There’s a point to this rambling story. Read on.

Thoughts on a Tuesday morning:
I left the University at about 5.30 last evening and boarded the No 4 bus to Capilano, produced my bus pass, as in showed it to the diver without removing it from my wallet, and sat down in the front seat.
The bus filled up with students, we left, I departed the bus on 104th and walked to Planet Organic for a few food items to tide me over until the end of the week, including a meal deal for the evening’s dinner. At the checkout however, no wallet!
I declined the lovely offer of the sweet young man at the cashier’s desk who offered to pay for them, left in some concern and rang ETS who after a long discussion, finally persuaded to contact the bus driver. Of course it was a rough guess as to the exact time the bus departed – naturally I didn’t think to check.. but noted that a particular store that closed at 6 was shut when I passed it. However all of that was to no avail as neither of the two drivers they eventually contacted had had a wallet passed in.
My black Fossil wallet of which I was far too fond contained my:
All my ID
All my credit and debit cards
approx $200 cash

Yes, I know, I know. What was I thinking carrying all that ID, so many cards etc. Thoughtless woman.
I reported the loss to TD Bank and prepared to walk home when the zip on my NZ bought (Queen Street) coat broke as I attempted to zip it against the cold (0 degrees) so I begged a kind-looking bus driver to allow me on the bus. He gave me a pass for the train as well and as I walked home across the park still covered with the morning’s snow, feeling hungry and regretting not having the Planet Organic ‘meal deal’ to look forward to, all I could feel was gratitude for a warm apartment waiting for me when so many have neither food nor warmth nor shelter and had some troubled thoughts about my clear privilege as a ‘white-looking’ member of the obviously middle class.
This morning I read in the day’s Facebook offerings of an Elder, Gary Moostoos, peacefully eating his meal in Edmonton City Centre when he was approached by security who mistook him for someone they had allegedly banned the week before and ordered him to leave. When he protested, explaining that he is an Elder who works with the homeless downtown, recruitments arrived and he was escorted out from the building and banned from all aspects of the Downtown City Centre, including parkades, for six months. The entire winter.
Onlookers told him that they had been “banning native people all day”.
I have come to love this city over the ten years that I have lived here as an immigrant from Aotearoa New Zealand, but for the entire ten years I’ve been deeply troubled by the racism that permeates so much of its policies and the attitudes of its population. This morning I am ashamed of it – again. And of all of us who allow such incidents to continue.
I’m calling Oxford Properties in Edmonton who issued the ban, their CEO in Toronto, and I’ve copied this to the Edmonton Journal.

About Makere

A Maori/Scots New Zealander transplanted to Canada. Grandmother, academic, indigenous scholar, sometime singer, sometime activist, who cares passionately about our world.
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2 Responses to There’s a point to this rambling story. Read on.

  1. Makere says:

    Despair, David, is what I was /am feeling. Despair at the unrelenting, ongoing, deeply embedded, overt racism and structural inequalities disguised in all kinds of excuses…day after day after day, and the mostly unthinking, unacknowledged privilege of the rest of us. I’m utterly grateful for all those who work without ceasing and usually without thanks, at making a difference. And they do. But it isn’t enough, David. It truly takes every single one of us. Every day.
    I’m so often uplifted by your posts. They inevitably bring insights, joy, humour and light that brighten my morning and cause me to pause. Thank you David. Truly, thank you.

    Like

  2. Wow. You took me on a journey of anxiety to despair…

    Like

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