Friday, July 8, 2016

Dear Canadians looking down at America...

Canadians, let us not take on an air of self righteousness too quickly.

Posts that I've read and conversations I've heard over the last few weeks from Canadians are catching me off guard because, somehow, many people seem to believe that racism, classism, sexism and homophobia are "an American" problem and a thing of the past here in Canada. Far from it.

We don't have to look further than our own communities to see examples - both obvious and subtle - of their existence.

Even right here in Toronto where we fly the flag of multicultural pride, people of colour are regularly discriminated against (ever heard of driving while black?), people of lower classes are marginalized (when have we ever destroyed an upper class community of homes to build condos, while scattering the people who currently live there inconveniently all over the GTA), women live in fear because even if they do work up the courage to seek help they are mocked and made to feel small with such comments as "the way they dress, they were asking for it."

We have come a long way but we have a long way yet to travel. Just because we aren't dying in the streets in the same numbers as people of colour are in America - and that isn't just black people, a young latino man was gunned down earlier this week by police too for instance - doesn't mean we are done. Not by a long shot.

Laws aren't enough. Not being killed shouldn't be the standard either. We've got a long way to go. And that journey will take unity. Not just black folks unifying but all folks who know that the current state of the nation isn't right. We need a plan in order to progress and we need to stop thinking that rage will bring about solutions because it won't. Not anymore than a self righteous attitude will.

I pray that we all find some way to change our thinking, our language, our habits and in turn - with love - our time.

@marksparksinc on instagram

For more about Mark or for bookings, please visit

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A random rambling turned poem.

We cannot stand by idly
while you lie so easily
talking about equality
when nothing about your actions are equal.
Cause when an out of the ordinary tragedy
becomes a way too ordinary type catastrophe
how can you seriously look at me
and say "but it isn't that bad"?
We'll placate no more
cause it's our lives we are fighting for
and we've come to the point where we can't
afford to stay quiet anymore.
Another tragedy leaves room for no more concessions
no more generic answers to our specific questions.
No more hypothetical solutions to our very definite problems
cause only truth will help to solve them.
No more "maybes" and "what ifs"
cause we are all tired of the bullshit
and though you hurt us we won't shatter
because we know we matter.
I cannot bear witness silently
while you lie so easily
talking about us being free
while these "out of the ordinary" tragedies
grow in frequency
all the while you saying to me
"but it isn't that bad."
...Isn't it?