top of page

256 Shades of Gray

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Note: This is a kind of/sort of follow up to Being Mad Doesn't Make You Right. If you're here because you read that and are a new fan (thanks!!) and are expecting something as poignant or articulate, please accept my apology right now. That was a fluke. I'm not normally that articulate or intelligent, sorry.


The RBG colour model includes 256 shades of gray between black and white.

There are countless directions, and political beliefs, that fall somewhere in between left and right.

Similarly, every situation has a lot more to it than Side A and Side....Anti-A.

I recently published an entry called Being Mad Doesn't Make You Right, where I attempted to articulate how I felt about the Ottawa protest-turned-occupation. That was somewhere around Day 10 of the situation, and we're now on Day 22ish. I've learned a lot in those days.

  • Lesson: Politics is confusing. (True fact, though) Provincial rules, federal rules, rules for other countries, it's all one guy's fault (....according to an alarming number of citizens).

  • Lesson: Reading is tedious for some; it's much easier to jump to the comments section and start jumping at people.

  • Lesson: A depressing number of people who are fighting for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have not actually read said document. This number is similar to the amount of people who misunderstand the term "peaceful".

I will stipulate now that the bulk of this personal rant: part deux is based on my own feelings and ideologies. I can not say that I speak for everyone else. And yes, that is indeed a dig at the so-called freedom fighters saying they're acting for all Canadians.

I also want to state that I am not debating the medical efficacy levels of vaccines or pandemic response measures by any country or province. I am not a doctor, or a politician tasked with making decisions for the masses. I am in no way qualified to speak for or against the medical benefits of any medical procedure or directive. It's the same logic that keeps me from trying to fly a plane; I've seen Top Gun but that doesn't qualify me to play with the likes of Goose (RIP) and Maverick. If you want to speak like an expert in any of those areas, please include your credentials when doing so. While it shouldn't have to be said, "I read this article" and "I watched someone who said they were a doctor on YouTube" do not count.

Alright, here's what I really want to talk about.

People participating in or supporting the illegal protest seem to have tunnel vision or blinders on to filter out the 256 shades of gray that some non-supporters are trying to say. Let me lay some gray down here (click to expand each for more).

You can be pro-legal protest, and still anti-whatever this is.

You can support "truckers", and still be anti-whatever this is.

You can dislike restrictions/mandates, and STILL be anti-whatever this is.

You can be pro-vaccine, and also respect the right to choose.

You can be non-violent, and still be non-peaceful.

So, how can you paint all of the protesters in one light, isn't there a gray area there, too?

Ah yes, excellent question, fictional reader. It would seem as if the fair thing to do would be to extend this gray coloured olive branch to protesters/protest supporters, right? Yes, Here are some key things that are, indeed, black and white.

  • The law is indeed black and white. Some of the current protesters may have the absolute best intentions. I may even support some of those intentions. But the fact remains that it's been no secret that these occupations were going to get busted up soon. Court injunctions were filed. And broken. And extended. And broken. And that's just for the sheer noise. Notices were shared via the Prime Minister and local law enforcement that it was time to move, and go, or face consequences. Days notice. On social media, news agencies, and hand delivered papers. If you were there anytime after February 16th (ish, very rough broad estimate) you were there in literal defiance of legal court orders. That's no gray area. You knew shit was going down, and you chose to insert yourself for it. That doesn't make you a martyr, it makes you a drama queen.

  • If you align with white supremacists, without saying anything white supremacist-ey yourself, you're still a shitty person Yeah I hear you, "he doesn't speak for everyone"....I hear you. But here's the thing - he literally does speak for your group and movement. He IS the voice of your movement. You might have chosen to hop on board for real and legitimate reasons, but the fact remains that your cause's self appointed spokesperson and organizer is indeed a racist sack of shiitake mushrooms. So maybe YOU'RE not (I mean, you think you aren't). But, at this point, three weeks in, you've chosen to side with him. Your shirt can be as white as snow but when you dive in mud, you get dirty. It is what it is, you've chosen, now deal with the consequences and perceptions that go along with that choice. Also.... may I point out that protestors saying "he doesn't speak for all of us" is especially amusing because it's LITERALLY WHAT THE REST OF CANADA HAS BEEN SAYING ABOUT YOU. One last point out...if you're reading this and know who Pat King is, but don't understand why I'm calling him a white supremacist piece of crap, then please let me know so I can welcome you to your first day on the Internet and show you how to Google. (If you don't know who he is, feel free to save your time and energy and just don't.)

I've said it before; I'll say it again: We're all frustrated.

We can be lonely, and struggling, and downright mad...but that does not give a right to compare our struggles to that of an entire group of people who were put into gas chambers. On behalf of marginalized and minority humans everywhere, please check your shit before deciding anyone is in violation of your rights to the extent that they were for Nazi-Germany levels, k-please-thanks.

