Between 2016 and 2019, 15,393 people died from drug overdoses in Canada. This year, we’re breaking the records set in those years. “Canadians should be seized with this particular crisis,” says Canada’s Chief public health officer Dr. Teresa Tam. The closed Canada-U.S. border, increased social isolation and reduced access to safe supply are all factors…
When a bronze statue of Sir John A. MacDonald was pulled down by anti-racism protestors on August 29, it wasn’t the first time Canada’s first Prime Minister lost his head. Erected in downtown Montreal in 1895, the statue has long been a target of vandalism. In 1992 it was decapitated on the anniversary of the hanging of Louis Riel. Since then it has been defaced with paint and graffiti many times.
Recently, Shiao Chong, Editor of The Banner, the Christian Reformed Church’s (CRC) official magazine, published two impassioned articles. In his editorial “Speak Out Against Racism” (June 29), he described a time when he was called a racist epithet on an elevator in Hamilton, Ontario. As well, he referred hopefully to the CRC’s recent statement on racism signed by many agency leaders and later endorsed by the Council of Delegates, though he noted there was “dissent.”
Being heard, being seen, being witnessed – these are essential to human dignity and survival. In Genesis, an African slave woman stumbles in the desert, pregnant, with nowhere to go. God comes to her. She names him “the God who sees.” In Hosea, the holy city – God’s city – is ravaged. Personified as a woman, the city cries, “Who will be a witness to my affliction?”
In 2017, Nedira Mustefa sought refugee protection at the Canadian border and found herself in solitary confinement in a small cold cell with no blanket and little food in a U.S. prison, without being charged for any crime. Her story is the real-life outcome of something called the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) between Canada…
As a Black woman, for too many years, I have also struggled with keeping silent or speaking out regarding systemic and individual racism. I always felt that if I spoke out, I would be reprimanded, lose my job (a very good and well paid job), or not be taken seriously.
Are you a racist? Think deep, deep down into your heart. I think I might be. I know God’s truth and have the right beliefs (orthodoxy). I strive to live in his ways and pursue right practice (orthopraxy). But my heart is broken and I lack the right affections (orthopathy).
Carlos Foster is only 21, but he already has a resume many people twice his age would envy. He is currently juggling a demanding career in marketing, an MBA program which he expects to finish next year, and several community commitments. Despite his age, however, this kind of demanding schedule is nothing new for Foster.
In the politically charged early decades of the 21st century, there is a new term to describe the public performance of righteousness. These days, it’s called “virtue signaling.” Virtue signaling is when you share your opinion on a social or political issue simply to get praise or acknowledgment from people who share that point of view. It’s the social media equivalent of praying in public.
Just before the world shut down, the Spouse and I ran away to the library. Just the two of us and the library we chose was three hours away. I was finishing a writing project, the Spouse was starting a new work, and we both wanted time to concentrate. It would be a backwards Sabbath, maybe, but a rest and a refocus nonetheless.
When it comes to social and political issues, I confess that my own impulse is toward public silence. Even in the face of the ongoing, widespread protests against anti-Black racism, part of me preferred silence. Not because I am unconcerned about the reality of racism in our culture (as I have told myself). Rather, a significant part of me has felt I should just get on with faithfully relating to students and colleagues and friends who are people of colour.
By any descriptor that has been applied to the Trump presidency thus far – unorthodox, theatrical, controversial – his photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in June was particularly shocking given its physical environment of civil unrest. That Trump intended the photo-op to be a justification of his use of brute force against his own citizens, using Christian props and setting to portray himself as a “Christian” leader, seems evident.