An Apology Letter of Sorts, and Human Rights

"Ah Leila,

I know you didn’t intend to ignite what happened. You’re not that type of person, and I’m sorry for my initial reaction. What I should have done initially after first reading your open email was to have gone and taken a walk, and then come back and reread your email, but I didn’t.

I still feel that although you have EVERY right to speak out on issues that you find disturbing ( and I will defend that to the bitter end, even if I don’t neccesarily agree with it.), that you should not have implied that you were writing or speaking on behalf of the Davenport Tenant Association (DTA), at least, not until we had all had the opportunity to review what it was you were sending. Yes, perhaps I  and others misunderstood your intentions, what you were trying to say, but that is why we ware supposed to work as a team. To avoid that very situation, or to come to a better understanding of an issue.

Personally, I would hope that you continue doing what it is that you are doing, speaking out on Addiction, Security, Safety, Mental Health, but I feel that you need to take into consideration that there will always be other sentiments, even contrary ones to those that you wish to bring to the Residents of 250 Davenport Road’s attention. You need to take these into respect as well.

For example, most Provincial and City Governments (see Ontario Lunatic Asylum) used to have a policy of removing those people who had been deemed unfit for proper society, and placing them in Asylums, using the reasoning that it was for "Public Safety" as the official excuse. Most of these unfortunates who were placed inside were subjected to the cruelest indignities and treated horribly. Because of their mental health issues, they were unable to defend themselves, and many died. On a historical note, the same architect who designed the old Don Jail, also was the creator of the Ontario Lunatic Asylum

Only those who come from money were able to go to places where they were well taken care of during their infirmity, and if they could not be cured, they would continue living comfortably sequestered the rest of their lives.

It was really only in the latter part of the 20th Century that the public began to view these unfortunates as actual people (a number of delicious scandals also helped), not to just be hidden away and forgotten, but to be treated with dignity and respect despite their problems. Still, the damage wrought by these Institutions of Health can not be forgotten just overnight. There are residents in this very building, I will add, that were incarcerated at some of these places you wish were available. They still have nightmares stemming from those times. Can you imagine the distress, the fear, and anger you regretfully brought up by even suggesting such a thing?

I know, I know. That wasn’t what you intended when you spoke out about what you believe. Believe you me, I understand now.

I apologize again for you feeling as though I ganged up on you. I’ll even admit that in going over what I wrote that I can definitely see where you get that impression. I can’t speak though for the others, but I’m certain that they will get over it in time.

What’s done is done, and it’s time now to move forward.

Christopher King"

It’s been an interesting couple of days since the email I copied/pasted into my last blog entry hit the general public of this building. I’ve responded to a number of emails sent back and forth across the internet grapevine, and have tried hard not only to flesh out my views, but to see perhaps opposing views to mine. To understand them better.
Leila may be cast currently as the villain, but she’s not alone in some of the sentiments expressed in her initial email. I hear them expounded upon often here at 250 Davenport Road, ironically by some of the very individuals I spend time daily advocating on behalf of.
Since then, our Greenwin Property Manager Patrick has let me know that TCHC has a Human Rights Officer available, and offered to help me set up a general Residents meeting so that we can try to put these sentiments to rest, if only partially. No one ever comes away completely satisfied in any of these things. Still, every effort should be made to try.

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