Turkish youth and the governments stance on social media – Hurriyet Daily News

When the COVID-19 pandemic is over would you download an app developed by the state that has access to your everyday movement, in order to ensure your medical well-being and security?While 49.8 percent said no, 46.3 percent said yes. Those who dont know are a mere 3.9 percent.

The poll was conducted by the Istanbul Economics Research in cooperation with the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

One interesting finding of the poll was that 63 percent of those aged between 18-24 said they would download it. Are the youth careless about their privacy and less sensitive to their individual liberties?

Not necessarily, according to zgehan enyuva, from Middle East Technical University (ODT). Young generations are digital natives; they are born to the digital world and they accept the fact that it is there. They would not fight downloading the governments app. But they would troll it, manipulate it by entering wrong information, for instance, said enyuva at an online panel last month on the findings of the poll.

The debate on the youth at that panel was particularly timely since it came at a time when both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) both said they will be chasing the votes of Generation Z, the youngest segment eligible to vote in the next elections in 2023.

And interestingly, it was during the pandemic that the representatives of this generation got into direct interaction with the political elites. What pushed them to do so? The university admission exams. The date of the exam was changed twice due to the pandemic. The original date at the beginning of June was postponed to the end of July.

But as the government concluded that it started to take COVID-19 under control, it took forward the date to the end of June. The government wanted 2.5 million children who entered this years exam to go as soon as possible to holiday destinations to revitalize the domestic tourism.

The last change of date infuriated the youth, who had to readjust their working timeline, and they expressed their anger by launching the hashtag #SandiktaGorusuruz (Well see you at the ballot box) on May 4 on Twitter.

Known with his criticism of social media, one would assume President Recep Tayyip Erdoan is not a frequent user of social media, delegating the management of his accounts to his aides. But it was interesting to see that he chose YouTube as a channel of communication for the youth on June 26, one day prior to the university admission exam.

There, too, the youth did not miss the occasion to express their reaction. One cannot know whether he was aware of it at the time.

But his July 2 statement implying additional restrictions to social media platforms like YouTube came as a contradiction to the AK Partys urge to lure the votes of the youth.

Of course, there is still time until 2023. The AK Party might have prioritized an approach to restrict social media, which many believe will help silence dissenting voices, and lift the restrictions perhaps at a later stage, when they will need the votes of the youth. Or, perhaps, they are counting on their allies from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), as it seems to receive more support from the youth, than the AK Party.

Polls suggest the majority of the youngsters dont believe any of the present parties can solve the countrys problems. But they seem to be more attracted by the MHP, Y (Good) Party and the Peoples Democratic Party (HDP). The youth want clearer stances from the parties, explained prominent pollster Bekir Konda in a recent interview.

According to enyuva, an academic with extensive work on youth, the generation that grew up with Harry Potter, a boy who waits to be saved by an old wise man and learns to fight against oppression throughout seven books, is now followed by the generation of Hunger Games, where this time a girl who initially struggles simply to feed her family turns into a rebel fighting oppression in a short time.

Young people are not saving the world, but they are engaged and connected with their local communities, said enyuva. They are staying away from party politics, but they are organized among themselves.

Turkish youth were ordered to stay at home during the pandemic and they obeyed it, according to enyuva, but they also took initiatives to bring care, for instance, for the elderly. And obviously, they are organizing through social media.

But enyuva warns that the learning curve in terms of social media has increasingly been in favor of the governments.


Excerpt from:

Turkish youth and the governments stance on social media - Hurriyet Daily News

Revealed: New videos expose China’s forced migration of Uyghurs during the pandemic – Coda Story

Videos showing hundreds of Uyghur people being transported to forced labor schemes have shed new light on Chinas continuing oppression of the Muslim ethnic group.

In the early months of the coronavirus outbreak, the government locked down more than 50 million people in Hubei province and imposed strict stay-at-home measures in cities across the country. However, footage shared on social media suggests that, at the same time, a state-mandated mass migration of Uyghurs was taking place in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.

In January, dozens of videos began to surface on Douyin a version of TikTok, made by the same company, only available to Chinese users showing crowds of people being packed onto trains, buses and airplanes.

The footage shows Uyghurs being transported as part of what Beijing refers to as a poverty alleviation initiative. Sent far from home, they are put to work in tightly surveilled factory labor programs and often housed in dedicated labor compounds.

In February, more videos were posted by a local media center in the Xinjiang city of Hotan. In one, a crowd of people stand in formation, dressed in matching red anoraks, their faces obscured by surgical masks. Each also wears a blue lanyard and has a suitcase beside them. A caption explained that the men and women are migrant workers, ready to board a plane to the heavily industrialized coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangxi.

Chinese national state media also covered the transportation, which took place in late February just as Chinas coronavirus numbers had reached a peak.

One report stated that the workers were being sent on a free charter flight. Another featured images of men and women about to fly to Hunan province, where they were to work on the production line at a technology company. Although the mask covered most of her face, she could still feel her excitement, it said of one Uyghur woman. The article then quoted her as saying, As long as your hands and feet are quick, the more you do, the more you earn.

Chinese authorities maintained they were helping pull Uyghur people out of deprivation. We will do our utmost to help laborers who are willing to go out to work as soon as possible, to ensure that the prevention and control of the epidemic and the struggle against poverty are both addressed, a spokesperson for Hotans Human Resources and Social Security Bureau told state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Another video posted on Douyin in March shows, according to the caption, a group of 850 people being moved to Korla, Xinjiangs second-largest city, to work in the textile industry. Masked Uyghurs are seen walking in single file and lining up to have their temperature checked, before boarding buses and trains.

The government-run relocation of Uyghurs has been described by experts and human rights groups as an extension of Chinas mass surveillance and indoctrination system. Since 2016, as many as a one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities have been held in concentration camps, referred to by the Chinese Communist Party as vocational training centers or re-education facilities.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Darren Byler is an anthropologist at the University of Colorado, who specializes in Uyghur studies. Referring to the labor program, he said, Theres very likely a re-education aspect to it or some really tight form of control in the factory environment.

While information from Xinjiang has been scarce during the pandemic, reports have emerged that in some areas placed under lockdown, Uyghurs were not allowed to leave their homes and were dependent on state deliveries of essential supplies. The Washington D.C.-based Uyghur Human Rights Project has drawn attention to footage circulated on Chinese social media, in which people say that their households were starving.

Xinjiang has reported just 76 coronavirus cases and six deaths since January. Uyghurs living abroad consider these figures to be suspiciously low, given the provinces population of almost 22 million people.

While Beijing maintains that most people have been released from government camps and returned to society, many observers believe that they have been shuttled into labor programs or other forms of detention.

The Chinese government seeks to portray the forced labor program as a benevolent initiative, providing economic opportunities to the people of a historically deprived region. In recent months, state media in Xinjiang has reported that these work placements will emancipate the mind and eliminate old habits.

Zumret Dawut, 38, spent two months in a detention camp in Xinjiangs capital city of Urumqi. While there, she underwent hours of indoctrination, during which she was beaten and made to recite Chinese Communist Party propaganda. A report by the Associated Press in June revealed that China has been forcing birth control and sterilization on Uyghur women. In the course of her confinement, Dawut was given regular injections and pills that tranquilized her and stopped her periods.

After her release in June 2018, Dawut left Xinjiang. The following year, she flew to the U.S., where she now lives. Using a cellphone that she brought with her from China, she is still able to access Douyin, which is usually firewalled outside of the country.

I first started seeing videos of Uyghurs being transferred back in January, she said.

Dawut engaged with the content via likes and comments, so the apps algorithm showed her more. Though some of the footage sent her way originated from state media agencies, dozens of videos were posted by Uyghurs themselves. She noticed that clips in the latter category all featured the same haunting, Chinese-language rendition of the Italian protest song Bella Ciao.

I have to be very quick to download these videos, she said, explaining that the app usually swiftly deletes them.

Asked whether Douyin censors Uyghur-related content, a spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the company treats all users on our platform the same, regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation.

One video found by Dawut, posted to Douyin by a Xinjiang news outlet in March, shows a group of more than 500 Uyghurs arriving for a work placement in Korla. The footage includes their new accommodation: austere rooms fitted with bunk beds, shared kitchenettes and a common living area.

Such dormitories are often part of larger compounds, complete with watchtowers and onsite indoctrination centers. These facilities feature prominently in Uyghurs for Sale, a report published in March by Australias Strategic Policy Institute.

Its authors state that the forced labor program amounts to re-education 2.0, in which Uyghurs undergo mandatory indoctrination after working long hours in factory jobs, and fear detention if they attempt to quit.

The report also details Uyghur workers being offered to factories in batches of 100, via online forums,then sent to work in supply chains linked to international companies, including Apple, Nike and Gap. It also explains that Uyghur labor is a lucrative industry: companies that hire Uyghurs on a long-term basis receive payments of up to $720 per person from the Xinjiang government.

Subscribe to Oligarchy

Sign up for our newsletter on money and power during pandemic

A series of advertisements on Baidu Chinas answer to Google suggest that this incentivized market for cheap Uyghur labor has thrived throughout the pandemic. One advert, from April, offered Xinjiang Uyghur workers, all female, 18-35 years old, proficient in Chinese, obey arrangements. Another, from late March, stated that the government assures security, an apparent reference to the widespread perception of Uyghurs as dangerous extremists. The posts said workers could be paid as little as 13 yuan ($1.86) per hour.

Baidu did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

Forced labor also forms part of Xinjiangs prison system. Nursimangul Abdurashid, 32, left the province in 2013. She now lives with her husband and six-year-old daughter in Turkey, where she works as a marketing executive. In the years since she left the city of Kashgar, her parents and two brothers have been detained, and the family home now stands empty.

In 2017, Abdurashid learned that her older brother had been put to work in an electronics factory, while being held in a detention camp in the city of Artux for the alleged non-payment of a debt. The same year, her younger brother was arrested and charged with preparing to commit terrorist activities, after applying for a passport to study in Turkey.

Abdurashid recalled how he had been desperate to go to university. He wanted to be a teacher. He gave up his dream, she said.

Abdurashid now fears that both of her brothers aged 30 and 34 have been pushed deeper into Xinjiangs forced labor system. Now, she scours the faces of Uyghur workers in Douyin videos, trying to find out what has happened to them.

I want to see them alive, at least, she said. Seeing so many young boys and girls heading into the unknown makes me so sad.

China experts believe that detentions and forced labor are part of a deliberate strategy to destroy Uyghur life in Xinjiang. While language, architecture, religion and culture have all been attacked and suppressed during the government crackdown, the forced migration of thousands of Uyghurs can be viewed as an attempt to tear apart a whole community.

