Race and anti-racism

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Like many Black children who grew up in Canada in the mid-80s and early 90s, I was raised with the idea that making your parents proudest meant becoming a doctor or a lawyer. It didn’t matter if your family descended from 18th century Black Loyalists or 19th century African American Refugees, or if your parents had recently immigrated from the Caribbean or Africa to serve as working class labourers or foreign-trained professionals, or to find greater safety and security.
For centuries, the political right has opportunistically blamed immigrants for everything from economic slowdowns to lousy weather. The ferocity of these baseless attacks in the 20th century produced tragic results. Yet we are letting it happen again—in the United States, Brazil, Australia, different parts of Europe, and here in Canada. We must confront this vile political discourse wherever we come across it on social media, in classrooms, at public events, and in daily conversations with family and friends. But how can we do it?
The pollster Nik Nanos claimed in June that climate change would be “one of the defining battle grounds” this election. “More important than jobs, more important than health care, more important than immigration.” In July, Abacus Data put climate change in third spot behind health care and cost of living, the latter an important issue (with the environment) for the two-thirds of voters from the millennial and gen-X cohorts.
REUTERS/Nick Didlick For the last decade, oil and gas industry supporters in media, civil society and government have honed a populist narrative revolving around two core arguments: 1) Fossil fuel development is vital to the national economic interest.
Illustration by Scott Shields
Canada is addicted to oil. Like all addictions, ours is debilitating. It has erased the line between state and private industry (thin as that line is in most countries), stifles our politics, and is holding back local, provincial and national preparations for a world without fossil fuels. Curing our addiction to oil and gas will take time and money, and historic levels of Indigenous–federal–provincial co-operation. But it absolutely has to happen—starting now.
It is not too soon to express the view that the police killing of Machuar Madut, 43 year old father of three, living with mental health issues, and facing possible eviction - was unjustifiable and unnecessary.   
Since late last year, tens of thousands of French have hit the streets in protest of the country’s rising cost of living and shrinking opportunities. Many of these gilets jaunes protesters, named after the yellow safety jackets they wear in public, rely on their vehicles to get to work, or to do their work. President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed carbon tax, which would have added painfully to the cost of working in France, was the final straw.
The centenary of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike offers a unique opportunity to revisit Canada’s largest and most significant sympathy strike.