Hate Crimes

2020-2021 has unfortunately seen quite a few racially motivated atrocities. As we studied in the beginning of the year, George Floyd’s death sparked a nerve in people all around the world, of all different backgrounds and cultures. People banded together to say enough is enough: treat us with the respect we deserve. The Black Lives Matter movement has been very strong in articulating against racism, discrimination and bringing attention to systematic racism and white privilege.

Unfortunately, this work has not been enough to educate people into changing their racist, prejudiced mindsets. Instead, attacks against Asian-Canadians and Americans have skyrocketed.

This also saddens me and brings back deja-vu moments of when I was your age. In grade 6, yes, I was your age once (ha!), the September 11th attacks had occurred. I vividly remember going to school on the morning of September 11th and seeing my Muslim friend. We knew that life going forward would come with uncertainty – the exact same uncertainty that people are experiencing again. Attacks against Muslims and Sikhs/Indians in the West drastically increased. As we discussed, Islamophobia was created – the hatred/prejudice of Muslims and/or Islam. Why? Because some people believed that terrorists = brown-skinned people.

Why do I bring this up? Well, for one simple reason: have people learned their lesson from when I was a student? Why is it that innocent people experience hate when they have literally no relation to the ongoing issue? The attacks happened, blame brown-skinned people. The Corona Virus happened, blame Asian-Canadians. They didn’t cause this! They’re as upset as everyone else.

Notable terms that you already know, but definitely want to include in your post:

  1. Discrimination: The unfair treatment of a person, people or group of people because of a characteristic like ethnicity, race, gender, age, etc.
  2. Prejudice: Negative and unreasonable attitudes/feelings (usually based off of stereotypes) about members of a group
  3. Xenophobia: Dislike, fear or hatred against people/things that are seen to be foreign.
  4. Racism: Prejudice, discrimination and/or hatred against a person or group of people based on their racial, cultural, or ethnic background.
  5. Stereotypes: Oversimplified, untrue generalisation about a group of people.

Like many of our posts regarding discrimination, this is an issue that can be very difficult to speak about. Please treat this matter with the respect and care that it deserves. My questions for you are:

  1. Do you think that leaders in government (Mayors, Premiers, and Prime Minister) are doing enough to speak out against this sort of discrimination?
  2. Can you think of other areas in society (schools, organisations, universities/colleges, jobs, etc.) where more should be done to highlight and condemn such behaviour?
  3. What sorts of things can we all do to help decrease and speak up about this issue? How can we make it so that Asian-Canadians feels safe?
  4. What are your thoughts, questions, opinions on these issues?

Please read the below articles to help provide you with some further information, research and stats. Your blog post should be roughly 20-25 sentences (or more :)).

https://globalnews.ca/news/7764543/anti-asian-hate-crimes-burnaby-increase/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/asian-racism-hate-canada-pandemic-1.5959788

https://www.rappler.com/world/us-canada/coronavirus-fueling-anti-asian-hate-crimes-canada

https://www.cheknews.ca/people-are-trying-to-find-someone-to-blame-rallies-against-anti-asian-hate-pop-up-across-canada-756823/

Asian racism is a big problem in Canada, and here's why (VIDEO) | NewsI didn't want to leave the house': COVID-19 fueling anti-Asian hate crimes in CanadaCathy Park Hong on anti-Asian violence and unlearning internalized racism - VoxAsian American Attacks: What's Behind the Rise in Violence? | Time

 

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty!

From the very start of the year, we dove deep into the systematic racism that plagues society- how it serves to help certain groups and exploit others. We know that George Floyd has not been the only victim of this flawed system but thankfully, due to one brave bystander, the entire devastating situation was filmed.

