A Keswick man has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for stringing up a black-painted skeleton from a noose, under a Confederate flag, and though I was disgusted, I am not surprised.
As details of 26-year-old Luke Granados idiocy and his guilty plea to willfully promoting hate hit various news outlets general outrage did register among the Ontarians in my immediate work and personal life.
The misguided acts of this Keswick, Ontario man delivered a clear message home, tolerance can be a paper-thin veil. Granados strung up the life-sized skeleton from a flagpole underneath the Confederate flag in late October or early November of last year. A black man working in the area spotted it and reported it. Granados refused to take down the display after repeated requests from police. Finally a warrant was secured for its removal.
Couple this idiot act with the creeping questions and fears, for some, of how racism may affect Barack Obama’s quest to become president and you realize that we have an incredible ability, in our civilized Western society, to take three steps back so easily.
With so many pressures and true challenges life provides us, the insensitivity, hate and intolerance which comes with racism is astounding. What purpose did the Keswick man’s display serve? Would he have been so brave to string that up if he were in the heart of Rexdale, Jane and Finch or Malvern in Toronto?- probably not.
The one thing his display should remind us is this, we should never be complacent about our lives in so-called civilized democracies. We must be wary of the hate and cowardice which lurks in the hearts of more people than we care to accept or believe is possible.
The general principles in most faiths apply to people of all colours and creeds. Love thy neighbour as thyself is a common thread, is that so hard to do?