Tag Archives: farm

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.

canadasorry2323

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 According to available historical documents, least 4,000 Africans were held in bondage for two centuries in the early colonial settlements of New France (Quebec), New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island,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

Advertisements

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.

Continue reading

Evan Kat and Gordon Talk: Regulation

GORDON: Ladies and gentlemen, good evening

KAT: Greetings fellows!

GORDON: This is Gordon of Evan and Gordon Talk, and with me tonight is Kat- filling for Evan who is wandering the Canadian wilderness naked in a desperate bid to find himself.

KAT: We all wish you good luck Evan, beware of bears.


GORDON: Our subject for this evening’s discussion is regulation (primarily of the food and beverage industry, though the subject obviously spans far more than that). Continue reading

Evan and Gordon Talk: “Super-Independence”

GORDON: Well Comrades, welcome to the Culture War Reporter’s off-grid, self-sustaining commune. Pour yourself some Kool-Aid and make yourself comfortable as Evan and I debate the merits of the movement.

EVAN: While we ended our last segment stating that we were going to discuss the state of the church, starting off tonight we realized a few things.

a) We can’t for the life of us find this phantom comment by Joseph suggesting such a topic [though I swear I read it].

b) We already talked about one of his topics [naps and such] and therefore should give someone else a chance.

c) Hannah has put forth a good handful of them, one of her most recent being the following:

What do you guys think about the new(?) trend back towards super-independence, by which I mean, growing your own food, creating your own textiles, etc (and taking pictures of it to put on your fancy blog….). Is this back to the earth movement a reflection of culture change or just another hippie permutation?

Continue reading

Shame Day: Nature (The Lack Thereof)

Having come up with the idea to have an entire day based on ruthlessly mocking and shaming something we dislike, I don’t think there’s any question by this point that I’m a relatively cynical person with a bleak outlook on life.

Even so, there are certain things which I am pretty upbeat about. Continue reading