A Few Thoughts on Week 12

The blog post which I may piss everyone off…

  • This has been pretty widely shared by now but it made me laugh in April and part 2 made me laugh in June.
  • A few people asked me this week why I didn’t participant on #blackouttuesday. I boiled it down to three reasons:
    • First, the platforms that this “blackout” is occurring on are largely curated echo chambers (particularly in Windsor). On social media generally only your “friends” or followers see you. Unless you make an effort, your followers likely are a lot like you physically, politically and socially. Most of my followers are people I grew up with, went to school with and have met through work or travel. I counted my Facebook “friends” – of the 543 that I have 58 “friends” are persons of colour. On Instagram of the 182 followers – 13 are persons of colour. Does that make me a racist given that approximately 1 in 5 people in Essex county is a person of colour? No but who am I showing solidarity with?
    • Second, those same platforms are fucking toxic and are part of the reason why we are in this mess. These platforms have enabled a tribalisation of society, they allowed the spread of #fakenews and the gathering together of hateful individuals in “safe spaces” of “closed groups”. It’s true social media does allow abuses and outrages to be easily shared and awareness raised but answer this question, does Donald Trump get elected if social media platforms properly censor hate speech, fake news and those who share it/amplify it? Would Maxime Bernier and the PPC be a thing? Would things be better or worse than they are right now if these platforms that we are all hopelessly addicted too weren’t around?
    • Finally, I am not an influencer, I don’t need the vanity exercise. Just as many corporations and/or celebrities showed support for the #blackout while being in a variety of compromised positions. For the most part, although the solidarity and allyship can be comforting to some, hashtag activitism is also shallow, as for the majority that will be as far as they go. Whether #Parisstrong; #Bostonstrong; #Humboltstrong they don’t change the facts on the ground but they let privileged white people feel and look like they did something good. The fact that people had to be told not to use #blacklivesmatter as a second hashtag illustrates the disconnect.
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  • So what did I do – allowing myself to virtue signal for a moment.
    • I followed over 40 new people on twitter (my primary social media platform) all of whom were persons of colour. I recognize that I don’t follow enough people of colour and I am making an active effort to do that. These individuals are in media, academia, public policy and community leaders in Canada and the US so I could regularly see different perspectives and opinions in my feed.
    • I donated money to organizations that tackle injustice based on recommendations from people who I respect and have knowledge in the subject. I also checked the box asking for email updates going forward.
    • I purchased first three books listed in this Toronto Star Column By Shree Paradkar. I’ll get rest of the books after I read the first three (I’m not reading very fast right now).
  • A great (and first) blog post from a colleague of mine Katie Renaud looking at Canada’s racist history.
  • WEEDC spent up to low six figures on a new hospital marketing campaign.
    • I support the hospital, I am not even against the hospital location and I think CAMPP has done a brave but bad job of making it’s argument. How are we justifying this? Last year, WEEDC spent just over $135,000 on media and special events. So we are now spending almost this whole amount to support the hospital? I am sure some savings came from COVID but it seem pricey to me.
      • WEEDC is a political organization plain and simple, it does what it’s told.
  • Frankly I just want it (hospital debate) to end so everyone can move on and be bitter.
    • At the same time, Highway 3 is being discussed at County Council and pressure to expedite that project is being called for.
      • I think it is clear which project has shown more interest from Queens Park and which seat in Essex County is scene as most in play and likely to change hands in 2022?
  • Oil spill in the arctic because we can’t have nice things.
  • This thread by Mike Moffatt illustrates the struggles of a household with autistic children, despite 2 PhDs and both remaining employed through COVID-19.
  • I guess lots of people are reading these blogs as WordPress is now suggesting that I start hosting ads to generate revenue or put exclusive content behind a membership paywall! I’m on my way to easy street!
  • Who knew that the City had a Pandemic Flu Plan. It would be interesting to see how much got implemented. Shout out to Rick St. Denis for pointing it out on Facebook.
    • I guess the plan declared transit an essential service for what that is worth.
  • Samuel Singangwe is one of the leading researchers on police violence in the US. He has had some interesting things to say on the impact of police unions on the violence that we are seeing.
    • One item that he pointed out is that Defunding the Police may actually hurt efforts to diversify the force as more junior officers who have a greater proportion of being visible minorities and female, will be the first to be laid off while more senior white officers will not.
    • If you are wondering what Windsor’s police contract that I found online: here for officers and civilian staff are here.
    • Following the “resignation” of Buffalo’s Riot police over the suspension of two of their officers. This piece was written in the Atlantic argues:
      • Still, the data suggest that officers might act differently if the system were not so effective at protecting cops who cross the line. But it also indicates that until police officers can be held accountable for violating the rights of the people they are paid to protect, and police officers themselves are rewarded rather than punished for identifying colleagues who abuse their authority, the problem cannot be resolved.
  • It boils down to this, if the collective bargaining rights of police officers are infringing on the human rights of a portion of the population, which rights win?
  • The death of a second migrant workers and announcement of mass testing starting next week. It is interesting that the hospitals are leading this work and not the health unit.
  • I wonder if the drive through COVID-19 testing are being utilized by vulnerable populations or if it is just white people in their SUVs getting tested and creating false sense of security?
  • I think Izzy sums up how everyone feels right now….
How Everyone feels right now

One thought on “A Few Thoughts on Week 12

  1. Pingback: A Few Thoughts on Week 14 | gingerpolitics

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