It’s time to put the myth of ‘white privilege’ to bed

Institutional, systemic discrimination was attacked root and branch as far back as seven decades ago

It’s time to put the myth of ‘white privilege’ to bedWhen Jordan Peterson recently tweeted out a copy of Home Depot’s ‘white privilege’ memorandum given to its staff, it rightly caused a stir: Yet another corporation’s diversity, equity and inclusion staff parroting a simplistic academic theory. The memo offered the usual assumption that one’s skin colour explains incomes and opportunities, or not. It includes the…

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?

Has ordered a purge of documents that “may offend people”

Why is Canada’s chief archivist rewriting our history?Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov was not a nice man but, for a time, he was an important one. He was a favourite of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and was head of the NKVD, the Soviet Union’s secret police. He was responsible for the arrests, tortures and executions during his master’s Great Purge of 1936 to 1938.…

Maureen O’Hara, Ireland’s Queen of Technicolor

O’Hara made more than 50 films including the perennial Christmas favourite Miracle on 34th Street

Maureen O’Hara, Ireland’s Queen of TechnicolorWith St. Patrick’s Day upon us, an Irish theme seems appropriate. And a little frivolity wouldn’t go amiss in these troubled times. It’s fair to say that Ireland has generally punched above its weight on the silver screen. Back in the 1930s, Maureen O’Sullivan (from County Roscommon) played Jane in the popular Tarzan film series,…

Saint Patrick and the art of public relations

Separating fact from fiction can be difficult, but St. Patrick definitely won the war for popular historical memory

Saint Patrick and the art of public relationsGrowing up in Dublin in the 1950s, Saint Patrick’s Day wasn’t the big deal that it is now. Oh, the fact that it was a statutory holiday meant that you got a day off school or work, which was never something to be sneezed at. And in addition, if you’d promised to forsake some pleasure…

Seasons come and go, but where did they get their names?

Plants "spring" forth and leaves "fall" but what about the other two seasons?

Seasons come and go, but where did they get their names?Last fall when I looked out my door, most of the leaves had fallen, the nights were very chilly and there truly was frost on the pumpkins. Now, as the end of the winter season approaches, I thought again about the seasons and how they got their names. I simplistically thought I could come up…

U of A Institute a source of hope, truth amid Ukraine invasion

Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies a cultural and intellectual beacon for Canadian Ukrainians

U of A Institute a source of hope, truth amid Ukraine invasionDuring her interview with Folio, Natalia Khanenko-Friesen is simultaneously texting her father in Kyiv – urging him to find a landline before cellular networks are knocked out – while providing moral support to a colleague fleeing shelling in the city with a child. As the director of the University of Alberta’s Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Khanenko-Friesen is…

We can’t hide our heads in the sand over racism

Ignore mistakes of the past or allow racist policies in the present and we embrace our own demise

We can’t hide our heads in the sand over racismThere has been a great deal of discussion in the American media about the teaching of critical race theory. Some states have passed legislation to prevent the discussion of this topic in schools, and others have similar bills before their elected assemblies. Michigan is one of these states, and I recently came across a document…

Understanding Putin’s long view of an expanded Russia

He expresses a vision that reaches back over 1,000 years, to a Russia that was an empire and proud of it

Understanding Putin’s long view of an expanded RussiaLet’s make a stipulation up front: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is unjustified. There’s no ambiguity on that score. Russia is the bad actor in this situation. Still, it’s always useful to understand the other guy. Understanding doesn’t imply approval and insight is never a bad thing to have. Putin is typically described…

Buddhist art exhibit gives students experience with museum work

The U of A’s Mactaggart Art Collection helps students contribute to a lasting historical and artistic legacy

Buddhist art exhibit gives students experience with museum workAs a child in South Korea, Sung Eun Cho spent many weekends with her Buddhist grandparents, who brought her along to the temples they visited. The youngster found herself captivated by the ornate beauty of the buildings, richly adorned with traditional images and symbols of the ancient religion. “I was mesmerized by the vivid colours…

The making of a Ukrainian hero

Zelenskyy’s refusal to give in to Putin’s demands and dreams of rebuilding the Soviet Union is awe-inspiring

The making of a Ukrainian heroDuring times of war and conflict, many memorable lines have been delivered by political and military leaders. A few notable examples include: Pericles’s appeal for war against Sparta, 432 BC: “We must live up to the standard they set: we must resist our enemies in any and every way, and try to leave to those…