It has been a little over a year since we launched the #bringwidlenehome campaign and over 9 years since we began the process to bring her to Canada. My live video updates on our journey have been extensive but I decided to release some written updates over the course of the next week to provide a more detailed rendition of some of the specific facets of this roller coaster ride.
Volume 2 - The Myth of Equality
The Myth of Equality
Ask anyone over the age of 25 where they were on September 11, 2001 and they will tell you. They will not likely just tell you a location but they will describe it to you in vivid detail. Most remember what they were eating, what they were wearing and even what they were thinking. As all of the news casters said, “it was the day the world changed.”
But who’s world really changed?
We would never say it out loud, but we, as Westerners, place a higher value on the lives of Canadians, Americans or Europeans that we do on anyone else. We don’t care about Haitian lives, we don’t care about African lives, we really don’t care about anyone but ourselves. Nearly three thousand Americans died at 9/11 and I am not taking anything away from that or the grieving families. But the fact is, we care more because they were Americans. There were funerals, insurance claims, monuments, documentaries and God only knows what else to commemorate that event. Three thousand Americans died and we will pay our respects forever. Nearly three hundred thousand Haitians died in the 2010 earthquake and no one cared. Sure, it was on the news for a while and we sent a bunch of money to help rebuild but at the end of the day, we don’t give a shit. There were no funerals there, no tributes and certainly no insurance claims. The majority of these victims were pushed into a giant pit and set on fire. Naked and nameless. I know, because I was there. I can promise you one thing. There wasn’t one North American citizen in those mass graves. My country spent more on bringing one dead Canadian home than it cost to rescue a thousand Haitians. Maybe I am just rambling and maybe I am just pissed off but our actions say that we value North American lives higher than any others.
Recently, we have seen the outrage over children being separated from their families at the US border. Don’t get me wrong, I have been very clear how I feel about this practice and, for the record, I believe it is deplorable beyond measure. That being said, more Haitian families are separated every week in DR than an entire year at the US border. Why is CNN not covering that?
That wasn’t a real question, obviously.
We obsess over tribalism. Allow me to explain. The pack mentality has arrested North American culture, as a whole, to the point that we have a hard time forming an original or independant thought. Whatever is trending is what we decide to care about. Like a bunch of sheep, we post, share and blog the atrocities that Facebook tells us are atrocities, and nothing more.
Don’t believe me?
9/11 killed 2800 Americans. World Changed!
6500 African children die DAILY!!! Did we even know?
If CNN doesn’t spoon feed it to us, we simply don’t give a shit! Many generations before us have things that will shame them forever. The crusades, slavery, the holocaust. This, my friends, is ours. In the time it takes you to read this little article, if you are a pretty fast reader, 47 African children will die. They will die on our watch.
Why is Widlene still in danger? Simple. We don’t value Haitian lives the same way we do Canadian ones. What if one of Prime Minister Trudeau’s children were running for their lives? What would happen then.
In July to October of last year, the #bringwidlenhome campaign was trending. It seemed like everyone was jumping onboard. In three months, our supporters sent 750,000 emails to Ottawa on Widlene’s behalf. People were emailing us saying that they would not stop until Widlene was safe.
Our last email template was forwarded about 20 times. Please don’t misunderstand my meaning here. I am so grateful for everyone that has sacrificed to help my beautiful daughter, but I do understand that we are not trending right now.
Trudeau stands up and states that all refugees are welcome in Canada. Trudeau even stood publicly and committed to get Widlene to Canada. The reality is that Trudeau is a sheep too. He is not a leader. He is a small man in a position of authority who is desperately seeking approval. He found that approval in the Syrian refugee crisis. Widlene is still in danger because she is Haitian. That is it.