Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is an international memorial day held on 27 January. The goal is to commemorate the tragedy of the Holocaust that occurred during the Second World War. The fact that that many of our youth don’t even know this because it isn’t properly taught in schools is pretty sad.

For today’s observance, my wish is…

My wish is that people around the world would take time to remember everything that the Holocaust has to teach us. It’s therefore important to understand and reflect upon the evil that was done and the depths to which humanity can sink. It’s also that there was also compassion, bravery, and goodness that emerges even in the darkest of times.

The words that you use matter.

Words of hate and discrimination have consequences. We can see these consequences in the terror murder of Muslims, women, minorities and Jews. The problem is, that many of the people speaking these words of hate are happy with these consequences. Others speak them out of habit or to simply agree with someone without realizing that they are feeding violence.

Somehow, we need to turn it into consequences the promulgators are not happy with. We all need to stand together to stop these people spreading hate. We need to say that there is a limit to free speech. You can’t hide behind it to encourage hate and violence.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 21st marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Please don’t forget to care about race on the 364 days that aren’t Martin Luther King Jr. day.

A lot of things were legal before people took a stand and refused to accept status quo, let’s stand firmly on the right side of history this time. That’s why Martin Luther King Jr. is such an inspiration to all and to this day.

Vulnerable migrants and refugees have become an easy target

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees a few months after taking office. In office in November 2015, the Liberals fulfilled this key promise at the end of February 2016.

If our country export armaments which causes human beings to run for their lives and seek a safer country, than we are in a very bad place to be complaining about them coming to our door.

Vulnerable migrants and refugees have become an easy target. Discrimination, difficulty finding jobs, racism: not everything is rosy for Syrian refugees arriving in Canada.

History of dreadlocksSome women have stopped wearing the hijab because it was the subject of racist comments such as “Go back from where you come from”. This kind of racism isn’t new. I myself, have heard those words. In my case the racist idiot got a history lesson, since I’m first nation. Unfortunately, we are at a time in our nation’s history in which we need to be reminded that this behavior is never to be tolerated.

It’s truly sad to hear that so many Canadians fear diversity. It’s just horrible the way some people no longer have any restraint when it comes to showing their contempt for people of colour. Racism is the most despicable thing that exists on this earth.

It is incredibly heartbreaking and blatantly wrong that we are faced with these harsh realities time and time again.

“To my fellow white people: It takes some fucking nerve to stand on this continent and complain about immigrants.” – Ben Grimes @softreeds

I’m all for diversity. Immigrants are a positive welcomed addition to our country. Most are hard working, generating jobs and commerce, and enriching our culture.

For example, 3 years ago, at the age of 18, Shoushi  fled her native Syrian because of civil war and came to Canada as a refugee. Today, at the age of 21, this aerospace engineering student is designing new airplane parts, working two jobs, completing her studies in aerospace engineering and learning her fourth language.

Obviously, fear wins over actually getting to know people of other cultures to find out that they want the same things…a decent job so they can care for their families, good education opportunities for their kids, and a safe home. We have more in common than not.

BreatheWe can all do something to help by addressing racism in our own family. This holiday, someone said an old expression that was racist. I immediately piped up. My mother said that it was a comment from a “real” Quebecois. Right away, I asked her what she meant. Did she really just say that Quebecois are racist and that it was something to be proud of? She defended her comment by saying that other races also have their racist saying. I argued that just because others are acting badly, doesn’t mean that we have to. She then said that these saying were old as time. I argued that it was the 21st century and we can do better. We can fix what used to be “normal” and build a better more inclusive world. Don’t be afraid to stand up to racism even when it comes out the mouth of our loved ones.

“Sometimes we only see how people are different from us. But if you look hard enough, you can see how much were all alike.” – Jasmine, Aladdin

Let 2019 be a year of resilience and love, working toward a more inclusive Canada. Together we can overcome ignorance, fear, and hatred. Let’s stand with the country’s refugees.

Speak out

Women constantly make themselves smaller in the face of violence, or to try and avoid violence. If you have to hide, I understand and I honour any steps you need to take for your safety.

Hiding is not how we speak out. It’s not how we support victims of domestic violence. Us hiding and being quiet is literally what violent men want.

It’s not how we teach. It’s not how we organize.

Have you noticed that the people who keep telling marginalized that they are being too sensitive and to stop being offended by everything are the one that flip out they see or hear the words feminism, vegan, transgender, homosexual, bi-sexual or anyone they don’t approve of or understand?

 

 

Let’s make our world more inclusive

Sign language should be taught in all schools. It should be a part of the curriculum. Did you know there are more than 300 types of sign languages used by millions of people around the world?

“Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

When you meet someone new accept them for where they are at right now, not where you expect or need them to be.

“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common, they don’t alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views.” – Doctor Who

If you are afraid to show who you truly are, know that you are worthy. You are important. Your life is important. You deserve a place on this planet, and we deserve to have you with us.

“We need to move forward in new ways that are inclusive. We can share the prosperity of this land when everyone is mutually respecting each other.” – Chief Robert Joseph

Women are living human beings

There is such an intensive pressure to correspond to the standards. As if, to be entitled to a strict minimum of respect, women have to at least fit in the mould in terms of appearance, weight and fashion.

