One man dressed in a KKK robe led another man in blackface by a rope in a costume parade at the Campbellford, Ontario legion Halloween party on Saturday night. The incident, quite understandingly, has outraged many who witnessed or heard about it. Perhaps even more unbelievable is that the costume/act won first prize.
Following the act, Ontario Provincial Police received a complaint and Police Const. Chris Dewsbury says they are investigating.
Poor taste? Of course, and in the most extreme meaning of that phrase. But as incredibly poor taste as it was, does such an act really justify a police investigation? Really readers, has it come to that? Is this the type of thin-skinned, whiny society we want? Is this the sort of thing the OPP should be involved in?
Over the years, very few police investigations have been triggered notwithstanding large numbers of complaints from the public when Toronto’s annual Gay Pride Parade regularly made a mockery of Ontario’s standards of decency by publicly flaunting naked bodies (including exposed penises) and making lewd gestures and actions.
No risk of harm to our moral fibre, you see. Those offended had only to look the other way or stay away altogether from the parade. But be grossly offensive to a visible minority in a semi-private hall, and an investigation is launched on the prompting of a single complaint.
Why not rely solely on public censure? Public denouncement can be very effective in small communities. But let’s not involve our busy police in such incidents.
Const. Dewsbury says the investigator has so far found no basis to lay criminal charges, adding it appears to be “simply a case of poor judgment.” Why am I not surprised?