Col. Williams: Other questions lurk

The horrific crimes perpetrated by Canadian Forces‘ Colonel, Russell Williams, have forced those of us who’d rather not, to look at disturbing images which were presented as evidence in the courtroom.  You won’t find a link to those images here.  Why the media insists these images are publishable news, that this is a story of fetishism, is beyond me!  It’s sensationalist journalism, at best.  At worst, it’s abuse of the privilege and power afforded to the corporate media in this culture.   The media grabbed onto the wrong narrative.

As feminist blogger and activist, Elizabeth Pickett, points out, this story is about power and control, about the predatory behaviour of a decorated Colonel.  And the media has failed — royally — to tell that story.  Instead, they give several column inches to the Prime Minister’s defense of the Canadian Forces, where he named the Forces as victim.  Oh, yes, he did mention the direct victims, but only as an afterthought.  See what Dave, at the Galloping Beaver has to say about that!  Harper’s spin simply shows him for the misogynist he truly is.

As despicable as the PM is the police force that did not believe the crimes several female victims reported, that did not warn women that a perp was on the loose, and that took far too long to solve the case.  Antonia Zerbisias has been on the story from the get-go.  And she has been in recent conversation with one of the assault survivors who said:

I feel liked chopped liver & I can’t even comprehend how the little one is feeling. Now if I could get a message out to the masses it would be-if you survive a violent act of sex don’t report it, just run for cover & find your own protection minus the police & the system they represent.

Says a lot in a couple of sentences, doesn’t she?  The police force should be apologizing, rather than patting themselves on the back!  Their job was not well done.  Far from it!  One mainstream journalist at the Toronto Star finally got that part figured out:

Col. Russell Williams is a burglar, predator, rapist, torturer and killer. There’s nothing titillating about that and his crimes shouldn’t be viewed through the distorting prism of Tweety Bird underwear, lacy lingerie and puerile voyeurism. (Emphasis mine)

In a Facebook discussion, a friend posed another question.  Colonel Williams served our country in different parts of the world.  Predators do not become predators overnight.  Predatory behavior escalates.  So, are there women in other parts of the world who were violated by him?  Will we ever know?  Will anyone ever look?  Or, is that information already there, labeled classified, and hidden from the citizenry in the name of national security?  Could the Forces be a co-conspirator to these crimes?

So, there you go, MSM, we’ve done your thinking for you.  Now, will you dare to seek out the answers?

Activists reunite — sort of!

Almost a quarter-century ago, Mitch Diamantopoulos, Margaret Kovach and I were student activists at the University of Regina. We helped to organize the student response to the education cuts implemented by Grant Devine’s regime and we participated in organizing the “If you love this province” demonstration of the late 80’s. It is on record as the largest political demonstration in Saskatchewan’s history.

Fast forward almost 25 years and voila! Not only do the three of us have new books published, but each of our books has also been nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award! The one Mitch edited is a nominees for Publishing in Education, Maggie’s book is a finalist in the Scholarly Writing category, and mine is in the running for the First Book Award! How cool is that?

The SBA winners will be announced and celebrated at a gala dinner and fundraiser on November 27 at the Conexus Centre of the Arts in Regina. Get the details and order your tickets over at the SBA website.

Regarding our books (which you can ask your local library to order or you can purchase from your local, independent bookseller, if you’re fortunate enough to have one in your community, or buy directly from the author/editor or publisher):

Canadian Plains Research Center – University of Regina, -30-: Thirty Years of Journalism and Democracy in Canada, The Minifie Lectures, 1981-2010, Mitch Diamantopoulos

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Margaret Kovach, Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts (University of Toronto Press)

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Bernadette Wagner, this hot place (Thistledown Press)

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Win or lose, the revolutionary plotting, planning and penning will go on!

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