Well, it has been an interesting week. Nationally, there’s a big hullabaloo over the liberal government’s decision to award Omar Khadr $10.5 million because the Supreme Court says his rights as a Canadian citizen were violated even though he admitted guilt in the killing of an American soldier and wounding another. The dead soldier’s wife is apparently going after his award. She won a large civil suit against Khadr in the U.S. Locally, Saskatoon billboards purchased by the city as part of an anti-racist campaign caused quite a stir. In both these cases, mainstream and social media were all over them like flies on an open jar of strawberry jam.
I like to talk about topical items but these two are difficult for me to take one side or the other. They aren’t black and white issues and the social media comments I’ve seen and heard about are based on emotion rather than logic and common sense. My gut reaction to taxpayer money being given to Khadr was, “what the heck!”, but upon reflection I realized I would have to really spend time analyzing the situation before I could stand up and say I disagree or agree with the thought processes in the minds of the judges on the Supreme Court that led to their decision. When I first saw the local billboard with the bespectacled, bearded white guy my first thought again was, “what the heck!” who came up with THAT not-so-brilliant idea. Again upon reflection I realized that, while I think there could have been a more intelligent approach to the marketing, there is nothing wrong with the idea of bringing top of mind awareness of racism in our continuing efforts to eradicate it.