is no factual basis for suggesting that whites routinely kill …read more

Source:: Nationalpost


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