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Category Archives: racism. entitlement. gawd.

Whose park is it?

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so, i was doing my volunteer gig for the Vancouver Folk music festival last night. I get to hang around the park in the evening, and make sure people don’t fling themselves off the steps of the stages or poke themselves in the eye with tent poles. Last night part of my job was to sit at an entrance to the park and record all the license numbers of the vehicles coming in and out.

It’s almost ready, the stages are all set up, and water hoses are installed, and generators are on the grounds, to be positioned today, and the out houses are lining the perimeter and the fencing is nearly all up now, too. It looks like a festival site, like a small village is about to be built.

I was sitting there with my clipboard, and this man came over to me. he was pulling a very neatly packed cart, with a drum strapped on the top, and he wore a guitar on his back. he was Aboriginal. His skin a very dark toffee brown. His nose was big and bulbous, the kinda nose one gets after frequent internal applications of alcohol. His black eyes were red rimmed. His clothes were clean and a bit frayed at the hems. He wore a beat up straw hat. He asked in a mumbly voice if he could come into the park.

“Sure, come on in”

he hesitated, “Can I go over there?” he asked, gesturing over there to the south.

“The park’s open, it’s all yours, please,” i said.

he thanked me and entered and went off to wooded area across the way. Lots of men stay there, I think year round.

I should have said,  “the park is all yours, man. should be me asking you for permission.”