Why Western civilization is abandoning progress for populism

The shocking rise of identity politics has shattered social unity, which seems to be unraveling like a cheap carpet. And that led to self-centred white identity

Why Western civilization is abandoning progress for populismJesus said it first but Abraham Lincoln said it best: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We live in divisive times, with multiple challenges. But the greatest threat to our civilization is not climate change (as damaging as that may be), nor is it growing inequality or reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The astonishing divide…

We need to discuss the darker side of some Muslim tenets

People everywhere should be able to worship as they please or not worship at all

We need to discuss the darker side of some Muslim tenetsThe massacre of Muslims at prayer in New Zealand on March 15 is yet another appalling example of the horrors of extreme hatred. In this case, the mass murderer was a deluded white supremacist. Other recently targeted victims have been Jews at worship in Pittsburgh, or just anyone who chose to come to the wrong…

We shall overcome crimes against humanity

Attacks on places of worship are based on the horrendous lie that we need to fear those who are different

We shall overcome crimes against humanityHumanity is reeling from the deaths of innocent people all over the world in houses of worship. Members of no religion seem to be immune from violence, nor can any major religion claim to be free of extremists who perpetrate hate crimes. Many will ask what the world is coming to. In fact, these horrendous…

A ray of hope after a brutal week

A multicultural student haka in New Zealand radiates something positive in a world that seems all too sick

A ray of hope after a brutal weekWhen you write a weekly column in the relatively unrelated realms of culture and politics, you rely on independent stimuli for the idea that eventually becomes the piece. Frankly, the idea that becomes the column doesn’t often strike until just after the previous week’s work appears online each Sunday morning. Then, as if ordained by…

We can escape the heart of darkness and violence

In Christchurch, South Carolina, Pittsburgh and elsewhere, we've seen what hate brings if we don't find common ground

We can escape the heart of darkness and violenceOne of Charles Dickens’ most beloved books is A Tale of Two Cities. The novel focuses on several characters, including Dr. Alexandre Manette, who was imprisoned in the Bastille in Paris, France, for 18 torturous years. His long-held desire was to join his daughter, Lucie, a brilliant physician who lived in London, England, and had…

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compass

From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King to Donald Trump, America offers examples – good and bad – of the power of language

Language can calibrate a nation’s moral compassLanguage is a powerful tool for shaping a society's values. The manner in which a leader uses language can reset the moral compass of a nation. And it can influence, for better or worse, the behaviour of its citizenry. While public discourse in Canada isn’t perfect, it’s reasonably civil. Canadian politicians, though sometimes outspoken and critical…

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberals

Modern progressives see proof of social oppression around every corner. They believe society in general is to blame

The politics of blame: modern progressives vs old-school liberalsThe breaking point for me was Pittsburgh. This murderous act of anti-Semitic horror, when combined with the relentless breakdown in social civility, has made me face an unpalatable truth: something has gone very wrong with modern society. Our entire civilization is speeding to toward fragmentation and decay – Brexit, Donald Trump, warring political partisanship, rising…

Turning the sex ed clock back to 1998 puts our youth at risk

LGBTQ youth face additional mental health pressures associated with stigma and discrimination

Turning the sex ed clock back to 1998 puts our youth at riskIt’s now widely known that the Ontario Ministry of Education will be reverting to the 2010 sex education curriculum to teach youth – despite widespread criticism. Worse, youth in Grades 7 and 8 will actually be taught the 1998 sex ed curriculum. In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton got in trouble over Monica Lewinsky and…

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-right

The best way to reduce the possibility of more alt-right-inspired violence is to confront its narratives head on

Worried about the alt-right? Be the anti-rightBy John Grant and Fiona MacDonald EvidenceNetwork.ca One year since the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., and months since the Toronto van attack, Canadians can legitimately worry about increased political violence. The images of angry white men marching openly in Nazi regalia loom large alongside the revelation that some men are organizing groups driven by views of…

Reduce the poverty-to-prison pipeline for women

From prison reform to better community services that address poverty and prevent crime, here's what Canada can do

Reduce the poverty-to-prison pipeline for womenBy Sen. Raymonde Saint-Germain and Sen. Art Eggleton Over the last decade, the number of women in Canada’s jails has spiked by 30 per cent. Even more troubling, Indigenous female prisoners now account for 37 per cent of all incarcerated women, and 50 per cent of women in maximum security. According to the 2017 correctional…

Intemperance and intolerance in campus culture clashes

Students of the snowflake generation feel empowered to videotape, confront and swarm professors with whom they disagree

Intemperance and intolerance in campus culture clashesI must confess to a crime. Many years ago, when I was still in my 20s, I was enjoying a late-night non-alcoholic beverage with an old friend from my high school days. Our talk turned to the teachers in our adolescence, some of whom we revered, some of whom we despised. The memory of one…

Social criticism is too important to leave to the trolls

Trolling requires a person to suspend thought. To hate any thought that isn’t their own. To smash, destroy and bully

Social criticism is too important to leave to the trollsEverybody’s a critic, they say. But that’s not true. Some people are critics, in the true sense of the word, and contribute positively by determining the meaning and value of social and cultural artefacts. Critics shape culture, teach audiences and direct attention. Critics aren’t trolls. They create and elevate discussion and, by elevating discussion, enlighten…

Stepping beyond stereotypes to right wrongs

The key is to focus on acceptable and unacceptable actions, not the ethnicity or gender of the actor

Stepping beyond stereotypes to right wrongsPsychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said, “There are two races of men in the world, but only these two – the ‘race’ of decent men and the ‘race’ of indecent men. Both are found everywhere; they penetrate into all groups of society.” This is a powerful conclusion from a man who witnessed the very…

Is justice pricing really justice or just plain hate?

This isn’t a time for Canadians to be segregating each other, or rushing to put themselves and their neighbours into hyphenated categories

Is justice pricing really justice or just plain hate?The attempt by a Victoria, B.C., promoter to institute “justice pricing” for a movie series has attracted considerable attention, most of it hostile. The Made You Look Media company had decreed that to view their latest offering at the Roxy Theatre, the “general admission price of $10 (would) be doubled to $20 for all white…