Monday, April 18, 2011

It Is Always Time To Speak Up

I just finished watching Conspiracy of Silence, a 1991 movie about the brutal 1971 murder of Helen Betty Osborne, a young native girl in The Pas, MB.  I remember watching this shortly after it was made, & it affected me as strongly today as it did then.

The part of this sordid piece of Canadian history that I just can’t wrap my mind around is the town knew who committed the murder.  The TOWN KNEW – most of them were told personally by one of the four men involved – & no one said a thing.  One person sent an anonymous letter to police, but no one made a statement to police.  No one made an official report.  NO ONE.

I got a sick feeling in my stomach again this afternoon, just like I did 20 years ago.  Racism confuses me.  Indifference angers me.  The fact that this happened in my country saddens me.

The murder of Helen Betty Osborne, this case, this movie based on Lisa Priest's book ~ written using actual court testimony ,police & coroner's reports, THIS is what runs through my head whenever someone tells a racist joke or makes a racist comment.   THIS.  This sad, wrath-inspiring, sickening case. 

& THIS is why I don’t laugh.  Racism isn’t funny to me.

2 comments:

Queen of Halloween said...

I. AGREE! WELL SAID! From one who has faced racism and now deals with family indifference on a mysterious death. Keep blasting away at those short minded ones girl...way to go!

Kate of the North said...

It is a terribly upsetting story, I agree.