everyone is the same

- 1 - Ella

A neighbourhood full of people who lived the same and had arrived to the neighbourhood in the same way. As the Government of All The Neighbourhoods proclaimed, it wasn’t useful to look into the history of how people arrived, in any case, as, “all keys work the same, so long as you fidget enough with the lock: your willingness to fidget is the only barrier from opening that door, as all doors were built the same: on Peace, Order, and Good Genocide.”

The key arrived.

Excited, he passed the envelope to his daughter, who opened it.

     What is it?

She didn’t speak.

     Let’s see, he said, and crouched down to her level, picking her up in his arms.

Gave him a broken key: two pieces sat cold in the envelope, frigid from the winter delivery.

At the Department of Everything Is Alright, he smoothed the pieces of the key with his coarse hands.

     Number Everything Is Fine! yelled the woman at the kiosk.

He stood up and approached the desk. 

     Hello-

The attendant pointed to a statement, beneath the glass of the counter.

     Lisez- 

     Excuse me-

     Oh, for English, read here-

     Everything is alright, he said, and I am only here to show my thanks and ask for your help, although everything has always been balanced in my life here.

     I-D, said the clerk.

He presented his cards of Colonial Legitimacy.

     How can I help you?

He placed both parts on the counter.

     Yes?

     This is how it arrived. How do I go about getting a replacement?

     What for?

     Sorry?

     What for?

     A new one – it arrived this way.

     All keys work the same so this one should work fine.

     Look at it.

     How willing are you to open the door? How long have you lived here?

There was that, the question white people ask people who do not appear that bleached shade of ‘European white’: how long have you lived here? Where are you from – no, where are you really from? Same question French Europeans used to answer when arriving as immigrants, when helped to survive the brutal Canadian weather by the Indigenous, before calling these same Indigenous ‘foreign,’ and enslaving them (along with the kidnapped thousands from Haiti,  and other states, to Québec, until 1833).

            I was born here, he said. 

word by Liam Lachance

colour by el Decertor

From the author: Colourblind racism in Canada is saying individual will is the only barrier between prison/starvation and access to health, wealth, and security, ignoring basic statistics and truths of our history. Colourblind racism in Canada relies on the omission of the facts of our history, where French, and later British, immigrants arrived to commit a genocide against the people who lived here.

Colourblind racism in Canada is ignoring the whole two centuries of officially documented slavery of Indigenous peoples and people stolen from countries via the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 

Colourblind racism in Québec is focusing on language and calling European immigrants “natives” to a region they invaded, enslaved, and destroyed, until their other white European colonizers came here and took what they stole. 

Colourblind racism in Québec is a perverted game of musical chairs: one white colonizer shows up, destroys and enslaves people, and another shows up, destroys and enslaves people a bit more efficiently, and then, later, the first colonizer gets their seat back, and uses the card of being oppressed by their colonizing brother for that time to ignore the significant mistake of enslavement, theft and genocide, as well the racial, ethnic, religious, and all other forms of oppression they currently support (as well as the Anglo-Quebecois) against all those who are ‘abnormal’ (not white, straight, middle-class, Franco-Québecois Christians in 2015). 

The answer, usually, is that racism does not exist in Quebec, because white people don’t notice it. All white people in Québec are immigrants, no matter what language they speak. Reparations to Indigenous peoples and Canadians of African and Caribbean descent are required in order to move forward as a collective. The ‘us’ versus ‘them’ narrative results without this acknowledgment and fuels the prison-industrial complex and a continued disenfranchisement of the ‘abnormal’ Québecois from education, employment, political representation*, and impartiality before the law.”  

*p. 24, paragraph 2

Author: Word and Colour

words inspired by colour wordandcolour.com

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