– 20 –


A momentous day for Mackenzie Taylor Mitchell and for the cause of justice, she reflected on looking at one of the Toronto Star advertisements. The ads were also on TV, the Internet and, from the limo window, she saw they were on billboards too. They were all over town in three different versions, identical except for the second line.

Mackenzie Taylor Mitchell
The face of multiculturalism on CITY TV News
Mackenzie Taylor Mitchell
The face of diversity on CITY TV News
Mackenzie Taylor Mitchell
The face of inclusion on CITY TV News

But no face, Mackenzie kept noticing. Everything happened so fast, she guessed there was no time for photos.

The limo turned onto the expressway, safely bypassing the suburban housing projects, then left the city behind. To avoid the ruckus, The Trial took place at a country club about 30 miles west of Toronto.

As a news anchorperson, Mackenzie didn’t have to cover the verdict herself. But she had a free day before her evening debut and she wanted to be in on both of the day’s historic events. Not just anyone would be there. Beyond a smallish circle, word hadn’t got out that the guilty verdict would come today. There just wasn’t time. Besides, the lack of notice would make it doubly unlikely that another one of those misunderstandings might occur.

According to Mr. Rose there was some kind of tacit agreement with His Magnificence that he would no longer attend public events. That resulted from the really appalling rumours that circulated when Canada’s Minister for Marginalized Women presented His Magnificence with the B’nai Brith Human Rights Award.

Some people who should have known better simply weren’t paying attention and, until the CJC ring tones started going off, part of it was shown on live TV. That lead to the most dreadful rumours, really ridiculous, just purely racist allegations about how His Magnificence announces his entrance, how he expects women to behave in his presence and what he supposedly did.

Well, as a matter of fact the award ceremony didn’t go all that well. One woman was dead, having been shot six times. Another, the Minister for Marginalized Women, had been beaten into a coma. Surely that had nothing to do with His Magnificence.

Truly a model of humility, His Magnificence now eschewed the limelight. He didn’t even testify at The Trial.

Such was his magnanimity. What a contrast with Smith, that odious white guy. To have done such a thing to a black man, to a Jamaican, to His Magnificence of all people.

There was His Magnificence reaching out across the cultural divide, the generational divide, the racial divide, reaching out, just reaching out. Reaching out to a girl who was what, 12, 13 maybe, and obviously below the socio-economic line, judging by the fact that she was actually accompanying her white guy father somewhere. They were standing at a bus stop.

As his fleet rolled by, His Magnificence, riding in the fifth or sixth limo, ordered everyone to stop. He actually ordered his entire fleet to stop, just to talk to someone, to reach out to someone, and to someone like this wretched little girl with her white guy father. All His Magnificence did was lower the window and ask a question. Just one simple question.

Then Smith opened that racist mouth of his and said it. He actually said it. He even admitted it later. He actually said it.

“Fuck off, nigger.”

He actually said it. The most unspeakable thing any white guy could say, this Smith guy actually came out and said it.

And how did His Magnificence respond? He didn’t shoot Smith in the face or anything. He just stared at him for the longest time. Then he kind of laughed and told his lieutenants to arrest him.

They had him tasered and hog-tied in no time. The girl was beside herself, crying, screeching, in obvious shock. And no wonder. What must it be like to have a racist for a father?

A stinking, vile racist, someone who would say something unsayable, even to someone as wonderful as a Jamaican, even to a Jamaican trying to cross the racial divide by asking Smith’s daughter a question. Just one simple question.

Sure, the question was of a gynecological nature, but who did Smith think he was? Some old-fashioned white patriarch protecting his daughter or something? How ridiculous. Outmoded. Racist. Just a simple-minded rationale for hate.

And now, as Mackenzie’s limo whisked along the tree-lined driveway to the Georgian facade of the country club, she would finally see the odious Smith face to face.

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