The main goal is to move people away from their hometowns, to isolate them from their family, from their roots, and to make it harder for them to escape or move around, said Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, the Australian reports lead author, during a Zoom call. They become more dependent on these work arrangements that are assigned to them. This is part of the efforts of the re-education campaign.

In mid-June, President Donald Trump signed into law a bill to sanction China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. The new legislation was introduced shortly after leaked extracts from a new book by former National Security Adviser John Bolton alleged that Trump told President Xi that he should go ahead with the construction of prison camps in the province.

Meanwhile, Zumret Dawut continues to monitor Douyin, searching for more evidence of Chinas oppression of her people. She thinks a lot about the Chinese version of Bella Ciao heard in so many of the videos. Once an anthem for agricultural workers protesting against harsh conditions in the rice fields of 19th-century Italy, the songs lyrics include a line that translates as, The day will come when we will all work in freedom.

This is a message to our people, said Dawut. Dont forget about us.

Rachel Sherman and Joseph Gordon contributed research.

The rest is here:

Revealed: New videos expose China's forced migration of Uyghurs during the pandemic - Coda Story

On the Fourth of July, ask when patriotism became synonymous with selfishness – NBC News

What does patriotism really mean to us? We live in a country that professes to love itself, yet it so clearly hates wide swaths of its own citizens, whole sections of its own Constitution, science and the peace it exports elsewhere at gunpoint.

In the wake of the ongoing uprisings sparked by police brutality and systemic racism, every American once again needs to ask themselves whether truly being a patriot requires unquestioning loyalty to a piece of land and a government or an unwavering commitment to making that government live up to the highest ideals expressed in its chartering documents and our shared understanding of what this country is supposed to stand for.

We as a culture often profess to love the flag until true love for our ideals means allowing marginalized people to fully utilize their First Amendment rights to stand up for issues with which we disagree. We as a people say we stand up for our fellow Americans at all costs, until it requires us to bolster public health by behaving in ways that are mildly inconvenient. We recite that this is a government of the people, by the people, for the people, and yet many Americans support the systematic disenfranchisement of many of the people because they fear those Americans vote for a different partys politicians.

Get the think newsletter.

But then, stolen lands worked by stolen people are not conducive to the myth of the United States that we like to tell ourselves, even if they are the perfect places to highlight the lies that a country rooted in oppression can tell itself with a straight face.

The America that balked at a football player using his First Amendment rights to protest the extrajudicial abuses and murders of Black and brown people calling it disrespectful to the flag, a disservice to veterans who served and fought under that flag would of course ignore that Black veterans are among those unjustly killed by police and immigrant veterans face deportation after they serve this country.

Patriotism, you see, apparently stops meaning quite so much when it might involve protecting veterans who are not white.

At every turn, it seems that making America great has really meant making marginalized people suffer even more for the perceived sin of not being white, for the perceived sin of needing their oppression to stop and for the perceived sin of seeking a safer place to go with their families. America has gone from being a country that paid lip service welcoming those in search of a better life to a country that actively refuses asylum to people who most need help.

Until recently, patriotism hasnt meant selfishness; now it rejects selflessness as unpatriotic. Witness the willingness of many to sacrifice their fellow Americans health to avoid having to give up even one iota of personal comfort, demanding that workers put themselves and their families at risk to give haircuts or wait tables or clean homes, often to people who refuse to wear masks as a gesture of basic courtesy. We arent asking those people to risk death to fight an enemy abroad, let alone a foreign invader. We are demanding that they provide services to people here including some who proclaim themselves to be Real Americans, as though anyone who doesnt believe what they do is something else.

But I guess a country that values access to guns over childrens lives so often that the response to what was, pre-pandemic, near-daily mass shootings is thoughts and prayers instead of gun control doesnt really have any pride left in itself.

A country with decades of data on the harm that hunger does to people and communities that then lets its own people go hungry including veterans and their families, who are among those expected to be the hardest hit by current and proposed cuts in food assistance isnt a country that loves itself.

And a country in which people applaud while politicians repeatedly try to restrict access to health insurance and thus health care in the middle of an out-of-control pandemic is not a country that values itself let alone its veterans, when more and more service members and veterans are being diagnosed with COVID-19. When the politicians who should be offering guidance and help to the people are instead largely focused on helping the economy despite the increased risks to the people, telling us that it is for our own good, that is not a nation dedicated to serving the people that shall not perish from the earth, but one that is at risk of perishing.

Patriotism has to be more than obsequious adherence to a tortured myth; it cannot just be loving a country that doesnt love you (or anyone else) back. In order for patriotism to have any real meaning, being patriotic has to involve more than flags (or flag apparel) or support for individual politicians. Real American patriotism is about supporting each other and looking out for each other with more than just slogans and memes. It is showing up to vote in and be the kinds of leaders who take care of all of our communities, who prioritize people over arbitrary borders or inane ideas about respecting objects.

The most patriotic thing anyone can do in America is try to make it a better place for everyone and not just you. At the very least, having a modicum of real patriotism would mean acknowledging just how un-American it is to try to make our nation a terrible place for most people and a great place for fascists.

Mikki Kendall is a writer from Chicago. Shehas written for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Ebony, Essence and other online and print publications.


On the Fourth of July, ask when patriotism became synonymous with selfishness - NBC News

Letters to the editor – The Economist

Jul 11th 2020

Your special report on the UN (June 20th) outlined several great fractures that could lead to worldwide bedlam. One scenario missing from the list is the possibility of China annexing Taiwan. This would confirm the UNs impotence. Just as America vetoes any resolution condemning Israel, China can veto any resolution condemning its actions, even if those actions are condemned by every other UN country.

Your call for a summit of the five permanent members of the Security Council is timely. But with at least four of those five showing little of the statesmanship that created the UN and much of the thuggery, self-interest and bloody-mindedness that could destroy it, few could have any confidence that such a gathering would resolve that, or any other, crisis.

Instead, it is time for we the people of the digital world to harness our borderless technologies to prevent delusional governments from pushing us into collective suicide through war, resource depletion or climate change. In this regard, the UN High-level Panel on Digital Co-operation, led by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, has a role in sorting out the new world disorder you speak of.

DAVID WOOLLCOMBEFounder and presidentPeace Child InternationalBuntingford, Hertfordshire

The digital era has enabled governments to engage in aggressive finger-pointing through social media, making calmer, less-public efforts at consensus-building more difficult. Yet the wider benefits of digital connections have not been fully explored by diplomats. A collective, virtual telediplomacy would work away from the glare of trolls and memes. If tele-education and telemedicine can bring mutual benefits through engagement, why not a permanent telediplomacy platform?

Leaders engage in diplomacy because it is to their advantage, to produce shared actions that meet shared interests. Platforms of diplomatic engagement do not evolve accidentally. We knew before covid-19 that the UN needed to reform; the pandemic has shown that diplomacy needs new options for constant real-time interaction.

PAUL HAREPardee School of Global StudiesBoston University

One cause of the UNs tragic mistakes in peacekeeping and other missions is the fact that it has immunity. This means that it conducts its operations without any accountability to the people whose lives it is directly affecting. Immunity does give the UN the necessary space to carry out its tasks, but there is no justification for it not to be accountable to those who are harmed by its actions. The responsibility for correcting this lack of answerability rests with the leadership of the UN Secretariat and its specialised agencies. They need to create an independent accountability mechanism with the authority to investigate complaints, report its findings directly to the secretary-general and to make the report publicly available.

This may be a big step for the UN but it is not unprecedented. Such independent accountability mechanisms have existed in many multilateral development banks for decades.

PROFESSOR DANIEL BRADLOWCentre for Human RightsUniversity of Pretoria

I read your article about which government department in Britain should allocate aid money (Will charity begin at home?, June 20th). The more critical question is, what happens to aid money when it reaches a poor country? Downing Street has proclaimed zero tolerance for corruption, and aid contracts normally contain anti-corruption clauses.

Our statistical analysis shows that aid money does affect corruption, but not in the direction those donors would like. Transparency Internationals Corruption Perceptions Index is 14 points lower in countries in which aid is the highest proportion of national income than in countries receiving no aid.

In addition to enriching senior politicians, foreign aid also encourages a culture of corruption at the grassroots. Where aid is most important, it increases the likelihood of individuals paying bribes for services, such as health care and education, by 18%.

PROFESSOR RICHARD ROSEUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgow

It is true that Olof Palme considered himself a democratic socialist and improved diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba (Who killed Olof Palme?, June 13th). He was also an opponent of the South African apartheid regime, his awareness of racial oppression a result of his travels in the American South as the first Swedish leader to receive a university education in the United States. But Palme was, like nearly all social democrats of his generation, a staunch anti-communist. He publicly criticised Swedish student radicals and elements in the labour movement in the 1960s for their naive support of communism. Indeed, he presided over an administration that controversially registered communist sympathisers through a branch of Swedish military intelligence (the IB Affair).

Palme did indeed oppose Americas war in Vietnam, referring rather bluntly to the Nixon government as bloody murderers in the wake of the Christmas bombing campaign of North Vietnam in 1972, but if anything his views on the North Vietnamese (and the Cubans) were rooted in a strong sense of the right of smaller nations to determine their own fate even in the shadow of superpowers, rather than any kind of pro-communist sentiment. This is why Palme was so strong in his denunciation of the Soviet Unions puppet states in eastern Europe.


Green investing* Your leader rightly tackles the importance of the global energy transition challenge and the nexus between capital investment, climate and energy systems developments ("The trouble with green finance", June 20th). Whilst pointing out that public discourse is often full of woolly thinking, marketing guff and bad data you omitted to say that the grand transition represents the largest capital reallocation in the history of mankind and that accelerating the process is not solely about new supply.

The World Energy Council has been using scenarios for almost two decades to navigate the disruption as usual nature of the grand transition era. Our latest covid-19 scenarios highlight that the human qualities of ambition and trust could be the determining factors in deciding the future of the global energy landscape and the direction and speed of the transition process.

Put simply, what degree of trust and ambition do investors, governments and, increasingly, other stakeholders have to address is the need to rethink resilience, enable sustained behavioural change and to move away from the single-issue and siloed quick-wins agenda? High-quality, inclusive and informed debatecovering the whole systems experience, analysis and co-operationwill play a critical role in shaping the energy landscape of the future.

ANGELA WILKINSONSecretary General and CEOWorld Energy CouncilLondon

Chinas casual approach to casualties it may have suffered reminded me of a story about the old communist regime (Death valley, June 20th). Perusing a mandarins feasibility study of a dam project, Mao Zedong underlined the reports sentence that Such measures would benefit the citizens, then scrawled a rhetorical question in the margin, What is a citizen? Appropriate demotion was swiftly meted out to the studys author.


