This is one more Senator who really, really ‘gets it’!
I can’t resist but quote:
Freedom of speech is not, as some have suggested, an American idea. It is an extension of free will. It is a by-product of democracy and it is reflective of the notion that all men and women were created equal. Freedom of speech knows no political station, no power structure nor race, colour or creed. Given this, how sad it is that we seem as a society to place the notion of freedom of speech as less important than ensuring none might become offended by the hard truths of 21st century living.
The erosion of many of these freedoms is nowhere more evident than in First Nation’s communities. In many instances, the utter absence of accountability and transparency that has plagued Aboriginal politics for so long can be attributed in large part to the infringement of the rights of grassroots Aboriginal people to their freedom of speech. For many reserve residents, the price for their attempts at free speech and the expression of their concerns in an open manner is often restriction of access to essential services such as housing and post-secondary education. The price of speaking out against corruption and demanding accountability can at times be even more severe, involving physical violence and threats to family and friends.
This cannot happen in a vacuum where people live in fear of retribution and retaliation if they have the courage to speak out. This will not happen if divergent opinion is termed racist – and it surely will not happen without the full engagement and participation of grassroots Aboriginal peoples, convicted and convinced enough of the need to embrace the need for change.
Senator Brazeau, if I ever get to meet you, you have a kiss coming!
Thanks, BCF, for pointing it out.