Very rarely have I ever been driven to the type of anger where I stay awake till 2:00 am on a work night, but last night was one of those nights.
For those of you in Canada and really the world, Slave Lake, AB Canada had a huge fire last night that engulfed the entire town. Over 7000 people had to be evacuated from their houses. In the end, the town hall, police fire and radio stations, the high school and many businesses along with 50% of the homes in Slave Lake went up in flames. Truly one of the worst natural disasters I have ever wittnessed in my province. Thinking about my small family and my home I could not imagine anything this bad happening to me.
The first thing I thought of was I need to go on twitter. The rationale was that since mainstream media were unable or unwilling to cut from Desperate Housewives, Survivor and other trivial programming to bring me an update on people in my province in dire need, I would go to a place where I could get the information I wanted. Twitter.
I should have known that I would find the regular mix of idiots on there, but I thought that in a moment of crisis, people would be sympathetic to the plight of the people of Slave Lake. Most people sent out well wishes, condolences and offers of support to those in need. There were however a select group of people who I will call "Twits". These are the people who have nothing better to do on twitter than to belittle people hurting, or make every issue their own.
Case in point. I cannot even count how many people of African-American descent came to twitter saying that Slave Lake deserved to burn down because of the name. Yes in 2011 people who live in a town deserve to have their homes burned down because of the name having the word slave. The sheer ignorance of people astounded me and led me to tweet "When New Orleans was underwater, Canada sent aide. When Slave Lake burns, USA sends morons to tweet jokes."
Now I clearly painted 312 million people with one brush. Ya that's not a good thing to do, but I was just so darn angry at the fact people would turn a natural disaster into their own personal vendetta with "the man".
Look, we are all sorry slavery occurred, and that many people's families were put through that kind of pain. However, Slave Lake, AB got its name from a tribe of first nations people. Many of the ignorant claimed Slave Lake was too hard to find on google. Yet typing in Slave Lake Wikipedia gets me a link to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slave_Lake,_Alberta and further clicking on http://www.slavelake.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?PageID=61
I know it takes oh about 5 seconds to find what the town really is about. Of course, the ignorant have to flock to twitter to say how upset they are that there is a city with the word slave in it. Good for the people who tried very hard to educate those on how the town got it's name. I lost patience and just started spamming the haters with "you're a moron".
So now where do we go from here? I am currently running a collection for cash at my school. I will get the secretary to cut a cheque on Thursday and take it to a local radio station on Friday. I put on my Facebook page and Twitter feed that I challenge the Big Oil companies in Alberta to cast aside some of the millions or billions they make in profits to help rebuild the town of Slave Lake. Ten grand won't cut it. This is going to cost millions of dollars.
To quote a woman on twitter last night "Google before you tweet is the new think before you speak" however last night I wish most of the ignorant would have thought before they opened their traps to hurt people who don't deserve that treatment.
To those of you from Slave Lake, we are all here to help you.
That's the world as I see it.