Category Archives: Imperialism

How To Fix Racist Team Names Like the Washington “Redskins”

“The Redskins Should Change Their Racist Name”

There’s actually a list of racist team names. A few of them even.

If you think the oh-so-rich professional sports leagues are the pure avenues of Everyman in pursuit of recreation in a troubled world, get over yourself. They are brand-obsessed, like all corporations. Some brands stink with their racist team names, logos, mascots and symbols, even though there are those that attempt to reflect positive elements of race [Atlanta Braves?]. A variety of people are saying this: #ChangeTheName and #ChangeTheMascot and that they are #NotYourMascot. Sounds like common sense to me.

But the only “good” reason I’ve ever heard about why some teams need to keep their racist names is…tradition. Maybe I’ve missed a few, but this one is so very sad. Tradition. Slavery was traditional as well. As well as keeping women from voting.

But let’s not only “pick on” Washington [the seat of the government that fought for the emancipation of a race from this slavery thing]. Let’s focus on the rest of the teams that have a rich tradition of sporting a racist team name!

Continue reading How To Fix Racist Team Names Like the Washington “Redskins”

Capitalism: Swing Your Sledgehammer

It’s all about vision and hope, in an effort to envision how economics and markets can exist after the toxicity of capitalism is gone, gone gone. Are you up for it?

Last night, John Holloway, author of Crack Capitalism, was the SFU Institute for the Humanities‘ guest lecturer, skyped in from Mexico. He was full of inspiration and clarity. Enjoy my twitter reflections below.

Continue reading Capitalism: Swing Your Sledgehammer

ACTION: Illegal Israeli Settlement Goods Sold at London Drugs

mandela_palestineSodaStream boycott informational picket

Saturday, Dec. 21, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

London Drugs, Broadway @ Cambie, Vancouver

Below is a notice of an important event happening on Saturday in Vancouver. If something is labelled as “Made in Israel” but is really made in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank of Palestine, where does it really come from? Nowhere that I would want to buy from. You?

I’m only as free as everyone is free. Don’t tolerate occupation. The boycott alternative information is here.

Nelson Mandela has died, but the memory of his commitment to universal freedom and justice lives on.  Mandela championed justice for the oppressed not only of South Africa, but everywhere.   

In an address to the ANC in 1997- three years after the demise of apartheid in South Africa – he reminded his listeners of the UN’s strong stand against “this iniquitous system” and how, over time, an international consensus grew which helped bring about its end.  Describing the UN’s 1977 inauguration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as a demonstration of its “recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine,” Mandela added: “But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians . . .”  

Hopefully this memory will inspire shoppers to buy responsibly and ethically, as they choose last-minute gifts this Christmastime and “Boxing Week.” That includes refusing to buy SodaStream home carbonation devices, which – although fraudulently labelled “Made in Israel” — are actually produced in the industrial park of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim in the occupied West Bank of Palestine.

Boycotts of SodaStream, already widespread throughout Western Europe and the United States, are now gaining ground in Canada. Independent Jewish Voices–Canada, the United Church of Canada, district and provincial labour councils, student groups, and many others have called on their supporters to refrain from buying SodaStream. In the lower mainland, local affiliates of the Canadian Boycott Coalition for Justice in Palestine/Israel (www.canadianboycottcoalition.ca) and the United Network for Justice in Palestine and Israel (www.UNJPPI.org) have held two public actions so far. The next will be on Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. in front of London Drugs, 525 W. Broadway, Vancouver.  Please join us and help spread the word.

As Tyler Levitan, campaigns coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices-Canada, has stated: “It is vitally important that we support nonviolent struggles against systems of mass oppression. The Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the ongoing theft of Palestinian land and resources, is a serious crime that we all must acknowledge.”

Fried Squirrels

It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.

The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at a time, and succinctly, because of the elaborately carved talking stick that moves around the room.

Continue reading Fried Squirrels

Day One, Post-Mandela

Today is the first day of our world after the Nelson Mandela era.

We don’t need to canonize him or consider any messiah characteristics, but we should stop today and reflect on what kind of Mandela legacy we want to carry forward.

Here are a few ideas to consider.

Continue reading Day One, Post-Mandela

Are We Good Allies to First Nations?

This is what solidarity looks like; make sure it’s authentic!

