Sunday, January 28, 2007


Listening to Cross Country Checkup, thoughts are streaming through my consciousness. I have not been exposed to any of the English Tabloid Press coverage, but it is said that it is being disrespectful to the victims and their families.

But then i am also reminded of when i was 9 years old. We were playing in the veld and we came accross a young man lying in the dry brown grass, moaning. We all tentatively drew closer and could see that he was bleeding from several wounds over his body. One of the boys ran home to get his dad (a tailor who worked out of his home); the ambulance was called and we all gathered around him watching helplessly as he lost consciousness, as the blood coagulated in bright red pools around him. I remember being mezmorized by his face, which, unlike the rest of his black body, was a strange pasty greyish yellow. I squatted there in the blazing sun, wondering why the ambulance was taking so long to come, and eventually when it did, about an hour or two later, the young man was dead! For weeks after i puzzled with the question of WHY the ambulance had taken so long, because just weeks before, when my dad had suffered a fatal heart attack, it was said that the ambulance had arrived 15 short minutes after the first call. It was explained to me that the ambulance had had to drive from one of the Townships, (a long way away) but i still did not understand. HOW DID WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?

For years i pondered this question, and as i grew up, and when we moved to Canada, i started to understand the apartheid system, and the fact that because the man was Black he could not be transported to the hospital for Whites (where my dad had died) and soon the proverbial penny dropped, and i became very angry. Angry because the man had died, angry because he could not be taken to the hospital for Whites. All i could think about that this young man had a mother somewhere - i wondered if he had a wife, if he had children who, like myself, would never see their Dad again. I was sad and angry all at the same time.

Now, the memory surfaces again because the only reason these women are dead is because they were sex-trade workers, and they were women, and they were First Nations women. The only reason it took so long for this to be acknowledged by the Justice System, and for an arrest to be made, is because these individuals were part of a group who are hugely margenialized. These women were daughters, sisters, some of them mothers. They have family who grieve their deaths. This makes me angry and sad. HOW DID WE ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?

But tears are not enough! What are we going to do to make sure that this does not happen again?

[see below for Part 1 of DISCOLOURATION]