I won’t write too much on this topic because I would like to hear your opinion on this matter. 20 sentences or more please and thank you 🙂

You can read more on this matter in the below articles:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/20/us/derek-chauvin-trial-george-floyd-deliberations/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/04/20/guilty-verdict-chauvin-trial/

 

Please respond to the questions below:

  1. What is your opinion / reaction on Derek Chauvin’s guilty charge?
  2. Do you think, to play devil’s advocate, that Derek Chauvin is receving too much of a backlash? That there were many others who have done what Chauvin has and gotten away with it – who continue to do what Chauvin has done and get away with it?
  3. Moving forward, do you think that things will change for non-white communities? Do you think that attitudes towards multiculturalism and diversity will be positively affected because of Chauvin’s actions?

TV and video played historic role in bringing Derek Chauvin to justice for the murder of George Floyd | COMMENTARY - Baltimore SunChauvin trial verdict: Kerry Washington, Chris Evans react - Los Angeles TimesJustice for George - George Floyd - Justice For George Floyd - Posters and Art Prints | TeePublicAdvocating for black community is a Jewish duty, say Pittsburgh students | The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle

Vaisakhi and Ramadan!

Happy Vaisakhi and Ramadan to all of you who celebrate it! What a fun time of year – minus the fact that there is COVID around so it kind of dampens such significant celebrations.

Your task is to compare (5)and contrast (5) things between Vaisakhi and Ramadan. You have lots of information to pull these contrasts and comparisons from so make sure that they are detailed and thoughtful! Also, please be sure to write your responses in sentences.

What is Vaisakhi? - BBC BitesizeRamadan Kareem Greeting Illustration. Cartoon Muslim Or Arabian.. Royalty  Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 145064375.

Grade 7 Speeches!

Wow! Ms. Pelland and I were blown away by each and every speech performed in class. They were a delight to listen to! Each and every one of you wrote and performed so well!!

Our finalists as voted communally were Tiya and Apollo. Listening to you both present, with excellent presentation skills and moving speeches. We were and are SO proud of you! As Mary says, we were like proud Mums watching you two, smiling ear to ear!!

International Women’s Day

Every year on March 8th people from around the world come together to pay tribute to a very special occasion: International Women’s Day. As we learned about in class, there are major reasons why this day should be acknowledged and respected but still a lot of work needs to be in order to achieve gender equality. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is choose to challenge. Thus, you will no doubt run into pictures with people taking pictures with their hand held high!

For this blog post, please conduct a quick research on the following:

  1. A famous International Women’s Day or women/female empowerment quote and explain in 4-5 sentences why you chose it and why it interests you.
  2.  Regarding the theme, Choose to Challenge, what is something that frustrates you about how girls/women are treated? It could be a common stereotype, treatment or double-standard that you perceive (or even face!). Roughly 5-7 sentences.
  3. Here comes the sentimental part (kind of!). Write about a woman who you find inspiring. It could a famous woman in history, your Mum, Sister, BFF, or maybe even, Ms. Panesar :)? How does this woman make you feel? Why is she significant in your life. Roughly 10 sentences.

International Women's Day 2021 - Quotes & WishesInternational Women's Day 20212021 OFL March 8 Project. Order your pins and posters for International  Women's Day! - The Ontario Federation of Labour

 

Exercise, Modern Humans and Early Humans: What is the Correlation?

This term, we have been studying topics like Evolution and Early Humans, and interestingly a scientist has developed an interesting theory regarding these  two themes. What is it, you ask? Well, think about exercise: do you like it? Love it? Hate it? Meh? If you’re in the latter opinion group, don’t feel bad because Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolution and biology at Harvard University, has a theory behind why we may not like exercising much.

Please read the following articles to learn more about Lieberman’s theory.

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-feb-9-2021-1.5906730/humans-have-not-evolved-to-exercise-says-harvard-prof-1.5907580#:~:text=While%20many%20of%20us%20may,t%20beat%20ourselves%20up%20over.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/05/books/review/exercised-daniel-lieberman.html

Image result for humans have not evolved to exercise

So what do you think, do you agree with Lieberman’s theory regarding why we don’t like to exercise? Why, why not? In these articles, what were some (3) new Early Humans facts that you learned ?  What were some of your other thoughts, opinions and observations given what you know about the various types of Early Humans? 20-25 sentences please!

