National Newswatch

Obama stubbornly clings to optimism in Toronto speech

Sep 29 2017 — Shree Paradkar — There are eternal optimists. Then there are stubborn optimists. After his talk in Toronto on Friday, Barack Obama pleaded for optimism, even though his own is now “leavened by the recognition that progress can reverse itself.” What other option is there, really? “In many ways this is both the worst of times and the best […]

Why the Pittsburgh Penguins should reconsider meeting Trump

Sep 25 2017 — Shree Paradkar — In times of great moral crisis, says the poet Dante, “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality.” That threat of heat apparently failed to melt the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins when they took a stand against racial justice on Sunday by claiming not to take any. They accepted […]

Islamophobia is not colour blind: Paradkar

Sep 19 2017 — Shree Paradkar — This week, the House of Commons heritage committee enters the second phase of M-103, the motion to combat Islamophobia, and begins a study on systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada. Its report card will hopefully contain two outcomes: Strategies to combat systemic racism, and a definition of Islamophobia that will place it in the […]

Conrad Black’s rubbish column on racism a fine example of white privilege

Sep 15 2017 — Shree Paradkar — Until fairly recently, I had stereotyped inane online commenters as ignoramuses living in their parents’ basements, and had assumed they existed on the fringes of society, only given charge after Donald Trump became U.S. president. Recent articulations in Canadian media have exposed the naiveté of my thinking, showing me that ignorance, specifically in terms of […]

New book on Canadian racism firmly refutes ‘We’re not as bad as the U.S.’ sentiment

Sep 10 2017 — Shree Paradkar — Self-deception has repeatedly served as a bedrock of cruelty. It has transformed greed into gallant heroism, where invasion of lands is adventure, displacement of natives is about saving the savages, and theft and self-enrichment is ingenuity. It has rationalized subjugation as the “natural order” of things. Women — at home; gays — in the closet; […]

Canadian history lessons need a back-to-school reboot

Sep 5 2017 — Shree Paradkar — There’s sweetness to packing the children back to school for a fresh academic year. If your Facebook feeds are like mine, they popped up with photos of kids walking on sidewalks shouldering their backpacks, or standing on the front porch holding blackboards declaring their new grades. Much like time that continually draws curtains on a […]

NGOs tell UN panel Canada is failing on racism

Aug 14 2017 — Shree Paradkar — Every day when I read news from around the world, I have occasion to feel thankful to be in Canada. Yet, I was surprised this weekend to hear many Canadians, revolted by the events unfolding in Charlottesville, Va., say: At least we’re not as bad. In reality, our history, too, involves slavery, indentured labour, brutal […]

The ‘many sides’ of injustice in Charlottesville riot

Aug 13 2017 — Shree Paradkar — This is it, then. We can officially drop the pretence of equality after violent protests by white supremacists, “heritage” groups, neo-Nazis, KKK members and armed white terrorists slammed that charade this weekend. Their deadly brand of racism was effectively endorsed by the United States president when he failed to call out supremacists, anti-Semites, xenophobes and […]