Saturday, July 24, 2010


Words are powerful things. They hold the power to hurt or to heal, the power to illuminate or confuse. I say this not only because I enjoy written communication but also as a way to introduce a rather bizarre spectacle I saw earlier this morning. I was downtown with Lisa this morning and as we were turning onto the main drag, we noticed a pick up truck. Now seeing a pick-up truck in Fort McMurray is like going to a beach and seeing sand. What made this one stand out was that on the front hood some genius had taken a can of orange spray paint and written the "N" word across the hood. We both did a double take. While I've seen plenty of racist nonsense over the years, most of it was verbal. Now we were looking at something very blatant.

A few minutes later, as we were listening to our favorite local radio station, the host (who also happens to be our neighbor) mentioned seeing this truck on air. He mentioned just how "in your face" it seemed and also wanted listeners to call in to confirm that he wasn't seeing things. Being the media diva I am, I called in to say that I had seen it too. The conversation wasn't on-air (I'm never that lucky)but the host said that if it was his truck he would have at least spray-painted over the offensive word. In full agreement I added that it was a pretty sad thing to see given how multi-cultural this city has become in recent years. I can't imagine anyone would be so stupid as to vandalize their own truck and then drive down the main street of town with it. I did finish up the conversation by saying the driver risked creating potential problems for himself and that it was a darn good thing this isn't the southern United States with all the silliness I hear going on between the NAACP and the Tea Party. I haven't the slightest idea of the perpetrator, but to that person, I simply say, "Please, grow a brain."

I really hope the driver gets his truck fixed up. It's just not something you like to see. I'm glad the kids weren't with us since they like to sound out every new word that they see.

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