The Trouble with Saying ‘it’s Okay to be White’

Canada (Conversation) – Recently, posters were discovered on several walls at the University of Manitoba with the statement, “It’s okay to be white.” Other similar incidents were reported in Halifax, Regina and elsewhere around the world. Most who saw the paper print-outs denounced them as hate propaganda from white nationalists. Following the incident, some media outlets, including the Winnipeg Free Press, received an email from the alleged poster, who claimed he was a University of Manitoba student who papered the walls. The student said the posters were a “protest of…

Read More

3 Ways the Women’s Movement in US Politics is Misunderstood

United States (Conversation) – A record number of women are headed to statehouses and Capitol Hill in 2019. One hundred women were elected to the U.S. House, which means that at least 121 women will serve in the 116th Congress – up from the current 107. Twelve women were elected to the U.S. Senate. This new record shatters the 1992 “year of the woman” in which five women were elected to serve in the Senate. Media outlets have been quick to attribute women’s candidacies and successes to the Democratic “blue…

Read More

Dozens of Migrants Disappear in Mexico as Central American Caravan Pushes Northward

Mexico (Conversation) – The Hondurans who banded together last month to travel northward to the United States, fleeing gangs, corruption and poverty, were joined by other Central Americans hoping to find safety in numbers on this perilous journey. But group travel couldn’t save everyone. Earlier this month, two trucks from the caravan disappeared in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. One person who escaped told officials that about “65 children and seven women were sold” by the driver to a group of armed men. Mexican authorities are searching for the migrants,…

Read More

When It Comes to Rape, Just Because a Case Is Cleared Doesn’t Mean It’s Solved

United States (ProPublica) – Andy Leisher didn’t like what he was seeing on the security cameras from his post at the front desk of the Ramada Inn in Janesville, Wisconsin. On the closed-circuit television in front of him, Leisher watched as a man in his 30s kissed what appeared to be a teenager in the motel hot tub. It put him on alert. “It just felt awkward,” Leisher said of the scene. “She just seemed really young, and he seemed really old. Or too old to be with her.” When…

Read More

Can Artisanal Weed Compete with ‘Big Marijuana’?

United States (Conversation) – You’ve heard of Big Pharma and Big Tobacco. How about Big Marijuana? The drug’s growing legalization is raising concerns among small-scale marijuana farmers and retailers that the corporatization of weed may be right around the corner. For example, earlier this year NASDAQ became the first major U.S. stock exchange to list shares of a marijuana production company. And in August, Corona-maker Constellation Brands shocked Wall Street by making a US$3.8 billion investment in a Canadian marijuana producer, sparking a bull market in marijuana stocks industry-wide. Even…

Read More

Texas Set to Approve Curriculum Some Say is Historically Inaccurate

Texas, United States (TexasTribune) – Approaching the podium, Dallas middle school teacher Ron Francis faced the circle of 15 large, wooden desks at the Texas State Board of Education’s September meeting. The board was discussing changes to the social studies curriculum standards, the result of a 10-month-long process to cut back on what teachers have to cover in the classroom. But Francis, a 6-foot-tall Army veteran who teaches in Highland Park ISD, was more concerned about what the board wasn’t cutting. The standards currently list slavery alongside three other causes for…

Read More

Marie Colvin: Lindsey Hilsum’s Biography of Courageous War Reporter is Compelling Stuff

(Conversation) – For Marie Colvin, it was Lebanon’s War of the Camps that brought home the power of journalism. In April 1987 Burj al Barajneh, a Palestinian refugee camp, was besieged by Amal, a Shia militia backed by the Syrian regime. Colvin and her photographer Tom Stoddart paid an Amal commander to briefly hold fire while they ran into the camp across no-man’s land. The assault on the camp was relentless and women were forced to run a gauntlet of sniper fire to get food and water for their families. One…

Read More

AN HONEST LOOK AT POVERTY IN THE HEARTLAND

Wisconsin (OW) – A few weeks before the election, a roomful of Wisconsinites gathered to share some of the stories that are often left out of political campaigns. At a Racine gathering of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, visitors shared real-life stories about poverty in the state. Solo Little John of Kenosha, Wisconsin was one of those who testified. He’s a fast food worker at Wendy’s and a leader of the Fight for $15 living wage campaign. “My voice represents the voices of the voiceless,” he said,…

Read More

Americans Elected Mayors who Care About Climate Change

United States (Conversation) – Being pro-environment was a winning strategy for this country’s mayors. Twelve mayors in America’s 100 largest cities faced re-election battles during the 2018 midterms, and mayors – both Democrats and Republicans – who followed pro-environmental policies were rewarded. All six mayors who had demonstrated their commitment to the environment by signing the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – including Stephen Adler of Austin, Texas, Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky, and Libby Schaff of Oakland, California – won re-election. The other big city mayors…

Read More

World War I: the Forgotten Housewives who Helped Win the Battle on the Home Front

United Kingdom (Conversation) – As we wear poppies to mark the end of World War I, we should ask ourselves who we are being asked to commemorate. Despite four years of television programmes, exhibitions, art installations and local history projects, we still seem to find it easier to focus on the trenches than the home front, on men rather than women – and, among the women, on munition workers and nurses rather than housewives. The stories remain largely masculine – despite the large amount of money put into commemoration through…

Read More