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Kicking out Harper was only a beginning to rebuilding a progressive vision in this country. We must push back as a united voice against the politics of division, racism, Islamophobia, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia and sexism that right-wing populists stir up in their cynical quests for power.
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Either the NDP is simply another party supporting the economic and political status quo or it is so afraid of being called "radical" by the mainstream media that it self censors to the point of political blandness. NDP members are right to deride the ideas flowing from the Conservative leadership race, but they are wrong to dismiss it as a circus. The Conservatives' boldness and willingness to amplify their agenda is something the NDP should mimic.
Busy celebrating the best of what Polish culture had to offer, I rarely paused to think about the darker parts of my heritage. But moving out from my childhood home and joining a Polish community during a formative time of my life brought this willful ignorance into stark relief.
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Acknowledging this fact is one of the first things you could have done to protect the Muslim community in Quebec City. To fight and prevent hate speech that comes from the far right, you also need to fight and prevent its counterpart. Otherwise, all your efforts would be useless.
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All told, it's been a bleak day. But don't give up. Resistance isn't futile. If there's one thing that progressives should learn from Trump's election, it is that protest works.
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Donald Trump's apocalyptic acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was easily the scariest political event I've ever witnessed outside of 1930s newsreels. As CNN's Anderson Cooper summed up: "He painted a dark and frightening picture of America, he talked about people being attacked by criminals, attacked by terrorists, betrayed by their leaders, the game is fixed. And he said he can be their voice." The thing about this tactic -- a far cry from conservative saint Ronald Reagan's inspirational "shining city on a hill" much less Obama's hope and change optimism -- is that it captures (and, yes, fuels) the zeitgeist of white America.
To those politicians today with the power to compel people to your will with fear and anti-immigration sentiment -- stop blaming immigrants for neoliberal policies that relentlessly concentrate wealth at the top while leaving the majority with weakened social programs, poverty, uncertainty and fear.
"I've got a slogan for you," one eager audience member asked into the microphone during the Q & A period. "Immigrate, fornicate, legislate, and dominate. How do we stop the cycle?" While the man's statement may be jarring taken out of context, it was perfectly in tune with the atmosphere of the evening.