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Calgary anti-racism activists’ home invaded (CBC News):
The victims of a home invasion in Calgary early Monday morning are well-known anti-racism activists.
Calgary police said five masked men armed with bats and hammers forced their way into a home in the 5400 block of Eighth Avenue S.E. shortly after 1 a.m.
Police believe the home was targeted for attack, although they haven’t confirmed a motive. A neo-Nazi angle is being investigated, police said.
Three adults and four children were in the house at the time.
One of the adults was Jason Devine, who as a member of Anti-Racist Action Calgary has in the past posted pictures of suspected white supremacists on his blog. More recently, he and his wife had put up posters in their neighbourhood “outing” people they claim are neo-Nazis.
Devine was beaten about his head, on his back and on his arms. His friend had his arm broken and is still in hospital awaiting surgery.
Here is a link round-up of some bad news in Toronto.
Long story short: Pride Toronto, which is an internationally famous week-long celebration of queer and trans pride, has made conscious or unconscious attempts to curtail the wholehearted participation of queer and trans folks of colour and their allies in Pride. They have attempted to relocate and shrink black-identified spaces, and they [had] banned [Queers Against Israeli Apartheid] from participation in Pride 2010.
(In this video, G20 protesters finish singing the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada”, and immediately after, a line of riot police charge at them.)
Video after video, photo after photo, story after story came pouring in this weekend telling us about another friend or another relative who had been unlawfully arrested, beaten, spit on, psychologically, physically, and emotionally abused and relentlessly harassed by the police in Toronto.
New research from the University of Toronto-Scarborough shows that white people’s mirror-neuron-system fires much less, if at all, when they watch people of colour performing motor tasks, and I’m not at all surprised. For years, I just assumed that this was true, and that someone just had to do a study to prove it.
After the United States invaded Iraq and massacred tens of thousands of Iraqis, worldwide terrorist recruitment skyrocketed, as well as terrorist attacks targetting the U.S. and coalition countries. Terrorist leaders cited the Iraq invasion and the deaths of Iraqis as the reason for the attacks. However, White Americans did not buy it, believing it to be a smokescreen for some other reason. It must be Islam, they reasoned, as they grasped at straws.
I then realized that the vast majority of White Americans could not empathize with brown people at a very basic level. For most White Americans, the death and violence of thousands of brown bodies was just part of some abstract ethical argument to position oneself as morally superior to the United States. For most White Americans, brown people dying just meant flickers on the television screen about something happening far away. They didn’t feel the overwhelming anger and sadness they would normally feel when someone they know dies without reason. They couldn’t see the full reality of what death means, when the people who die are brown.
I have seen white people complain online that they cannot see the facial expressions of (East) Asian faces. For many white people, East Asians are like emotionless robots who are efficient at machine-like things like number crunching. Some white people argue that while East Asians may be able to play musical instruments beautifully, they play music without soul.
Ontario man jailed for attack on Asian anglers (CBC News):
[A white] Ontario man has been sentenced to two years less a day in jail Friday for attacking a group of Asian anglers and their friends in 2007.
Justice Alfred Stong also sentenced Trevor Middleton, 23, to three years’ probation after he has served his sentence, and 240 hours of community service helping seniors and people with mental disabilities. Middleton will also be required to attend a cultural awareness course, and he’s been banned from driving for 10 years.
According to Justice Stong, since some of the victims were Asian Canadians, what made them stand out visually in the overwhelmingly white town must have been their “culture”, which was made conspicuous by the fact that they were trying to fish from a dock in Lake Simcoe, Ontario, alongside their white friends.
Twenty years ago, a Canadian man, who believed that he was fighting “feminism”, massacred fourteen women at an engineering school.
Some men think that all female engineers are “feminists”, because they find female engineers threatening, not because of any professed political beliefs of the female engineers. Female engineers are engineers who happen to be women; they are probably not doing it as a political statement, but because they enjoy engineering.
Ironically, if the 1989 killer wanted to find feminists, the feminists would most likely be in the social sciences, not engineering. (I find that most engineering students (including female engineering students) know nothing about feminism,* and think that social science degrees are useless.)
Yet even people who are not feminists and not majoring in Women and Gender Studies are affected by sexism and misogyny. In the real world, feminist issues affect engineers, and engineering issues affect feminists. The real world is not divided into separate domains of knowledge.
December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
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Update: Aboriginal women are five times more likely to die of violence than women of any other race in Canada. Jessica Yee remembers violence against women who are much less likely to be remembered.
In addition, trans women are particularly at risk for hate crimes, and murdered trans women are also much less likely to be remembered than murdered cisgender women.