I am sad today for someone I haven’t met.
Someone I thought about a lot even though she is a stranger to me.
She was walking along the road with her sister, probably laughing and enjoying their time together, sharing those kinds of special inside jokes and conversations you only have with your sister, the kind you have your entire life with your siblings. I love those kinds of jokes and conversations because I have them with my own siblings, especially my sister. And I love my sister so much.
I thought about this woman, this person, and what she might have felt when she had been struck, how she must have felt a lot of pain physically, I am sure. But then I thought of the emotional pain, the psychological hurt, that comes with knowing you’ve been victimized and targeted.
“Oh, I got one,” was what the sisters heard. And who is the one they were referring to?
One Indigenous person.
Her name is Barbara.
And she was struck by trailer hitch thrown at her from a passing vehicle by a young man. She had to be hospitalized, as her injuries were so severe.
There was a walk held for her, and many came out to support her.
Eventually information came out about the young man from his peers, about the kind of person he is, and how unsurprised they were that he would be the one to do such a thing.
Was I unsurprised that this kind of stuff happens in this country? No. Sadly, I was not surprised. I was unsurprised. And I am saddened that I am still unsurprised, even though the methods that are used, like in this case, are still shocking to me. How can people do these kinds of things to other human beings? Still, unsurprised for the most part.
Unsurprised because even after all the good work being done to address racism, to bring awareness to the issue, to try to educate people on basic human respect and empathy for your fellow man (because there are those who “don’t see colour”), that there are still people who think it’s funny to throw chunks of metal at Indigenous pedestrians from moving vehicles. To say, “Oh, I got one” when those internal organs have been damaged.
To say, “Oh, I got one” when a woman is holding her injured sister on the street.
To say, “Oh, I got one” when you drive off amused with your friends, able to live with yourselves and what you did even after reports of the amount of damage you caused were put out.
To say, “Oh, I got one” but only come forward a week later when you were afraid you’d been caught on camera. A week of thinking you got away with “getting one.”
What did “getting one” “get you?”
A story came out today in which it says Barbara, the one you “got,” will probably not survive those injuries. You got her so hard that you have probably drained her of her life. Her body is not recovering.
In “getting one” you might be taking a sister away from a family. There are chances that in “getting one” you have taken a life, that you have stopped a heart from beating.
You are taking a piece away from a family all because of your shit decision, because of you and your companion’s shit decision.
Because you wanted so badly to go out and “get one.”
What are you going to do if you really did get her? What are you going to do if she passes on?
Every step you took in your life lead you to that act. And if you really did “get one,” that act will follow you with every new step you take from now on. And I am sad today for you as well, but it’s in a much different way.
I will think of her in my prayers.
And I will think of you, and people like you, as well.