Don’t blame academic malaise on the male ‘genius’ cult

Those teaching the humanities have abandoned attempts at outlining the grand narratives, the threads that link important events and people in art and history

Don’t blame academic malaise on the male ‘genius’ cultNobody does unintentional humour quite like an academic. Nobody can produce accidental laughter like a tenured professor explaining her deep thoughts to the masses. We have an excellent example of this sort of comedic gem in a recent article entitled “Jordan Peterson and the debilitating cult of genius” by Jennifer Garrison of St Mary’s University…

An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for good

I’ve become much more prone to analyze daily social situations on the grounds of age, ethnicity and gender

An old white man awakes to his privilege – and its power for goodBeing older (I’m 67 and increasingly told this is old), white and male is being pointed out more and more these days. In less than glowing terms. While Donald Trump is arguably the global archetype of the boomer personae I’m describing, the phrase “old white man” is getting more deliberate usage in different parts of…

Rewriting our history won’t make it go away

Historical revisionists want to rename buildings, pull down statues and rename paintings. Leave our history alone, warts and all

Rewriting our history won’t make it go awayThe modern fashion of attempting to rewrite history appears to be gaining ground. Hector-Louis Langevin’s name no longer adorns his building in Ottawa, the statue of Edward Cornwallis in Halifax has been toppled. And now, the history rewriters are busily taking dead aim at the most famous Canadian of all – John A. Macdonald. The three…

A staggering number of Indigenous Canadians are in jail

Canadian governments continue to allow the operation of a justice system constructed on a foundation of systemic racism

A staggering number of Indigenous Canadians are in jailThe ’60s Scoop never ended – only the destination changed. Instead of sending Indigenous children to white families, the government has sent a generation of Indigenous children to jail. It must end. Not long ago, First Nations people ‘caught’ leaving their reserve would be arrested and thrown in jail. Even more recently, Indigenous children were…

Racial tension on the decline, harmony on the rise

Across North America, the statistics clearly show that multiculturalism is a growing fact, right down to the family unit

Racial tension on the decline, harmony on the riseWe’re often told that Canada and the U.S. are racist societies. But amidst all the demands from minority advocates and hand-wringing among ‘social justice’ champions, the reality is quite different. In fact, in Canada and the United States, racial intolerance has declined remarkably. There are clear indications in recent Canadian surveys of substantial racial tolerance and…

Paving the way with quiet dignity

Larry Doby was the second African American to play Major League Baseball. His road to greatness was no less difficult for being second

Paving the way with quiet dignityIt’s unfortunate that we often forget the people who come second. Jackie Robinson is rightly honoured as the first African American to play Major League Baseball. Today, all players wear number 42 on April 15, the day that Robinson broke the colour barrier in 1947. We often forget that Robinson, who played for the Brooklyn…

Where is the wisdom and conciliation from Indigenous leaders?

Creating a greater divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is not likely to benefit people in the long run

Where is the wisdom and conciliation from Indigenous leaders?In a line at the supermarket checkout, I glanced back at the woman who was placing her purchases on the belt behind my grocery items, and I couldn’t help but wonder what life had done to her to put such an expression of tired crabbiness on her face. That unpleasant expression, mixed with an obvious…

Justice reform can’t just be knee-jerk

Eliminating peremptory challenges during jury selection and restricting preliminary inquiries won't necessarily improve the system

Justice reform can’t just be knee-jerkThere has been considerable talk recently about reforming the justice system. The talk has become particularly shrill following the Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine murder trials in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The federal justice minister has said she plans to eliminate peremptory challenges because, in her mind, not enough Indigenous people were selected for the juries. Peremptory…

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discrimination

If we go beyond the increasingly shrill voices, we can find stories of compassion and equality

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discriminationWe keep hearing about the negative ways that institutions treat Indigenous people. It’s a perception that needs to be challenged. Think of what has been said during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, about the ’60s scoop, and at the trials into the…

Does white privilege debate promote racism against white people?

It’s difficult to predict where the white privilege debate will go in the coming years but it may involve a collision with our society’s most basic rules

Does white privilege debate promote racism against white people?A bold debate called white privilege is growing day by day at Canadian universities. It’s also showing up in neighbourhood schools. It’s sometimes a fierce topic and, more than occasionally, white privilege speeches have not been moderate. For example in March 2018, Trent University hosted a speech event entitled “It’s OK to be against whiteness.”…
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