Lots of us care about deepening relationships with and social/economic/political justice for first peoples. It’s hard to come in, though, sometimes as a person from an oppressor or settler class. But there is a good checklist to make sure we’re actually contributing effectively.

Continue reading Are We Good Allies to First Nations?

Does Racism Motivate Harper’s Aboriginal Education Funding Stance?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other MP's applaud after then-National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine, right, spoke in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 11, 2008.
The Prime Minister’s slow clap.

It could be racism.

It could be concern that over time too many first nations citizens may get too educated and start demanding more in terms of inter-national justice.

Or…

Continue reading Does Racism Motivate Harper’s Aboriginal Education Funding Stance?

MexAmeriCanada, Version 2013

Welcome to the United States of MexAmeriCanada. Represent!
Welcome to the United States of MexAmeriCanada. Represent!

I was just thinking a few days ago how I haven’t used the MexAmeriCanada tag for a while. Did I cause this to happen, in some cosmic kind of way?

In the old days it was Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin negotiating the post-911 deep integration of Fortress North America with President George W. Bush.

Now we have “opposite” governing bodies in the two nations, though they’re barely different. North America is still strolling towards a 1984/Brave New World/V For Vendetta kind of soft fascist near-future of corporate “human” rights inside a surveillance society that we’re increasingly complacent about.

  1. Will we wake up?
  2. Do we care who our overlords are?
  3. Does it matter that we are different countries?
  4. Are we even different countries?
  5. Would it make any difference if we merged?
  6. If the Chinese stop propping up the US dollar and the North American economy becomes a branch plant of Beijing, would it matter if Canada were a sovereign nation?
  7. Is anyone writing dystopic futurist novels about a new world order with the Yuan controlling everything, like a 21st century Man in the High Castle?
  8. If a tree falls in a forest and the majority of citizens either don’t vote or put much thought into voting, does the lack of actual democracy make a sound?
  9. Does anyone really notice the problem that the political parties run elections in the USA,  and in Canada, the Conservative Party can commit electoral fraud and have no legal or electoral consequences?
  10. Will we be one step closer to a de facto Homeland North America, or one step closer to authentic democracy in both nations?

That’s all for now.

You may put your answers in the comments below. If there’s nothing but crickets, beware!

Why Don’t People Respect Canada Anymore? Reason #766, Egypt

egypt
A huge crowd of protesters stretched along an avenue near the presidential palace in Cairo on Sunday evening

If you ever wondered why Canada is losing international respect, here’s a shining example, #766 in fact.

The “Harper Government” [sic] is fully addicted to neoliberal economic 1%-ism. Egypt, as we’ve seen for a few years, is undergoing a political and democratic transformation. Right now, Egypt is in another political molting season.

What is Canada’s myopic response? Click on for the answer.

Continue reading Why Don’t People Respect Canada Anymore? Reason #766, Egypt

The Most Racist Thing I Have Ever Seen Published

Educate First Nations to be modern citizens

Don Olsen, The Daily News

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

via Educate First Nations to be modern citizens.

This is the most racist thing I have ever seen published.

The Nanaimo Daily News published a document either as an editorial or a letter to the editor [likely the latter] that is so vile and hateful, I will not reprint it here. I can’t stand the thought of this filth being on our website.

The link is above. I encourage you all to read it to get a sense of what some people think of the First Nations, and what can get published by a community paper.

And I want to know who is this racist Don Olsen.

Watch for updates. I’ve sent an email to the editor. If you’d like to contact the editor and publisher, here is their information:

Hugh Nicholson, publisher
HNicholson@glaciermedia.ca
250-729-4257

Mark MacDonald, managing editor
mmacdonald@nanaimodailynews.com
250-729-4224

UPDATE:

The disgusting post has been removed, but it has not been replaced with an apology or explanation. But you can read most of it with some good analysis here, and a screenshot of it is here.

9:51am A non-apology has shown up on their website. It is a typically cynical “we’re sorry that you were offended” piece of junk. I don’t accept that. It’s garbage and a further insult.

There is also a Facebook group planning action/response against the paper and its ignorant ways.

Vancouver Island University Board of Governors wrote an amazing, constructive, and future-focused letter about why the Don Olsen letter was a mistake and how the newspaper MAY help heal its involvement in community.

The students of the UBC Graduate School of Journalism also wrote an amazing letter to the Nanaimo Daily News.