While we should be shocked that these atrocities are committed, we should not be so shocked that they are committed within our borders, because this violence really is not as much of a "lone wolf" attack as we think. We are far more entrenched in this barbarous violence than we would have ourselves believe.
Over the next few weeks, you will see no shortage of functions organized by historical societies, libraries, and schools dedicated to Black History. You may even catch the corporate giants sponsoring short vignettes on black history, or perhaps a rerun of "Amistad," "Roots" or "Malcolm X." During our school years, we spend months, perhaps years, studying history. Yet, how much importance is given to the history of blacks?
There is no doubt in my mind that what happened to the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo was an unacceptable tragedy. Nobody should die because of their views.Still, despite the tragedy of the lives lost, I still cannot stand behind the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan. And the automatic herd of people rushing to back the slogan without applying critical thought to it or educating themselves about the publication is a deeply troubling phenomenon.
Now a few days after the horrific attack in Paris, hashtag #JeSuisCharlie floats about the Internet as a neoliberal nod of solidarity to those who were killed in yesterday's attack. While I see its good intentions, in the big picture this hashtag serves as a demonstration of alliance with that coveted icon of western identity: freedom of speech. But make no mistake, the reasons the perpetrators carried out this attack were more complex than simply freedom of speech. For what is pitifully lacking in most every media representation of the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo is the historical background of what this attack was about.
There should be no mistake, it's more embarrassing for an adult to not know Kanye at this point in time than it is for a teen to not know McCartney. White dominance of cultural norms is the only reason click-bait articles decrying the masses of 50-somethings who don't know who Kanye West is aren't being published.
I won't go into the details of black groups being marginalized at the hands of white people who dominate the "center," because if you're smart enough to think that you fooled us into feeling remorse for "leaving you out" during the protest in Toronto, then you're smart enough to do a Google search to figure out historical black oppression and its endless contemporary reproductions.
Girls like me are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Our critiques about, let's say, the misogyny within our community are so often co-opted by white Eurocentric feminism as a kind of "see, look, the oppressed brown women need us!" And at the same time, I don't want to silence myself from critiquing by own community just because I'm scared that some white feminists may twist my words.
These three, blonde, 20-somethings were dressed as cotton pickers and had painted their faces in the most offensive, unrealistic mud black I've ever seen. They said absolutely nothing, only smiled, mouth closed. Here before me, like never in my life, were three white people targeting us, the non-white people in the bar.
Irony -- when Canada's Minister of State for Multiculturalism is the victim of a racial slur. Minister Tim Uppal and his family walked into an Edmonton tennis club this past week and overheard a woman express disgust that the Sikh-Canadian family was allowed membership. She went on to suggest that Uppal was probably unemployed. It was an ugly reminder that Canada may be the land of multiculturalism, but we are not immune to racism.
You wouldn't know it from the tone of discourse today, but immigrants and foreign workers have been part of the Canadian labour force since Confederation. Then, much as now, they were necessary to ensure Canada's economic survival. Nevertheless, 19th century immigrant workers were viewed with suspicion and contempt and assigned the most dangerous tasks.
In the social context of Canada before the Quiet Revolution (1950s), before Viola Desmond's act of defiance (1946), before Rosa Parks triggered the United States' Civil Rights Movement (1955), Fred Christie stood up to institutional discrimination. A decade before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1947), Fred Christie exhibited unimaginable courage and perseverance in asserting his civil rights. Though the judicial process did not deliver the desired result, Fred Christie remains a key instigator in Canada's journey towards the establishment of universal rights.
In any place where race is tied to wealth, as it is almost everywhere, the stadium will likely look vastly different from the average neighbourhood. Clubs needs to invest in better representing the community in the stadium for their claim to be a true site of integration and inclusion. One way to do this is by changing ticket pricing and distribution.
If we convey negative or suspicious attitudes about other cultures and ethnicities, our kids will pick up on these and replicate our behaviour. "Monkey see, monkey do" is real so keep this in mind and remember to convey a positive and open attitude about other cultures, particularly around your children.
The Internet can and will prove you a liar in minutes. Finally we are seeing that powerful men, and for that matter powerful companies, can no longer just say "Oh.. sorry." If people don't believe in and trust your brand, and if they don't understand your moral purpose, you could be left out in the cold in much the same as Donald Sterling or Don Imus were.
We need to talk for a hot second about the sexualization of young girls. Specifically, we need to talk about the sexualization of Willow Smith by the media. In case you've somehow missed the whole hullaballoo, the picture below of 13-year-old Willow and 20-year-old actor Moises Arias was recently posted on Instagram, and the internet subsequently exploded. Everyone immediately leapt to the conclusion that the photograph was somehow sexual. Had this been a picture of a young white girl with a man a few years older than her, it most likely would have been written off as totally innocent.
On Thursday night, Montreal Canadiens player P. K. Subban scored the winning goal against the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal. Predictably, Boston fans were outraged. In this case, though, with Subban as one of the few black players in the league, their anger took a sickeningly racist turn.
When Avril Lavigne issued a defence on Twitter, peppered with LOLs and claiming that because Japanese people were involved in the development of the "Hello Kitty" video, it couldn't possibly be racist, I gave up. It's the same tired defence we hear all the time. But my best friend is Asian/gay/vegan!