TAIT: Last week’s public bullying of deputy PM raises legitimate concerns over public safety

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It perhaps could be premature to lunge back and give the rope all we have to raise the proverbial red flag.

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But now is time to open that drawer which remains shut — make that tightly shut — until such times of concern and worry.

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Open the compartment … cautiously.

Double check if the red flag is there: unfolding the material, frankly, might be a knee-jerk response.

But the Canadian conversation Monday circled heavily employing one person’s name: Chrystia Freeland, this nation’s deputy prime minister.

You undoubtedly are familiar with the story: on Friday in Grande Prairie, she was with a group of people waiting for a city hall elevator heading to a meeting, when a male quickly walked over to the elevator and started hurling words and names of disrespect at her — words that have no business being directed at anyone.

And, in a public building. Really?

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This treatment is absolutely unacceptable.

What makes it more troubling is it was directed at a woman.

It’s so sad, isn’t it?

Here we are, in 2022, and we still have citizens who blatantly demonstrate their opinions against fellow citizens because of race, religion, disabilities and perhaps the most disturbing — women.

Shame on … well, you fill in the blank.

I am in a minority — living with a disability.

Friday’s fireworks has to be a concern of public safety for all Canadians viewed as being unequal.

It is — like it or not, folks — a scary sign of the times we, perhaps, uncomfortably find ourselves in: we’re angry, we’re impatient, we have instant-in-your-face means of communication — or, mean communion — with people we’ve never met, and we have availability of information of where and when those who have a public profile are.

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Pinning a target on someone’s back has never been easy.

Add in bullying.

It gives the atmosphere to everything — including historic hot weather — for a perfect storm.

Questions, at this time, may be unanswered. But they need, very shortly, solutions to provide safety for Canadians … all Canadians.

Personally, should I not post on social media where I am having lunch with a friend? I mean, think about it.

I am the double whammy: living with a disability and a journalist.

Beyond that, does Friday’s attack on Freeland — which had huge social media reviews — dangerously serve as a daring example to others of what fame can be garnered by such horrific treatment of others?

Does this mean people with disabilities, who have already endured a two-year hibernation forced by COVID-19, must remain cautious because of fears of public safety?

And that can be perhaps applied to everyone living in a minority.

Enough said.

It’s not only time to unfold the red flag — but fly it mightily with profound reverence.


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