I was amused by Johnsons survey of the pandemic panglossary (June 27th). Yet it struck me that a calendar term for this new epoch was missing. How else am I to refer to the normal days of having a drink: BC (Before Corona)? I am aware that this may mask an existing nomenclature, but we have to move with the times.


Though it may have become popular again during the pandemic, the word smizing was coined in 2009 by Tyra Banks on an episode of Americas Next Top Model. Credit where it is due.


Here in New York, people who refuse to wear masks or practise social distancing are known as coronassholes. And quite rightly, too.


* Letters appear online only

This article appeared in the Letters section of the print edition under the headline "On the UN, foreign aid, Olof Palme, green finance, China, coronaspeak"

See the original post:

Letters to the editor - The Economist

Anti-racism activists unhappy with process of Calgary’s hearings on systemic racism – CTV News

CALGARY -- Anti-racism groups say the City of Calgary should be ashamed of how its handling a public hearing on systemic discrimination.

There are more than 200 Calgarians registered to speak over the course of the hearing that has now extended into a third day, but many are concerned about a five-minute time limit to explain their story.

Shuana Porter, who is a member of the anti-racism group called United Black People Allyship (UBPA), has compared the hearing to herding in cattle and lumping every person of colour into one group. She says each ethnic group must be given a separate time to speak so the city can understand each persons unique experience of racism.

"We live in a community with thousands of Black individuals, but then theres the Indigenous community and the Asian community and they thought it was productive to have a two day hearing to hear the voice and the plight and trauma of thousands of people," she said.

"That alone shows intentions could never have been with the result of actually creating change. I had to sit in a room for seven hours to get five minutes to speak."

Porter adds that the UBPA is instead planning to hold its own town hall meeting without the requirement for anyone to register. The group plans to allow members to ask questions and create a poll to define a list of discriminatory issues the Black community faces.

"At the citys hearing they said they dont typically allow speakers to ask questions and that protocol alone goes against change.

"That system the city put in place for this hearing is the same system of racism and oppression because people get demotivated and discouraged and then they dont speak up and when they dont have a voice, you dont get the true essence of whats actually happening."

The Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation agrees. That CEO of that group, Iman Bukhari, started a petition which received more than 70,000 signatures, calling on council to take action.

"But we didnt want a hearing, we wanted consultation," Bukhari said. "Consultation involves working with the community and this is just rushed, there wasnt a website dedicated to this hearing, no one knows when theyre speaking and many people had less than a day to sign up."

Bukhari continued and said city councillors should be ashamed, adding that many city workers havent been properly trained on how to handle racism in the community.

"Council doesnt understand because their responses and reaction to racism are normal and the pain behind it needs to be focussed on," she said. "These are very serious and intense stories of police harassment and real trauma and the city doesnt even have mental health support on site."

Ward 6 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, who is co-chairing the hearing, admits the criticism is fair, but says 95 per cent of speakers have been allowed to go over the five-minute time limit and the city is more than willing to listen.

"We really are encouraging people to be respectful of the time and try to consolidate their thoughts and to meet that time limit but we are extremely and deeply understanding if they are unable to do so as they tackle a very difficult subject," Carra said.

"Whats critical about the work were doing here is that its a start and not just checking a box, that its a meaningful symbol thats leads to something and not just an empty performance."

Carra added that a panel of five experts are also supporting councillors to help them better understand whats going on in the community.

Dr. Melinda Smith is among the panelists and also co-chairs the hearing. She recently became a Canadian citizen and was named vice-provost of equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of Calgary.

Carra says now is the time for city hall to create real change.

"Were trying to balance bringing the Black Lives Matter protests in the street into the halls of government," he said. "Were saying that this is a government thats not here to systemically oppress you, but rather a government of, by and for everyone and including you and if its not for you it not for anyone."

Calgarys community and protective services committee hopes to finish hearing from all speakers Thursday. Their next step will be the formation of a city committee on anti-racism and a an action plan on how to create positive change moving forward.

Excerpt from:

Anti-racism activists unhappy with process of Calgary's hearings on systemic racism - CTV News

OPINION: We need to use our voices to stop systemic oppression – Red and Black

It begins with the systems the reinforcing systems, such as education, government, law enforcement and media. It begins with these influential institutions oppressing groups of people based on their identity while favoring members of the dominant group. Our systems are broken, still tinted by a painful past that we as a people, as a nation, must address by recognizing inequitable patterns and taking action to undo the systemic racism in our country. To do that, we need to use our voices by protesting and voting.

According to the National Equity Project, systemic oppression and its effects can be undone through recognition of inequitable patterns and intentional action to interrupt inequity and create more democratic processes and systems supported by multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual alliances and partnerships.

The recent protests in response to the death of George Floyd and police brutality have evolved into a nationwide movement against systemic racism. From big cities to small towns across the country and now the world, thousands of people gather and march to fight the broken systems and racial injustice in the United States. An article in the New York Times says these protests have achieved a scale and level of momentum not seen in decades.

Amidst the thousands of protesters, a particular sign stood out to me: The Power of the People is Stronger than the People in Power. The message comes from a memoir written by Wael Ghonim, a key figure behind the Egyptian uprising in 2011, that narrates how the power of crowds can create political change. These encouraging words are a reminder that we have the ability to translate our voices into action. Now more than ever, we must use that power by listening, learning and voting.

Across American streets and plazas, that power is amplified by protesters. During the protest in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday, June 6, Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement co-founder and rally leader Mokah Jasmine Johnson brought her 18-year-old daughter, Daelynn White, on stage to speak.

We are one of the most diverse nations, and our government does not look that way, White said. Educate yourself If yall arent voting, how is there going to be any change?

Voices are already being heard as the protests begin to initiate policy changes. House Democrats proposed a police reform package on June 8, which includes banning chokeholds and incentivizing state and local governments to conduct racial bias training for officers. On Monday in Georgia, the General Assembly re-opened with a bipartisan call to pass hate crimes legislation. However, with a president who criticizes protesters on Twitter and exerts control with threatening rhetoric, our country lacks the political leadership we need to change the broken systems.

It changes with the people the people who collectively act to interrupt and undo the systemic oppression in our country by peacefully protesting, listening and voting. We should not live in a system that oppresses people because of their racial identity. Keep lifting your signs and raising your voices because activism is seeping into action, and we as a people have the power to stop the injustice that bleeds from the cracks in our systems.

See the original post:

OPINION: We need to use our voices to stop systemic oppression - Red and Black

JOSHUA WONG: From Hong Kong to Black Lives Matter unity against oppression and police brutality – TheChronicleHerald.ca


Amid the ongoing pandemic and global unrest, earlier this month, we marked the one-year anniversary of the Hong Kong protest one that had started a chain of events such as global solidarity movements, many more mass demonstrations in the territory and the Chinese government cracking down on Hong Kong people.

The movement has proven one thing: Hong Kongers value their rights and freedoms more than anything. Many sacrificed their future or even their lives to fight for an ungraspable entity: freedom.

The story of the Hong Kong protest has marked the lives of many; it has changed our beliefs on how important democracy is. Indeed, there are also things that Hong Kong protesters can learn from the ongoing global Black Lives Matter solidarity protests.

On June 9, 2019, more than one million people went onto the streets of Hong Kong to demand the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill. The people of Hong Kong, including the territorys bar association, had used all of the means available to them, via petitions and protests, to thwart the passing of the bill.

Instead of withdrawing the bill or giving more time for reflection, the government insisted on pushing it through to a second reading at the legislative council at 11 p.m. on the day after the mass protest.

This fuelled the anger of the people and a protest two-million strong + 1 to remember one protester who had lost hope and committed sucide followed in late June, 2019.

Yet, in response, the Hong Kong government replied with police brutality and followed an ostrich policy. It spread propaganda against the protesters, instead of withdrawing the bill and setting up an independent inquiry committee to investigate police brutality.

Indeed, this matter has since then gone into a downward spiral, to the point where Beijing has bypassed the legislative council of Hong Kong to pass a national security law without any consultation.

Hence, the fall of the One Country, Two Systems policy that characterized Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, this has become an ongoing battle for Hong Kongers around the world, even if many have lost their homes and identities and soon emigrated.

Yet, during this movement, we have learned quite a bit among ourselves and others. We have learned that, no matter how wealthy Hong Kong is, freedom is priceless. We also learned that the rule of law and a credible police force matter, and democracy is important for it gives the people power to monitor and criticize their own government.

Without such checks and balances, we can see the consequences: no Hong Kong policemen were charged and dismissed because of their brutality, even though their actions were broadcast around the globe.

Indeed, as Hong Kong protesters became observers and allies during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, we saw how people stood valiantly together to fight for equity and equality. We also learned that the voices and actions of people could actually change the world. This power can make ill-behaved policemen face justice and promote a structural reform in society. This is the power of democracy, rights and freedoms.

This is also why these are priceless. Even though this might be our blindness and biases talking, it reminded us as Hong Kongers why we are still fighting, even though our cause has only a faint of hope of succeeding.

We urge all of you to continue to stand with us. Please continue to spread awareness via social media or write to your local member of Parliament about our situation, if you would. No matter how small in number we are and how far we are from Hong Kong here in Nova Scotia, please heed our call: cherish your voice and freedom while you still have it.

Joshua Wong lives in Halifax.

See the original post here:

JOSHUA WONG: From Hong Kong to Black Lives Matter unity against oppression and police brutality - TheChronicleHerald.ca

‘Fight for what is right’: One woman’s battle to keep a Confederate statue out of her community – ABC 57 News

(CNN) -- As Mae Hazelton walked along West Main Street in Tavares, Florida, in her Sunday best, painful childhood memories took over her.

Now 65, she remembered seeing crosses burning in the distance and drinking from a water fountain with signs that read "colored" and "white only." As she approached the Old Lake County Courthouse, the fear she felt as a girl walking those same streets rushed through her body.

"I think about the Black men that were beaten there and tortured there," Hazelton said.

But she also remembered her grandmother Nellie Virginia Burkes' wise words, "Fight... for what is right."

Hazelton has been in the fight of her life for the past two years.

It started in June 2018, when she learned that the statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith was scheduled to move from the US Capitol to the Old Lake County Courthouse.

That's the same courthouse where in 1949 four young African American men, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas -- known as the Groveland Four -- were accused of a crime they didn't commit, tortured and subjected to racially motivated oppression.

