By Krystalline Kraus
I would say I have not been taken aback from the spate of anti-Indigenous commentary coming from the detractors of Occupy Toronto. It ain't pretty but it's real.
Not only does the #OccupyToronto Twitter stream get filled with comments from the trolls like @dannyswitzer who tweet of the willing First Nations participation in the Toronto movement as, "What else do you expect with Indians there? Has to be booze."
And that's one of the tamer comments, trust me, I simply don't have the heart to post the rest.
But here the public bears witness to the Indigenous backlash still overtly popular among the right-wing and covertly defended by a society that does not stand up to racism.
Think I'm worrying for nothing over words?
These words reflect a greater public trend of racism and neglect of care towards First Nations communities.
If Canadians want to proclaim that racism has been abolished and all is polite and well in Canada, then I ask why the Chief of the Attawapiskat reserve is currently begging the Ontario government to evacuate them from the "Third World" conditions they have been forced to live in for the past two years despite living in Canada.
Families there have been living in makeshift tents and shacks without heat, electricity and indoor plumbing; using buckets as washroom facilities.
The Government of Ontario, while acknowledging the state of emergency that Chief Theresa Spence declared on October 28, 2011, has no plans in place to renovate or build more housing, or as a last resort, temporarily evacuate residents to safer accommodations.