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No big deal, he was just a Polack -- and a smoker
27th November 2007
By now we all know the story of Robert Dziekanski in Vancouver, being killed with a taser because he became agitated, looking for his mother and speaking no English.
It is interesting, however, that the Canadian press seems to have gone to quite an extent to point out that Dziekanski was a smoker. Why should that matter? It does, actually – and for a perverse reason: to “explain” why he was agitated, or to let you come to that conclusion. Read: smokers are addicts, nicotine deprivation make them lose control – that explains it, doesn’t it?...
Those are, at best, concomitant factors. The real reason for the accident may be subliminally implicit rather than honestly explicit, so typical of the healthist way of communicationg without taking responsibility: nicotine deprivation. Read: if Dziekanski was a non-smoker, perhaps this would not have happened. You see? Don’t smoke – smoking is bad for you! Non smoking helps you stay calm and prevents you from being killed by a taser and by five cops in riot gear. Don't smoke and don't worry - be happy.
This article by George Jonas published by the Ottawa Citizen gives us an interesting angle on the Dziekanski incident. Pierre Lemieux, quoted in the article, says something that is far-reaching, and quite deep in its simplicity:
“In more civilized times the officer who approached Dziekanski might have offered him a cigarette.
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