A memorial for the Groveland Four was erected outside the Old Lake County Courthouse last year, when the young men were posthumously pardoned.

"The brutality and injustice that these men endured resulted in the wrongful death of Mr. Thomas and Mr. Shepherd, and the unfair incarcerations of Mr. Irvin and Mr. Greenlee," the plaque on the memorial reads.

Standing by the memorial, Hazelton said that moving a Confederate statue into a government-owned building known for its racism and oppression against African Americans was just wrong.

"It's evil and wrong and we shouldn't have it here in our community," Hazelton said.

Determined to figure out how a Confederate statue with no link to Lake County could be moved into the community without public input, Hazelton and a group of residents formed a nonprofit organization called Lake County Voices of Reason. And they set off on a mission to uncover the truth.

They found that in June 2018, Bob Grenier, the curator of the Lake County Historical Society, requested and applied for the Kirby Smith statue to a Florida Department of State committee in Tallahassee.

In a video of the meeting available online through the Florida Channel, Grenier said he had been working to bring the statue to Lake County for two years. He said he had the support of all five Lake County Commissioners.

"I've got emails from them saying 'Go get it Bob. Get the statue, bring it back to Lake County,'" Grenier said from a podium.

A year ago, eight mayors, representing 146,165 residents -- or 40% of the population in Lake County -- wrote a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opposing the statue's arrival in their county.

"Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith had no connection to Lake County and his (statue's) presence would create a negative and hurtful message in our community," the letter read.

Kirby Smith was born in St. Augustine, located in St. Johns County, on May 16, 1824. His statue was moved to National Statuary Hall at the US Capitol in 1922. In 2019 DeSantis officially requested the Kirby Smith statue be replaced by a statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an African American civil rights activist and educator.

During a 2019 Lake County Board of County Commissioners meeting, residents spoke for and against the statue.

"As a descendent of Confederate veterans and slave owners, the least I can do to atone for the pain my family has caused them is to oppose this statue," Grace Arnold said.

"These statues only exist in a sick attempt to preserve human slavery," Choice Edwards said.

Commission Chair Leslie Campione defended the statue, saying the display would not glorify the man nor the Confederacy.

"It will describe Smith's military service and will tell about his career as a professor, as a botanist following the Civil War," Campione said. "And his friendship with Dr. Alexander Darnes, who became the first Black doctor in Jacksonville."

"Alexander Darnes was Kirby Smith's slave. Period," Hazelton said.

As news spread of Confederate statues tumbling across the US in the wake of George Floyd's death, Hazelton broke down in tears. But she wasn't defeated. She was ready to keep fighting.

"I will lay my body across the front of that [courthouse] and they will have to arrest me before they put the statue there," Hazelton said.

When asked what made her keep going, Hazelton said it was those wise words from her grandmother.

"My grandmother was illiterate, but my grandmother said, 'You fight,'" Hazelton said. "She said, 'You fight for what is right or you lay down for what's wrong.'"

A few days after CNN interviewed Hazelton and requested interviews with Campione and Grenier, which were denied, Campione had a change of heart during a public county commissioner meeting.

"I believe that this entire situation has created really unnecessary strife and division in our community and I know that it's harmed my relationship with some of my friends in the Black community," Campione said last Tuesday.

Hazelton was present at the meeting and says the tension in the room was palpable.

Finally, Lake County Commissioners announced a plan to ask Florida to find the statue a new home.

Hazelton says her voice was "sick with emotion" because "African Americans don't prevail a lot in Lake County" and that day, they had won the fight.

"We are in an inflection point in this country and it is painful. Commissioner Campione, I heard the pain in your voice this morning. Thank you," Hazelton said from the podium during the public comment period. "But nothing is as painful as staying at a point where you know that's not who we are."

The-CNN-Wire & 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Continued here:

'Fight for what is right': One woman's battle to keep a Confederate statue out of her community - ABC 57 News

Black Lives Matter is International: Where there is oppression, there will be resistance – Council On Hemispheric Affairs

By Roger D. HarrisFrom Corte Madera, California

The police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th was the spark that ignited the tinder of accrued injustice throughout the US and globally. This injustice has deep antecedents in the US and indeed in much of what is now called the Global South. There is a shared history of colonial conquest of the Indigenous and the abominable institution of the enslavement of African peoples.

What happened has its roots in systemic oppression that has resonated internationally. Just as the police suffocated George Floyd, US unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Zimbabwe, and nearly one third of humanity are designed to asphyxiate those nations which aspire to pursue an independent course.

International Movement Erupts

Defying coronavirus restrictions on public assembly, people are amassing in solidarity.

This historic alliance of the Movement for Black Lives with the oppressed abroad goes back to their 2016 founding document, which then characterized Israel as an apartheid state, condemned US backing for the settler genocide against Palestinians, and supported the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against Israel.

Linking Home and Abroad

The militarization of the US domestic police is bringing home the practices that the government perfected in suppressing popular expressions for self-determination abroad. The USs closest international partner, Israel, is a master of abusive police practices against its own Palestinian population. Development of those practices, partly funded by the US, are then imported back to the US. Over 100 Minneapolis police received training from Israeli law enforcement officers along with other police departments across the country.

Newsweek describes how Americas police became an army. Under the 1033 Program, military equipment is transferred to the domestic police, who are then mandated to use the equipment as a condition of the program.

While the police have been shooting rubber bullets and teargas at demonstrators in the homeland, the US military deployed a so-called Security Force Assistance Brigade to Colombia. As the worlds policeman, the US has some 800 formal military bases internationally; no other country has more than a handful of foreign bases.

Budgets for both domestic police and the US military are obscenely inflated and continue to grow, receiving bipartisan support. The Black Lives Matter movement questions whether either of these armed forces police and military truly serve or protect us. When Hurricane Katrina flooded poor African American neighborhoods in New Orleans, people were left to die stranded on rooftops while the police and the National Guard guarded private property.

Amid the current pandemic, ordinary people are experiencing punishing austerity with the worst yet to come. While the US Fed is doling out hundreds of billions of dollars daily at a 1/10 of one percent interest rate practically free money to the banks, the average US citizen is saddled with average credit card penalty interest rates of just under 30%. Who is doing the real looting?

Likewise, payments of unjust debt mostly accrued by US-backed military dictatorships to vulture capitalists from the US and other wealthy countries are stealing the livelihoods of the peoples of Argentina and other nations saddled with socially unsustainable debt burdens.

More people are behind bars in the US than anywhere else in the world, largely due to the so-called war on drugs, which in fact is a war on the most vulnerable and a pretext for the deployment of coercive means of social control. Black and brown people are targeted for arrest, adjudication, and imprisoned disproportionately compared to their numbers in the general population. The NAACP reports African Americans are imprisoned at five times the rate of whites. While poor communities in the US, particularly those of color, are suffering from the plague of drugs, the primary world source of cocaine is the US client state of Colombia and the primary world source of heroin is US-occupied Afghanistan.

Delegitimization of American Exceptionalism

President Obama unequivocally exclaimed: I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. In another speech, he proclaimed: [W]hat makes us the envy of the world[is] the fact that weve given everybody a chance to pursue their own true measure of happiness. Thats who we are.

Thats not who we are, and the chant no justice, no peace is exposing that to the world. American exceptionalism is the ideological construct used to extol American world leadership based on the vision that the US is uniquely just and therefore has an obligation to endow the rest of the world with its freedom. As George Floyds niece Brooke Williams asked, when has America ever been great?

The US leads the world in incarceration of its own people, in consumption of addicting illicit drugs, in military and police spending, and in foreign military bases. No one elected the US to impose its full spectrum dominance on the globe. With the internationalization of the Black Lives Matter movement, this justifying ideology is being challenged, delegitimizing the US imperial project.

The internationalization of the protests reflects an understanding that it is the same US imperialist knee on the neck at home and abroad. Martin Luther Kings indictment that the United States is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, rang true in 1967 and ever more so now. Appropriately, the movement around Black Lives Matter, which has engaged the popular classes in what Che called the belly of the beast, has taken international prominence signifying that where there is oppression, there will be resistance.

As activist and lawyer Mark P. Fancher observes, resistance is global. International solidarity among the oppressed has a long tradition and is gathering momentum based on the understanding there is one struggle for justice with many fronts. No justice, no peace is being heard around the world.

Roger D. Harris is Associate Editor at COHA and also part of the Task Force on the Americas, a human rights group working in solidarity with the social justice movements in Latin America and the Caribbean since 1985.

[Main photo-credit:Patricio Zamorano/COHA.org]

See the original post:

Black Lives Matter is International: Where there is oppression, there will be resistance - Council On Hemispheric Affairs

The government knows exactly what its doing by focusing on white working-class boys instead of anti-black racism – The Independent

In recent weeks, the central messages of the Black Lives Matter movement have been hijacked in mainstream media and political discourse. We're discussing issues that do nothing to address the inequalities that black people have been highlighting; debates have raged following the removal of statues of slave traders and the cancellation of racially offensive television shows; MPs have expressed their indifference towards the global push against anti-blackness.

I welcome discussions about what should and should not occupy our public spaces black Britons should not have to live their lives under the gaze of those who enslaved their ancestors but the focus on individual television shows and statues risks embroiling the Black Lives Matter movement in an unnecessary "culture war", diverting attention away from their central aim: the liberation of black lives through the dismantling of oppressive power structures.

The UK governments response to Black Lives Matter movement has been laughable. Instead of engaging with these issues in sincere ways, it has displayed a distinct lack of sensitivity and urgency.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, and his belief that the Black Lives Matter movement is simply born of "restlessness", or that taking a knee in support of it, is akin to "subjugation", or indeed that the act itself originates from Game of Thrones is just one, thoroughly disappointing example.

Boris Johnson's choice to order yet another commission on racial inequality the announcement of which was buried in a piece for The Telegraph about Winston Churchill and statues, laying bare the prime ministers priorities is another. And that's without mentioning the many other public figures in the UK who have contributed to the deluge of insensitive reactions to this resurgence of anti-racist campaigning.

How many more commissions and inquiries are required before the government takes decisive action? From the Lammy Review, Race Disparity Audit, Baroness McGregor-Smith review and the Independent review of the Windrush Scandal to name a few, we have had so many now that they are beginning to lose meaning. In three years, there have been eight reviews looking at the impact of race or racial inequality the government has created a culture of inquiries and inertia.

Previous reviews have provided a thorough overview of the racial inequalities that exist across various areas of British life. Why not act on those clear recommendations? Systemic racism is a matter of life and death; the governments inaction appears to be an attempt to kick the issue into the long grass.

