41 thoughts on “Another Best of Regina Category For Which Wascana Park Will Be A Shoo-In”

  1. Not that we’ll ever know, but it makes a difference if the guy was sketchy/incoherent/overly aggressive, or panicked but still rational.

  2. No, I don’t think it does, Anon y mous. All that matters is that regular, everyday Reginans like you and me were more moved by their own bigotry than any impulse to save another human being’s life. This is the inevitable result of the smugness of the New Saskatchewan where the fortunes of some have allowed them to ignore or dismiss the suffering and hardship of others.

  3. So what? Disheveled people don’t deserve help from their fellow citizens? That describes half the city.

  4. #1: this kind of incident isn’t unique to Regina.
    #2: people may have been legitimately frightened, and frightened people can act irrationally.
    #3: if you’re arguing bigotry, then surely you know that bigotry predates the current government.
    #4: an exaggeration, but the main point is sound.

  5. It is easy to say “what a bunch of racist bigots” when none of us were actually THERE. If a guy came up to me and said “hey can I use your phone!” I would probably say no. But if the guy said “CALL 911 MY BUDDY IS DROWNING!” I would probably call 911. None of us know the actual circumstances.

  6. Umm, if some guy approaches me and I can’t make out what he’s saying b/c he’s incoherent and looks totally messed up, that makes a difference. If I can’t understand what he’s saying, that makes a difference. Can’t really make a decision if you don’t know what the F he’s talking about.

  7. I’m with all the Anonymousssessess. I know I always get scared when I’m out being white in a group of people in broad daylight in a well populated park on a Saturday afternoon. What if someone not of my class/race/state of inebriation is unclear to me? Or – gasp – needs something? Brrr! And I always assume it’s a hoax, because people are just so darned funny!

  8. Personally, if the guy wasn’t totally fubarred and I can understand what he’s saying I would have called the police for him. But this is a third hand account everyone’s getting riled up about, who knows what the actual situation was? But I guess it’s the Prairie Dog’s role to always stick up for the underdog, so I’m not surprised. If only we were all as heroic as them, and able to judge the actions of others without actually being there and knowing what actually occurred. How about doing some real journalism and trying to find out another angle, or even more information, on this, rather than just saying middle-class whities from Regina suck again, as expected.

  9. Yeah, really, I mean, if you’re afraid that someone is going to steal your phone, it’s still pretty easy to be compassionate and go through the hassle of dialing THREE numbers yourself and being like “Yeah, there’s a guy here who seems pretty upset/out of it/whatever, but he seems to be suggesting someone might be drowning in the lake.”

  10. Sure, if someone asks you to call 911, but they’re speaking unintelligibly and have no idea what they’re saying and for all you know, they’re just commenting on the weather, no one’s going to hold you responsible for not making the call. If they’re speaking unintelligibly but are clearly very distressed and want something, a person should try to help. That might mean following where a person is leading you, trying to get them to slow down so you can understand, or getting away from the person and calling 911, if you’re uncertain about your own safety.

    Anon y mous, please consider that in addition to talking about incoherency and aggression, you’ve mentioned the possibility of the guy being “sketchy,” or someone who “looks totally messed up.” Those words could mean all kinds of things, but in a racist society, race is absolutely a part of people’s assessment. To imagine that it might not have had a part in this man’s 30-minute quest for help is incredibly naive.

  11. Race definitely played a part, of course. Seeing as how many people have had previous experiences with aboriginals, some positive but also some negative, and may have prejudiced views against them (justly or unjustly), this had to be a factor.

    But the person’s appearance and actions also play a role. If it was a well-kept, agitated but still sensible aboriginal, I think the reaction could have been different. To steal a Chris Rock observation, there are blacks and niggers, and in Sask. there are aboriginals and indians. Unfortunately, this factored into people’s reactions to an, I imagine (because I wasn’t there and can only speculate), indian in distress. It is a tragedy, in the end, but let’s not cast stones at those who didn’t help b/c their side hasn’t come out and to dictate how they should have responded without full knowledge of the circumstances is irresponsible and careless – murderous, really?.

  12. Again, easy to say “What a bunch of racist jerks”, when none of us were there. Maybe the guy wasn’t clear on WHY he needed to use a phone because for some reason he might have thought he would get into trouble or that people would think he was responsible or something. WHO THE HELL KNOWS. But I know that if somebody came up to me wanting to use my phone and didn’t say why, I might not trust him. But if he actually was saying his friend was drowning and he wanted to call 911, then yeah, they are a bunch of racist fucks. But I wasn’t there, so I can’t say.

  13. Oh, you Anonymousssesses.

    #13 – That was fantastically racist, even before you misquoted Chris Rock! Well done!

    To all the “we weren’t theres”. Lani Elliott was there, and she didn’t seem to have a problem understanding that the man was in distress.

  14. 1997 Chris Rock comedy album “Roll with the New”, Track 12, “Niggas vs. Black People.” He blames not just the media/whites, but also black people themselves for perpetuating the perceptions of “niggas” in their behaviour.

    Not a misquote at all – “indians” do the same thing for their race when they are drunk and disheveled in public. I twittered Rock and he agreed. Ok I made that part up, but I hardly think I misquoted his observation, and I am hardly a racist for doing so.

    Lani Elliott has her experience, other people had theirs, which we don’t know what happened. Maybe 30 min. later he was more calmed down/less drunk (if he was), or able to talk to fellow aboriginals more easily? Again, WHO KNOWS? I guess it’s just a lot easier and cooler to simply hypotheticize what happened and produce lazy headlines like “murderously racist.”

  15. Funny how this is becoming about race – I think it’s more about disheveled,sketchy- looking people expecting help and it being denied by suspicious potentially over-protective people.

    Whites, blacks, whatever, I think the end result would have been the same. Expect blues, f them smelly, inbreeding smurfs.

  16. “No, no, we’re not racist, we’re classist, which is totally okay and completely unrelated to racism because there are poor white people too, and I don’t like them either.”

  17. Normally, I wouldn’t continue to engage with someone who thinks that you can be “justly” prejudiced against Aboriginal people and who starts whining “what about the whiiiitess?” when racism is mentioned… but I at least have to point out that that Chris Rock bit is a) an extremely contentious piece because while while much of his black audience found humour in it through *their own understandings of their own situations*, a lot of white people interpret it in an extremely racist fashion (as we’ve just seen here!), and b) Rock won’t even tell the joke anymore, because too many racist assholes weren’t understanding it and were using it as an excuse to throw around a racist slur.

  18. I also love the “gee, funny how people are bringing race into this; that’s so weird and mysterious!” schtick. Nothin’ like a little “People who think about racism are the REAL racists!!!” on a chilly September afternoon.

  19. PD Kangaroo Court is now in session.

    This reminds me alot of the PD vs. Manfred Jeonick. A lot of self-righteous (self-loathing?)indignation over the alleged misdeeds of some alleged horrible bigots…all based not on anyone actually experiencing the situation first hand, but based on the experience/observations of a single person who may or may not have their own agenda. And I LOVE how the PD writers can all, with no uncertianty whatsover, say that THEY would have handled the situation differently, no matter what the actual reality was. What’s it like to live up there among the gods and cast judgement like that? Matheson hated it so much here he moved…maybe some of the other haters should consider the same. After all, The Prairie Dog will happily let you snipe away at the city and it’s citizens from anywhere.

  20. I apologize to N.W.A. for not stating “nigga” correctly. You’re really reaching here.

    And to a lot of people, “indian” is a racial slur, or is intended to be by racists when using it. I imagine first nations, metis, aboriginal are preferred.

    It’s not about being racist or classist, it’s about protecting yourself and your belongings in a situation. Who is more threatening, a middle-class guy with his 3 kids who has misplaced his phone and calmly asks a passerby to borrow theirs so he can call his wife, or a “very unkempt looking” (Elliott’s words) person frantically saying something about their friend drowning in the middle of Wascana. No, I wouldn’t be at all suspicious of the second person, that’s just a regular occurrence.

