As a fan of history (WW1 in particular) I often use the following quote
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill
So on a random night this past spring I was upset by something which I feel applies to these words…
Is it 2014? Yeah it is.. funny at work I deal with appointments and countless conference calls every day, yet it takes me a good 5-6 months into a new year to stop writing the previous year at the end of a date. But yeah.. its 2014.
Yet at times I shake my head at how some of our fellow human beings can act to each other, and I wonder if it’s 1914 or even 1814.
This past spring, in the midst of a NHL Hockey playoff series between my home town Montreal Canadiens & our arch rival Boston Bruins (An incredible 34th playoff series between the teams totaling over 170 post season games) there were a bunch of ignorant racial remarks made by people on Twitter following the game 1 victory where the Canandiens won in overtime thanks to a goal by PK Subban. Subban for those who might not know, is a Canadian born defenceman whose parents were born in the Caribbean. In short, he is black. That last statement is important, because in 2014, it shouldn’t be relevant. Yet some idiots on Twitter spewed racial based hate on Subban after the game and thankfully were booted from the service, but not before the media in both towns got the story and ran with it.
Now my hockey playing son, as many thousands of other kids in Quebec, love Subban. He is a talented player who helps their favorite team. In the elementary school playground the days after this, there were a few Bruins fans who then were unfairly labeled racists by the overwhelming majority of Habs fans. (Habs are the nickname of the Canadiens) So I dealt with this when it happened, and happily my son understood it was merely yahoos who don’t represent all Bruin fans. I explained to him that “Some people don’t accept others, they are simply stupid and don’t understand were all human beings.”
So then not a week later, Connor tells me his Halo Reach clan is fighting a ‘Anti Racism war’ vs another clan. They’ll be playing games vs anther clan in good vs evil and he ‘Wasn’t joking.’
Connors clan leader, who seems like a fine guy getting his online clan mates a place to have fun under a clan banner, happens to be black. Now if course, this should be irrelevant, but it isn’t to at least one ignorant riddled clan who are calling him racist things.
WOW… I am blown away, it this really happening now online with kids? Halo Reach went from Red vs Blue to Black vs White? So instead of calling another clan ‘A bunch of tryhards’ to goat them to clan battles in Halo, you call them racial slurs?
Society in my part of the world at least, was evolving, accepting more. We were losing ignorance seemingly a little more with each generation. I saw that with my now 20 year old daughter and with my son who is now 11. Even the 9 year gap between them shows that the environment and views they have are that we truly more accepting we are all the same, human beings! Not colors or religion. The gap between my dad and my generation is even bigger proof.
Yet you have stupidity like this hockey thing and the Reach Clan ‘Anti-Racism War’ just piss me off beyond explanation right now.
I am glad that my son is on the good side of this debate, but MAN.. when are we going to learn? Does he have to worry about BS like this? I mean this kid in his clan is getting old school name calling based on his skin color in cyberspace?
I mean trash talking is a part of online gameplay.. sadly.. but honest to god, when kids are doing it with racial angles? What the hell? Is ANYTHING off limits these days?
Why write about this?
- Partly because I need to vent
Partly because I was going to mention this total bull**** racist clan I’d love to mention their name to get heat on them, but don’t want to give them ANY attention.
Partly because we all sometimes need a reminder that we need to read Churchill’s aforementioned quote and live it.
Partly because as mother day is here, and though she’s been dead for 12 years, I never go a day without thinking about her. Here is a story I want to end this blog with.
My mother never yelled at me. I always thought she let me did what I want and I turned out to be a decent person. But it was not really so, for she showed me how to act and I mirrored it more and more. She showed me how to do and act when I did what I wanted to do!
One day, I was in grad 4 or 5, and I used a racial term I shouldn’t have with my mom. I didn’t even mean any malice, because all of the kids were using the term, I honestly though it was acceptable. She stopped my head in my tracks and with the mom finger in my face and a stern voice she never used before or after told me that I was keeping the world from being a better place by using such a term. I was no better than anyone else and if I wanted respect for myself in life I must too give the same respect to people who looked or believed in different things from me. I was ashamed. I didn’t want to let her down.
(Sorry, had to take a break for a minute after that last sentence)
I don’t want to let her down, nor do I want to let me own kids down on this part/lesson of life.
Yes, online gaming is extended internet. Of course the internet can have us with a quick search find naked women dressed like nuns or people who live their loves dressed like goats.. anything goes. But old outdated hatred on racial or religious grounds? Why keep alive the ignorance that has historically literally had us killing each other over…
When I think about it, the people doing this racist garbage on XBL probably wouldn’t have enough collective IQ to understand Churchill’s quote anyway.