In what seems to be another cynical ploy to minimise anti-black racism, Johnson has also made clear his intentions for the commission to focus on the disadvantages faced by white working-class boys. While there is no denying the disadvantages white working-class boys face, centring them in an inquiry that was set up to look at the issues of racial inequality at a time when anti-black racism is on the global agenda, will only serve to muddy the waters and conflate the issues faced by the different marginalised groups. There's also the glaring issue of the fact that problems faced by the white working class have very little to do with race, and much more to do with class itself. Nevertheless, it's a common device often framed by politicians and sections of media as the result of increased immigration or diversity, in an attempt to pit groups against each other.

Moreover, the racialisation of the working-class as exclusively white eliminates the experiences of other ethnic minority groups. This was evident during the media coverage and political debates in the lead up to the 2016 EU Referendum where there was a renewed focus on how one part of a cross-section of groups who've been affected by a mixture of austerity, Brexit, the hostile environment and now lockdown, were "left behind". As the Runnymede Trust's "Who Cares About The Working Class?" paper suggests, "By presenting the white working class in ethnic terms, as yet another cultural minority in a (dysfunctional) multicultural Britain, commentators risk giving a cultural reading of inequality, focusing on the distinctive cultural values of disadvantaged groups, rather than looking at the bigger picture of how systematic inequality generates disadvantage."

Protesters confront police in Whitehall near Parliament Square, London. The Democratic Football Lads Alliance and far-right organisations gathered to protect statues following Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Worldwide protests have taken place following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, who was killed on 25 May after an officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, while in police custody in the city of Minneapolis.


People threw bottles and other missles at police throughout the protests

AFP via Getty


A man kicks a barrier



Protests took place in other places in the UK, like Bolton




Many broke through barriers in attempts to reach Black Lives Matter protesters in Trafalgar Square



Protesters confront police in Whitehall near Parliament Square, London. The Democratic Football Lads Alliance and far-right organisations gathered to protect statues following Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Worldwide protests have taken place following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, who was killed on 25 May after an officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, while in police custody in the city of Minneapolis.


People threw bottles and other missles at police throughout the protests

AFP via Getty


A man kicks a barrier



Protests took place in other places in the UK, like Bolton




Many broke through barriers in attempts to reach Black Lives Matter protesters in Trafalgar Square



Including white working boys in a review on racial inequality, therefore, makes absolutely no sense, as they are not discriminated against on the basis of their whiteness. Britains history, let us not forget, is intimately tied to white supremacy and the anti-black systems of oppression that exist today can be traced back centuries to Britain too. Remember, the money borrowed to compensate slave traders for the Slavery Abolition Act was only paid off by taxpayers in 2015.

Worse yet, this new commission will be headed by Munira Mirza, the director of the No 10 Policy Unit, who is sceptical about the existence of structural racism. It will also reportedly be overseen by Kemi Badenoch, who, this month, also dismissed the extent of racism in the UK. But structural racism is not, as Mirza has claimed in the past, a perception more than a reality; it has been evidenced by the various audits and inquiries on racial inequality in recent years and by the lived experiences of ethnic minorities in the UK.

Instead of writing articles eulogising Winston Churchill, the prime minister should come up with a clear policy plan that seeks to make the radical changes we need.

Those on the sharp end of systemic racism and state violence are not concerned with the cancellation of television shows or further inquiries that will at best tell us what we already know. What we really want is the systems of oppression undergirded and sustained by white supremacy to be dismantled. Our lives matter, it cannot be right that black people are still being killed just because of the colour of their skin. We are sick of platitudes and demand action so things can change.

Go here to read the rest:

The government knows exactly what its doing by focusing on white working-class boys instead of anti-black racism - The Independent

COLUMN: Bravely warding off oppression – Gazette & Herald

I have mentioned before that as my dad was a devout Catholic, we girls were educated at the Bar Convent in York. We were taught how important Mary Ward was in our schools story, but to be honest, back then the teenage me didnt really appreciate just what a brave pioneer she was.

She was born in Ripon in 1585 at a time when girls were not educated and it was extremely dangerous to be a practising Catholic. She wasnt afraid to stand up for what she believed in, a trait which ran in the family. Two of her maternal uncles, John and Christopher Wright, were shot in 1605 for their involvement in the Gunpowder Plot to overthrow Protestant King James I and his government.

Mary has been described as a typical Yorkshire woman, being straight-talking and determined, yet blessed with unshakeable good humour. Her faith meant everything to her, and although she wanted to be a nun, she hated the idea of having to live a quiet, contemplative life, which was the only option available.

She sought the kind of existence enjoyed by her male counterparts which was serving God by travelling the world, teaching and spreading the faith. She entered an enclosed convent in Flanders but within a couple of years the charismatic Ward had gathered round her a supportive band of women and in 1609, at the tender age of 24, she established her own religious institution and began openly teaching local girls.

Her school was immediately popular, and over time Mary established schools and communities all over Europe. The Catholic establishment was outraged and declared her a heretic, and she was even imprisoned for nine weeks, and yet she remained undeterred.

On her release, she secured an audience with the progressive Pope Urban VIII and her impassioned plea to allow nuns to practice the ministry in the open, and to educate girls, won him over. She was cleared of heresy and even allowed to set up a school in Rome itself.

Ill health brought Mary back to York in 1639, and she died in 1645. She left behind a band of followers eager to continue her legacy. Such a person was Frances Bedingfield, another very brave woman who in 1686 built a school on land just outside York city walls.

It was still a very dangerous time to be a Catholic and the house was designed in such a way as to disguise the activities going on within. To blend in outside the convent, instead of wearing habits, the nuns wore plain grey dresses which were the fashion of the day. Nevertheless, the school was raided several times by the authorities, and Frances Bedingfield was even imprisoned for her actions.

The beautiful chapel that lies at the heart of what is now the Bar Convent Museum was built in 1769 at a time when Catholic places of worship were still illegal.

Eight exits were included in the design should the congregation need to flee in a hurry, and its beautiful domed ceiling was hidden by a plain slate roof. From the outside, it was impossible to see that a chapel was there at all.

Another unique feature was a priest hole, hidden under the floor so that the celebrant could hastily conceal himself should it ever be necessary. The priest hole is still there and can be seen by visitors to the chapel.

Priest holes began to appear in the latter part of the 16th century when the penalty for shielding a Catholic priest was death, as my dad mentions in his column from June 21, 1980.

It was an era when many great houses were built, extended or modernised, and wealthy Catholics seized the opportunity to incorporate secret hiding places behind walls, wooden panelling and even within the chimneys of their huge inglenook fireplaces.

There is a priest hole at Ripley Castle, near Harrogate, which has been home to the Catholic Ingilby family for the past 700 years, and yet it was so well concealed that it was only discovered in 1963 while the building was being inspected for death watch beetle.

Id like to give the last word to the courageous lady who sparked this piece, Mary Ward. She was several centuries ahead of her time when she declared in 1617: I hope in God it will be seen that women in time will do much.

Read more at countrymansdaughter.com. Follow me on Twitter @countrymansdaug

Read more here:

COLUMN: Bravely warding off oppression - Gazette & Herald

Opinion: Canada has an unused card up its sleeve against China: our immigration system – The Globe and Mail

Protesters waves flags in a shopping mall during a demonstration in Hong Kong on June 15, 2020.

Vincent Yu/The Associated Press

Robert Falconer is a research associate in immigration and refugee policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Ai-Men Lau is a communications officer at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Canada is limited in the ways it can respond to the bully tactics of larger countries such as the Peoples Republic of China. Yet as it confronts Chinas heavy-handed attempt to quash the autonomy it had promised Hong Kong, Ottawa is not without levers of influence. One policy tool that Canada should immediately deploy is our immigration, refugee and asylum system.

As governments worldwide closed their countries borders, and as the United Nations suspended its refugee program, a more subtle trend emerged: an uptick in the number of Hong Kongers claiming asylum. According to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, 25 Hong Kongers have claimed asylum in the first three months of 2020; unofficial sources suggest the number may be as high as 46. While thats still a relatively small number, it represents a six-year high for Canada in just three months. Regardless of the choices Canada makes, we are likely to see record-high levels of people from Hong Kong fleeing here to seek refuge when international travel fully resumes.

Story continues below advertisement

Our asylum system is particularly well-suited to receiving claims from Hong Kong. It includes the ability to streamline cases from countries with well-established human-rights abuses, where asylum seekers have reliable forms of identification, and where the evidence is not ambiguous regarding the risks they face for holding an adverse political opinion or for opposing the current government.

Choosing to welcome those seeking asylum is not only the right thing to do but has practical benefits as well. It might seem odd to make a utilitarian argument in favour of asylum, and indeed, if all policy-makers and politicians were angels, such a justification would not be necessary. But there is a compelling case to be made for a renewed Canadian foreign policy that considers the role immigration and refugee status plays in our national security and response to foreign competitors. As the Peoples Republic seeks to impose its will on Hong Kong, an open refugee policy is one that permits Hong Kongers to vote with their feet between an oppressive China or an open Canada.

The decision to welcome Hong Kongers as part of a robust foreign policy is not without precedent. Conservative governments in the 1970s and 80s understood that an open-door policy was one that would attract those with the greatest levels of dissatisfaction in the Soviet bloc. The arrival of refugees and immigrants during that time strengthened our economies and added linguistic diversity and cultural understanding to our law enforcement, military and intelligence communities.

The same applies to Hong Kongers and mainland Chinese fleeing oppression. Indeed, combatting the possibility of intellectual-property theft and industrial espionage is far more likely to be aided, rather than hampered, by recruiting from a population that shares similar cultural and linguistic characteristics and understands the methods of potential competitors. Above all, welcoming Hong Kongers aligns with Canadian democratic traditions standing against tyranny and welcoming the oppressed.

Granting asylum to Hong Kongers fleeing persecution from Beijing should not be a difficult task for this government, either. While the Trudeau government has shifted its tone regarding Canadas relationship with China, it has faltered when asked whether Canada will accept refugee claimants from Hong Kong. In contrast, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that Britain will allow 2.8 million Hong Kongers to live and work in Britain if China implements its national-security law on the former British colony. In response, the Chinese Communist Party regime has threatened Britain with vague consequences if it continues to meddle in an internal affair.

Granting asylum to Hong Kongers will force the federal government to recognize the well-established truth that China is a hostile actor, and doing so will signal to both the international community and China that Canada acknowledges that hard truth. Dealing with China is not a risk- or cost-free interaction. There are no other options, aside from total silence, that will not draw retaliation from Beijing, and it should be expected if Canada decides to grant asylum to claimants from Hong Kong. But the government needs to accept this reality, recognize the risks and rethink how to move forward. Granting asylum to Hong Kongers seeking to flee persecution is not only the right thing to do it is the Canadian thing to do.

