Identity politics is an evil virus spreading across society

This obsession with identity can do nothing good for a society that values equality of treatment of all its people

Identity politics is an evil virus spreading across societyOn my desk is a commemorative plate honouring the 1966 Grey Cup champions, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It includes the pictures of Canadian Football League legend Ronnie Lancaster and his teammates. A quick scan of these portraits reveals something odd: just three of the players are black. If one looks at the rosters of other CFL…

Lose sight of justice and society starves

Trump poured gasoline on the flames of misogyny and racism and put the lives of millions of people at risk

Lose sight of justice and society starvesAmer Zahr, a teacher of Islamic law, points out that while eating pork is forbidden, it’s allowed out of necessity in cases of extreme hunger. Zahr is also a Palestinian-American comedian, and in a recent monologue, he stated that in the 2020 presidential election he chose ham over starvation. He has a point. Much of…

How stigma makes pandemics worse for marginalized groups

COVID-19 isn’t affecting everyone equally, says U of A diversity expert who recommends ways to help overcome harmful biases

How stigma makes pandemics worse for marginalized groupsThe assumption that pandemics affect everyone equally is wrong and is helping to unnecessarily stigmatize socio-economically disadvantaged groups, according to a University of Alberta diversity expert. “If we are focusing on the aspect of stigma and bias alone, viruses or bacteria might have an address,” said Helly Goez, a pediatric neurologist in the Faculty of Medicine &…

Lack of online access a barrier for athletes with disabilities

Vast majority of athletics websites make it hard for people with disabilities to see themselves participating in sport, U of A researcher finds

Lack of online access a barrier for athletes with disabilitiesDespite overtures to the contrary, para-athletes remain largely invisible within the vast majority of Canadian athletics websites, according to a University of Alberta study showing access to sport for people with disabilities is all but completely missing online. Danielle Peers, a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation and Canada Research Chair in Disability and…

Religion has a positive economic impact on Canadian society

Our religious tapestry makes massive economic and social contributions to local communities and to the nation’s well-being

Religion has a positive economic impact on Canadian societyNewcomers to this country often find Canadians have a curious stance toward religion. We seldom say much negative about religion in public but we never take it too seriously either. A new study, The Hidden Economy: How Faith Helps Fuel Canada’s GDP, suggests it may be time to take a second look at the public…

Race-based police data won’t end systemic issues

Examining use of force by race or counting arrests and charges by colour isn’t about to change police culture

Race-based police data won’t end systemic issuesAfter years of resisting the recording of race-based statistics by police, there has been a sudden change of heart. Now, advocates and those seeking police reform want race-based data collected by police. In Ontario, the authorities hope that by collecting officers’ perceptions of suspects it can expose any racial biases or stereotyping within police services. The…

Spotting and tackling prejudice

Move away from false statements and over-generalizations and recognize everyone as individuals

Spotting and tackling prejudiceRacism exists in Vancouver. How much, how bad and how widespread it is we can debate. That there are other places where the situation is much worse we can agree. But we still have room to improve here. In case there’s any doubt, Fairchild TV has produced two videos (here and here) documenting expressions of…

Racism is arbitrary and pointless

We don’t have to look hard to realize many of our relatives have been victims of racism. If we live in comfort and freedom, it’s only because we’re lucky

Racism is arbitrary and pointlessI’m outraged as I write this. Yet another Black American, Jacob Blake, was shot in front of his children, in broad daylight and in cold blood by a white police officer. Miraculously, he survived, but it’s unlikely he will ever walk again. I’m also very inspired by the myriad of professional athletes refusing to play;…

Sports world can lead the way to equality, fairness, justice

This athlete-led movement needs a face – or two. Ideally, we have one Black sports figure and one white sports figure taking the lead

Sports world can lead the way to equality, fairness, justiceI was driving home recently and listening to a talk show about the social unrest in my country, the United States. The host was white and the guest was Black. After a couple minutes of discussion, the guest asked the host a powerful question. “Have you ever woken in the morning and started to worry…

Celebrity status can be a catalyst for change

NBA and WNBA players show what happens when talented people from all over the world come together in an environment of mutual respect

Celebrity status can be a catalyst for changeIn times of crisis, true leaders step forward. While effective political leadership has largely been absent, professional athletes – primarily players in the National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association – have demonstrated that celebrity status, when embraced with a sense of responsibility, can be a catalyst for global change. The examples of selfless…
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