Michael McMillan

La historia se escribe latido a latido.

On Monday 7th February, Minegoziibe Anishinabe (Pine Creek First Nation) Chief Derek Nipanak spoke to CTV National News about the protests calling for an end to COVID-19 measures in Canada. Although he was talking about a specific situation at a specific time in Canada, he gave a wonderfully succinct explanation on the difference between freedom and privilege which we would all do well to reflect on.

Freedom is a much misunderstood concept. The prevailing understanding in Canada is an illusion of freedom. If your freedom is built on the denial of freedom to others, then you didn’t actually have freedom at all, you had privilege, and somewhere that privilege turned into entitlement.

Unabashed entitlement is the “getting back to normal” that a great number of people are aspiring for. Unabashed entitlement does not care about the health of their neighbour or their community to the same extent that it cares about maintaining or restoring entitlement and privilege.

Privilege in this context is an economic consideration, most notably expressed as an ability to act on privilege, for example, book a sunny vacation, get a nice haircut, buy sports tickets, etc., the normal things of life for the wage economy.

Canada’s privilege, or economy, has been built on the oppression of indigenous people. That has not changed and those truths continue to build around this knowledge. How can I put energy into supporting a “freedom convoy” when we’re still trying to find our lost children? This is how I see it but it’s OK to disagree with me, though.

These thoughts regarding privilege and entitlement, regarding exploitation by and material advantage for the few destroying the wellbeing of the many, should guide our actions as we work together to create another world, one based on co-operation and community. It makes absolutely no sense to allow the “new normal” to be a return to the desperately inequitable world which we have been conditioned to accept as normal.

I recently heard about how the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine had developed the patent-free Corbevax coronavirus disease vaccine and so was interested to read some more about it in this article in the Guardian.

We want to do good in the world. This was the right thing to do and this is what we morally had to do. We didn’t even blink. We didn’t think, ‘how can we take advantage of this?’ You see now that if more like us would have been more attuned to how the world is so inequitable and how we could have helped from the beginning so many places around the world without thinking ‘what’s going to be in it for me?’, we could have basically not even seen these variants arise.

We need to break these paradigms that it’s only driven by economic impact factors or return of economic investment. We have to look at the return in public health.”

— Dr Maria Bottazzi

Do good in the world. Stop judging everything only in terms of return on economic investment. Stop asking “what's going to be in it for me?”

It is long past time for a paradigm shift. It is long past time we built equitable communities in an equitable world.

Wordle 209 X/6*

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Ouch – my first incomplete Wordle game. I guess I got overly confident after my initial success. I’ll keep playing, for sure, but think now’s a good time to stop posting my scores every day.

Wordle 208 4/6*

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Wordle 206 3/6*

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Wordle 205 5/6*

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Wordle 202 4/6*

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