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There is a story of two brothers who grew up to find a similar barrier between them. As young boys in their parents' home with a shaded courtyard where they played football and did their homework, there had been no India and no Pakistan. Now, all of a sudden, they found themselves as citizens of two different fledgling states.
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Maybe it's dramatic to call this a new apartheid. But a quick search as I wallow in the glare of an unforgiving sun and my own self-pity reveals countless stories of unexplained visa refusals and similarly stringent refusals from South African embassies, to provide reasons for them.
Tyler Levitan's recent Huffington Post Canada op-ed entitled "Israel's Actions In Palestine Are The Definition Of Apartheid" is a perfect example of how when baseless accusations are left unanswered, they risk becoming accepted as conventional wisdom.
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Viola Desmond's crime? Sitting in a section of the movie theatre reserved for white Canadians.
I stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, New York and all over the world who are experiencing police violence. I encourage those of us who are committed to dismantling structural violence against black people that as we chant the slogan "Black Lives Matter", we must also remember "Black Lives Matter Everywhere". Let us not limit our desire for structural changes to only the United States.
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George Orwell stated, "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Anything else is public relations." Unfortunately, most North American journalists have acted as PR reps for Israel's ongoing invasion in a variety of ways, some subtle, others explicit.
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Twice we're lined up against a wall to be shot as spies. Twice the commandant changes his mind. Instead, he finally says, we're to be fed to the crocodiles in the nearby Luapula River. Back into the truck and a drive down to the river. Then into an old wooden boat pushed by an outboard motor.
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It's not every day that you wake up to discover that your old friend might have murdered the prime minister of Sweden. And it's not every day that you learn that the same old friend might also have bombed the Stockholm and London offices of the African National Congress.
Until we find concrete and genuine ways to take into account cultural differences and the institutional power relations that inform that reality in Canada, Black History Month, like multiculturalism, will continue to be sidelined and watered down to satisfy Canada's mythical narrative of togetherness, racial justice and equality.
Change is never easy and it often creates discord, but when people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things. Those are the lessons from Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and all those who refuse to give up in the face of adversity when the cause they pursue is just and necessary.
The South African Reconciliation Barometer, a survey of racial and social attitudes, consistently finds a deeply divided nation. Less than 40 per cent of South Africans socialize with people of another race, while only 22 per cent of white South Africans and a fifth of black South Africans live in racially integrated neighbourhoods.
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There is no discussion of the fact that part of the reason Mandela was sent to prison was because he was responsible for bombing a power plant. Though we seem to like to imagine that Mandela brought change to South Africa with nothing but wise words and a kind, grandfatherly smile, the truth is very different. Mandela fought for his freedom, tooth and nail.
When I moved to Canada from South Africa I thought living in this country had opportunities that people in other places could only dream of. However now I know it's not without its own problems. In my years here, I've been told three times to "go back home," was informed by a major national daily newspaper they couldn't hire me because I didn't have Canadian experience and was rudely told by a well-known tire company employee that "In this country, we pay taxes." I have used lessons from Madiba to fight injustice. My stories pale in to insignificance compared to what others experienced in our own backyard.
Edmund Burke said "For evil to triumph it takes good people to do nothing." These words were shared by Kenneth Meshoe, South African Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2013, President of the African C...