  21. JB, I’m not a racist at all, one of my best friends is aboriginals, and I count more minorities as friends than whites. We joke around about race while also seriously discussing it, but it doesn’t translate as well when I’m writing here. I’ve argued against others countlessly who put down aboriginals, and I genuinely feel that this is a huge issue that really can’t be properly discussed on a message board. It’s a systemic problem that has unfortunately produced perceptions that a lot of natives are lazy, drunken thieves who you should stay away from. Hence the reaction of these people in the park (potentially). I mistyped, you cannot be “justly” racist, but situations such as this don’t help fight against that perception at all.

  22. Hey, sorry if i yearn for an alternative news source that consistently provides well-researched, insightful analysis and opinions that I can’t get in the mainstream media. Sometimes that is found in PD, but other times we get lazy attention-grabbing links that offer no insight into a tragic situation whatsoever (except to claim others are racist, not knowing basically any facts about the situation).

    What’s getting lost in this is even if the people at Wascana were racist, classist, prejudiced, etc., they still should have helped out. IF they could understand the guy, and he wasn’t overly aggressive. BUT we don’t know that, so we shouldn’t judge those people’s response. End of story.

    And that cakes tastes great, being as such that it was baked at a shop in the mecca of Regina, the cathedral area. Sure I overpaid , but that indie-kid who served it was so cute and pseudo-revolutionary.

  23. If even a fraction of the energy that has been spent defending the TOTALLY NOT RACIST people who DID A TOTALLY RACIST THING that COST SOMEONE HIS LIFE had been put into NOT DOING RACIST THINGS we could all go back to being smug about the new Library Voices album.

  24. PS. Carle,I know that pulling the “my friends are minorities, I can’t be racist” card is kind of weak, but it is true and as I can’t prove my non-racistness through my actions writing via a comments section, it’s the best I could pull out on short notice. I eat a lot of yummy bannock, if that helps (more jokes, sorry). My aboriginal friend and I have discussed how there are “Indians” and “natives/aboriginals” in Regina, and how he hates when negative perceptions are reinforced by actions of others, because he has to face them. Race is a huge issue best not discussed in a few short sentences and paragraphs by people with limited knowledge of what actually happened, how about you write up a feature-length story in the PD discussing the role it could have played in this situation?

  25. I’ve spent way too much time on this already, but some good things to find out would be: how many people were approached? approx. how many people were in the area at the time? how were they approached, what was asked/stated? who was approached(rough descriptions might be all that is possible)? why exactly was the guy in the middle of the lake? was he a capable swimmer? was he inebriated? was he in good health? when did the friend start asking people to call? was it possible to rescue the guy even if the call was placed when the asking commenced?

    Basically not a lot of info is really known. Rush to judgement without sufficient evidence, from multiple sources, makes us all look like fools.

  26. As Carle said, the cake has been taken, the BINGO cards are full, and we can tick nearly everything off of the Derailing for Dummies list.

    Not sure there’s any use going on, but I’ll just say that challenging racism is a difficult, painful process that involves a lot of thought, education, listening, and retrospection. It means confronting some really ugly shit in our community and in ourselves. It fucking hurts to think of yourself as a good person, a just and anti-racist and compassionate person, and have someone say, “Hey, what you said/did there was not OK.” I’ve done the defensive thing, too, because I literally could not believe that I could have done or said something that makes me one of “them” — the jerks, the racists, the sexists, etc. Then I realized that there’s no “them.” There’s all of us, soaking in a racist society. We need to stop prioritizing our images of ourselves as a certain kind of awesome person and start prioritizing shit like what happened in the park on the weekend.

    Here’s a gentle nudge towards that kind of painful but necessary introspection: consider that Lani Elliot’s story has been questioned here as a “third-hand account,” by someone who “may or may not have their own agenda,” but her claim that the man was “very unkempt looking” has been enthusiastically believed and speculated on further, to the point that total incoherency and drunkeness are getting thrown in as bonuses.

  27. I may have misstated a few things or not gotten my point across as I wanted in a few quickly thrown together comments (ex. I didn’t mean “justly” racist, I meant rightly or wrongly it doesn’t matter the point is… I just didn’t express myself clearly enough), but I know I’m not a racist. Those who know me would agree.

    I’m sceptical of all the comments bc it’s only one viewpoint, others are needed. Always 2 sides to a story. Alas, the CBC story just posted confirms that the deceased and likely his friend were homeless and substance abusers, so there’s that. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been helped, but the friend might not have been the most approachable guy, especially if he was high/drunk. Are the people who didn’t help racist? Not enough evidence at all to state that, the main point argued against. If I was them I’d call up the LP and state my side, whatever it is, though if he was coherent I’d be less inclined to do so. Hopefully more work is done and more info can be provided. I think this is a big story and should be examined as it says a lot about our community, but not in the shoddy reporting that has been provided thus far that has led some to rush to judgement.

  28. In this thread, Anon y mous has posted the following:

    “than just saying middle-class whities from Regina suck again”

    “If it was a well-kept, agitated but still sensible aboriginal, I think the reaction could have been different.”

    “which we don’t know what happened. Maybe 30 min. later he was more calmed down/less drunk (if he was), or able to talk to fellow aboriginals more easily?”

    “I’m not a racist at all, one of my best friends is aboriginals”

    “It’s a systemic problem that has unfortunately produced perceptions that a lot of natives are lazy, drunken thieves who you should stay away from. Hence the reaction of these people in the park (potentially). I mistyped, you cannot be “justly” racist, but situations such as this don’t help fight against that perception at all.”

    “I think it’s more about disheveled,sketchy- looking people expecting help”

    “My aboriginal friend and I have discussed how there are “Indians” and “natives/aboriginals” in Regina”

    “but I know I’m not a racist”

    “he deceased and likely his friend were homeless and substance abusers, so there’s that.”

    Just thought it should all be put into one post for posterity’s sake.

  29. Matchbook, just stating some observations and likely realities. Since no one else here needs concrete facts, why should I? I guess because I’m considering other possibilities outside of “evil racist white people didn’t help and actually murdered friend of agitated/likely homeless/possibly drunk but still somehow perfectly coherent aboriginal in need” I must be wrong. All hail the holier than thou group here.

    Pretty easy to cherry pick quotes here and there, and if you think my points were racist, well trust me, I’m the least of your concerns b/c there’s a hell of a lot more prejudiced people than me. To be honest we’re all prejudiced to a degree, and I admit I am protective/hell call it a bit prejudiced when confronted by those who appear to be living up to the worst of their race’s stereotypes. At least that’s being honest, I’m sure all commenters would keep their guard up a bit if approached by a group of gangsta teens (of all races) at midnight in the hood. Since we don’t know the concrete facts about this situation, no need to repeat myself but its ridiculous to condemn others without facts. Good thing you’re all not judges or hopefully ever on a jury.

  30. Ps. this site could use an edit function. Not to solely erase evidence of previous posts, but sometimes you type something out wrong and would like to rephrase it later.

  31. You’re right, it COULD use an edit function, so I could add the following:

    “agitated/likely homeless/possibly drunk but still somehow perfectly coherent aboriginal in need”

    “there’s a hell of a lot more prejudiced people than me. To be honest we’re all prejudiced to a degree, and I admit I am protective/hell call it a bit prejudiced when confronted by those who appear to be living up to the worst of their race’s stereotypes.”

  32. No Matchbox 20, the edit button wouldn’t really benefit us there, you can just post ad nauseam my brilliant quotes in separate comments, it’s all good.

    Edit would be useful for when you realize something came off wrong and would like to change it. Onus is ours to type thoughts and opinions correctly the first time, but occasionally, especially with touchy subjects, the right words don’t come out and you end up misrepresenting your argument and your anonymous self.

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