Tag Archives: Canada

Black and white and red all over

I find the subject of racism intriguing. No, really. How can one person look at another, and decide everything about them just by the colour of their skin? I like to think that racism is a lesser issue in Canada than it is in America, but perhaps that’s naïve.

It needs to be said that racism is not limited to a white person hating on someone else because of their race – it’s the discrimination of any race by any race. White on black. Black on Asian. Indian on Indian.

I feel like racism would lessen somewhat if we stopped defining ourselves with race. Isn’t defining oneself as a black person a label in itself?

I have noticed the trend in novels lately to defy the “is black/is white” norms by leaving the labels out altogether. Veronica Roth’s “Divergent,” for example, does not describe the protagonist’s friend Christina as a black girl, but rather “tall, with dark brown skin… Pretty.” She is a girl. With dark skin. They’re attributes, not a definition.

If a person wants to identify themselves with a culture, that’s completely different. Being Cantonese-Canadian is different than saying “he is Asian.”

I dunno. I’m mostly just rambling. Though I have to wonder – when will we stop being a bunch of races and become just a bunch of people?

On that note… have a Happy New Year, all! What are your New Year’s Eve plans? I will be Sing Star-ing at a house party with a new makeup look. Can’t wait!


Communication is change

This will not be news to those closest to me, but I am totally in love with social media. It is utterly fascinating. I don’t just mean in the keep-in-touch-with-people-you’re-better-off-forgetting sort of way, either. I find it enthralling that we have been granted the power of communication in a way that we have never seen before, and communication is very, very powerful.

Thanks to the internet and social media, we have worldwide news at our fingertips the very second we want it. We always have the most updated version of encyclopedias without spending a dime. (I remember when I thought that everything there was to know about the world was contained in those twenty-something brick-like volumes.) We have a global forum for all of our thoughts and ideas, from how awesome albino seals are to how ridiculously cool and frightening it is that we might have discovered a new planet with the ability to sustain human life.

But there’s something even more cool about social media than news and seals and space travel – social media affects lives.

It was social media that helped organize the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. It helped spread the word of a British Columbian three-year-old’s kidnapping faster than the speed of sound. It allows global reach for important causes, giving voice to millions who otherwise wouldn’t have one or who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered.

For my Canadian friends out there, if you haven’t already taken the time to, please read about and sign this petition that will help prevent the intrusion of our online privacy. Currently, the government is trying to pass a bill that will allow law officials to look into our internet usage without a warrant. It is likened to listening in on your personal phone calls. It is not okay.

Also, one of my favorite websites for helping to promote change worldwide is change.org . This online petitioning website has influenced the world from the top of the political sector all the way down to single individuals. Check it out, and check it out often. (Currently, I am passionate about reducing rape in Africa.)

This isn’t my first vocal declaration of admiration for and belief in social media, and it won’t be the last. Thank you for listening!

What are your favorite ways to use social media?


End of an era

I am a very proud Canadian. I think we live in one of the greatest countries in the world. We have so many things to be grateful for – our religious freedom, our multi-culturalism, our personal opportunities. In Canada, there is a long list of rights that we take for granted – rights that are really just amazing priveledges.

Jack Layton fought for those priveledges to be our rights.

Mr. Layton, the leader of the NDP and the official opposition to the majority Conservative government, died from his struggle with the C-word.

I considered him to be one of the best Canadians that we had.

No matter what you thought about his ideologies, Jack Layton was one of the most human politicians we had. He was a man who very much cared about people, about what he fought for and about the words that were coming out of his mouth.

Personally, I have been an enthusiastic NDP and Layton supporter since I have been of voting age. He was one of the only politicians that I have ever trusted and believed in. (I am a crazy socialist, after all.) I selfishly worry that his untimely death will affect the political situation in Canada.

I hope for a Canada where our leaders continue to be passionate about their people – who speak from the heart and not from the wallet.

Rest in peace, sir.

(Note: Just in case you haven’t had a chance to read it, here is Jack Layton’s last letter to Canadians.)