Monday, August 06, 2007

An "interesting" response from one of the Councillors in Truro....

I find it interesting that, without knowing a thing about my "race" "Raymond" chose to suggest that I had a problem with "race" in my suggestion that, as a man of colour, he would find it offensive had the Mayor make the decision to deny, say, the right of the Black community to fly a flag which represented their pride over their achievements.

This is the response he chose to send me:
I am not a man of colour I am a proud Black man and I would not have any difficulty saying no to any group wanting to fly a flag where only the Official flag of Truro is flown, however I will support anyone's right to put up a banner over our streets. Just the fact that you brought "RACE" into this shows that you have problems. I don't support the Mayor's view's, but this is my reason for not supporting the flying of the flag.

Raymond [Tynes]
As I pointed out in my reply, I come from a mixed race family and when I married, my husband and I formed a mixed race family.

I did say in my initial email that the decision not to fly the flag based on a reasoned debate was not the issue. What IS the issue is that the Mayor has openly said that his decision was based on "personal opinion" as a Christian. As a City Official, he does not have the right to make bigoted statements. I also took issue with the fact that the Councillors have not distanced themselves from his statements.

The fact that "Raymond" seems to suggest I have personal issues with race, rather than, quite rationally, making the association between the bigotry of several decades ago, directed at people of colour (whether Black, Asian, or Aboriginal) and the sort of bigoted comments made by the Mayor.

I am sorry that "Raymond" sees this as somehow slighting him as a "proud Black man" instead of seeing that bigotry against a race is exactly the same as bigotry against homosexuals.

Follows, my response to his email:

As a person from an inter-racial family, I do not have "problems" with race. I do, however, have a problem with the support of the Mayor who brings personal opinion into his decision regarding people that the Canadian people as whole and the Government recognizes as having a legitimate right not to be "lumped together" with pedophiles.

As a person who comes from parents whose marriage, a mere few decades earlier, would have been deemed criminal, being of mixed race, not to mention my own to an First Nations man, I well understand how the State, in this case the city of Truro, can infringe upon the legal right of free expression because of "personal opinion" by bigots such as your mayor. That a few decades earlier, excuses for not permitting women or people of colour (whether Black, Asian, or Native) the right to public or community recognition of their achievements pretty much mirror those used to deny Gays and Lesbians the right to do the same thing.

Your Mayor is free to have his own personal opinions. It is just a shame that there seems to be an unwillingness to denounce his expressions of personal bigotry as a City official.

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