Monday, September 21, 2009

Are You Peggy? The privilege of Racism

"Are you Peggy?" he asked. My wife and son looked at each other and said to the man,"what, pardon me?" Again he asked my son, "Are you Peggy?". My son still didn't know what this guy was saying. So my wife asked him, "What? Excuse me? What?". This time the man was a bit clearer when he asked my son "Are you begging?" My wife says "No! This is my son". The man said "Oh, I see a lot of people begging and I call the police on them". My wife said "Me and my son are having a conversation". He identified himself as the priest of the church. The man walked away trying to smile at my wife. She gave him her best look of scorn. You see my wife was meeting my son close to her place of work on her lunch break. My son starts work in the afternoon and wanted to speak with his mom. So they agreed to meet outside the mall. They met in front of the big Catholic Church that is beside the mall downtown Winnipeg. The gentleman that approached my son for begging is a Priest of that church. My son is brown. He was dressed as he normally dresses in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. There is a large Indian population in Winnipeg and some of them do pan-handle. My guess is the priest wants to discourage pan-handling in front of his church. He saw an Indian fellow speaking to this woman. My wife is fairer than our son. My son is tall brown Indian man. So I imagine the priest saw some Indian talking to this not so brown woman and assumed he was begging. I wonder if the fellow was fair skinned if he would have asked him if he was Peggy. My wife was pretty mad as she saw it for what it was. I laughed at her because I know priests are just people and they have their predetermined view of things just like anyone else. The priest must think he is a good citizen. It makes you wonder though about being charitable? Him calling the police on some of the poorest segments of the city?

The moral of this story? This Roman Catholic priest - a Father is one racist arsehole; a judgmental piece of crap. You see, he uses his position of privilege as both an older white man and of a priest to cast his views on others. He cloaks himself in his pious role and demeans others. His position (in his mind) gives him the authority (the audacity) to approach people on the street and give his skewed opinion of them. Now that is privilege.

Ed & Suz 

If you were approached with your child and someone accused him of being a beggar to you, how would you feel? How would you react and what would it tell you about the person saying this to you?

Lastly, I was commenting to my wife about how big my belly is. It is getting so big that I have belly flap. You know, the part of the belly that flaps over itself. My wife said her belly was big too. I said but you don't have belly flap ... yet!. I don't think that was the correct answer.

Just want to share a song with you, it's by Van Morrison and it's called these are the days... just beautiful hope you enjoy
Van Morrison these are the days>


  1. Sad news in the community :( sorta reminds me of The Wire. I hope better news is ahead for everyone.

  2. I would expect that from a policeman maybe but not from a priest. Sorry for all the sad news in your community. Hope it gets better. Probably not the right answer about your wife's belly. lol. Nice song by Van Morrison.