Huffington Post Canada
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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Anti-Semitism used to be theoretical to me, a thing that happened to my grandparents. Now it's become a reality I have to explain to my son. There are people saying that we deserve a right to attack people not because of anything they've done but because of their religion.
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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.
Morris MacMatzen / Reuters
"We were exposed to this duality that we could embrace being Canadian and embrace our roots which was very empowering."
Christinne Muschi / Reuters
The Trudeau government has been calling CETA the "most progressive" free trade deal ever. But the deal does not require the payment of living wages; it does not mandate a crackdown on tax evasion; and it certainly does not try to guarantee the "peace of mind ... that come[s] with stable, full-time contracts."
Like many diseases, Islamophobia is curable and its treatment is more simple than one may imagine. The first step to attaining this cure is by recognizing that one is afflicted by the illness. We must all recognize that Islamophobia is not only a threat to Muslims, but to our entire society.
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I was standing at an intersection. I glanced over at the post on the corner to be greeted by a flyer entitled "Hey White People." It was an invitation to join the "alt-right" white supremacist movement for those "sick of being blamed for all the world's problems caused by minority groups and immigrants." What had changed?
Unchecked hatred that appears in blogs and other online venues has the potential to lead to ugly incidents. We cannot allow such darkness to destroy the social fabric of Canada. Indeed, it was this unchecked hate speech that has indoctrinated many in Pakistan to turn a blind eye to the oppression of Ahmadi Muslims and other religious minorities.
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The world is changing rapidly. We have witnessed the success of the Brexit campaign in the UK, and the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. Amid the social and political turmoil, some political groups and social movements are emerging to exploit this climate of tension and fear and make political and financial gains out of it. Canada has not been immune of this.
Mike Segar / Reuters
"It's a word not to be celebrated but to be deeply concerned about."
Somewhere deep inside I knew he would achieve this goal, but I didn't expect it to completely uncover the true face of America that many have long ignored and continue to ignore. Trump not only won over the hearts of many Americans, but he pulled all the champions of hate and division out of their holes.... I fear that this Trump "movement" will slip its way into Canada and fuel the fire in those who have long remained quiet or polite about their shared vision for a divided community of people where only some lives matter and deserve basic human rights.
When civilized society feels OK about demonizing others in the name of tolerance, you have a problem that doesn't necessarily require Donald Trump to become president to alienate much of the population. When the politics of resentment comes from the Left, the Right, and even the Centre, the road to democratic decline appears like an open freeway.
Anti-immigrant xenophobia is usually tied to nationalism, and nationalism tends to spike during independence celebrations. So here's something to think about this Canada Day: everyone in this colonized land that is not First Nations or Inuit is an immigrant. I'm fourth generation myself. Three of my four grandparents were born here. My wife's relatives immigrated to North America from Denmark and Scotland. Every single other citizen that is not indigenous immigrated here, too, be it from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, South America or wherever else.
Numbered at 1.8 billion, the world is now home to the largest generation of young people aged 10 to 24 in its history. Having grown up in a digital era and more connected than ever before, younger generations are able to see the world's boundaries as more fluid, recognizing their shared interests and values with people around the globe.