Lament for our muddled neighbour - Keith Roulston editorial
Last month, two immigrant families drowned in the St. Lawrence River trying the cross the border into the U.S. at the Akwesasne reserve near Montreal. So far this year, the Akwesasne police had intercepted 48 parties involving 80 people trying to enter the U.S. Sorry, I just don’t get it.
I know, many of these people have relatives already in the U.S. and some are about to be deported from Canada because they didn’t qualify for legal immigration, but I fail to see the attraction of the U.S. in general. Every year millions look for, and find, holes in the southern border to move to the U.S. from Central and South American countries that are downright dangerous for them to live in because of poverty, hunger, criminal activity or laws by untrustworthy governments. Still, do they realize the savagery of the country they seek to enter?
Recently Fox News settled a lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems for nearly $800 million U.S., but avoided having to admit it lied while saying former U.S. President Donald Trump had been cheated out of office because Dominion’s voting machines changed some votes for Trump to votes for President Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, Trump faces other lawsuits and may face more, but he continues to claim he was cheated and plans to contest the next election – and could win.
But that’s just politics. Larger danger comes from the fact Americans own more guns than people in any other country in the world, some 120 guns for every 100 people.
But as gun advocates say, guns don’t kill people, people kill people – and a lot of Americans are terrified of the potential of others.
First of all, there was the 16-year-old Black boy in Kansas City who was sent by his mother to pick up his younger brothers and unfortunately went to the wrong door. An 84-year-old white homeowner opened the door and shot him twice without exchanging a word. The young man lived, thankfully, but the old man was eventually arrested and charged.
Next came the case of four young people who were driving in upstate New York and drove up the wrong rural lane looking for someone they knew. Realizing they were in the wrong place, they turned around to leave, but before they could, a 65-year-old man came out the door, aimed a gun at them and shot. A 20-year-old woman was killed. The shooter was charged. Everyone was white.
Then came the case where two cheerleaders entered a parking lot in Texas, one got out and went to get into a car she mistook for her own, but there was someone in it. She got back in her friend’s car and was about to drive away but the man got out of his car. The girl rolled down her window to explain the mistake but the driver pulled out a gun and shot at them, wounding both girls.
And finally (for last week at least) there was the case of a six-year-old who entered her neighbour’s yard because her ball had rolled into it. The 24-year-old in that house shot at her, grazing her cheek. When her parents both responded, the man kept shooting, grazing the mother, but wounding the father in the back, thankfully, not fatally.
Gruesome and tragic as they are, in a way, the mass shootings of children in schools or shoppers in a mall in a way are less worrisome than these smaller events. In the case of the larger shootings, we can blame a sick individual who went ballistic. These smaller events are among ordinary people who just accepted the shoot-first-ask-questions-later way of thinking. The grandson of the old man who shot the Black teen who mistakenly knocked on his door, said his grandfather watched Fox News all day, thus being programmed in racism and fear.
The world has changed since I was in journalism school and we were taught the importance of objectivity. My classmates varied from a latent Communist to a Tory party executive, but we were warned that if we wanted to work in media, we had to accept moderation.
With the proliferation of channels in our modern world, such moderation has been forgotten at such networks as Fox. There, the evidence presented by Dominion demonstrated, individuals like stars Tucker Carlson can laugh at, and ridicule, Trump apologists like Rudy Giuliani off air, but praise him live to millions of viewers. And Fox, despite or because of its dishonesty, has the largest audience in the U.S. with Tucker Carlson averaging 3.25 million in March.
The U.S. has gone through this kind of madness before, from the anti-Communist witch hunts led by Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, through the paranoia of the attempts to integrate Blacks in the 1950s and 1960s to the reaction against the first Black president. Hopefully they’ll pull through all this and not lose the democracy the U.S. has upheld for 250 years.