The Isms

The “isms.”

A few days ago I was attacked. Verbally attacked, mind you. I didn’t do anything wrong, but I was blamed for something.

I wasn’t attacked personally, but I was attacked because I live in a city, and cheer for a certain team.

Sure, fans of my team have done things wrong, not all of them mind you, just a few. Fans of every team have done things wrong, just like members of every city have done things wrong.

If Charles Manson is from Los Angeles, do I think all people from Los Angeles are psychopaths? Of course not. Charles Manson also had white skin, so should I think all white people are also psychopaths? That doesn’t make much sense!

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I was watching an episode of VICE about people in the Philippines who hand-make illegal weapons, and one of them was hiding his face with a Canucks T-shirt. Does that mean all Canucks fans make illegal weapons?

I didn’t do anything wrong. Why am I being attacked?

It is human nature to want to categorize things, and to categorize people. It makes us feel safer and in control. It gives us a believable story, and makes us feel like we can predict the future.

To derive judgement of a whole group from the actions of an individual, however, is still deplorable. It is the root of the most extreme types of hatred and ignorance.

If you get punched in the face by a Canucks fan, that is not an acceptable rationale to hate all Canucks fans. I mean, if you are in Vancouver, we are all Canucks fans. I don’t have any control over anybody but myself, after all.

Extending beyond the individual is a tactic used by those who wish to increase hatred, and find excuses to hate groups of people. The problem, and it is a big problem, is that people fall for it.

Why incite hatred?

I could use real-life examples, but I watched The Lone Ranger on the airplane yesterday, and it had a really good example, so I will keep it light.

In short, a guy wanted to build a railroad on Indian territory, needed an excuse to attack the Indians, so he had some white people pose as Indians and attack some homes. Everybody hates Indians now, let’s kill them all!

Revenge.

Some people, some teams, are fuelled by revenge… an emotion of the dark side. Anger, fear, hatred are the way of evil.

Thank you Master Yoda.

I am not one to generalize, but I am really proud of a lot of Canucks fans who really understand the politics of the game. They understand that the most dominant and talented team in 30 years got bullied out of a cup.

They are also in awe of the things that led to it being able to happen. A player’s father (Colin Campbell) is head of the league disciplinary committee, allowing two spines to be broken, with no penalties issued, let alone suspensions. He resigned.

This followed by the harshest-ever playoff suspension to a Vancouver player for a hit that was considered clean a few years ago: “we are turning over a new leaf with head injuries” they said. The leaf turned back over at the beginning of the next season, and sleeping beauty lifted his head up and was back on the ice by the end of the series.

A New England media that is deliberately biased, as though they are trying to sway the jury in a class-action law suit. Our self-deprecating media infested with Ontarians and Albertans didn’t stand a chance.

It’s hard to blame the players of the opposing team. They are mostly kids, jocks, just being swept in the wave of emotion. They are believing what they want to believe, and getting inspiration from wherever it is available.

On the other hand, they are individuals. They are on the ice, and they are responsible for their own actions. We were watching. If I judge one of them because of something they did or said… now that is rational, isn’t it?

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