Was Beethoven Black?

A Twitter meme reveals more about race and music than the composer’s origins. Social media trend is a new twist on a century-old question

Was Beethoven Black?The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, and in mid-June this year, he started trending on Twitter. Perhaps it wasn’t so strange that Beethoven was popping up on social media platforms, but what was unusual and certainly unforeseen: the claim that “Beethoven was Black.” Where did this idea come from?…

White supremacists misappropriating Norse mythology: expert

Scandinavian studies professor debunks idea of ‘racial purity’ that makes racist extremists identify with Viking culture

White supremacists misappropriating Norse mythology: expertThere’s an urgent and pressing need for everyone to understand the Vikings, argues Scandinavian studies scholar Natalie Van Deusen. That’s because all manner of Viking symbols and misconceptions about a golden age of Nordic racial purity have been appropriated by racist extremists looking to justify their xenophobia and acts of violence, according to the University of…

Bad leadership at the heart of police brutality

There’s no place for cowards, racists, sociopaths or murderers in a police department. And yet such officers are detected with alarming regularity

Bad leadership at the heart of police brutalityThe wave of protests across the United States in response to the death of George Floyd follows a lengthy list of protests against police misconduct. The list of misconduct includes: Rodney King, beaten by police on a freeway after a high-speed chase in Los Angeles (1991); Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant sodomized in a New…

How to put the legacy of John Lewis to good use

Seven simple words help to understand the strength of a great man: humility, honesty, respect, courage, truth, wisdom, love

How to put the legacy of John Lewis to good useThe world recently said goodbye to lifetime civil rights activist and long-serving member of the United States House of Representatives, John Lewis. In one of his most famous quotes, Lewis stated, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to do something.” Lewis lived…

Don’t be too hasty to rename schools

Instead of renaming schools, we should educate students about the legacy behind their current names – good and bad

Don’t be too hasty to rename schoolsIf some petitioners get their way, Cecil Rhodes School will be no more. The Winnipeg school would still exist, but under a new name. No doubt most Canadians who hear about this have one burning question: Who is Cecil Rhodes? Rhodes was a 19th-century British politician who served as prime minister of Cape Colony, a…

Justice for all, whether you kneel or stand

Americans need to start acting like they’re mature enough to responsibly handle the freedoms they’ve been blessed with

Justice for all, whether you kneel or standAcross the United States, from the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) to Major League Baseball (MLB), sports fans have looked on as athletes have chosen to stand, kneel or raise a fist during the playing of the American national anthem. Both the kneelers and standers have been attacked on social media in recent days. Some…

May my grandchildren never hear the E-word again

It's been a long time coming, but the Edmonton CFL team's name change was the right thing to do, says Inuk writer and researcher

May my grandchildren never hear the E-word againIt’s a good day in Edmonton. It’s a good day in Canada. It’s a good day for Inuit. After all the years that I and other Inuit Canadians have complained about the name of Edmonton’s team in the Canadian Football League, it’s good to know the franchise has finally decided it will no longer be…

Facing up to racism in Canada and around the world

The whitewashed fences of racist lies, hidden behind the pages of history books, are collapsing when exposed to truth

Facing up to racism in Canada and around the worldOn June 30, the 60th anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo, King Philippe of Belgium expressed regret for the “acts of violence and cruelty” committed by his ancestor King Leopold II. The day also saw the state-sanctioned removal of another statue of this forgotten villain of history. Leopold II was the…

It’s time to rename the Edmonton Eskimos

As other leagues rethink racist team names, the Eskimos' statement in support of Black Lives Matter rings hollow

It’s time to rename the Edmonton EskimosIn the space of a few hours on July 3, three North American sports teams announced they were going to reassess their racist names. Baseball’s Cleveland Indians, the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League have for years resisted calls to drop their team nicknames. But…

Chinese-Canadians face discrimination because of COVID-19

Media coverage, political tension between Canada and China may fuel ‘shadow pandemic’ of racist behaviour: U of A social psychologist

Chinese-Canadians face discrimination because of COVID-19A majority of Chinese-Canadians say they’ve been victims of discrimination as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research by the University of Alberta and Angus Reid Institute. In the first survey of its kind since the pandemic was declared, more than 500 Canadians of Chinese ethnicity were asked about their experiences with discriminatory…