When I started using Cannabis I used to go and visit Jack quite often. Just to say hello, to take a picture, or to just stand beside him. Not because I admired the man, but more so because I was confused as to why he was there.
For those that don’t know, he married an Indigenous child, he was a prolific child abuser, a drunk, and a racist. HOWEVER, He also founded Gas Town by building the very first saloon across from where his statue stood.
I don’t hold any hatred toward Gassy Jack, but then again I’m not Indigenous, I didn’t participate in what happened to the child who became his wife and birthed his children.
I don’t hold onto anger towards him because he wasn’t the problem, he was merely a symptom. I don’t also blame the people who took the statue down, because it’s time that ugly mess came down.
Tourists come to take photos with that statue while having no idea that the man abused children in a variety of horrible ways. They come to take pictures because it’s a statue, and that’s what you do when you’re on vacation, you take pictures of statues and local culture, but what does Gassy Jack say about Vancouver culture?
If you take my history into mind, and you add that to what we know about the history of the Indigenous kids taken from their tribes and nations and homes, then you can only assume that until this moment Vancouver as a whole decided they were okay celebrating a pedophile.
I think about Jack a lot because I used to visit him, sip my coffee, get stoned, and write stories about him in my head. So I figured if I was going to tell a story about Gassy Jack and his descendants, I’d have to research him. That’s how I found out he married an Indigenous child who was only “about 12.”
This man married a girl who couldn’t have even had her period yet, and he made her his wife. It happens today around the world only we don’t talk about it, and Gassy Jack is one of the many reasons why.
Jack was a symbol of Vancouver pedophilia, of men taking advantage of uneducated children, and their families, a symbol of abuse, and hundreds of thousands of people across the globe came here to take photos with him, and it’s ignorant of me to assume they don’t all know who he was, or what he did.
And in spite of all of that, the protestors who pulled him down will be found and arrested, charged with vandalism over $5000, and probably face jail time. Because they pulled down a statue of a man who was a rapist and a known pedophile.
Gastown Vancouver only has its name because of Gassy Jack, and yeah that should be changed too. Pick something else, and stop celebrating pedophiles is my go-to, but a judge won’t see it that way. A judge will decide the fate of these people, and whatever punishment they face it’ll still be worse than the Ottawa convoy protestors who are only pissed off because they have to wear a fucking mask.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall