Youth, community key for battling racism in Edmonton
When I was three years old, my best friend in daycare was a kid named Carl. Carl and I did everything together – we shared toys, collaborated on macaroni art projects and ate lunch side by side, every day. It wasn’t until later that Carl’s skin colour became something that seemed to matter, something people actually paid attention to. Carl is black, but when I was 3, he was just Carl.
In general, and especially around Canada 150, we have a perception of Canada as a deeply caring and wonderfully inclusive place founded upon multicultural values and traditions, but recent expressions of hate and racism in our cities have cast doubt on that story.
There has been renewed attention on hate crimes and intolerance – so much so that the government of Alberta announced this week that it would “gather input on ways the government can fight racism, foster acceptance and promote an inclusive society.” We know that all orders of government play key roles in addressing racism, but I also believe that youth and community are key change agents in addressing racism.
When I was three years old, my best friend in daycare was a kid named Carl. Carl and I did everything together – we shared toys, collaborated on macaroni art projects and ate lunch side by side, every day. It wasn’t until later that Carl’s skin colour became something that seemed to matter, something people actually paid attention to. Carl is black, but when I was 3, he was just Carl. In general, and especially around Canada 150, we have a perception of Canada as a deeply caring and wonderfully inclusive place founded upon multicultural values and traditions, but recent expressions of hate and racism in our cities have cast doubt on that story. There has been renewed attention on hate crimes and intolerance – so much so that the government of Alberta announced this week that it would “gather input on ways the government can fight racism,
How Are White People Confronting Racism in Canada?
We’re hearing more about racism in Canada, and seeing more ugly examples, from KKK flyers on Fraser Valley doorsteps to racial slurs to allegations of sexual abuse of Indigenous women by police.
Coty Zachariah, from Tyendinaga First Nation near Kingston, Ontario, says white people in Canada bring a “sweep it under the rug, deny it” mentality to racism.
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“Canadians are very proud of this narrative of being kind, of being a gentle people,” says Zachariah, host of Indigenous Waves radio show in Toronto. The desire to appear polite and avoid conflict can result in subtle racism or “micro-aggressions, like denying people jobs.”
But, Zachariah adds, “settler-colonialism and land theft — that’s not that subtle.”
In a 2015 article, White Supremacy is Not a Black Problem, Toronto media personality Andray Domise notes denial has been the standard response to racism from the white community. ”As long as people of colour have been free to form communities,” Domise writes, “white supremacy has existed to remind us where we stand. And as long as white supremacy has resulted in violence against our bodies, white culture has existed to downplay the problem, instruct us on how to deal with it peaceably, and deny it exists at all.”
Activists build for Stand Up To Racism conference to launch mass movement
Over 1,000 people have registered for the Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) conference in central London on Saturday. It will bring together solidarity with refugees, opposition to the Islamophobic Prevent strategy, organising against racist attacks and activists in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Many of those attending will be trade unionists. Some 14 people have registered from the NUT teaching union’s branch in Ealing, west London.
Its secretary Stefan Simms told Socialist Worker, “When I sent an email out to members I got an immediate response—including from people I don’t know and who I’m looking forward to meeting.
“There is a real mood around this, far more than most campaigns.”
The conference aims to help strengthen existing SUTR groups and launch new ones in local areas and workplaces. As our rulers’ racist offensives gather pace, so must the movement against them.
Stefan said, “The response made me think of what the former RMT union leader Bob Crow did after the big Stop the War demonstration in 2003. He contacted all members to find out which of them had taken part.
Pence wants less talk of institutional racism
WASHINGTON — Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence on Thursday criticized what he views as excessive focus on racism in law enforcement.
His comments came in the wake of two fatal police shootings of black men this past week in Oklahoma and Charlotte, N.C., and protests that have erupted in response.
Speaking to evangelical church leaders in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday, Pence said public officials should speak out with compassion about police shootings and assure the public that justice will be served.
But Indiana’s governor added that Republican presidential candidate “Donald Trump and I both believe that there’s been far too much of this talk of institutional bias or racism in law enforcement.” Pence said, “We ought to set aside this talk” that he described as “the rhetoric of division.”
The Indiana Fever on Wednesday became the first entire professional sports team to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in this country.
A player on Brebeuf Jesuit’s girl’s soccer team likewise dropped to her knee before a game Wednesday night to protest the shooting of an unarmed black man in Oklahoma last week.
Trump, who Wednesday urged “stop-and-frisk” policing to curb inner-city violence, attempted to clarify his comments Thursday, saying he specifically wanted law enforcement to use the practice in Chicago.
