Doing the Right Thing

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

In Praise of Visibility

He who is reluctant to recognize me opposes me.

 - Frantz Fanon as quoted in Firebrands

There are entire segments of the world’s population that are not recognized by others usually because of their class, race, sexual orientation, bio sex, or gender presentation. To not recognize is to oppose.  To oppose is to deny everyone the basic right to exist. To be.  If you haven’t caught my drift: that is not cool.

If I am killed, no one need mourn me. My people have all been killed in that country and I, too, will die if need be.

- Geronimo as quoted in Firebrands

Invisible. Implacable. Un-killable.

- Firebrands on the subject of Geronimo

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Going in for the Save

After my parents split up, my brother and I followed our mom from a very small village to the suburbs of Montreal. I was six years old at the time, about to start the first grade, and my brother who’s five years older than me was starting the sixth grade. We went to the same school, but our recesses weren’t at the same time. My brother had declared himself my bodyguard. Although I don’t remember any of this, to hear my mom tell it, he was rather dedicated to ensuring my relative safety, always making sure to hold my hand when crossing a street. The school officials found it a little odd that my brother insisted he and I have recess at the same time so he could keep an eye on me. Apparently, it caused quite the fuss.

Last night, my brother and his girlfriend were shopping at their local grocery store when a drunk came in and started quite the ruckus. This man had entered the store with the sole purpose of harassing someone and has it happens his victim was the sixteen year old son of the store’s owner. The drunk in question started bullying the kid, calling him a faggot and hitting him over the head.

A lot of people would just standby in these types of situations. Hell, I’ve done it myself. Sometimes you want to ensure your own safety above all else and you let the storm pass, clenching your jaw, pretending that nothing is wrong and hoping that the situation doesn’t get worse.

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