For a government that prides itself on the principles of championing human rights, our inaction on Hong Kong remains a persistent dark stain.

Story continues below advertisement

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday urged opponents of Beijing's plan to impose national security legislation in the financial hub to stop "smearing" the effort, saying those who did were "the enemy of the people". Reuters

Keep your Opinions sharp and informed. Get the Opinion newsletter. Sign up today.

See more here:

Opinion: Canada has an unused card up its sleeve against China: our immigration system - The Globe and Mail

The state is trying to co-opt Black and Muslim women’s struggle – don’t be fooled – Middle East Eye

Recent revelations that the British government has been covertly diffusing its counterterrorism propaganda through the empowerment of women of colour on social mediais yet another reminder of where interests lie when it comes to the state.

When it feigns interest in the liberation of the oppressed, it is always, in one way or another, a ploy to further that oppression in a new way. This is yet another cautionary tale, and a reminder that we can only free ourselves by defeating the structures that oppress us.

Stoosh, an online space with both a Facebook page and Instagram account, was created in March 2017 by the communications company Breakthrough Media. While it presented itself as a social justice-minded platform for women of colour, it was contracted by a unit within the Home Office known as the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT).

Scrolling through and watching some of the short videos uploaded to Stooshs social media platforms, one is overwhelmed by the superficiality of its content. Each discussion that delves into the issues faced by women of colour, and particularly Muslim women, are incredibly shallow. They appear as an attempt at a sort of subconscious civilising mission - reinforcing good behaviour and punishing bad.

Depoliticised, interfaith-esque chat on inter-religious marriages, check! Vacant references to inspiring, good Muslim role models such as Malala Yousafzai, who confront barbaric Islamic terrorism, check! Examples of Western Muslim women taking on brown and Muslim patriarchy across their homelands, from Iran to Afghanistan, check! Calling out explicitly Muslim slut-shaming, check! The list goes on.

The entire set-up is a slick attempt at shaping the so-called ideal British Muslim identity

There is even an attempt to cover rising Islamophobia targeted at women after the Finsbury Park mosque attack, when the far-right inspired Darren Osborne drove a van into worshippers, taking the life of Makram Ali and injuring many more. Absent is any engagement with structural questions, such as the role of government policies in igniting the flames of hatred that embolden fascists and racists to take to the streets, where they physically and verbally attack Muslim women.

The entire set-up is a slick attempt at shaping the so-called ideal British Muslim identity. The diversity of those involved, the co-option of language - including use of the patois word stoosh (meaning superior) - and the use of famous figures from political and cultural platforms could fool anyone into thinking this was a space set up by and for young women of colour.

But thats just it - you would be forgiven for making such an assumption if you avoided delving too deeply into the content, or putting it into context.

The messaging mobilises a superficial language of empowerment. Given the centrality of this vacuous approach to so much media coverage and equality and diversity work that we find plaguing every place of employment, education and public service, it is easy to be taken in by it.

Yet, it is impotent in opposing oppression, because it fails to engage the violent history out of which it emerges - and it silences the necessary rage needed to fight racism, gendered Islamophobia and misogyny. The depoliticised nature of Stoosh is symptomatic of all areas of work delivered by our government in the name of helping the most marginalised.

UK counter-terror programme targeted BAME women using Instagram influencers

More unnerving than the whitewashing of the states own role in the oppression of Muslim women and women of colour, and even the co-option of their struggles, is the Home Office using this group to control expressions of resistance.

It reinforces the old racist trope and colonial strategy of women of colour being merely vessels for the policing of their community, the imposition of state-sanctioned narratives, and the disorganisation of liberation struggles.

Not dissimilar to imperialist white saviour missions across the Middle East, these practices highlight the foundations of the counter-extremism agenda. The state functions with little to no transparency, let alone scrutiny, and defends its interventions as noble, seeking to free Muslim women.

In reality, this is all predicated on the belief - which British imperialism and its institutions, such as the Home Office, accuse backwards Global South nations of having - that Muslim women and women of colour have no agency, and should they attempt to apply any, cannot be left to their own devices.

It flies in the face of the professed goal of the Stoosh Facebook page to promote a safe online environment for young women to tell their stories, taking ownership of their own narrative.

With Black Lives Matter uprisings around the globe, and as calls for justice and reparations against the wealthy and powerful continue to mount, we must be even more vigilant of state attempts to co-opt our movements. Thechallenges for radical anti-racism are also a battle over language, narrative and analysis. Our refusal to let the struggles of the most oppressed be packaged and sold by corporations, or institutionalised and depoliticised by the state, should be total.

As Nisha Kapoor, author of Deport, Deprive, Extradite: 21st Century State Extremism, warned: In a world where politics is increasingly mediated via surveillance technologies, we should be very attentive to the ways in which government is using covert methods to discipline, manipulate and control the behaviour of young black women. Its ultimate intent is to promote ignorance, encourage docility and quash dissent.

This is also yet another reason for social justice movements, groups and individuals to strengthen broad coalitions that allow for the sharing of information, as well as methods of resistance

This is also yet another reason for social justice movements, groups and individuals to strengthen broad coalitions that allow for the sharing of information, as well as methods of resistance - especially given that this is not a first for the Home Office, which also used a platform known as This Is Woke.

The Home Office and its OSCT unit can try to rebrand the face and quotes of Angela Davis, but the very politics that saw her branded a terrorist by the US state, arrested, forced into hunger strike, and attacked throughout her life, teaches us to dismantle the counter-extremism apparatus - and the state that pushes it - in its entirety.

She taught us, and continues to teach us, that our liberation is only delivered through the systematic, difficult and unpopular method of grasping things at the root.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Read the rest here:

The state is trying to co-opt Black and Muslim women's struggle - don't be fooled - Middle East Eye

Zoom Will Offer End-to-End Encryption for All Users – Infosecurity Magazine

Zoom has reversed its controversial decision to restrict access to end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for some users and will now offer the feature to customers of both its free and premium services.

The video conferencing app said it had consulted with rights groups, child safety advocates, government representatives, encryption experts and its own CISO council to gather feedback.

We are also pleased to share that we have identified a path forward that balances the legitimate right of all users to privacy and the safety of users on our platform, the firm's CEO Eric Yuan said in a blog post yesterday.

This will enable us to offer E2EE as an advanced add-on feature for all of our users around the globe free and paid while maintaining the ability to prevent and fight abuse on our platform.

Users of the free service will be required to authenticate in a one-off process with information such as their phone number, in order for the platform to reduce the mass creation of abusive accounts, Yuanadded.

The news came as rights groups, tech firms and internet users petitioned the firm to reverse its policy on E2EE.

They argued that E2EE is too important to be a premium feature, especially in the context of global protests against racial injustice and government oppression. The technologyprotects activists, journalists and other vulnerable parts of the population from government repression and surveillance, as well as from cyber-criminals, they said.

The campaigners also argued that want to disguise any malicious intent or illegal activity can simply pay for the premium service.

Yuan was reported saying on an analyst call earlier this month that the firm would not be offering free users E2EE because we also want to work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose.

Mozilla welcomed the news. The tech non-profit,which wrote an open letter to Zoom earlier in the week signed by tens of thousands of internet users, argued that E2EE should always be the default setting, not a luxury.

We're heartened that Zoom listened to consumers, especially at a time when millions of people are relying on the platform to stay connected amid the pandemic and to organize in support of Black lives, it said in a statement.

Zooms decision is part of an emerging trend: Consumers are demanding more of the technology products and services they use every day. And companies are changing their products to meet these demands.


Zoom Will Offer End-to-End Encryption for All Users - Infosecurity Magazine

There’s a Petition Asking Tennessee Officials to Replace Confederate Monuments With Dolly Parton Statues – HouseBeautiful.com

As protests continue across the U.S. in response to the murders of Black Americans, numerous statues and monuments linked to racism or oppression have either been removed by officials or taken a hit by protestors. In Tennessee, as in many other states, residents are currently asking for the removal of several Confederate statues. Some folks are even going as far as to ask for these statues to be replaced with one particular Tennessee icon: Dolly Parton.

A petition circulating on Change.org started by user Alex Parson asks that all Confederate statues in the state be replaced with Dolly Parton statues. The petition, which has almost met its signature goal of 15,000, will be sent to Governor Bill Lee, the Tennessee State House, and the Tennessee State Senate. Parson explains that the state is littered with monuments exalting Confederate officers, noting that "history should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise." He suggests that the state swap out these statues in order to "honor a true Tennessee hero," Ms. Dolly Parton. As you may already know, the 74-year-old country singer was born and raised in Tennessee and still currently resides in the state. Tennessee is also home to her highly popular amusement park, Dollywood.

The petition goes on to explain why Parton is the perfect candidate: Parson notes that over the years, Parton has given millions of dollars to charities and organizations alike. Not only that, but her own foundation, the Dollywood Foundation, has provided books and scholarships to millions of American children. Most recently, the crooner donated $1 million to coronavirus research and started reading virtual bedtime stories to kids during the pandemic. "Dolly Parton has given more to this country and this state than those confederate officers could ever have hoped to take away," the petition reads.

Many folks praised the idea in the petition's comment section. One user wrote "We need more statues of female trailblazers. And Dolly Parton is an incredible person!" Another added, "As a direct descendant of a Confederate general, I feel it's time for a change. We need to put racism behind us." While many seem enthusiastic about the idea, the fate of the statues ultimately lie in the hands of the Tennessee government. Let's hope they're bigger fans of Jolene than the Confederacy.

Want to learn more about statue removal? Read this preservationist's guide here.

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.

Visit link:

There's a Petition Asking Tennessee Officials to Replace Confederate Monuments With Dolly Parton Statues - HouseBeautiful.com

One Million Man March celebrates Juneteenth with marching band and singing – Columbia Chronicle

Hundreds of protesters stand at Daley Plaza to celebrate Juneteenth with live music, speeches and dancing.

Celebratory music from a marching band playing When the Saints Go Marching In could be heard from blocks away while close to a thousand protesters with vibrant signs for the One Million Man March made their way north on Dearborn Street to celebrate Juneteenth.

Ashley Michelle Munson, the lead organizer of the march held Friday, June 19, said she celebrates Juneteenth because it commemorates Black liberation. But she added that there is more work to be done because Black people are only free-ish in America, a reference to the ABC television show, Black-ish.

Today we are here to not only commemorate Juneteenththe day that marks the emancipation of all slaves in the Confederacywe are here to [take] a stand, she said.

