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Activist Communique: Why racism isn't funny

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I'm not laughing.

On Saturday October 31, 2010, during a Hallowe'en party at the Campbellford Royal Canadian Legion, the prize winning costume that evening was a man wearing a KKK uniform leading around a man in blackface by a noose. Yes, not only was the KKK pair allowed into the Legion in the first place, they won first prize!  See the picture here.

When I asked around, most people called those guys "stupid" as if lack of intelligence could be an excuse for racism. The legion was temporarily shut down and apologies spewed forth from all sides, though the undertones smacked more of 'harmless fun'.

I'm not laughing.

On February 21, 2010, in Poplar Grove, Nova Scotia, an inter-racial couple was woken around midnight to find a huge cross burning on their front lawn.

On Friday November 5, 2010, provincial court Judge Claudine MacDonald found Justin Rehberg guilty of inciting racial hatred. He will be sentenced on December 14, 2010.

Speaking to the press, his uncle defended Justin Rehberg stating, "he did not approve of his nephew's actions, adding it was likely the foolishness of youth.

"I'm not saying it should have been done because it shouldn't have been, but everyone makes mistakes when they're young," he said outside of the courthouse. "I've done foolish things that I'm not crazy about, but that's life," he said.  

I'm not buying the "Poor me, I'm young and don't know no better argument," like it was some funny prank gone bad.

I'm not laughing.

As the Canadian government decides to spend $2-million to build a fake lake, it can't afford to provide First Nations reserves with clean drinking water?

[Hey, maybe the next pow-wow can be held on the shores of this fake lake?]

I'm not laughing.

As Canada spends billions to train Afghan security forces - including sending in Toronto cops to walk the Kandahar beat, in February 2010, an investigation found that black people across Toronto were three times more likely to be stopped and documented by police than white people.

[Hey, I guess they're trained to profile anything that is non-white and moves?]

I'm not laughing.

Poverty isn't that funny, either.  (Poverty and racism walk hand in hand).

As Stephen Harper defends his multi-billion dollar dream purchase of new fighter jets, an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 people are homeless in Canada, living in shelters or on the streets. On any given night, 40,000 people stay in homeless shelters. 

[Hey, maybe while Stephen Harper is flying around in his new toy, people can sleep over at his house?]

I'm not laughing.

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