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Wisconsin weeps: Vigil held for victims of mass shooting

A candlelight vigil was held last night for victims of the mass shooting.
A candlelight vigil was held last night for victims of the mass shooting of Sikhs in Wisconsin. (Photo: Overpass Light Brigade)

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Racism and violence, past and present: Understanding the Wisconsin shooting

Yesterday morning the orgies of the lone gunman took hold in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a town in the dragnet of Milwaukee. He targeted a Gurdwara, the religious home of the local Sikh community. The gunman entered the Gurdwara, and as if in mimicry of the school shootings, stalked the worshippers in the halls of the 17,000 square foot "Sikh Temple of Wisconsin."

Police engaged the gunman, who wounded at least one officer. The gunman killed at least seven Sikhs, wounding many more. He was then killed. A few hours after the shooting Ven Boba Ri, a committee member of the Gurdwara told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "It's pretty much a hate crime. It's not an insider."

The local police smartly said that this is an act of domestic terrorism.

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Award-winning artist Kim Crosby talks about anti-racism and SlutWalk

This year's SlutWalk Toronto continued an ongoing discussion. Muna Mire interviewed artist Kim Crosby about anti-racism and SlutWalk.

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Vancouver protest against Israel's foreign minister today

Lieberman's appalling views and his visit to Canada should not be acceptable to anyone with a modicum of respect for human rights.

- Sid Shniad, Independent Jewish Voices.

What: Protest against Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman

When: 7:30pm, Monday, September 19, 2011

Where: Outside the venue where Lieberman is speaking, the Jewish Community Centre (Note: the centre is not the event sponsor), 950 W. 41st Ave, near Oak St., Vancouver.

Why: "We are extremely distressed by the Harper government's welcoming of this visit by Israel's extremist, racist foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a man who has openly advocated ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians," said Sid Shniad, spokesperson for Independent Jewish Voices.

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Da Costa, black history and inclusiveness in Canada

I have high regard for President Barack Hussein Obama. His ascent to the presidency was a magnificent moment in history. As an African-American citizen with a Canadian family, it was a particularly poignant moment for me to actually have been in the U.S. to vote for him.

The Obama campaign for the presidency offered much to admire and learn from. But a very significant aspect of President Obama's victory was his vision for the United States, which was primarily one of inclusiveness. His plea was, and after his second State of the Union address essentially remains, that the fulfillment of a nation's destiny can only be achieved by harnessing the potential of all its people, not just a select few or elite. Whatever else his problems may be, we can learn a lot from this.

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On the theft and appropriation of Indigenous cultures

Photo: robodot/Flickr

A recent discussion over a cup of coffee with friends in Edmonton brought up four very different examples that had me considering how indigenous culture is flagrantly (mis)appropriated and twisted.

They are: a self-proposed, self-described "chosen shaman" of multiple indigenous nations named "Little Grandmother" Kiesha Crowther, the deaths and injuries that took place in an appropriated sweat lodge at a "New Age" retreat in Arizona in 2009, a noted pretender who once taught at my Alma Mater in Minnesota, and a "Quantum Healing" business-owner in Saskatoon who legitimizes culture-vulturing by means of a "Treaty of Eagle Bowl."

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Maclean's and The Toronto Star: The Asian invasion of higher education

In 1979, Canadian students produced a TV program called Campus Giveaway against what they called a "foreign" (i.e. Chinese-Canadian) takeover of university campuses. Chinese-Canadian students protested the equating of "Chinese" with "foreign" and challenged the exaggerated statistics used to justify the arguments of the program.

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To me, the 'too Asian?' controversy is unwarranted

I must admit that I learned about the criticism of the "Too Asian?" article in Maclean's before I actually read it. I received emails asking me to write letters of protest to universities that were warning of an "Asian invasion," help with community outreach, and was later invited to two "Youth Coalition Against Maclean's ‘Too Asian'" meeting in Toronto and Waterloo. The Chinese Canadian National Council also condemned the article for fostering an "us versus them" mentality.

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