An 11-year-old boy on the Baie Verte Peninsula is the victim of racism and extreme bullying


“I feel kind of scared… And I ask myself, ‘Why does everybody hate me so much?’ ”

That call for help is from an 11-year-old boy, Torrence Collier, who has done nothing to earn the hate he’s accorded at a catholic school in the apparently intellectually bereft backwater of Baie Vert Peninsula, Newfoundland.

The kids at that school, St. Peter’s Academy, reports the CBC, call him nigger and rapist. I’m not sure where the latter epithet is coming from, but I certainly understand the former. Nigger is a word that has earned its well-deserved reputation as a completely bankrupt form of racism and hate speech. I use it for stories like this because I don’t like to give the haters a pass. This is what they’re saying to a child. In Canada. In Newfoundland. Kids are saying this.

Kids are calling one of their own… a nigger. Because he’s black. And they apparently don’t like blacks. More probably? Their parents or caregivers don’t like blacks.

Here’s the deal. And I am not going to mince words here. Kids do not discriminate. Discrimination and hate of this kind is not ingrained in the mind of a child.

It is cultivated. It happens with unsubtle exposure at the table, in the living room and at the knee of the parents. If your mom and dad issue proclamations about blacks? The kids succumb to that ungodly and virulent racism through the ugly auspices of osmosis. An osmosis most heinous delivered intravenously into the heads of those 10 and 11 year old boys and girls who have no idea what a rapist is. That’s how we know this is coming from stupid and uneducated parents. Black = Rapist. That’s a grown up formula.

Kids do not put those two things together. It’s learned. I have no idea what the level of education is in Baie Vert Nfld. I am assuming that there aren’t many Rhodes Scholars living there.

[blockquote cite=”Torrence Collier via CBC News” type=”left, center, right”]”I feel horrible about myself,” he said. “And sometimes, I wonder if they’re right. If I am all those things that they call me.”[/blockquote]

But let’s not put the sole blame on the parents. The school, St Peters Academy, a mighty high-falutin name for a school that supports this type of behavior through inaction. They refused to talk to CBC on this story. They say they’re “having awareness days.”

Here’s what I think about that.

Torrence Collier, 11, said he feels horrible about himself when he hears racist comments directed towards him at his school in Westport. (CBC)

Torrence Collier, 11, said he feels horrible about himself when he hears racist comments directed towards him at his school in Westport. (CBC)

Bull shit!

I used to promise myself that I would never revert to that old man trope. Wherein I hearken my own school days in Ottawa. But I will in this case. I went to St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary. We had priests and nuns on board. This type of crap and shineola would never have reared its ugly head at Pius. It would never be allowed to get as far as it has in lovely Baie Verte. Now here’s the thing. I can’t recall hatespeak at Pius. I kick that up to education. Middle class liberals do not engage in supper chatter detailing the relative merit of the races.

But I do know that the priests would have handled any such transgression harshly. I will admit to being an educated man. Thus I cannot even imagine the perverse workings of the neandertal minds behind such horrific treatment of an 11-year old boy. It sickens me. It makes me want to go there to Baie Vertes with a camera. I would like to confront the administration in that school and the parents of the children involved in this Mississippiesque farce. Certainly even people in Baie Verte Newfoundland should have left the 60s behind. Apparently not.

I think we should note that the children bear responsibility for their actions. I am not giving them a free skate. They are horrible wee people who should be able, if there is any education going on in that St. Peters Academy, to parse the corruption these words bring to a fellow human.

Mom, Heather Collier said the issue came to a head in March, when she found a handwritten note. “He had stated in there, that he wanted to die, and he couldn’t take the daily bullying any more,” she said. (CBC Report)

Let us say this once again.

The fault is not in our kids.

Kids do not hate. Kids are taught to hate. They are taught to hate by adults. And they are taught to tolerate stupidity from any institution that does not deal harshly with such stupidity.

Stupid schools make stupid kids. Dumb parenting is just that. Dumb parenting.

I’ve said this before.

Parents. If you don’t have anything smart to tell your kids?

Shut the fuck up and call a priest or your rabbi or your minister.

And school boards? If you don’t have the cohones to handle this in a manner that is forthright and encompassing?

Resign. Bite the bullet and go pump gas.

Failure to act equals passive acceptance of racism.

And that is unacceptable. Today.

Even in Mississippi.

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