The event started from 701 S. State St. and ended at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St. Friday was the official Juneteenth celebration, but other events were held across the city throughout the weekend.

Perla Vargas, an occupational therapy student at Lewis University said growing up in a small town of about 1,200 people, she was not taught Black history and learned about Juneteenth only a few years ago.

Vargas said she wants to be a part of the change in how the country addresses race relations and give a voice to those who could not physically attend the march.

A lot of people see posts and theyre like, Oh, just because I shared it, thats enough, but you have to be able to understand the background of that , Vargas said.

Juneteenthofficially celebrated on June 19celebrates the day the last enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas learned of their liberationmonths after the Civil War ended and two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863.

However, Juneteenth is not an official federal holiday, nor is it a state or city holiday in Chicago. Alderperson Maria Hadden (49th Ward) introduced legislation to make it an official holiday in November 2019.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to the proposal in a virtual Chicago City Council meeting Wednesday, June 17, and said the city could not afford to add an additional paid holiday. Rather, Lightfoot said, the city would honor and recognize the day and celebrate African American freedom and achievement, as reported by WTTW June 17.

In a Friday, June 19 press conference, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he would work with the Illinois General Assembly to make Juneteenth an official state holiday. In his Juneteenth proclamation, Pritzker ordered all flags under state jurisdiction to fly at half-staff and urged Illinois residents to reflect on our history and our future.

Also on Friday, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and other elected officials marched from Roosevelt and Columbus drives to Grant Park to celebrate the day.

In addition to demanding Juneteenth become an official holiday, Munson said she is pushing for equity in the education system and community investments, passing the Civilian Police Accountability Council ordinance and seeking reparations from the federal government among other social justice reforms.

She said the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and its proximity to Juneteenth has pushed Black people to come together to move forward and unite for greater strength.

Black people are tired, quite frankly, and so this is a culmination of people being tired and fed up, Munson said. This is a culmination of people from diverse backgrounds coming together for one simple reasonbecause Black lives matter.

Nadjah McLaurin, a recreational therapist and Naperville resident who attended the march with Vargas, said she attended the march to advocate for herself and the many other Black, Indigenous and people of color, or BIPOC, who continuously face abuse and oppression by the government.

Im fighting for my own life, fighting for my friends life, my familys life, she said. [Im] standing up for people who also dont have a voice that cant speak no more because of police brutality and oppression.

McLaurin said it is not Black peoples duty to educate others about racism. Instead, allies should take initiative and inform themselves. She also said there are many resources like books, podcasts and movies that can help.

Englewood resident Tanisha Peoples, one of the speakers at the march, said true liberation is colorblind, gender blind and label blind. But in order to reach full equality, she said White people need to be willing to sacrifice some of their privileges for Black people.

We got to make Black lives matter, she said. Black lives dont matter in America because talk is cheap, but history got receipts.


One Million Man March celebrates Juneteenth with marching band and singing - Columbia Chronicle

VIDEO: They have a fear of being counted: Local advocates hope to ease anxiety over Census – Long Beach Post

Through mariachi, old-school cars, food and raffles, a local organization popped up in a West Long Beach neighborhood on Saturday morning to remind residents to fill out the 2020 census.

Dubbed Dads and Grads: Census Caravan, the event drew a few dozen people on Canal Avenue and Summit Street after a brief car caravan nearby Cabrillo High School, an immigrant community that has been historically undercounted.

I know that this area, because of the challenges of poverty and violence and suppression and oppression in this community, they have fear of being counted, they have fear of government, said Jessica Quintana, executive director of Centro CHA.

Organizers of the event, Centro CHA, a non-profit Latino human and social service agency, said that they also wanted to celebrate the Fathers Day weekend and the recent graduates of 2020.

To fill out the census, visit 2020census.gov.

View original post here:

VIDEO: They have a fear of being counted: Local advocates hope to ease anxiety over Census - Long Beach Post

Sikh Community and Others Push for the City to Remove Gandhi Statue from Central Park – The Peoples Vanguard of Davis

Across the country, we are seeing protesters and jurisdictions taking down statues of figures that are racist symbols, everything from confederate generals to Columbus. But the protesters on Saturday at Central Park in Davis, largely from the Sikh community and totaling perhaps 50 or so, acknowledged that the legacy of Gandhi is more complicatedas he is viewed as a human rights symbol.

But to them hes not. As the community learned during the debate over the Central Park Gandhi Statue in 2016, the international symbol of non-violence protest and peace is viewed very differently by the Sikh communityto them he is their tormenter, with a legacy of racism, castes, and even sexual abuse.

American needs to come together, we have seen so much suffering, one of the organizers said. One of the symbols that stands in this park is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi commonly called Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi has never set foot in America. Yet his statues are dawned in every city from San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, you name it. Most prime real estate are lined with the statues of Gandhi.

The mythological Gandhi, propagated by Hollywood and the propaganda by India, is a far cry from the actual Gandhi he explained.

It was four years ago that an effort to bring in the statue produced multiple meetings and countless hours of debate and discussion with the Davis City Council before the majority finally approved it.

Peter Fredrick explained in great detail the actual history of Gandhi. He noted that all over the country, statues that represent the glorification of slaveholders should be taken down. He said, There is at least one useful thing about these statues, at least they stand for what we expect. They symbolize what they are intended to symbolize.

What you see is what you get, he said, a statue of a racist.

But he said we face a more complicated journey when we are confronted by statues of people who, we are told, represent the justice, quality and peace and yet actually and in fact represented the exact opposite.

He noted that for Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, the basis for their non-violent resistance was based on Gandhis ideas and vision.

Thus we are told the face of Black liberation from the United States to South Africa owes its various existence to Gandhi, he said. The 1982 film Gandhi is the vision most people in this country have of him, but he said what is less well known is that the Indian Government funded the film

Fredrick noted that at the same time India was funding these projects and readying to install hundreds of statues of Gandhi around the world, they were supporting genocide and ethnic violence against religious and ethnic minorities in India.

The violent and supremacist rulers of that country today use Gandhi-plomacy or propa-gandhi as a foreign policy weapon to conceal their atrocities and divert attention from their constant and most egregious violations of human rights.

He pondered, What if Gandhi has been able to whitewash the (Indian Government) atrocities because Gandhi himself has been whitewashed?

Fredrick said, The hard fact of the matter is that Gandhi was actually the champion of inequality. He said, Gandhis anti-black racism is widely acknowledged today although rarely closely examined and often quickly excused.

Gandhi as Fredrick explained lived in South Africa for 21 years, spending a huge portion of his professional life there, only returning to India at the age of 45.

When he was there, he said a lot of racist things, Fredrick said. A lot of very racist things.

He referred to Black Africans as savages and said they are very lazy and of no use.

He added, Gandhi didnt just say racist things, Gandhi demanded segregation. He joined the white colonizers in a war to exterminate Black freedom fighters.

Moreover, he argued, Gandhi never changed, saying it was not just a young and immature Gandhi who harbored these thoughts. But Fredrick rejected this, noting this was an extremely well educated man in his thirties and forties. Moreover, he never acknowledged his words and when he returned to India, he continued to push for the caste system.

He said, Gandhi moved back to India and switched from promoting racism to promoting casteism.

Among the other speakers was Dillan Horton, running for the Davis City Council.

He noted that his family members are the decedents of Central Texas slaves, so Juneteenth has a deep meaning in my family.

On the Gandhi issue, he said, This should be an easy issue for the city of Davis. He said, There is a statue right behind me of an anti-black segregationist. He added, He set up multiple systems of oppression in multiple countries.

He noted, Most people in Davis if you ask them will say that doesnt represent my valuesyet the statue is here.

The statue has to come down, its the only thing thats consistent with our values, he said. Obviously we are here today because we dont have the leadership in our city thats given it to us. The statue has been here for four yearswhen the statue was put here in the first place, it was protested by people in the community. Protested by people all across the state. Yet the statue is here.

Leaders of the community have been dismissed and rebuffed when they have tried to have conversations about whether the statue is consistent with our communitys values has arisen.

Obviously this is not going to change with your current city leadership, Horton said. He noted that the city council election will be on the ballot along with the presidential election, and he quipped, We have a mayor right now who is the most unabashedly pro-police person on the current Davis City Council.

He added, He is a person who has been willing to sign a blank check to expanded policing and reduced police accountability every chance they got.

In August of 2016, there was a long contentious council meeting on the issue of the statue. In February that year, the council on consent voted to accept a Gandhi statue, donated from the Indian government for a placement in Central Park.

But it was then-Mayor Robb Davis and Mayor Pro Tem Brett Lee that brought the item back for consideration.

They ended up losing that vote 3-2, where Will Arnold, Lucas Frerichs and Rochelle Swanson voted to oppose reconsideration.

David M. Greenwald reporting

To sign up for our new newsletter Everyday Injustice https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9

See the original post here:

Sikh Community and Others Push for the City to Remove Gandhi Statue from Central Park - The Peoples Vanguard of Davis

Why business schools can’t return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic – World Economic Forum

Encouraged by a decline in COVID-19 cases, governments around the world are starting to restore normalcy after months of lockdown. This emphasis on returning to normal has sparked debate, with some commentators arguing that a simple reset would underestimate the growing economic anxiety and social unrest thats been mounting since the 2008 financial crisis.

In December, a Washington Post piece called 2019 the year of the street protest. A return to normal could lead to further protests against neoliberalism and halt any hopes of near-term economic recovery. More recent protests against racial inequality, which began in the US and quickly prompted global outcries against the oppression of Black communities, further confirm that the old normal isnt enough.

As a result, entire sectors need to reimagine a more equitable post-COVID world order. This includes business schools, which train the very talent required to steward a more inclusive economy.

Business schools are no strangers to adaptation. In 2008, many schools made efforts to revamp the curriculum, most notably by adding courses on ethics, social impact, and sustainability in response to growing speculation about the ideas financial executives involved in the crisis were exposed to at business schools. Still, while well intended, these changes proved insufficient.

Today, the world reconciles with even deeper levels of inequality. Real wage growth has declined since 2008, fueling much discontent with economic elites who have seemingly failed to correct fractured economic systems.

As the world braces for the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, business schools must go beyond offering peripheral courses on ethics and sustainability and instead integrate discussions into the curriculum that cut across class lines and examine the limits of shareholder capitalism.

Highlighting issues from unsafe labour practices to the absence of paid sick leave, COVID-19 is exacerbating class inequalities and exposing the deterioration of worker power.

However, business education is almost exclusively couched under the ideals of fiscal conservativism, which favours lower taxes and reduced government expenditure. Studies have found that economics students lean favourably to this world view.

