Alberta and Mississippi
Time to do a little 55 years and two countries apart comparisons.
The parallels between the Alberta fascists of today and the KKK of Mississippi of the early twentieth century and the connection to the 248 year history of American slavery are profound.
I just walked across the Crowsnest Pass and the very first thing I encountered was The Crowsnest Lake Bible Camp. Now what’s that got to do with anything? Well did you know that well into the 20th century every single head of the KKK (Grand Cyclops I think they were called) was an ordained Baptist Minister? Folks in North America religion has gone hand in hand with genocide and apartheid. Oh yeah we invented that one and the extremely religious folk in South Africa used Canada’s disgusting vile history of murder, torture, theft of everything and total disenfranchisement, followed by the absolute horrors of residential schools as a template. And by the way calling residential schools, residential schools is tantamount to calling Kingston penitentiary, The Kingston Older Boys Club.
But let’s get back to Alberta of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Now we have a cliche come to life and writ large. The cliche "religion is the last refuge of the scoundrel" by good old Samuel Johnson who might have been looking in the psycho-smooth face of one Stephen Joseph Harper.
You remember Stephen. He’s the guy who used his old neo-nazi buddies as security for that other bastion of religious rectitude Pre-stone Manning the guy who’s daddy had the other right-wing jerks who used to run B.C. rather like a personal fiefdom, name a beautiful park after him. The same guy who got his education and marching orders from "Bible" Bill Aberhart. You see where I’m going here. Bible, bible, bible and a touch of fascism that the disingenuous slug called Social Credit.
Now whathehell got me so cranked up on this? Well I’m not sure. But having just mostly double-walked from city hall Victoria to the Crowsnest Pass, and then today having double-walked for six kliks into Alberta, difficult as it is for me to do so and truly gorgeous as B.C. is, I have to admit that these first 6Km of Alberta are probably the most jaw-droppingly beautiful. And it reminds me of taking the train that Arlo sang about from Chicago to New Orleans (have I mentioned recently how much I love trains) and just being mesmerized at the placid beauty.pf Mississippi. Blood soaked Mississippi. So many disparities. So many parallels.
And who’d a thunk that me, a boy from Toronto who spent most of a winter in Edmonton and has driven more than once from Toronto to Winnipeg and beyond in winter, experienced his worst snow storm ever on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis Missouri.