“I think Chicago needs stop and frisk. Now people can criticize me for that or people can say whatever they want, but they asked me about Chicago and I think stop and frisk with good strong — you know — good, strong law and order. But you have to do something. It can’t continue the way it’s going,” Trump said Thursday in an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
Trump was asked to explain the pros and cons of the controversial police practice.
Students sing racist song on Montgomery County school bus, video goes viral
WASHINGTON – A video uploaded to Facebook has gone viral after a group of Montgomery County middle school students were heard chanting disturbing lyrics on the bus ride to school.
The video has caused outrage, saddened hearts and concern amongst many parents. One father in particular, B. Jamar Long, took to social media to voice his concerns.
Long’s daughter, a student at Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville, was on the bus Tuesday when the incident occurred and she recorded the students. Long uploaded the video to his Facebook page. It has been viewed over 172,000 times and over 10,000 shares.
Montgomery County Public Schools are investigating the video.
In a statement from the Senior Communications Specialist of the Department of Public Information and Web Services of Montgomery County Public Schools:
“The school is aware and is investigating the incident. It was a Montgomery County School bus. They will be sending a letter out to their community today and making it clear that this type of behavior is unacceptable and does not represent the values of their school and community.”
Montgomery County Public Schools explained the students were actually quoting a Vine video that was actually made to draw attention to racial profiling in stores.
A Trump Supporter Left A Racist Voicemail for a McMullin Staffer — So The Candidate Made it an Ad
In a new political ad, conservative independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin’s campaign transformed a racist, misogynistic voicemail from a supporter of his GOP rival into “a preview of Donald Trump’s America.”
In a voicemail left for McMullin campaign spokeswoman Rina Shah, a caller identified as “Alan” calls her a “frothing, libtard piece of s**t Islamic dog.”
“Vote for the pathological lying criminal you f*****g piece of s**t … and get out of our country,” Alan said. “While you’re at it, go back and get f****d by your dirtbag Islamic terror scum friends. Slut.”
In an interview Wednesday with TheBlaze, Shah said she received the voicemail after her first television interview in her capacity with the McMullin campaign.
Shah said the campaign decided to share her voicemail to highlight the “racism that has been pushed to the surface” by some of Trump’s supporters.
“He was spouting off pure hate,” Shah said, adding that she’s received “hundreds” of similar messages.
“It gives me no pleasure to say hundreds,” Shah said. “I wish I could say it was a handful.”
Shah, who was born in West Virginia, said she doesn’t describe herself as “Indian-American,” but as simply as an American.
Buzzfeed News identified the caller in the ad as Alan Pryce.
Pryce told Buzzfeed that “I stand by every word” of the message.
When Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins informed Pryce that Shah was actually born in the U.S., he replied, “Really? Well, she’s absolutely a first-gen whatever. Look, I didn’t do a biography on her.”
“Clearly, she’s an anti-American supporter of a pathological lying criminal,” Pryce continued.
“Anyone who supports [Hillary Clinton], either actively or tacitly, is anti-American scum in my mind.”
Pryce called McMullin “the definition of the word ‘cuck,’” and said he doesn’t mind being featured in his campaign’s ad.
“Honestly, I think it’s hysterical,” Pryce said.
Students at Eastern Michigan U. protest ‘KKK’ and other racist graffiti
Staff members at Eastern Michigan University discovered racist graffiti on the side of a dormitory building Tuesday morning, campus newspaper The Eastern Echo reported.
“KKK” was spray painted in red, white and blue on the brick wall of dorm Julia Anne King Hall. Below the letters was the racial slur, “Leave N—–s.” University president James Smith said the school’s Department of Public Safety was investigating the incident.
“The University strongly condemns such a racist and thoughtless act, which runs completely counter to the values and welcoming environment of our highly diverse Eastern Michigan University community,” Smith said in a statement.
“Rest assured, we will investigate this criminal act to our fullest abilities and will advise our campus community on our progress,” he added.
At EMU, African-Americans made up 18 percent of all enrolled students in fall 2014, according to the latest federal data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. White students made up 66 percent.
By 9:40 a.m. today, school officials were on site to discuss plans to remove the hate speech, the Echo reported. The graffiti was shortly removed later that morning.
Several students, however, thought the university’s statement was insufficient.
After the wall had been cleared of the racist graffiti, senior Zack Badgerhouse told WEMU, the local NPR station, that he was staging a one-man silent protest at the site, because “African-American students are highly upset.”
He held a sign that read, “I need answers,” WEMU reported. By this afternoon, other EMU students had gathered at the scene of the incident as well, the Echo reported.
“What is the administration going to do about this?” Badgerhouse said. “It’s deeper than just taking it off the wall. I want answers and I want them now.”
