Frankly, before I arrived, I thought that was some kind of a general discussion on race. I was surprised to find out that it was a witch-hunt gathering specifically organized to attack two publications’ right to free speech, namely MacLean’s magazine and Toronto Star for publishing “racist” articles. I would never thought I live to see the day when the lefties accuse Toronto Star of racism (after all that rich rag would publish any Canada-bashing materials to appease the “vulnerable”).
The event could’ve been dismissed like any other OISE loon meeting, if it weren’t for the presence of Vivienne Poy, who is a Senator. The fact that she supports that had a chilling effect on me. After all, she is a federal politician. It reminded me of the public meetings at my university in Europe when it was necessary to condemn and destroy somebody, who dared say something that differed from the Party line.
The only consolation, which prevented the event from turning into a horror show, was that Olivia Chow somehow missed it.
The organizers had prepared all the props necessary for a successful campaign as required by the rules of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. They had red buttons with slogans: Too Asian for MacLean’s and Too Asian for Rogers (only $2 each). You could see on the table the little paper envelopes, which Chinese use to exchange money for the New Year, but with the same buttons inside.
And the most important prop was a petition, ready to sign. It listed MacLean’s’s sins, which included not only the article Too Asian, but also the Muslim case (which involved Mark Steyn) and the recent Quebec article. That’s a really well organized attack of the usual bunch of whining organizations.
As a retribution, the petition wanted from the government to stop any funding for MacLean’s. For some unknown reason, Toronto Star wasn’t mentioned in it.
For the record, I read that “controversial” article. It discusses some real cultural differences and if anything, it is denigrating to the white students, who are presented as discouraged by the high achievements of the Chinese students. You must be a really petty and vindictive person to find racism in the article.
The meeting was opened with a blessing by a U of T professor, who was native. She lit up some incense and started talking waving around a feather. Is this the fashionable thing to do among the lefties? An Indian did the same thing at the Arizona shooting victims memorial, which Obama attended as well. She said she did for cleansing and bringing in peace, especially for her ancestors from the Mississauga lands. She had a long laundry list of entities, creatures and spirits that she had to thank. Mother Earth and the water, the grass and the plants, which help us, the birds that fulfill their obligations… There were special thanks for the eagle that provided her feather… Thanks to the sun for giving life, to Grandmother Moon who regulates the waters and gives us children.
It’s beyond me how the “progressives” who denigrate any religion (except Islam) can seriously promote that rambling. But I guess that’s the catch – if you say something against it, you’ll be labelled a heartless anti-Native bigot.
Then the chairman (or chair?) of the gathering, a guy with a shaved head whose name I didn’t catch, said that the issue to be discussed concerned two articles – the MacLean’s magazine’s and another one in Toronto Star. Apology was not enough, the protesters wanted from the culprits to make changes in their way of work to ensure fair reporting. Many organizations (mostly Chinese and other Asian) as well as students have condemned the articles for their racism. According to him, these were not the first transgressions of the Canadian press. Muslims were targeted before by MacLean’s. The Native community was accused of smuggling cigarettes and their peaceful protest in Caledonia was presented as something horrible. (Don’t they smuggle tax-free cigarettes? There are many people who buy from them. As of the Caledonia, you must be really thick to deny that a bunch of armed Native thugs terrorized the working people there for months with the silent approval of the police; the same people who pay for the Native welfare cheques!).
Then he presented the “tribunal”: Vivienne Poy (a Senator appointed by Chretien). She is from a powerful Chinese Canadian clan (related to the former Governor General Clarkson), just like the powerful clan of Jack, Olivia and their son. The next was Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star’s resident Islamist. In the list of his achievements they mentioned that she got an award for work on redefining of the Canadian identity (wonderful!).
Then came the “equity guys”, the last three panellists were involved in different ways in the multi-culti forces: Jill Matus, Vice Provost Students, University of Toronto; Rinaldo Walcott, Chair, Sociology and Equity Studies, U of T, and Danielle Sandhu, Vice President Equity, U of T Student Union.
It was important to listen to Senator Poy’s words, because that’s probably what the position of the Liberal Party on freedom of press is. Here is what she had to say.
MacLean’s doesn’t represent the Canadian media at large; it works only for the right-wing segment of the population. She received many angry letters protesting the article, mostly from Asian people (she didn’t say how many). Instead of bridging the differences, the magazine tries to introduce division into the society.
Is this a free speech issue? No, because there are limits, not all speech is acceptable. Promoting division is not what the Canadian journalism is all about. Canadian journalism is less sensational than its American counterpart and we should keep it that way. She supported her observation with a quote from Michael Moore. In his documentary “Bowling for Columbine”, he compared the very crime rate of Detroit with a virtual lack of crime in Windsor. He concluded that Canada has fewer crimes because of the better media.
The Canadian media is lagging behind the changes in the Canadian society. Now 20% of the people are new immigrants, in few short years over 33% will not be Caucasian. The media should reflect the reality of those people.
The MacLean’s article portrays Canada as a racist place. The situation is similar in Australia, where the bad image of the country caused a drop in the enrolment of foreign students. The same problem awaits Canada and that will result in loss of teaching jobs.
She gave another “racist” example – the Chinese residents of Surry, B.C. voted en bloc for another Chinese who ran for office and that caused criticism from the local media. The media in Canada ignores diversity, we need more stories about the achievements of the minorities. There is a pressing need to establish anti-racist policies for the media.
