Women of colour who have spoken most openly and fervently on behalf of their male family and community members are often at the forefront of the debate surrounding police misconduct. Yet, women have also been victimized by the police and often in precisely the same ways as men -- police stops, shootings and racial profiling.
On a continent where people of colour have been, and continue to be, terrorized, dehumanized, brutally murdered and denied basic human rights based on the colour of their skin, a grievance white people have not experienced, white people don't need to come together to lend moral and emotional support for their brethren in the same way people of colour do. So knowing that some racist folks are hell bent on creating "safe" spaces to fight the "tyranny" of multiculturalism, I'm left with only one question: If white people are losing in our country, who the hell is winning?
We have seen how "Islamicism" has become a convenient tool for the government to employ a more aggressive foreign policy. Although it's easy for Canadian Muslims to lay blame on the Conservatives and Stephen Harper for such discriminatory and exploitative tactics (and doing so would be justifiable), it would also be disingenuous. The current situation is simply a culmination of years of political apathy from the Muslim community whose voter turnout is consistently below the national average.
In both the U.S. and Canada, Muslims face real scrutiny, fanned by politicians out to earn xenophobic votes and media folk out to sell copies. North American society, on both sides of the border, needs to get to grips with five key misconceptions if it wants to contribute to a clean, prejudice-free society.
It seems every time a black person becomes a horrific hashtag that reignites the dire need of structural change in a system that doesn't prioritize black lives as important or equal, there's always a large contingent of folks ready to utter the same ignorant retort of, "Black people need to fix their/our communities FIRST, before worrying about [insert extreme act of racism here]." This bullshit trope is quickly reeled out by non-black people who are uncomfortable with acknowledging the factually disproportionate racism that we suffer from everyday.
It's a very bad time for racism in the United States. It would make sense to work toward lowering the level of racial tension in the country, rather than inflaming it. It's one thing to honour the fallen soldiers of the American civil war, but it's another thing altogether to insist on waving a flag that to so many, represents violence, hatred and oppression toward African Americans.
A group called the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators set out to complete the first ever comprehensive survey of black teachers in the province, specifically the racism they face. The survey was only able to reach 148 teachers, but the insight they were able to provide is shocking to those who have no idea what it's really like to be a black teacher.
I've spoken to thousands of environmental and community activists during many years of meeting with Canadians across this country. I've heard too many stories of people being harassed, ostracized, sued for standing up to large corporations and even fired from jobs because of their environmental advocacy. Canadians must continue to speak out for our water, land, air and wildlife, for justice for Indigenous Peoples, and for a clean energy future -- without fear of harassment, intimidation and hatred.
In a stunning about-face enlightened evolution, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the end of carding in his city this week. As the congratulatory backslapping spread across Hogtown, the rest of the province and the rest of the country is left eating dust. For us, carding carries on. To eradicate carding in Canada, this case must be heard in the highest courts. Judges must remind all citizens, including mayors, premiers and prime-ministerial hopefuls, that equality and fairness are more than filatures for flowery speeches
Ontario Premier Wynne ascended to power by winning over the small clique of Liberal Party members who can afford leadership conference fees and travel expenses. Both Ontario women and LGBT communities rejoiced at this opportunity to have, for the first time, one their own at the seat of power. People of colour and hijab-wearing Muslim-Canadian women face acute harassment that falls outside the sort explicitly described in Wynne's plan. As a candidate, Wynne reached out to visible minorities on her way to the mountain top. Then she forgot about them.
I started to wish I was white. I didn't necessarily want to not be Chinese. I just wanted to look like the celebrities in the movies I watched. The online outrage at the casting of Quvenzhané Wallis in the titular role in Annie, and the simultaneous approval or silent passivity at that of Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead in The Prince of Persia, Rooney Mara as a Native American girl in Pan and Scarlett Johansson as a Japanese woman in Ghost in the Shell teaches people of colour that being white opens doors that'll always be closed to us. While I'm glad to see that people are more outspoken about diversity nowadays, there are bodies like the Academy that continue to try and mute their voices. This is inadequate for our multicultural society.
CBC Television went national in 1958. The CTV Television Network followed three years later. Both TV networks have grown into a Canadian staples. Over a half century, consumer habits have changed. But have the networks evolved with the changing face of the viewership? The best Canadian content is the one which reflects the full spectrum of the Canadian identity -- before and behind the cameras.
On February 12, Harper vowed to appeal a federal court ruling that would allow Muslim women to wear a niqab during citizenship ceremonies. Speaking to the press about the matter, Harper said, "That is not the way we do things." He added that, "This is a society that is transparent, open and where people are equal, and I think we find that offensive." This is a classic example of opportunistic feminism, which so many white men like to make use of from time to time.
The deceased Mr. Spence left his entire estate of $400,000 to his daughter Donna. He cut his daughter Verolin out of his will, reputedly because of racial bias. Madam Justice Gilmore ruled that this offended public policy, and was therefore rendered void. Once there is no will, the law decrees that each child of the deceased receives an equal share of the estate.