London murders wound us all

The killings demand empathy for the victims, but also renewed commitment to freedom of faith

London murders wound us allThe news from London, Ont. regarding a murdered Muslim family is horrifying. It is chilling even to write about a driver deliberately ramming his pick-up truck into a father, mother, grandmother, daughter, and son – leaving only the young boy alive but bereft of his family. The police-reported motivation behind the crime should make it…

Pandemic has exposed the social, political rot at the core of India

Since independence India has seen the addition of one billion citizens, persistent communalism and little change for the marginalized

Pandemic has exposed the social, political rot at the core of IndiaThe COVID-19 pandemic may be the most important event of our lifetimes. It will define the legitimacy of governments and leave long-lasting impressions about how societies responded on behalf of their citizens. The devastation being played out across India is beyond tragic – it was predictable, ignored, supported by willful blindness and even encouraged. As…

New podcast explores systemic racism, celebrates Black achievement

BlackTalk offers an ‘ethnic, modern, inclusive and informative’ take on the Black experience for listeners of all backgrounds

New podcast explores systemic racism, celebrates Black achievementThe murder of George Floyd last year was a pivotal moment for University of Alberta political scientist Andy Knight. The expert in international politics is acutely aware of his good fortune throughout his distinguished career. Growing up in Barbados, then immigrating to Canada in his teens, he felt insulated from the worst of the anti-Black…

‘Invisible’ racism continues to haunt the world of academia

Undermining staff, students and faculty members who experience it

‘Invisible’ racism continues to haunt the world of academiaRacism is often too easily shrugged off as someone being “overly sensitive” or “misunderstanding” what was done or said. It’s that invisibility that makes systemic racism against Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour so difficult to dislodge at the institutional level in post-secondary schools – and so undermining of staff, students and faculty…

Government programs should be based on need, not race

Race-based programs are an insult to those who have achieved success on their merit and hard work

Government programs should be based on need, not race‘Pretendians’ are what Indigenous people call non-Indigenous people who claim that they are Indigenous. Government financial incentives reserved exclusively for Indigenous people – supposedly, to achieve equity – have created pretendians, who are increasingly called out by other Indigenous people for not being Indigenous enough. Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden and filmmaker Michelle Latimer (maker of…

To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligations

Canadian elites accepted the old-world model of political and social organization based on identification with racial groups

To end racial inequality, Canada must embrace equal rights and obligationsColumnist and author Richard Gwyn wrote that the 1950s was a time “when Canadians came to realize and believe that a ‘new nationality’ could be political rather than ethnic, or composed of  values and attitudes, rather than races.” Gwyn, author of Nation Maker – Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, a biography of Canada’s first prime…

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?

The general approach should be to have experts in each sport come together and decide on the specific rules for allowing fair competition

How do we fairly welcome trans athletes to playing fields?Most of the sports issues I write about are pretty straightforward – at least in my mind. The solutions seem pretty clear. Do big-time college athletes deserve a bigger slice of the billions being made from their efforts? Undoubtedly. In an era in which childhood obesity is at epidemic levels, and teenage anxiety, depression and…

Troubling trends for human rights in China and India

Genocide is the outcome of nationalistic, populist movements that tolerate hate speech and discrimination and incite violence

Troubling trends for human rights in China and IndiaIf left unaddressed, the rising extremism and persecutions in China and India will undermine the well-being of millions of people. These acts will also set a precedent the international community will regret for generations, both in terms of the human cost and the undermining of many gains made in human rights over the past several…

Poverty often at the root of racism, hate

Teaching critical thinking skills is vital in promoting honest and respectful dialogue. Yet schools are underfunded

Poverty often at the root of racism, hateEarly-20th-century electrical engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz said, “There are no foolish questions and no man becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.” Steinmetz is right. Asking questions is vital in seeking truth and finding wisdom. Many things are happening in the world where the narrative perpetrated simply doesn’t make sense. We’re told, for example,…

Good Seuss, bad Seuss, less Seuss, no Seuss?

Ignoring, desensitizing or eliminating history is the wrong approach. Learning, engaging and explaining will have a more positive effect

Good Seuss, bad Seuss, less Seuss, no Seuss?Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel was one of the world’s most influential authors of children’s literature. The talented political cartoonist, illustrator and poet released over 60 memorable and beloved tales. Those tales included The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, Green Eggs and…
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