Over 70 community groups have signed a letter demanding the immediate cancellation of anti-immigrant reality TV show, Border Security. The letter is addressed to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who personally approved the show, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and various companies with interests in the show, including Force Four Entertainment and Shaw Media. The letter is part of a growing “Cancel Border Security” campaign by rights groups and progressives.
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Via Aljazeera: The Rageh Omaar Report – The Right to Roam:
Unwanted, marginalised, defiant – the Roma people have become the target of governments across Europe.
In France and Italy they have been thrown out in their thousands – accused of illegally overstaying their welcome and blamed for increases in crime.
They say that in their countries of origin they are victims of discrimination – a minority with few opportunities.
They are now taking advantage of European Union laws that allow freedom of travel to all European citizens – looking West to find a better life, yet reluctant to adapt to Western ways.
The Roma issue has now been forced on EU policy makers – they have to find a balance between the growing hostility and the rights of the Roma.
Canada’s Official Opposition has unequivocally condemned the ongoing genocidal violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.
A systematic campaign of violence facilitated by and at times involving state security forces and government officials since June 2012 has displaced more than 125,000 Rohingya and Kaman Muslims in western Burma’s Arakan State. During another orgy of ethnic violence in the central town of Meikhtila on March 20 to 22, “mobs and Buddhist monks” attacked Muslim residents and burned down mosques and homes, and killed an unknown number of people.
Human Rights Watch says the Burmese government’s discriminatory policies are creating a humanitarian crisis that will ultimately result in long-term segregation and statelessness for the Rohingya and Kaman Muslim minorities. The respected New York-based NGO says “an ethnic Arakanese campaign of violence and abuses since June 2012 facilitated by and at times involving state security forces and government officials has displaced more than 125,000 Rohingya and Kaman Muslims in western Burma’s Arakan State. During another orgy of ethnic violence in the central Burma town of Meikhtila on March 20 to 22, “mobs and Buddhist monks” attacked Muslim residents and burned down mosques and homes, and killed an unknown number of people.
Human Rights Watch says the government of Burma is causing the humanitarian crisis by: denying Rohingya citizenship; restricting the delivery of international aid to the internally displaced who are living in squalid refuges camps; failure to institute an action plan to resolve the crisis, and refusal to allow displaced Rohingya to return to their homes.
One reason racism persists is that many people imagine they would respond strongly to a racist act but actually respond with indifference, a new study led by York University shows.
Published in the Jan. 9 issue of Science, “Mispredicting Affective and Behavioral Responses to Racism” examines why acts of blatant racism against blacks still occur with alarming regularity, even though being labeled as a racist in modern society has become a powerful stigma.
“People do not think of themselves as prejudiced, and they predict that they would be very upset by a racist act and would take action,” said lead author Kerry Kawakami, a psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health.
“However, we found that their responses are much more muted than they expect when they are actually faced with an overtly racist comment.” Kawakami led the study at York with graduate student Francine Karmali. University of British Columbia professor Elizabeth Dunn, an expert on people’s ability to predict their future emotional responses, and Yale University professor John Dovidio, an expert on prejudice, are co-authors.
In the study, students who think they are waiting for an experiment to begin are exposed to racism. Specifically, a white confederate makes a racist comment about a black confederate when he briefly leaves the room. When he returns, the actual participant is asked to choose a partner to work with on a subsequent exercise.
“What we found was that students were more likely to choose the white confederate as a partner (63 per cent), despite the fact that the white person had made a racist comment about the black person,” said Kawakami. “And the racist comments ranged from moderate to one of the most powerful anti-black slurs in the English language.”
The findings may seem surprising at a time when America is about to inaugurate its first black president, but the election of one black man does not mean that racism is dead or that people will no longer tolerate acts of racism, Kawakami said.
Notably, there has been little research done on how people respond to prejudice toward others. However, University of British Columbia professor Elizabeth Dunn, one of the authors of the Science article, studies people’s ability to predict their own affective and behavioural reactions.
“People often make inaccurate forecasts about how they would respond emotionally to negative events. They vastly overestimate how upset they would feel in bad situations such as hearing a racial slur,” said Dunn. “One of the ways that people may stem the tide of negative emotions related to witnessing a racial slur is to re-construe the comment as a joke or as a harmless remark.”
Further studies currently being conducted by these researchers are investigating how characteristics related to the racists and the target of prejudice increases or decreases emotional, behavioral, and physiological reactions to racial slurs. Examining people’s perceptions of both the white and black confederate may provide important clues as to when people do and do not stand up against racism.
York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as more than 200,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 11 faculties and 26 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.