Growing up in the 1960's as a kid in the Reserve it was not unusual to get heck from adults. If you did something wrong it was their job to correct your behaviour. It might even be a kick in the arse, depending on what you did wrong.
Smoking as a child, was not accepted by adults. We hid our smoking from the adults. Heaven help us if we were caught busting the outdoor rink lights. Once (I don't know what I was thinking) in the summer I was busting the lights at the rink. An older cousin caught me. He caught a number of us. First thing was we were going to run but knew to stop and wait for our punishment. He spoke to all of us and informed us that he would be telling our parents. He took me aside and said I won't tell your Dad as I know what will happen to you. I think we were about ten at the time. I never forgot the act of kindness by him (not that my Dad was a monster or anything) but the belt was spared that day.
The community was a community and it was the job of the Uncle to look after the whole community. That concept has changed in the community and perhaps in society all together. We drive by and even look away if we see something. The Child walking all alone, a woman being harassed on the street.
Yesterday I was listening to a woman speak about the crisis of abuse faced by women in our Indigenous community. She asked why are the men not standing up? Why are they not talking to the abusers? Why do they stay silent? Where are the Uncles? Women, Aunties are standing up and speaking up but not the men.
We may not like it when someone confronts us about our behaviour or if they try and correct our children's behaviour or actions. Still what message are we giving if we allow the poor actions of others to go unchecked?
Should I hold my tongue when speaking to my niece and her drug use or the manner which she treats her mom or dad? Should I not tell a nephew that hitting his girlfriend is wrong? Or should we leave it the women to be the only ones not afraid to speak out to this young man. Or should we continue to protect the hitting of women by men? My daughter had a very abusive boyfriend. She charged him after a violent attack. She was afraid to go to court but I went with her. The boyfriend had his dad and his uncles there to support him. The thought was that my daughter would be too afraid to show up. So when he saw her there, his lawyer made a plea deal. But that's the thing isn't it as Uncles we are more willing to protect and even promote the ugliness towards women. As men we may give superficial mentions about the plights of Women. Yet it is not reflected in the actions of us Uncles.
We need Uncle's to stand up and to do their job.
|Uncle Bob Uncle Herman-2 We listen to our Uncles.|