Here’s this week’s story. Part poem, part recipe, all parts culpable.
It’s funny — the internet has been abuzz since yesterday about the Kony video, now really a meme, about a terrible man who does terrible things. Lots of back and forth on the credibility of the organization who made the film and so on.
Ishmael Beah’s book on his own experiences as a child soldier spoke to another side of the same problem. Recently Carmen Aguirre won CBC’s Canada Reads for her story of growing up under the oppressive regime of Pinochet in Chile.
Historically humanity has never treated its children very well. The age of childhood is really a fairly modern invention, and you know — we still keep getting it wrong. Children are abused and forced into terrible situations all over the world. I always thought my own country was different.
I was wrong.
When I was growing up, I always knew my country was the safest place, especially for kids. And even as an adult, after I’d learned that things weren’t always as clear-cut as my childhood self believed, I still felt like Canadians always at least tried to do the right thing.
And then I learned of Omar Khadr.
I still can’t read his story without massive shame. As a mother — as a person, it haunts me.
Look it up. Here’s the wiki version, for starters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr
The language around these horrible situations has a feel of Orwell’s NewSpeak to me — child soldier, freedom fighter. HOW TO GROW A TERRORIST is something all Canadians can take credit for. We put the government in place that allowed this to happen. That condoned it. We need to own this.
Is this just the way things are?
Can we do something to make change?
I’d love to hear your ideas.
More soon… ~kc