Links for 2009-08-13

Compiled by Thea Lim and Andrea (AJ) Plaid

“The confrontation on Friday between Jay Phillips and three young men in Courtenay should have all of us re-evaluating the belief many Canadians have that racism is not an issue in Canada…we should look at this [country's] long history of racism, starting with the aboriginals who were here long before the first Spanish explorers sailed these waters…

This country has developed an entire federal ministry to deal with First Nations people, now called Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Billions have been spent over the years to treat one race of Canadians different from another. What could be more racist than that?”

“So it’s curious, then, that so many kids subjected to the harshest forms of discipline are dealing with problems they have no control over. And often, children targeted for violent punishment are burdened by another disadvantage: being of a certain color.”

“Barton and Phillips recommended that César Chavez (labor organizer and civil rights leader) and Thurgood Marshall (the nation’s first black US Supreme Court justice who, as a young attorney, successfully argued the public school desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education) be removed from textbooks because they aren’t worthy role models for students.”

“Spearman, best known for his role as Chance on the Logo series Noah’s Arc, observes that when he came out in 1980, he was welcomed as ‘the kids of the 1960s and early ’70s — those that had created the gay movement — were still on the dance floors of America elbow to elbow with the people who’d marched in Vietnam protests and Black Power parades, and had been active participants in the original civil rights movement.’

“Spearman laments that this feeling of acceptance has evaporated with the existence of separate black gay pride and Latin gay pride festivals, which he claims ‘exist because a great many men and women feel unwelcome in mainstream gay communities.’” (Spearman’s original essay here.)

Muslimah Media Watch, a sharply written critique site, takes apart a new instant-anthropologist fad: People, particularly journalists, who put on a burqua robe or a niqab headcover or hijab scarf and imagine they know, in a day or a week, what life is like for Muslim women.

“Unfortunately, they keep on the preconceptions that “veil” their minds, according to a Watch writer in an essay dismantling the patronizing and stereotyping of ‘dress like a Muslim’ escapades.”