Senate Stormed by Protesters

Last term we spoke extensively about systematic racism and its horrendous effects. Thankfully there are social movements like Black Lives Matter that expose and fight against racism, intolerance and prejudice (as we learned from Apollo, Tamara and Tiya’s AWESOME presentation). For a moment, I want you to pause and reflect on the images that come to mind when you saw the BLM marches. They peacefully protested the loss of an innocent black man yet some media outlets presented a completely different story.

Mapping Black Lives Matter Protests Around The World | Here & Now

This was the Capitol (the US federal government building) when the BLM protesters were nearby.

Patricia Smith on Twitter: "The Capitol steps during the BLM protests.… "

Yesterday, a protest occurred. But it was starkly different than what we saw in the summer. Trump heavily encouraged his supporters to fight against the counting of the electoral votes that will eventually confirm that Joe Biden won the election. So what ended up happening yesterday afternoon? Hundreds of Trump supporters pushed through barriers and fought with officers. Some of the officers were even called ‘traitors’ because they were allowing the vote to happen, ummm… even though they were doing their job? About an hour and a half later, the rioters pushed into the Capitol building and tried to break windows and doors to get in and stop the vote from occurring. 4 demonstrators lost their life. There were evacuations and guns drawn. So let’s return back to BLM images. Please browse through accredited news sites and images to compare and contrast the BLM and yesterdays riot.

Protesters storm Capitol; Congress still confirms Biden as president |  News, Sports, Jobs - The Daily news

Question: Do you see any similarities and/or differences between the Black Lives Demonstrations and the Senate in Washington. Please write 15-20 sentences about your thoughts, reactions and what you notice about the two ‘demonstrations.’

Yep, it’s Happened Again..!

So, we just learned about Diwali – a popular festivity celebrated by Indian people around the world! We learned about 2 Hindu deities, Rama and Sita, and the demon Ravana who abducted Sita.

But it seems as though many people are not aware of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Why do I say that? Well the notorious Cardi B has committed the ultimate blunder. Remember how I said that there are several Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu religion? Well there is a Goddess named Durga. She symbolises positive energy, especially a powerful feminine energy that is used to combat negative forces. (Meaning she is a powerful Goddess – a powerful woman who wields a lot of strength and valour.) She protects her devotees from evil and demons. Durga is the goddess in the two pictures below.

9 Powerful Durga Mantras that can help transform your life

Now that we know a little about Durga, we can get back to Cardi B. Last week she modelled / advertised for Reebok shoes and clearly looked like… none other than Durga. This is also known as a little thing called Cultural Appropriation. What is cultural appropriation? Cultural appropriation is when a culture (or person/group) take another culture or religious elements / ‘thing’s,’ like: ideas, icons, symbols, artifacts, images, art, behaviour, music, styles, rituals, etc. are taken from a culture (and generally misused).

Viral News | Cardi B Pays Homage to Goddess Durga to Promote Her Reebok Sneaker Collection, Indians Are Unhappy | 👍 LatestLY

https://www.nme.com/en_asia/news/music/cardi-b-apologises-following-backlash-to-hindu-goddess-photoshoot-i-wasnt-trying-to-be-disrespectful-2815670

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/a34656644/cardi-b-apology-cultural-appropriation-hindu-goddess-magazine-shoot/

Please answer the following questions below. Your post should be roughly 15-20 sentences.

1.So what do you think about what you saw?

2. Do you think that Cardi B is genuine in her apology or is it because she received so much backlash because of it? Who do you think is at fault for this- Reebok? Cardi ? The advertising teams?

3. How is this advertisement a form of cultural appropriation?

4. Given what has been happening in society today with BLM and other racist/prejudiced events being discussed, do you think that celebrities should pay more attention to what they put out in the world as they can be role models?

Student Vote!

A big thank you to those who helped out with the student vote! It couldn’t have happened without your help, and enthusiasm! Woo! Here are a few shots from the day!