Sure we need such stories (not), then all papers here will read like Pravda, for which the only good local story was the fulfilment of the 5-year plan by collective farmers. And I am sure Ms. Poy is aware of the recents case, where a bunch of Chinese bigots prevented the building of a hospice in B.C., because it was against their stupid feng shui superstition. Isn’t that racist? Of course not, if a minority does something like, it’s never bad!
I don’t know what Ms. Poy’s qualifications are (they mentioned she was a fashion designer) but she is a scary woman. She is ready to destroy the Canadian press’s independency in the name of ethnic demands. If she, as a senator, teams up with Jennifer Lynch and Barbara Hall, they will be unstoppable.
Next spoke Haroon Siddiqui (if you have forgotten, he took a substantial role in the persecution of MacLean’s by the Muslims). He didn’t say anything different from the usual drivel you can read in his columns. The Canadian media has a strong racist bias, they tend to blame the immigrants for everything. They always defend the position of the white society and the media owners. Of course, the Muslims are the main target, etc., etc., etc.
He was followed by Jill Matus , who was obviously supposed to embody the white man’s guilt and redemption by surrendering to equity. After the obligatory condemnation of MacLean’s (which also included the accusation that they didn’t make difference in the article between Chinese and Taiwanese students) she boasted that the University of Toronto is not dominated by whites anymore. There is great diversity in it, although the students are selected solely on merit, without any race consideration. They have equity and anti-racism offices, which monitor everything.
Next came Professor Rinaldo Walcott, a black man with dreadlocks. He was a real character! He didn’t waste any time before declaring that the anti-black racism is deeply rooted in the Canadian culture (and exactly the same applies to the treatment of the Muslim community). He gave a short story of the problem, from some riots in Concordia University in the past, through the Yonge street riots to the “black face” Halloween mask incident last year. (I have no idea what the latter is, it sounds like some stupid joke that the lefty racists have blown out of proportion.)
Absolutely nothing has been done to overcome the racism. It is not even discussed. Nothing is done to prevent poverty among the black and Natives.
At the university the diversity is present only among the students. There are very few black members of the faculties and the administration. More coloured people must be hired. Although at OISE the blacks are more vocal, they are still underrepresented. Black scholars are discriminated against and declared to be unqualified. Later (during the Q&A session) he clarified his point. The whole university system is Anglo-centered. That suffocates the black scholars.
For example, in the University of Chicago which has black traditions, black scholars don’t last long (Isn`t that a performance issue?). To fix that, the university must become more Afro-centrist, they should introduce African and Caribbean studies without any consideration about the budget, failing to do so is racism (Even if nobody cares about such studies?!).
All those anti-racism and equity offices are useless, they are offices of distraction, which prevent the implementation of radical diversity policies.
Racism is rampant even in politics, there should be more black politicians in the major parties (That’s not true, in the Conservative caucus there are many people of colour, while in the NDP caucus, which is supposed to protect the underprivileged, Olivia Chow is the only non-white person.)
After that Black Panther rant ended, the last speaker approached the microphone – Danielle Sandhu, a student activist and a true child of the diversity and multiculturalism. She was totally incapable of using normal speech without littering it with countless PC clichés. The equity office was supposed to ensure “safe space” for “discourse” (as if the rest of the university was littered with land mines.). The media racist constructs have to be deconstructed – especially the racial profiling at the airports which targets Muslim in order to leave the vacationing white man alone.
The media should recognize the fact that racism is a form of aggression and redefine it from the point of view of the structural issues of the Canadian society. The diversity offices do not provide enough support, they fail to ensure enough equity advocacy when dealing with “sexism,” “ablism” and other issues. She also didn’t miss the “black face” Halloween incident (Again, what the f*** is that?).
The MacLean’s articles should be condemned because they are racist and offend the “racialized” students. The media should instead concentrate on the interaction between the “racialized” and “non-racialized” students.
She even managed to find more racist writings in the magazine. Recently they published an article about certain university in British Columbia, where girls were majority. The author wrote that if you go to a bar there, you’ll have a good chance to pick up a girl. Ms. Sadhu commented that he was guilty of “heterosexism” (Did that mean that the author would be safe to state that a lesbian can pick up a girl there?)
Poy and Siddiqui escaped before the Q&A session started and let the equity guys deal with the questions.
OISE is a sad, sad place… If those idiots are the cream of the crop of their social sciences department, Canada’s days are numbered.
The only ray of light was a student (and also a journalist) who asked a question about the petition, namely why he should sign it. He didn’t want to do it. For the sake of his safety I am not going to mention his name. I talked to him afterwards and he told me that in his opinion stopping the funding for MacLean’s would create a dangerous precedent – everybody who doesn’t like a publication could demand the same action against it. And many small publications depend heavily on financial help. However, he was too afraid to raise the issue (he was white Anglo-Saxon).
That basically sums up everything – the politically correct Gestapo shuns any real discussion. All they care about is to destroy anybody who they think offended their fragile egos.
And they have a really diverse set of destruction tools – from harassing people who think differently to bankrupting them through legal expenses, from supporting terrorist groups to bombing banks and destroying businesses that pay their welfare cheques or subsidies.
We live in a crazy world…