There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecent

Good people and bad people can be found in every group

There are only two “races” of people: the decent and the indecentWe’re all influenced by the environment we grow up in and our life experiences. We thus adopt paradigms in our effort to make sense of the world around us. Sometimes these perspectives serve us well but other times our core beliefs prevent us from seeing the truth. Yet there’s perhaps nothing more life-giving than experiencing…

What the Germans can teach us about reconciliation

They’re not guilty of the crimes of their ancestors but they are responsible for building a more peaceful and tolerant country

What the Germans can teach us about reconciliationWhen Germany talked about reuniting as one country after the fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989, many world leaders were quite concerned, especially British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President François Mitterrand. But Germany wasn’t the same country it was in the first half of the 20th century, and today it isn’t…

Diseases don’t care about our nationality or wealth

If we continue to value Canadian lives more than we value Congolese or Yemini lives, we put our well-being at risk

Diseases don’t care about our nationality or wealthIt’s certainly a relief to see COVID-19 restrictions eased and life returning to normal as more and more Canadians get vaccinated. The vaccines we have won’t provide 100 per cent immunity but should be sufficient to prevent further outbreaks. We’re told that soon travel restrictions and social distancing will be a thing of the past.…

We must discover the truth, no matter how horrible

We must find out the truth about residential schools if we are to heal from the wounds caused by our cruelty

We must discover the truth, no matter how horribleThe recent discovery of the bodies of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School is tragic but not at all surprising. In 1907, federal medical inspector Dr. Peter Bryce provided a report to the Department of Indian Affairs regarding the horrendous health conditions at residential schools across Canada. Those conditions resulted in up to…

We can buy weapons or educate children all over the world

The choice should seem obvious, yet around the globe governments still spend astonishing amounts of our money building military might

We can buy weapons or educate children all over the worldWhen discussing global issues, there’s a proverbial, weaponized elephant in the room. The topic is central to human suffering yet we seem unwilling to discuss it: the military-industrial complex. There’s a myth that there are good guys and bad guys and if we blow up the bad guys, the world will be safer. But the…

Are perspectives shifting on the Israel/Palestine conflict?

Regardless of how we’re told to hate, we will find a way to peace

Are perspectives shifting on the Israel/Palestine conflict?George Floyd has changed the world. His tragic death created a bond of international solidarity that no force can stop, no matter how they try. As a person of Middle Eastern descent living in the diaspora, I’ve always taken an interest in the situation in Israel/Palestine. Palestinians I met would tell me they were from…

Expose tainted heroes by finding new ones to honour

Roberto Alomar was a great baseball player but there’s more to being a human than athleticism. The real hero is the woman who reported him

Expose tainted heroes by finding new ones to honourPublic opinion is fickle. We love to sing the praises of individuals and put them on pedestals, but we’re just as apt to demonize these same people in the court of public opinion. Is this type of thinking getting us anywhere? Aren’t we all simply humans with the capacity to do good or bad things?…

Quebec, France poised to reject diversity, pluralism

Freedom of religious expression is a human right

Quebec, France poised to reject diversity, pluralismAccording to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practise, worship…

Canada’s human rights record marred by hypocrisy

We continue to sell military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for much of the suffering in Yemen

Canada’s human rights record marred by hypocrisyDuring the Cold War, we were told that our allies did nothing wrong and our enemies did nothing right. In the late 1970s, the Cambodian genocide was very well reported in the Western media. That was a good thing because Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were horrendous war criminals. Yet, at almost the exact…

Democracy may not always be the best form of government

We’ve been taught in the West that democracy is the ideal form of government. But is it?

Democracy may not always be the best form of governmentLooking at the world through the lens of the media, it’s difficult to gain a clear perspective on what type of government works and what doesn’t, who’s a good leader and who’s bad, and where people are happy and where they’re not. We’ve been taught in the West that democracy is the ideal form of…

Covid-19 an educational catastrophe for disadvantaged kids

200,000 young people have lost complete touch with their schools

Covid-19 an educational catastrophe for disadvantaged kidsThere are fewer students at my school this year. There are also fewer disciplinary issues, but it has become even more difficult to establish and maintain contact with our at-risk students and their families. I didn’t realize until recently, however, that this is a global issue. There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted…

Time to make Britain answer for its colonial wrongdoings

Time to make Britain answer for its colonial wrongdoingsI’ve been teaching about Canada’s 2008 apology for residential schools for some time. In discussing the topic, I point out that this isn’t only a Canadian issue. Australia has apologized to its Indigenous peoples, and New Zealand continues to make progress in its reconciliation process. Quite often, I hear these questions from my students: “What…

We minimize, revise and ignore history at our own peril

Confronting the horrors of our past and trying to make things right isn’t an easy task but a peace comes from doing the right thing

We minimize, revise and ignore history at our own perilIt seems that everywhere we turn we find a new scandal, some memory from the past that haunts us. Though virtually every state and institution has something to hide, there’s something liberating in speaking the truth. While his tenure hasn’t been without controversy, many around the world have been relieved to see the openness and…

Is being the better person enough to combat racism?

Basketball player Jeremy Lin believes you can be the bigger person and still tell someone that their words and actions are unacceptable

Is being the better person enough to combat racism?Jeremy Lin is probably best known to basketball fans for “Linsanity,” the amazing streak of clutch and dramatic moments he had with the New York Knicks in 2012. Many Canadians know Lin for the spark he brought to the court when the Toronto Raptors won the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship in 2019. Lin recently…

Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed is

How can a Christian support politics and economics that result in a world where over 700 million people live on less than $2 a day?

Money isn’t the root of all evil. Greed isLarry Richards is a friend of mine from high school who has become a very popular speaker among conservative Catholics in North America. I watched one of his social media posts recently and he made a point that few would disagree with, but it’s a message many may not like. Larry pointed out that according…