Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Obsession, Bear spray & Customer Service.....

I am sick of this...  is it just me or this town has some obsession with bear spray? I ain’t sure how many people keep themselves up with the local media but there was another attack on a 18 year old last Sunday (21st March, 2010). Police has not released the identity of the victim but the assailant was described as white, 20 year old male with black jacket and camouflage backpack.

I am hoping our memory is still fresh when last year several students reported assaults on them. We need to keep in mind that the actual numbers of violent attacks are always higher than the reported ones. The worst part is where all persons in authority place all the responsibility on the victim to go through the whole process which is a trauma in itself. Students don’t either want to get into the whole mess of reporting the incident and following up with the police which can be emotionally, physically and psychologically draining for the victim. It’s worse for an international student where various things are at stake for them including the fear of not being in a secure environment anymore.  Where students are scared that it will negatively impact them, it is important to remember that it is your right to be free from discrimination of any kind. You are protected under law to be protected from harassment and discrimination, don’t let people misinform you.
Last December when we saw an escalation in the violent attacks, I sent out a memo to students asking them to be more aware of their surroundings and be safe. I am aware that it is extremely unfair to ask people to take extra precautions when we should be trying to control the situation and take proactive measures but that’s something which ain’t in my power.  And please don’t send me any messages that you haven’t faced any racism because you are all high and mighty.  If you haven’t then my best wishes are with you and I hope that you never do because it ain’t a great experience to go through. I am in no way implying that the attack on Sunday was a racialised attack, what I am trying to point out here is that there are violent attacks going on in City and anyone can become a victim due to sporadic nature of these attacks.
In light of this new incident, I really want to ask the university administration what they have done so far, what sort of measures have they taken for protecting the students of this university especially racialised and international, as they are more vulnerable, apart from all talk and no action or are they waiting for someone to get severely hurt so that they will finally do something about it?
I hate to talk in terms of dollars and cents but if the university administration doesn’t cares about the rights of students then they should care about the money that fills their pockets. At the end of the day, we pay your salary, so we better get some customer service over here!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pocket full of Posers



I thought that I knew about 'em
Thought that they would never do me wrong
Well well they smile in your face
When all the time they
wanna take your place
Them backstabbers
Same old scene that
You've seen for so long
Always want to be around you
But as jealous as they come
Well don't want you to win that race
'Cause if you do it's gonna
lessen their space
That's when I decide to say

Goodbye, goodbye
To all the fake people in my life
I never wanted you around me
So be on your way now
You better think twice
Before you let people in your life
Because when you put down
No one is around you
You got a case of the fake people
A case of the fake people

I thought that I knew about 'em
The only ones that really care for me
Oh yeah
But they shouldn't be that way
Only down for as long as
You can give security
Same old scene that
you've seen for so long
Always want to be around you
But as jealous as they come well
Don't want you to win that race
'Cause if you do it's gonna
lessen their space
That's when I decide to say

Goodbye, goodbye
To all the fake people in my life
I never wanted you around me
So be on your way now
You better think twice
Before you let people in your life
Because when you put down
No one is around you
You got a case of the fake people
A case of the fake people


- - TLC : Case of the fake people, Courtsey to Sheanna

Monday, March 8, 2010

Olympics.. Canadianism

I ran into an argument with my fellow POC as I was of the opinion that people just got bragging rights of being ``Canadian`` due to Olympics and I had this heated argument on identity, citizenship and all the heavy academic words. It was like I had to compete in ``Oppression Olympics``, which is my least favourite thing. I don`t support Olympics because it has an oppressive history and I also don`t identify myself with the fact of being Canadian as I don`t carry ``Canadian`` values as I am an immigrant.

Here is a news flash for you, the immigration system doesn't exists over here because Canadian Government is generous towards the rest of the world. They don't have the manpower required to run this country which is apparently second largest land mass on this planet. There wouldn't even be a system of immigration and so-called multiculturalism, if Canada wasn't under constant threat of depopulation. Immigration is their source of importing labour who can do their blue collar jobs. I am not even talking about refugees and migrant workers, those poor beings are like undocumented people, at the bottom of the food chain. I am talking about “new comers” who legally come through points system and the way they are deceived by the system at large. They are denied unemployment because nothing is elite as Canadian education and work industry. I mean seriously, is 2+2 is not equal to 4 in rest of the world? Or is Canada, Atlantis, where laws of physics are different? This is just an overview of one of the many problems we face as ``new immigrants``.
People talk about assimilation with the society, I wouldn`t mind if that was something done by English men when they colonized the whole world. I would be totally cool with the concept if it wasn't just imposed on the minorities whether Native or Non-native. Why do we have to sacrifice a part of our identity to accommodate the people in authority, are we living in a fascist era. Identity..... is not the way a piece of paper describes you, its how the land treats you, how people accept you and how your heart responds back. Its not black or white. Its gray, its chaotic, its complex and it evolves.
And then I am told ``if you really don`t like this place, why don`t you go back to where you came from``How about Jason Kenny agrees to give us our money back which Ministry of Immigration took from us by making false promises, by making us literally become economic slaves. And now when we are clearing things, how about it also pays for the stress, economic troubles etc. caused by this whole system. I am sure they are totally up for it!

I don't even feel like applying for my citizenship. It doesn't gives me equal rights in reality as another white person. I will be still told that I can't work at some place because I am Muslim and brown. At the end of the day, it doesn't changes anything for me!

So I am sorry, if I am not excited about the Olympics, if I am fine under my skin and if I don`t feel like betraying myself. And, if you are still proud of your “Canadianism”, then whatever helps you sleep at night.

“Sarcasm helps me overcome the harshness of the reality we live, eases the pain of scars and makes people smile. It is not only related to today’s reality but also to history. History laughs at both the victim and the aggressor.”~ Mahmood Darwaish

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