In Canada, its never about race

A black immigrant in Toronto waves a household object in a “threatening” manner. Police are called. The man is described as disturbed, unruly, unstable, and most-importantly — dangerous. Concerned police plead with the man to drop the weapon but their cries are ignored. Finally, they are forced to shoot him. He dies. A familiar tragedy.In 1979 the man was Albert […]

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Black Lives Matter? Multiculturalism & Race

This post originally appeared in Now Magazine: The shooting death of Andrew Loku by a Toronto police officer on July 5 is hauntingly similar to the killing of Albert Johnson by police in 1979. The shootings are separated by nearly 40 years, but both men were shot in their homes on a Sunday morning. Both […]

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Exhibit B — “fixed in the ether of history”

I’m particularly troubled by Luminato’s recent efforts to bring Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B to Toronto. Bailey’s artistic arrangement (creation? performance?) purports to represent the history of human zoos and link them to contemporary politics of surveillance, control, and imprisonment of racialized bodies. Bailey sees a continuum between the racist thinking of human zoos, the white supremacist devaluing of black bodies […]

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Coonskin: Redux

What I find surprising in the critical and personal responses I’ve heard to Django Unchained is the unwillingness to discuss what notions of race the film traffics in. What is Tarantino’s vision of blackness and whiteness and how does his aesthetic mode of borrowing from every movie he’s ever seen contribute to his notion of […]

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