I’m tired of racialized priorities – how about you?

Regular readers of this column know some of the stories as to why the topic of “racism” overly concerns me, whether it’s an incident in Maple Creek where a future student threw a green apple at me, barely missing my daughter, and calling me a “squaw man” for even carrying her in a child tote harness, or having a Saskatoon police officer try to pull a gun on me for protecting an Indigenous friend from being arrested under false pretenses, the events don’t really matter. The question is, WHY do people, especially the young (INCLUDING that officer) behave in such fashion?
The answer to that question is surprisingly simple: people react to events that affect only them, and in the process blinding them to the distinct probability that the underlying premise feeding such events is a socially ingrained malady being constantly fed by the failure of governments to “find a cure” for such ills – and especially when we, society in general, must pay heavily for the finding of such solutions.
My initial blindness to the effect of racial tension upon today’s society regrettably begins as a student. My own high school years lacked any historical connection to our common sharing of past experiences with Indigenous leadership. Even when I first started my Master’s thesis research in 2004, I had literally no idea as to what people were talking about whenever the phrase, “residential school experience”, was mentioned.
My first Indigenous students in Quebec were almost all academic scholars who could speak four different languages fluently, and whose names took up over half of the school’s Honour Roll. When I took a temporary position at a BC, Nuxalk-run school in 2003, there was no let-up in academic endeavour. Students would flawlessly write exam papers until they obtained a pass mark, fearing that a high mark would get friends calling them a “teacher’s pet.” Grade 12 students regularly destroyed so-called “tough” provincial exams, and attendance issues never surfaced as an “issue” for discussion during staff meetings.
The wake-up call I received next was hard to take. In 2004 I transferred to a public school located on Vancouver Island on Nuu Chah Nulth reserve land. Here was a school without make-up, victimized by its own scarring from the ravages imposed upon it by its adult population having all undergone hideous abuse while attending residential school. 
The Principal, a “born again Christian”, was reviled for his regular abuse of students, with the school board seemingly unwilling or incapable of removing him. The year previous, he’d harassed the former Chief’s daughter to the point where she lashed back in fury, only to have herself expelled for the rest of the year. On the weekend following, she had committed suicide, hanging herself while dressed in what was to be her graduation gown.
It never occurred to me that this event would later have its effect upon my own teaching experiences at the school. Unfortunately, I would later find out that three senior students had, with the ex-Chief’s daughter, signed a “suicide pact” to be honoured on the anniversary of her death. One such student was in my Grade 12 classes, and when she started going through the emotional trauma of readying herself to die, a student begged me to intervene. 
Having taken previous training in suicide prevention programs, I did what I would have assumed any teacher would have done in similar circumstances – I intervened. Two hours later, after having an extended conversation with a sobbing mother thanking me for convincing her daughter to change her mind, I was called to the Principal’s office, where I was handed a disciplinary notice advising that he would seek my dismissal for my having “counselled a student without holding a BC-recognized certificate”. 
The overwhelming majority of my students have always trusted me to listen to their concerns, because from their point of view I was never perceived as the teacher who would shut up, say nothing that was politically incorrect and let administrators do their job – because many have only attained such positions by being highly adept at being politicians themselves, and therefore either don’t – or won’t – perform their duties whenever there is a risk of negative public reaction. 
Several examples stand out in a career spanning some 21 of my last 40 years, such as my propensity to tell “helicopter parents” to stop enabling their kids’ lack of respect for the learning process. Such discussion is usually followed up by my being “visited” by the school’s “concerned” Principal or a school board official that just happened to be a neighbour of that parent.
Reporting an assault on a student, particularly one of a sexual nature, is even more challenging. Despite our teacher’s Code of Conduct requiring us to immediately report such incidents to school authorities and the police, in the three incidents that I personally documented, NO police file was ever opened or even made known to local police.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves; if even educators are hesitant to morally and correctly respond to the problems being created within a population of students whose own social reactions are primarily triggered by worrying about potential violence and a future of economic and social malaise, and they in turn are parented by persons misdirecting their own rage at the school in general instead of the political instrument that created residential regimens, why does the Moe-led government now insist prior to our upcoming 2024 election, upon blaming these kids for their allegedly “creating” the mythical crime wave he’s now introducing as potentially “solvable” by quack legislation such as the Saskatchewan First Act?
The irony here is that so-called “white” kids share the same political concerns as do their Indigenous twins: the increasingly violent weather patterns induced by climate change, wondering why their skin colour is the only factor in determining their eventual social status and employability, or even being able to afford continuing their education beyond the 24 credit “fundamental graduate requirement” so as to be able to compete in emerging and diverse economic markets.
But the Sask Party doesn’t listen to adults, either. Now we’ve reached the point where we’re literally begging him to sit down and consider the ideas formulated by our offspring, but the only reaction we’re getting is that we’re just “forcing” these kids to think as “lefties”, “commies” and worst of all – Libs or Dippers? Good luck, Chicken Little…
Such a transformation of thought that would require the Party’s male leadership to give its head a clear and conscious shake.