Tag Archives: Communist

Not so Nice After All: 4 Examples of Racist Canadian History That You May Never Have Heard Of

Canadians like to think that we’re a pretty nice bunch.

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Especially now, as Drumpf’s presidential candidacy reveals the racist underbelly of our neighbours to the South, we Canadians pride ourselves on being nothing like the States. We happily disassociate ourselves from the violence and xenophobia that seems to crop up at every Drumpf rally.

It’s just so incredibly convenient to revel in our not-Americanness, as though that in itself makes us not racist. We try to pretend that same kind of racism doesn’t exist here, even though the same fear-baiting tactic was used in our recent election. We try to ignore the recent hateful attack on Syrian refugees, newly arrived in Canada. We try to forget that our country was built upon the exploitation of people of colour.

In case you aren’t sure what I’m referring to, I’ve included a couple examples below.

1. Canada had Legal Slavery

In elementary school the only time I learned about slavery and Canada was when we studied the Underground Railway. Through these stories of escape and hope I, like many Canadians, was led to believe that Canada had offered an escape for Black men and women who were trapped as slaves in the United States.

What I never knew (until recently) was that Canada was not always the beacon of hope that it appeared. As historian Natasha Henry highlights in her article about Slavery in Canada,

“African slavery existed in the colonies of New France and British North America for over 200 years, yet there remains a profound silence in classrooms and teaching resources about Canada’s involvement in the African slave trade. According to available historical documents, least 4,000 Africans were held in bondage for two centuries in the early colonial settlements of New France (Quebec), New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Upper Canada (Ontario).”

Luckily, novelists have begun to draw attention to the stories that our history books have overlooked. Afua Cooper’s The Hanging of Angélique, for example, tells the true story of Canadian slave Marie-Joseph Angélique. Meanwhile, Lawrence Hill’s Book of Negros, reminds us that many escaped slaves were actually shipped back to the States by Canadian authorities. He also explores the extreme racism that drove some black Canadians to move to Sierra Leone. Continue reading

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Fame Day: Jose Mujica

We don’t debate nearly as much as we should on what a Socialist society would look like, but if I had to guess, it’d probably be pretty similar to the administration of Jose Mujica.

Uruguay’s current leader has been dubbed by some as “the world’s poorest president”. Swiftly gaining acclaim as news of his actions and lifestyle spread across the internet, Mujica has been joined the all-too-small ranks of “honorable politicians”, perhaps filling the void left by the death of Nelson Mandela in December of last year.

In a world where poverty, inequality, and economic injustice are increasingly recognized, Mujica stands out for his shocking rejection of the pomp and circumstance that accompany power. Mujica drives a beat-up Volkswagon Beetle, and lives with his wife on a chrysanthemum farm on the outskirts of the capitol with their three-legged dog, Manuela. Living off of 12,000 dollars, and donating 90% of his presidential salary to charity, it sounds almost more like the setting for a political fairy tale than a reality.

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Shame Day: My Fellow Marxists

Yep, Marxism.

I promised that every one of my posts this month would have something to do with the radical left, and that includes skewering ’em on Shame Day for their many, many sins of commission and omission alike. Let it never be said that I’m an impartial judge, so let’s get right to the charges- there are a lot of ’em.

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A Picture of Socialist America

“So just what will a Communist world look like?”

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that question- it seems that any discussion or (as it mostly is) debate on the subject of Marxism turns inevitably to that issue. How will _____ work under Marxism?

For the most part, Socialists won’t answer this question, claiming that predictions about the future are overwhelmingly wrong. I think there’s some points to be awarded for being cautious in the regard, but let’s face it- the absence of a clear picture of the world we’re trying to build does the movement more harm than it does good. Conservatives, after all, can point to a heavily mythologized Rockwell-esque picture of 50s America as the “good ol’ days” they’re looking to restore…

Elements like these tend to be left out of such descriptions…

…while Liberals, on the other hand, can point to a hybridization of Scandinavian and Western European welfare states.

Minus the rampant racism, corruption, and unemployment…

Ok, so that’s a bit of a potshot, but the truth of the matter is that both of the mainstream tendencies in this country have decently clear visions of the social system they’re trying to create, and there’s really no way the radical left can expect to compete for the hearts and minds of the public at large if all we have to offer is some vague, pie-in-the-sky promise that things will be infinitely better. We need a picture of a Socialist America, and while we’re gradually coming around to this concept, we could stand to do a lot more (and reciting this scene from Monty Python doesn’t count).


Here’s me pitching in. Continue reading

Fame Day: Tom Morello

If a musician’s Wikipedia article features more about his activist work than about his music, do we really still classify him as a musician?

That’s the riddle Tom Morello poses us, and not one we’re going to be exploring. As far as we’re concerned, Morello wouldn’t be Morello without one or the other- and rest assured we’re going to be saluting both here today.

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Culture War Correspondence: 4th Wave Feminism

GORDON: Ladies and gentlemen, last week, I kinda volunteered a discussion topic which Kat has graciously decided to roll with. Today, we’re going to be talking about feminism- where we stand now, and with an increasing number of people claiming that feminism’s work is done- what we’d like to see next on the agenda.

KAT: So perhaps we should start be establishing what the first three waves of feminism have accomplished.

You are probably all familiar with the fact that the first wave fought for (and won) the right for the vote.

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Shame Day: Treatment of the Poor

I work with a population the vast majority of whom live below the poverty line in one of tougher zip codes this side of the Rockies. I won’t say it’s the least stressful job I’ve had, but for all sweat shed and sleep lost, if nothing else you get an up close look at a part of life most people don’t want to even acknowledge exists.

Let’s talk about the poor of America, and how you’ve got a lousy attitude about them.

Now you might be thinking “Geez, stop the presses, a Commie is ranting about the treatment of the poor.”

Touché. Continue reading