LETTER: Burfoot’s hard emotional labour appreciated

I am writing to comment on a couple of things in the March 25, 2021 edition of the Picton Gazette.

Mr. Parks I am so grateful to read your commentary regarding the trans phobic ad that appeared a few weeks ago in The Times. Thank you for publicly naming what this group is attempting to do and creating a more positive framework for discussing the complex issue of gender. I really needed to hear this from your paper! I look forward to hearing more from your paper from the LGBTQ2S+ voices you seek out to print.

Also Thank you so much to Judith Burfoot of All Welcome Here for doing the hard emotional labour for her deputation to Council requesting a formal statement on antiracism and other actions “to define who we are and what kind of community we want to be…” Recent conversations on Social Media reveal some heavy lifting is before us. We white people are awfully sensitive to the word racism. Maybe that is because we have not lived a life of being hurt by racism in our regular day to day.

Even if we are not wealthy, we white people have advantages we did absolutely nothing to earn, simply because of our skin! Some quiet listening, some self-reflection, and some empathy is the very least we can do as white people when a racialized person courageously tells us of racist treatment they are subjected to. What could they have to gain in making terrible treatment “about race” if that were not the case? How could they possibly benefit from being humiliated and singled out and risk being publicly shamed or worse for “making it about race”? Why are we so quick to believe a white person’s account over a BIPOC person?

All Welcome Here is doing some really important work and I applaud Ms. Burfoot’s efforts thus far. Talk about courage!

Mary Macdonald (She/Her)