A SEAN Story

Troll: One person can speak for all people of his race, must be nice.

Troll 2: Don’t you know that Sean is the Ambassador for all natives?

Other Troll: F*$%in’ Sean…

The Internet

Perhaps the best way to understand Sean Vanderklis is to understand a love story. No, it’s not the story of Sean and Karl and their fateful meeting in a cold dark downtown St Catharines basement. It’s not the story of Sean and the brave women who have endured/enjoyed his passion. It doesn’t even involve Sean taking a selfie.

This story starts with a man tasked with teaching young people about politics. He had been gifted the task of leading classrooms full of impressionable hearts and minds. His specialty was political science. His expertise was based on a deep affection for Canada. What was truly in his heart was a profound affection, a deep soulful appreciation, a love for the ages.

That love was for castings of Canada’s first Prime Minister John A McDonald in statue form. That man was former professor emeritus of Brock University Gath Stevenson. He loved those statues so much that their removal drove him to hate.

He picked up the anti-political correctness cannon and aimed it at Indigenous people and their supporters. They were exposing his one true love – John A McDonald statues – as being representative of Canada’s history of racist policy and self-interested decision making. These damned snowflakes were even having them taken down. Canada was built on the backs of the racialized people who laid tracks on stolen land under orders from a super white patriarchy and its great accomplishments need not be sullied by ‘snivelling’ ‘ignorant pagans’ making Canada ‘unfit for civilized people’.

Garth Stevenson would be damned if he would sit idly by and acknowledge that the real history of Canada interfered with his jingoist vision of a wild western frontier tamed by the great RCMP travelling the railroads. Garth (probably) wrapped himself in a Hudson Bay blanket and engaged in keyboard warfare. This, however, led professor Garth to encounter the ultimate foil to his folly.

Garth stoked a gargantuan fire. He rattled the cage of Sean Vanderklis’s killer instinct to seek and destroy offensiveness and bigotry. He became the target of Sean’s greatest superpower- the ability to call things racist.

Working side by side with a community of Indigenous people and supporters that will take no shit, Sean rose to the challenge and amplified the message that this ignorance is not welcome here.

“Racism is alive and well in Canada,” proclaimed and emboldened Sean Vanderklis.

Muffled cries of “I hate territorial acknowledgements”, “why can’t you stay conquered”, and
“assimilation is for your own good” were drowned out by facts, sound arguments, and a newfound inspiration to redress the transgressions of history with the remedy of reconciliation.

Sean would indeed go on to become the ambassador for all Natives. Garth was stripped of his emeritus status faster than a politician answering a query with a non-answer. Niagara became a better place that week all because a white man cared about a statue more than he cared about the people original to these lands and he got called out by Sean.

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