I had planned to write today about the panel discussion I’m hosting this week . I will do that tomorrow. Today, I have to acknowledge the horrific crime that happened in my beloved city of London on Sunday night.
I don’t have anything profound to say that would fix what is broken inside a 20-year-old man who would plan to run down a family. And then to it. Four of the five people out for a walk were killed, and a 9-year-old boy seriously injured. The terrorist was driving a big pick-up and said, by police, to have been wearing an armoured vest to protect himself.
We think of this country as better than others. Our people, better than many others. But it’s not pessimistic to admit it isn’t and they’re not. This country designed a system to eradicate its native people and then gasped in horror when 215 tiny bodies were discovered. Some of our most powerful leaders made the most racist and horrible decisions. And we all live with that legacy.
In the wake of the deliberate killings of that innocent family I said on Twitter that this wasn’t my London. I said this was not my Canada after the Indigenous children’s bodies were discovered. But I’m wrong. This is my city and my country.
We have to stop behaving as if the people who commit these atrocities are outliers. They’re rare, thank goodness, but they’re still “us”. If we don’t accept that, we’ll never figure out how to deal with them. You and I don’t have to own this behavior as if it’s our own. But we do have to acknowledge that those who commit it aren’t monsters. They’re not aliens or freaks. They’re people. Canadian people. And they, and fallout from their atrocities, are our responsibility.