Women are living human beings. They are not property or dolls to be told what to wear and men certainly do not have the right of life and death over us. In Irak, a woman was murdered for wearing sexy clothing and having an Instagram account. This is not okay. There is no justification for such action. The only reason it happen is because the murderer does not think women are human beings. Pets have more rights.

In Canada, we cannot remove the problem of racism when it comes to human trafficking. Indigenous women make up 4% of the Canadian female population but roughly 50% of trafficking victims. This will continue to happen as long as society doesn’t believe that all Indigenous women are valuable and entitled to autonomy and support.

“I’m not really interested in a world where men really want to watch porn but resist because they’ve been shamed; I’m interested in a world where men are raised from birth with such an unshakable understanding of women as living human beings that they are incapable of being aroused by their exploitation.” – Jonah Mix

Regardless of race, cultural background or sexual orientation, women are human beings and as human beings they are entitled to body autonomy. They are the only person who can manage their own body and all the choices around it.

Each person is different and has the right to be respected and valued for who she is, in all its marvellous uniqueness.

This is why we put so much efforts to keep people who are a threat to our human rights from getting in position of power.

Thanksgiving isn’t what you think it is

Thanksgiving isn’t what you think it is — so why does the country keep forgetting?

This text doesn’t come from a place of anger or to place blame on anyone. It comes from a place of knowledge, understanding and a refusal to be erased from history. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about the real history behind Thanksgiving. It was a brutal genocide that took place and each Native American that’s here today is a survivor of that attempted genocide. Never before in human history has a continent’s population been so thoroughly decimated. More people should know about the awful bounty system that paid settlers to kill Native Americans.

This idea of pilgrims and Native Americans coming together and sharing a positive meal is whitewashing at its finest. Genocide can’t be celebrated and mocked by a fairytale feast that never took place. Unfortunately, most of the literature taught in schools is written by white male authors.

“If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.” – Schulz (Charlie Brown)

Saying this, I have no qualms about family gatherings. I enjoy a hearty meal as much as the next. Thanking a moment to share a meal with friends and family and reflect on all that we have to be thankful is a positive thing. It just can’t come at the cost of erasure.

Most people don’t remember and many simply don’t care that pilgrim appropriated land, that Abraham Lincoln coin this holiday for patriotism during the Civil War and that this American president ordered the largest mass execution of Dakota people in United States history. The same story is repeated all over North America.

I don’t know why it’s so difficult to have our history heard and acknowledge. Accepting and learning from our failures is the only way to achieve our stated goals of equality and justice for all. It’s not about pointing a guilty finger at anyone. It’s about making sure that an entire nation isn’t forgotten and pushed aside.

It’s about taking a moment to acknowledge that Thanksgiving is a day of mourning for many Native Americans. It’s a day of sadness. For our people, this was a terrible time and we have every right to express how we feel about it.

Thanksgiving also reinforces the idea that Native Americans are in the past and we aren’t here anymore. The reality is that Native Americans are thriving, many are still speaking their language. We are practising our culture.

Obviously, most people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving for its true meaning. Most see it as a day about family and having a nice dinner. Most people don’t even think about the history or give a hoot. It’s great to be surrounded by family, to come together and spend real time.

You can’t change history, no matter how hard you try. The whitewashing of our textbooks doesn’t change the reality of what really happened and the reality is attempted genocide. Our history has been changed and destroyed so much that it is now time to learn some more of the truth. That is not asking too much!

I hope that there is a moment though to acknowledge that First Nation people are still there and that we are thriving. History has to be remembered so that it will not be repeated.

We shouldn’t forget the atrocities of the past. We can’t change it but we can remember and try to honour First Nation cultures.

 

There’s no room for hate

There’s no room for hate. We have to love and respect each other.

Yes, I’m willing to risk losing friendships because someone is homophobic, trans-phobic, sexist or racist if they refuse to do better. Humans rights aren’t a question about opinion. They are human rights. Everyone should be standing for them. Everyone should be standing for all the rights they take for granted for themselves. If you’re not, we can’t be friends or family or lovers. It’s a simple as that.

I wish these idiots would not be referred to as “supremists.” They are not superior in any way. If you drive a car through a crowd of innocent people I think a better description would be “terrorist.”

“No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth” – Plato

I stand behind Colin Kaepernick

I’m Canadian.

I don’t understand why people are so mad about an individual taking a knee during the national anthem to protest the injustice associated with police brutality directed at black people. I’m really perplexed by the irony in this controversy. The flag of the United States of America stands for Constitutional freedoms that we have fought for since before 1776. Those freedoms are laid out in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution, it’s Amendments, and the Bill of Rights. Those timeless documents are what our great warriors have fought for, for over 242 years. Included in those declarations is the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech, and yet you so called patriots wish to deny Colin Kaepernick his freedom of speech!

The American flag represents and covers all U.S. citizens. It is a symbol of the values for which U.S. citizen stand for.

Expecting safety from police brutality and exercising his right to the same freedom of speech shouldn’t be a controversy.

Trump saluted a North Korean general. It seems to me that people with no military history should not salute. In Saudi Arabia he bowed to the leader. In Germany, he stood before the world and told them he believes Putin over his own Intelligence officers. In England, he walked in front of the Queen and left her behind. It seem to me that trump only uses patriotism when it suits his purpose. 

In Canada, we also have a lot of people who exhibit hypocrisy, by demanding freedom of speech, as long as it fits their cause, but then turn on those who wish to exercise the same freedom of speech for a cause they don’t support.

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