I know that everyone fighting feels that this is the good fight. I don't agree with you, but, that's okay. You should at least acknowledge that your participation deems certain response. The police response (as of the time of this writing) is very tame, proportionate, and less than what was warned of in written notices. It's also less than any response for any genocidal situation that your own supporters have compared your situation to, so....just stop.

"There are children there."

Why TF are there children there?? Get your kids OUT of there! Why would you put your kids in that situation?

As far as I know, no one else in the history of tear-gassing has ever been given a month's notice that it might happen. And do not say that it was on my behalf, because, no. In any case, please don't act surprised if it happens, after weeks of notice that it was going to happen.

At the end of the day, I believe that any reasonable person on either "side" can agree that things aren't great. People participating in the protests might want things (that may or may not be already happening, but, hey), people mad about protests want/don't want things, politicians and health professionals want things that may or may not agree with each other, etc. My ultimate point is that there are usually a lot of things to be considered. No one person or view is 100% accurate. Even if it was, it would never be perceived as such.

There are multiple sides, and each side has countless perspectives. And every one of them thinks they're correct.

It would be very great if we each did our part to share our parts with integrity and kindness instead of anarchy and hatred but hey, what do I know. :)

This opinion piece is missing at least 324 considerations so I do have to just to stop it here, recognizing that this is incomplete and a view in progress.

It is what is it is.

Just....please always remember that there are at least 256 shades of gray to whatever image or story you're seeing. Look through the gray to see what's really going on.

Warning: I to respond to or acknowledge each comment.

Another note: I'm SUPER hoping that this doesn't age well and that by the time anyone reads it, the Ottawa occupation is completely over and we can move on to dealing with the years of consequences. I would prefer that over this being relevant for long.

1,179 views21 comments

Recent Posts

See All

21 comentarios

Colin John Keats
Colin John Keats
15 may 2022

Well said, and I agree with everything uo have brought up. At this time Trudeau invoked teh Emergency measures act, which, in my opinion was a bit heavy handed, given Law Enforcement seemed to not even have tried to do something about it for 2-3 weeks. But , as stated, there were issues with jurisdictional assistance. There are Memoranda of Understanding and etc. that law enforcement agencies have to set up and sign and get in place to, say, have Vancouver Police or Ontario Provincial police come in to help Ottawa PD. It takes time and often many meetings and discussions. The Emergency Measures Act allows that to happen without delay. Doe it infringe on freedoms? Yep. Did it last…

Me gusta

Well written and speaks my language. I have been a trucker since 1973 and I’m dismayed by the “protesters” and the hijacking of our flag. Please know that I have plenty of fellow truckers who agree more with you than the so called Freedom Convoyers.

If they want to join a true freedom convoy go now to Ukraine and put your skills to work actually helping people escape the bombs.

Me gusta

HM MHoff
HM MHoff
24 feb 2022

Excellently written and, actually, of international relevance. We may not have tuckers blocking our capital in Germany, but we have people protesting illegally (in defiance of laws that regulate protests, which have been possible the whole time) in much the same vein. They, too, have allowed their frustration to be hijacked by right-wing and Neo-Nazi extremists. And these people have the gall to attach yellow stars to their clothing. I am so disgusted!

Me gusta
Kathy H
Kathy H
24 feb 2022
Contestando a

I am so sorry to read that. :( These things really do bring out the worst in humans!

Me gusta

Thank you so much for expressing what so many of us are feeling and thinking! I have become so frustrated all the social media saying it is 'peaceful protest' because their are families, bouncy castles and hot tubs. I recently pointed out to someone if I use their logic about the occupation it means I could rob their house as long as I have a party on their front lawn. She did not respond well or logically to my statement which I have found a very common response from people that support the occupation and blockades.

Me gusta
Kathy H
Kathy H
22 feb 2022
Contestando a

I know it almost seems ridiculous, but that's not a bad analogy! The justifying of illegal occupation has been blowing my mind, and I'd love for anyone to try to do so to anyone who lives in Ottawa, particularly near "the red zone".

Me gusta

It is evident that you have been chosen to speak for a lot of people who struggle for words. It is also a great responsibility! Bare that in mind and hopefully you have a good handle on history to help you. Remember freedoms being taken away happen slowly

like the water in a crab pot. Its not noticed or paid attention to until it’s too late. I pray you are inspired by the Divine!

Me gusta
Kathy H
Kathy H
22 feb 2022
Contestando a

Hi barabaratracy,

Thank you for your message. I don't think I'd consider myself as chosen to speak for people - actually, I specifically point out in this blog: "I will stipulate now that the bulk of this personal rant: part deux is based on my own feelings and ideologies. I can not say that I speak for everyone else."

I think what we're seeing here is that the frustrated logic really resonates with some people.

You are absolutely correct that some scary changes can happen slowly and warning signs can be missed if you're not careful. We do have to remember that the measures that were put in place were in response to a global health crisis. Global. If this is…

Me gusta
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page