Last week was unrelentingly grim. This week is equally awful, but I found I had to take some breaks for the sake of sanity. Still, there’s a lot of depressing stuff in this post, but I’ve tried to find more cheerful things to balance it.
Okay, let’s call this what it is.
Quebec City mosque massacre:
- Quebec City mosque shooting victims include businessman, professor and fathers of young children
- Thousands join families of mosque attack victims at Quebec City funeral
- Suspect in mosque shooting a moderate conservative turned extremist, say friends, classmates; accused gunman has reputation as online troll who expresses support for far-right politicians
- Simple truth is Canada’s mass shooters are usually white and Canadian-born: Neil Macdonald (Someone said something on social media this week that I thought was remarkably apt—funny how all these white guys who have been radicalized within online communities are known as “lone wolves.”)
- After mosque attack, calls to clean up Quebec City’s radio waves On his Tuesday show, Arthur criticized a local newspaper’s obituary of Azzedine Soufiane, the 57-year-old owner of a halal grocery store who was among the six men killed in the mosque attack. The paper, he told his listeners, had failed to mention Soufiane’s health-code violations.
- In case you wondered if Richard Spencer is really a white supremacist.
- Richard Spencer Texas A&M Speech Quotes: What White Nationalist Said At Controversial Event For the record, Richard Spencer says he is not a Nazi. In an interview on Saturday, he said he was a member of the alt-right, which he calls “identity politics for white Americans and for Europeans around the world.” How is that different from Nazism? Nazism is “a historical term” that “is not going to resonate today,” he said.
- Attack on Alt-Right Leader Has Internet Asking: Is It O.K. to Punch a Nazi?
In the House, Trudeau said reform might produce “an augmentation of extremist voices in the House,” a potential result that is sometimes associated with proportional representation.
Well, I guess the election of Trump in a two-party system goes a long way to prove that the status quo protects us against extremism, doesn’t it?
The effects of Harper’s policies went beyond politically charged fields like climate change. Basically everything government researchers did was censored from the media, according to Canadian scientists who worked during that time. Taken together, these policies led to “a culture of fear of talking about anything,” in Turner’s words.
“Especially in the latter half of the Harper administration, our access to the media was clamped down severely to the point where it was virtually impossible for the media to talk to me for even the most trivial of topics,” says Campana.
What Americans have learned is that our system of checks and balances is so weak that even parks employees can become enemies of the state. They are learning their rights as they lose them, grieving for what they once took for granted.
President Trump doesn’t view life through the lens that most people do. In ways small and sweeping, he sees himself as The Producer, conducting The Trump show, on and off stage.
Letter the the Editor: Ursula Le Guin on fiction vs. ‘alternative facts’
Trump Isn’t Crazy: I wrote the DSM critieria and he doesn’t meet them.
Dismissing Trump as simply mad paradoxically reduces our ability to deal with his actions.
Inside and outside of government, there are also deep reservations about Bannon’s alignment with the far right and white nationalism, thanks to his previous leadership of Breitbart. One Bannon quote making the rounds this weekend: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
At first, many assumed it had been an error; an oversight by a new team that has not exactly impressed with its competence. But at the weekend, Trump spokewoman Hope Hicks confirmed that the wording had been deliberate: “We are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” she said. On Sunday, Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, stuck to that position, saying that the White House regarded “everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust” as “sad” and obviously that included “all of the Jewish people affected” – again implying that Jews were merely caught up in a generalised attack on all people, rather than targeted for annihilation.
The Pew study found the distribution of these experiences to be structured by gender and age. Young adults (18-29) as a whole are more likely to experience either category of harassment but young women (18-24) are overwhelmingly the targets of the more extreme behaviours.
One of the tragic outcomes of the Attica uprising was that the state of New York stood in front of the world and told a narrative of that uprising that was rife with lies. As a result of those lies told after Attica, the nation really sours on this idea that prisoners deserve good treatment behind bars. The long-term upshot of that was that this nation, every decade after Attica, becomes more and more punitive. Today, we have a very ironic situation: on the one hand, because of lies told after Attica we have horrendous prison conditions; also because of Attica, we have prisoners who believe that if they stand together and if they speak up they might still find some measure of justice in this system, that they will perhaps humanize the conditions where they’re locked up. In that sense, Attica has everything to do with why we are here again today.
Stay Involved (US centric, but a useful list nonetheless)
Art + Design + Photography
Kate MccGwire’s Writhing, Absorbing Feather Sculptures Remix the Natural World (I was worried about where she got her feathers, but it seems that I don’t have to: “she first started picking them up herself before contacting racing pigeon clubs and their members, who send her the feathers from their moulting birds.”)
Racial diversity matters uniquely on a trail that’s considered a great equalizer in most other respects. Individuals have no identity but one: hiker. For many, who you were or what you came from wasn’t important, because everyone was sharing the same stretches of bad weather and sore feet. It was the hiking community’s way of saying all were welcome, and from what I gathered over the six months of my hike, they were. Even me. Especially me. Here, all were purportedly safe. “Look at how we’ve grown.” The unintended consequence of colorblindness was benign erasure, a discomfort with looking at how we hadn’t.
There is no divorcing the lack of diversity in the outdoors from a history of violence against the black body, systemic racism, and income inequality. A thing I found myself repeatedly explaining to hikers who asked about my books and my experience wasn’t that I feared them, but that there was no such thing as freedom from vulnerability for me anywhere in this land. That I might be tolerated in trail towns that didn’t expect to see a black hiker, but I’d rarely if ever feel at ease.