And while graduate classes discuss the inadequate representation of women and minorities on corporate boards, there is little to no mention of issues that cut across class lines. Specifically, there are virtually no discussions related to minimum wage, labour unions, or how declining corporate tax revenue has fed into the decade-long austerity measures that have devastated working class communities in Europe and the US, many of which are still weathering the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. This is in stark contrast to the rising number of global protests, from the yellow vest movement in France to demonstrations across Latin America sustained by a shared sense of worker injustice.

By unwittingly creating parameters around thought and discussions, business schools predictably churn out graduates who lack the critical thinking and creativity required to reimagine fractured economic systemsand who are unable to reconcile with Einsteins famous words: No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.

By unwittingly creating parameters around thought and discussions, business schools predictably churn out graduates who lack the critical thinking and creativity required to reimagine fractured economic systems.

Business schools have long been criticized for promoting shareholder primacy. Harvard Business School Professor Rakesh Khurana argues that this problem dates back to the 1970s, when market fundamentalism took hold of business education. He posits that business schools bear responsibility for prioritizing shareholder primacy, arguing that the new logic of shareholder primacy absolved management of any responsibility for anything other than financial results.

A 2011 Brookings survey found that business school graduates are more likely to see shareholder value as the most important goal of the corporation. By perpetuating this viewpoint, business schools inadvertently validated excess greed and misconduct in the minds of budding young students who might not otherwise part ways with the ethical lapses of shareholder primacy.

In 2020, business is shifting away from shareholder primacy toward a more inclusive role in societyor stakeholder capitalism, the theme of the 50th Annual Meeting in Davos. The spread of COVID-19 has led to debates about what the new normal should look like, with some commentators arguing for an entirely new economic system. Sara Pantuliano, who heads the Overseas Development Institute, believes we wont get back to normal because normal was the problem, while UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres argues the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy. In perhaps the boldest call to action, the editorial team of the Financial Times pressed for radical reformssuch as basic income and wealth taxes.

This shift in sentiment will inevitably shape the role of business in the years to comeand will require business schools to similarly revamp their teachings to reflect this new world order. This means going beyond merely offering courses on ethics, sustainability, and social impact to integrating stakeholder capitalism principles into the curriculum. And this would require business schools to more openly speak about power, a concept that former U.S. Labour Secretary Robert Reich said business schools typically shy away from.

By shying away from power, business schools shifted the study of economics away from the political economywhich examines how economic principles intersect with government and societyin favor of a more neoclassical form largely divorced from reality and lending itself to highly inequitable outcomes.

Take, for example, the economic crash of 2008, which few economists saw coming and led many to question the substance of neoclassical economics. In the decades leading up to the crisis, the banking and financial sector lobbied the government to water down safeguards that would otherwise limit the impact of risky banking bets. This eventually amounted to millions losing their pensions and homes, with little to no accountability. The lens under which economics is currently studied is simply unable to account for this and is even less adept at fixing it. Mainstream economics is woefully ignorant to the growing influence and power of the private sector in government and how it shapes economic outcomes.

Practically, business schools should emphasize success metrics that span beyond stock prices and profit maximization. Alone, these metrics deflect critical attention away from the adverse implications of tax evasion, government subsidies, and other efforts that might lend to greater stock prices but cripple the capacity of public institutions and exacerbate economic inequity.

Furthermore, these schools can play a critical role in curating success metrics that account for worker rights and protections, such as health insurance, paid sick leave, and childcare, and that identify the misuse of corporate power. There is a clear role for business schools to advance metrics that acknowledge the intimate relationship between business, government, and society.

Following the 2008 financial meltdown, governments around the world sought to introduce regulations to limit the prospect of another crisis. However, these safeguards have since been watered down, leaving the global economy at risk of another shock. Anger toward the political and economic establishment has neared a point of no return, as communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19and racial injusticetake to the streets to demand greater action against centuries-old oppressive structures. Now, the world is facing an even larger economic downturn, the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Depression.

As academics attempt to diagnose the cause of economic anxiety, they are sometimes undermined by business schools, which unwittingly perpetuate the economic anxieties they seek to understand. And as the argument to bulldoze the business school becomes mainstream, now more than ever schools need to reflect on their core tenets. Doing so would acknowledge the societal impacts of business decisions and present measures that could meaningfully save democracies facing existential risks posed by the rise in economic populism.

This article was first published by Harvard Business Publishing.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with our Terms of Use.

Written by

Abdullahi Alim, lead for the World Economic Forums Global Shapers community in Africa,

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

See original here:

Why business schools can't return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic - World Economic Forum

Why do we gather? To pull a more just and beautiful future towards us – The Spinoff

The force that underpins the oppression of African Americans is the same force that underpins the oppression of Mori and Pasifika, writes Laura OConnell Rapira.

In honour of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and every other Black and brown life that has been taken from us by racism and racist institutions, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have taken to the streets to say #BlackLivesMatter.

We grieve for the lives that have been taken from us and we send our karakia and our aroha to their whnau and friends. We also pledge our commitment to do all that we can individually and collectively to build a world where Black and brown people are not killed because of white peoples racism.

A future where every single person regardless of the colour of their skin is safe and free. A future where police if they exist at all help people instead of harming them. A future where every Black person, every indigenous person, every disabled person, every trans person, every Black trans person, every queer person, every poor person, every Muslim, every refugee, every young person, every kaumtua, and every person of colour is honoured, valued, safe and free.

I believe this future is possible but only if people like us continue to use our power, our vision and our courage to make it so.

An armed police officer outside thuhu College on May 11, 2018 (Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Over the last nine months, I have had the good fortune of working with an incredible group of humans to stop the militarisation of police in Aotearoa. Last week the new police commissioner announced that the use of armed police would not continue. I mihi to Andrew Coster for that decision. When that announcement was made, a weight was lifted from our shoulders and hearts.

But I also think its important we acknowledge that decision was the result of months of passionate and dedicated campaigning from everyday people.

People like Josiah, Melissa and Guled, who launched and led a petition opposing armed police because they knew the racist history of policing toward Black, Mori and Pasifika communities, and wanted to prevent harm towards their whnau.

People like South Auckland councillor Efeso Collins who called out the trial immediately because he knew it was the people in his community who were put most at risk of being hurt or killed by police with guns.

Organisations like the Mental Health Foundation and JustSpeak, who published open letters calling for mental health and de-escalation first strategies instead of armed police.

People like the 1,155 Mori and Pasifika people who shared their stories and perspectives with ActionStation on the use of armed police: 78% of whom had experienced or witnessed racism from police and 92% of whom agreed we needed to prioritise mental health and trauma-informed responses over police with guns.

Black Lives Matter March For Solidarity in Auckland on June 1, 2020 (Photo: Jihee Junn)

Journalists like Mihingarangi Forbes and Mni Dunlop, who used their platforms to amplify those voices so that they were heard loud and clear in the halls of power.

People like Emmy Rkete and the Arms Down campaign, who organised over 4,000 people to make submissions or phone calls to stop the trial of armed police.

People like Muslim leader Anjum Rahman, who publicly condemned the use of armed police and the use of the Christchurch terror attack as the rationale for them.

Researchers like Pounamu Jade Aikman, Ngawai McGregor, Anne Waapu and Dr Moana Jackson, who reminded us to remember our history, its impacts on our present and to imagine a better future.

People like Julia Whaipooti and T Kim Workman who took an urgent claim to the Waitangi Tribunal stating that armed police were in breach of Te Tiriti.

Artists like Mori Mermaid who used her talents to create powerful images that showed a different way of policing was possible; images that hundreds of people then crowdfunded into giant street posters near Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch police stations.

Mori Mermaid created powerful images that showed a different way of policing was possible; they were then crowdfunded into street posters

I share these stories because I think its important to remember that social change does not happen on its own. It happens when ordinary people come together to use our power, our networks, our creativity, our talents and our time to pull a more just and beautiful future towards us.

We are gathered here today in honour of every Black and brown life that has been taken from us by racism and racist institutions. We gather because we know that the force that underpins the oppression of Black people in the United States is the same force that underpins the oppression of Mori, Pasifika, and Black folk here.

In colonised countries around the world the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand it is Black, brown and indigenous people who are most likely to be hurt or killed by the police or end up in our prisons.

And so the question cannot be: why are so many Black and brown people going to prison, as if we volunteered to put ourselves there. But instead: why do so many coloniser governments keep locking brown and black people in the cages we call prisons? Why do so many coloniser governments keep employing police officers that hurt and kill Black, brown and indigenous people? And what are we going to do about it?

In Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, the government has pledged to defund police and redirect funding to proven, preventative responses and community-led services that invest directly in people and communities.

In New Zealand, where the government spends more money every two years on prisons than it has the entire history of Treaty reparations (not settlements, because treaties are meant to be honoured, not settled) this is an example we need to follow here.

We have the highest incarceration rate of indigenous women in the world. Ngpuhi, the iwi that my koro is from, is the most incarcerated tribe in the world.

Imagine if instead of spending billions locking up Mori, the government gave Mori those billions so we could unlock our own freedom.

Imagine if we collectively decided that the polices slogan, Safer Communities Together, meant that we funded teams of de-escalation specialists, mental health experts and social workers to help people instead of armed police.

Imagine if we collectively decided to prioritise help over handcuffs, prevention over punishment, and life over death.

I believe a world like this is possible. But only if people like us continue to use our collective power to make it so. For some of us that means having courageous conversations with our family members and friends. For some of us, that means donating to kaupapa led by and for Black and indigenous people. For some, that means learning more about our racist history so that were not always asking people of colour to do that work for us. For some of us, it means hiring differently or developing explicitly anti-racist policies for our workplaces, our churches, and our institutions.

For the police commissioner, it means recognising the need for the community to be meaningfully involved in the decisions you make. It means recognising the harm that police have done, and still do, to Black and brown communities and taking reparative action.

For the justice minister, Andrew Little, it means following through on your promise of justice transformation if you are elected again. What you choose to do with your power for my people and my whnau is life or death. I want to see Labour acting like it if they get elected next term.

As Martin Luther King Jr famously said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We must do all we can to stand in solidarity as we work for a future where all people everywhere are honoured, safe, valued and free.

This piece is an adaptation of krero Laura OConnell Rapira delivered at Black Lives Matter rallies and vigils in Wellington recently.

The Bulletin is The Spinoffs acclaimed daily digest of New Zealands most important stories, delivered directly to your inbox each morning.

Read more:

Why do we gather? To pull a more just and beautiful future towards us - The Spinoff