Today I'm writing about words and choices. In our post-colonization societies, the use of words still reminds us (if we are aware and paying attention) of who is in charge, and who has value – and who doesn’t – in the eyes of the state. Take some of the names of sports teams, for … [Continue reading] The Power of Words
You have probably already heard or read about Dr. Tamika Cross' post on Facebook and her experience of anti-Black racism on a Delta Airlines flight. In case you haven't, here it is in a nutshell: A man needed medical attention. She got up to help and was told to sit down. The flight attendants … [Continue reading] What does a doctor look like? Anti-Black racism in action.
The Olympics are a perfect place to sit back and watch how (unconscious?) bias filters in to reporting. Consider who is shown on the podium and who is not. Consider who is getting airtime and who is not. Consider how we talk about athletes, and who we hear about (and who we don’t). Consider who … [Continue reading] Bias in Olympic Coverage
The Ontario Government has created an Anti-Racism Directorate. Here is what the website http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/en/news/35889 says: “The Directorate will work with key partners such as business, community organizations, educational institutions and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. The … [Continue reading] Anti-Racism Directorate in Ontario
I have been listening to and reading the news about the guilty verdict (attempted murder) of Constable Forcillo here in Toronto, in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim. I'm probably the last person to have seen the video, and it struck me how many shots were fired as Sammy lay there on the streetcar … [Continue reading] Police Accountability and What it Tells us About Unconscious Bias
Last year was the first year I remember there being a wide unrest about the "colour" of the Oscars. Hashtags abounded. This year, there has been a stir as well - including an amazing video by Jada Pinkett Smith where she talks about it maybe being time to stop asking to be included, because it makes … [Continue reading] Why the Oscars are White
It's not new concepts that prejudice (pre-judging) is learned (sometimes taught) and that unconscious bias is insidious. Here is a stellar example of both (and the impact on my 3 year old) that made me particularly furious. Recently I was watching an episode of My Little Pony with my daughter. It's … [Continue reading] Prejudice is Taught Early
Yesterday I was in a downtown Toronto office. As soon as the elevator doors opened onto the 7th floor I could already see the Christmas decorations. The person I was meeting with is Jewish. So I asked him as we looked at the Christmas tree, where the Menorah was. He looked a bit uncomfortable for … [Continue reading] Happy Holidays?
In the aftermath of Paris (and Beirut) - any tragic event - many of us ask ourselves what we can do. These situations are so big and so overwhelming that we often also think big - and get overwhelmed. But change can happen in small and meaningful ways. Here are a few things we can all do every day … [Continue reading] What can we do?
An update on the story about the lesbian couple in Utah who were to have their foster child taken away because they are gay: The ruling has been rescinded. Hooray! I'm happy that public pressure and criticism caused a change of ruling. The judge crossed out "belief" that children in same-sex (same … [Continue reading] Happy Endings when we Challenge Bias