Seeing an innocent member of your 'team' die tragically feeds this sense of 'us and them.' Micah Johnson, the Dallas shooter, did not see fathers, sons or brothers. He only saw white people and cops. This is the same mentality that fuels the atrocities of ISIS. When we see a group instead of an individual we feel justified in killing an innocent member of that group. Trained as a soldier, Johnson only saw 'the enemy.'
I would like to think that the police, of all people, are following this controversy closely and that their social media managers know what they're tweeting out into the world and how it will be perceived. But maybe they don't. Maybe you don't. Maybe your uncle doesn't. (Though, c'mon, you've heard him rant after a few glasses of red at Thanksgiving.) Maybe you refuse to believe that when you say, tweet or even sing "All Lives Matter" what people hear is that you're racist. But if you don't think that it devalues the lives of black people consider this.
The best hashtag I've seen in a long time is #enough. It's short, it's poignant, and it expresses what a whole lot of people are thinking this week. Enough violence. Enough discrimination. Enough hatred. We probably reached the "enough" point thousands of years ago. According to a couple of famous political thinkers, history is littered with moments of "enough".
Even if I don't have the minutest idea of what it means to navigate life as a black person, I pledge that I will always stand in solidarity with those who do. Not only will I open myself to listen to the voices of the community without moderating them, but I will also make my words my protest, my sit-in. And if I cannot help in the fight for justice and equality, I will never impede those who can, or those who fight for it, humanely.
So what do I do now? I'm still learning. I'm still seeing. It's my job to spread the word -- not my own experience of this, either -- the voices of black men and women. It's my job to stop racist talk, behaviour and ideas from perpetuating within white culture. It's my job to get off my defensive high-horse and listen and learn. It's my job to be an ally, to join wherever I'm needed and to not be offended if I'm not wanted.
For 30 minutes they held up a parade born from the outrage over the ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, abuse and hate LGBTQ people have experienced for being who they were born to be. If we learned anything at all, it should be that we remain silent as they speak, compassionate as they cry and outraged as they share.
I told him that Indigenous people fear the police because of many instances of abuse and the feeling that it was an institution designed to oppress Indigenous people. He told me that wasn't true. I told him their actions say something different. And that was that. It was only a few weeks later, walking with my then girlfriend (and future and present wife) late at night on Adelaide outside her apartment that the cruiser pulled up beside us. They shone the spotlight on me and ordered me to face the wall.
Not a single soul who has worked tirelessly to create the life and home they have dreamed of deserves to be made to feel unworthy of creating the life of their choosing -- especially if it really doesn't harm anyone else. The majority of the South Asian community members who make these "monster houses" are those who have come from next to nothing in Northern rural areas of India.
I'm Chinese, but I strongly identify as a Canadian, because I was born and raised here. So when people start questioning if I truly am from Canada or not, I automatically get defensive... Here's a news flash: Canada is a multicultural country. Sure, it has a large number of immigrants, but that doesn't mean every person of colour or person of a certain ethnic background wasn't born and raised here. Just because I'm Asian doesn't mean I'm less Canadian than you are. Asking "Where are you from?" automatically labels the person being questioned as "other," and nobody appreciates that. So just stop.
The growth in the visible minority population has seemingly changed the nature of the vertical mosaic and the portrait of inequality in Canada. The question that preoccupies researchers is whether the upward mobility experienced by most European origin groups can be replicated by non-European immigrants and their children.
When I recently read about an Alabama teacher giving her eighth grade class a "racist math test," I had to laugh. This couldn't be for real. Do 13-year-olds even know how to quantify an eight-ball of cocaine? Perhaps this teacher was trying to "break bad" and was looking for the Jesse Pinkman to her Walter White. When I realized it wasn't a joke -- these kids actually had to complete and turn in this test -- my feelings morphed into anger. I wasn't mad at this one teacher, but at a world where we are constantly confronted by stories of hate.
Warm weather rolls in and with it a vision of reclining at the beach with a good book. Summer reads they are called. Those books that take you away, absorb your attention. Time stands still as you fall into another world between the covers of the book. It feeds into that endless quality of "summer' time. My book club, which is now in its fifth year, has some suggestions, and I'd like to share them with you.
By failing to be systematically aware the Quebec Human Rights Commission has failed to see and understand the bigger picture of race. There can be no real serious talk, or discourse about the biggest human right issues that affect marginalized and racialized members of the society if no thought is given to the systems involved.
As Canadians look down upon the severe tone of the Republican primary season, they might console themselves by saying: "We would never resort to that kind of hateful dialogue, and it would never work here -- in the multicultural haven that is Canada." Prime Minister Robert Borden might prove them wrong.
Where are our friends and fans of black music and black people when the partying stops and the subject turns to the reality of being black? When I attend concerts for some of these artists, non-blacks are the ones front and centre, filling more than half of the seats. Switch to a Black Lives Matter march... these folks are nowhere to be found
What Chris Hine, a gay sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune, fails to realize is that he is horrified by a slur against his sexual orientation while celebrating and profiting from a slur against another ethnic group. Like the NHL, he has said that all slurs are unacceptable in public life, except for those against native Americans.
Even those Canadians reporting the highest knowledge about immigration history believe we have always been welcoming. Yet the country's history offers more than enough examples of restrictive immigration practices to suggest that there is at least a bit of ignorance among those of us presuming the most knowledge.