Also this afternoon, several members of the Black Student Union joined EMU students on campus to protest the incident as well, shouting, “No Justice, No Peace.”
Protesters arrested inside Capitol as they demand Paul Ryan denounce GOP’s racism
WASHINGTON, DC — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was not available for a meeting on Tuesday morning when roughly two dozen millennials arrived at his U.S. Capitol office to demand that he denounce the racism rampant in the Republican Party. So they decided to sit outside.
Holding signs and singing in unison, the young people occupied the hall outside Ryan’s door to demand that the leader of the GOP officially denounce Donald Trump.
“As a Muslim, I’m sick and tired of the racism of the Republican Party,” said Waleed Shahid, a 25-year-old Muslim from Virginia as he stood directly outside Ryan’s door.
Ryan officially endorsed Trump in June, the same day that he promised to stand up to the Islamophobia in his party. Later that same week, he called Trump’s comments about a Mexican judge “racist,” but continued to backthe nominee.
“Paul Ryan and the Republican Party are responsible for Donald Trump’s racism,” Shahid said from the hallway of the Capitol. “Donald Trump is not an aberration. He is the result of 50 years of racist strategy to divide the American people… and young people will not stand for this.”
The protesters, all connected with the newly-formed millennial activist group All of US, cheered as they listened to others speak.
“Ain’t nobody gonna walk all over me,” they sang.
A Capitol police officer repeatedly interrupted the protesters, informing them that the demonstration was illegal. After the third interruption, less than ten minutes into the demonstration, more officers arrived to escort them out of the building. Eleven people — three men and eight women — were handcuffed and led into vans.
Others stood across the street, continuing to sing in support. “Paul Ryan, you’re racist. Your party’s all white faces,” they chanted. “Your time is up, you led to Trump, and now it’s time to face it.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline Fight Is A Chilling Mix Of Racism & Environmentalism
The Dakota Access Pipeline didn’t come out of nowhere. The pipeline project — which aims to transport crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois while passing through South Dakota and Iowa — became public in July 2014. Supporters of the pipeline argue in favor of its economic benefits, like job creation and energy independence. However, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe objected to the pipeline because it could affect the local water supply and damage sacred land. President Obama recently announced a temporary halt in pipeline construction, but that wasn’t a true victory. The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline has not yet come to an end, and the federal government’s response to this issue reflects the historical treatment of Native American and indigenous people in the United States.
It’s important to look closely at what the Obama Administration actually saidin response to #NoDAPL protests. Shortly after a federal judge refused to grant the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe an injunction to stop construction on the pipeline, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army released a joint statement last week. “Construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time,” the statement read. “We request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.”
As anti-state violence organizer Kelly Hayes wrote, all this statement guarantees is further consideration of the issue. Additionally, this is really just a momentary delay, as Hayes points out. The federal government is creating the illusion of victory by asking Energy Transfer Partners — the company that owns the pipeline project — to voluntarily stop construction while everything is being discussed. The statement really only addresses a small portion of the pipeline, and construction on the rest of the pipeline has continued.
Texas Textbook ‘Dripping With Racism’ Opposed at Hearing, Awaits Vote
Just as the U.S. is about to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the Texas’ elected education board is facing whether to send to its schoolchildren a Mexican American studies textbook that has been called “dripping with racism” and has been found by a state committee to have many mistakes.
The Texas State Board of Education gave the textbook a full hearing, putting it through the same process as other state textbooks, a process that lacks any earlier filter for a problematic book. The board held the hearing on the book on Tuesday, taking public comment including that of Mexican American studies scholars, legislators and a couple of young people. About 100 people signed up to speak and the book drew a busload of protestors to Austin.
The book, Mexican American Heritage, published by Momentum Instruction, was found to have 68 factual errors and 73 interpretive and omission errors by an ad hoc committee of scholars assembled by board member Ruben Cortez Jr.
The book says that “stereotypically” Mexicans were viewed as lazy, that “drinking on the job could be a problem” and that Chicanos “opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.”
The country’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month begins Thursday.
Texas’ Hispanic population is the second largest in the nation at 10.4 million, about 19 percent of the entire nation’s Latino population. According to Pew Research Center, 87.5 percent of the state’s Latino population is of Mexican descent.
Ruben Cortez Jr., a board member who has spearheaded efforts to keep the textbook from moving forward, said after Tuesday’s hearing that he expects a supermajority of board members to reject the textbook in the vote scheduled for Nov. 18.
“Imagine Donald Trump or David Duke writing a book about African American studies, that’s what Cynthia Dunbar has done on Mexican American studies,” Cortez said. Dunbar heads the publishing company that produced the textbook and is a former member of the state’s education board. The book, he said is “dripping with racism.”