Letters to the editor — March 23

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Racism alive and well in Canada

I noticed that early Thursday afternoon, near the UVSS, there was somehow an event about “How do you challenge white supremacy?” But I assume you know that this event is taking place. [Ed. See here.]

There was interesting informations about white supremacy on the side, and also a big white panel where people could write things. This caused some emotions among students. Some white men wrote “Racism is really just a myth” on the panel, and others were debating about this action. Some student seems to deny racism, and use “freedom of speech” arguments to justify it. Some other white men said they found this action offensive, and one said out loud that he thinks white supremacy was not a bad thing.

As far as I am concerned, I was very surprised that some people still deny racism in Canada, at least in UVic, and still disagree that white supremacy should be challenged.

Cheers,

Mathieu, member of the community

IdeaFest too focused on other countries, and not on Victoria and Canada

I was born in Montreal and have Western European heritage. From 1997 to 2001, I attended a four-year Bachelor of Arts program in art policy management and education in Amsterdam. I completed two co-ops, one at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem and one at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. Since I was 17 years old, I have created numerous art works myself. But I also have been working in British Columbia for 12 years in business, in order to sustain my art projects and ideas.

I noticed that the two IdeaFest events that I attended, “Why art matters in dangerous times,” and “Leading with their hearts and heads: Using business skills in Swaziland and Nepal,” were focused on other countries and not our own, specifically Victoria. As a member of the community, I would prefer that the focus of IdeaFest has a human face and a human voice, instead of a PowerPoint projector image of individuals in other areas of the world.

I believe that Victoria has a lot of individual stories of inequality, injustice, and marginalization, and I believe that it is important for UVic professors to look right in our own backyard before meddling in other country’s ideologies and cultures. I personally have experienced a lot of hardship in Victoria, and I am not the only one here. As a trained museum educator, I would recommend that UVic professors start to think about where their loyalties lie — with United Nations funding for sustainability projects, or with their own communities and within our own Canadian culture. In my opinion, we have some work to do in our own backyard.

Sincerely,

Annuska van der Pol

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