Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dawson College/CEGEP Shooting Thoughts

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I was walking around today during my lunch break when I ran into a childhood friend who I happened to go to Dawson College/CEGEP with. We walked down McGill College (the street) where some other old Dawson friends we ran into told us there had been a shooting at the CEGEP.

From what friends who are still at Dawson tell me, and from what I saw on the news of a distraught girl, the shooters (or the one who came through the De Maisonneuve entrance anyways) were members of the goth community. The girl on TV answered a question as to what they looked like almost apologetically. She said that she knew it sounded stereotypical, but that the shooter she saw was in the big black clothes and metal studs [associated with goths, though she didn't use the word herself].

From my time at Dawson College Radio (CIXS), I met some of those goths, and people in big black robes, studs, all black makeup etc. Most of them were generally nice kids, noticeably different from others only in their dress. Their taste for heavy metal (and playing heavy metal LOUD) wasn't my own taste, but I came to appreciate it somewhat through their explanations of the music.

However, I also saw a truly frightening side of these fellow Dawson students: a simmering hatred for those who were different. Black jokes abounded and the n-word was used profusely. A cartoon of "the Spades" (various black rappers/generic black characters) was posted in the club hangout. Jew jokes were also common, and while this was covered by the "just kidding around" excuse, it felt more like half-joking. By that I mean the sort of joke that has a hint of what someone really thinks in it.

These culminated one day with the "I wish this was Marc" cartoon. A picture of a seal being clubbed (the club atmosphere was very reactionary ... gays, rap, the Italians (there's a strong representation of Italians in the student body) animal rights, etc. were all put down) had a kippah/yarmulke drawn on it and the caption "I wish this was Marc" was added. The Marc being referenced in the cartoon was/is an orthodox Jewish student. I can understand that the cartoon may have been motivated by Marc's being annoying, but it's also obvious from the association with the kippah that there was a religious aspect to things.

Yet other times I was treated with respect, as were black DJs and staff at the station. Which suggests to me that the people there at least knew what society expected of them, what social norms are. I think and hope that it goes beyond this too, though, and that this respect is the basic relation the goths I've met have with other members of society, the other behaviour simply being an aberration.

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"Dawson College/CEGEP Shooting Thoughts" and related articles are archived in the topical category : Canadian national security.Go back home


At 3:23 a.m., Canadian Politico Anonymous Anonymous said:

La Presse is reporting the murderer as Kimveer Gill. His blog can be found at


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