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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The Ubyssey Mar 16, 2001

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Array \5BC Aiehiws Soiial
The world in
Race isn't supposed to matter anymore. Not today, not in our post-colonial post industrial
post-modern world, when the glittering 21 st century is sprawled out at our fee^ and the signposts of racial oppression-slavery, colonialism, segregation, wars of extermination,
apartheid, coerced migration, forced iptern&hips, economic exploitation, and disenfran-
thisement-are fading fast on the road behind us, soon to be forgoltea Race is old news, yesterday's dirty laundry, played like an fllmatic cassette, broke up kke the Pharcyde. Or is it?
Tho floating car, robot maid, raco-less Utopia that many seem to be waiting for has yet
to materialise. The construct of race, in its many guises-oolour, ethnicity, religion, nationality, genotype continues to play a dominant role in our lives, intersecting with gender and
class to dictate our position in society. It affects how we define ourselves and how others
define us, and shapes how we perceive and experience the people and events that surround
us. People who claim to lead a 'colour blind' existence, who assert that race means nothing
to them, tend to be the people who steamroll through their livesoand the lives of others-
oblivious to the privilege they possess.
This edition of the Ubyssey is an attempt to allow members of the UBC community to
put their reality down on paper, to tell us how race affects their lives and the world as they
see it This is a collection of unique perspectives and profiles that illustrate the pervasiveness of race in the experiences of a diverse group of people. ♦
FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2001
VOLUME 82 ISSUE 42 -£* -----
Friday, March 16,2001
—-   Services
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Salaries + free air and accommodation.
Easily save 15K in one year. Degree
required. Tel: 408-3760 Fax; 408-3761.
Info ae www.asia-pacific-
CREW CHIEFS are needed for die Vancouver area. Pay is based on skill, tenacity, and efficiency. Call Chris at 221-8223
for more info.
SWIM DIRECTOR & instructor/lifeguards for summer kids camp near Montreal. Send resume; JOBS^pripstein-
PAINTERS NEEDED for Professional
Company. Wages between S9-!2/hr.
Experience anu Transportation an asset.
Phone Paul at 983-2970 or fax resume to
HELP INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS learn English! Be an English
Conversationalist! $40 For 3 hrs, Friday's
9am - 12noon. Contact Laurie @ VLCI,
688-1886, laurie@vlci.com
THE LIONS SOCIETY OF BC is seeking Counselors and Programmers for our
residential summer camps on Vancouver
Island, in Squamish and the Okanagan.
We provide a camping experience for
children and teens with disabilities.
Employment runs from June through
August For more information, send
resume and cover letter to: Camp
Administrator, Lions Society of BC, 201-
3440 Douglas St. Victoria, BC V8Z 3L5.
A criminal records check will be required
of successful applicants.
12:30-2:30 pm in the Penthouse (3rd
floor) of the Grad Center, 6371 Crescent
Rd, vegetarian and vegan food, suggested
donation; $4.00    >
22-28th. 10-80% off. Philosophy,
Anthropology, Education, Sociology, Psychology, Ecology, Geography, Literary
Theory ... Development, Cultural,
Media, Labour, First Nations', Queer and
Women's Studies. 311 W. Hastings
(Hasting &c Cambie)
FESTIVA 2001, A Multi-Cultural Celebration! Friday, Mar 23 5-10pm. Come
and Celebrate! Tickets $3 in advance $5
at door, www.international.ubc.ca, adri-
enne.bouris@ubc.ca or 822-1265.
GET READY FOR GO KART RACING!!! This exciting went is brought to
you by Chinese Art Student Society,
March 24, Richmond Go Kart Track.
. For more info call Mandy 9 603-1726
TROTSKYIST LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY Forum: Taliban: Bitter Fruit of Imperialist's Anti-
Soviet War. WOMEN IN
AFGHANISTAN, Fri. Mar 30, 7pm,
Britannia Community Center, Rm. L4,
1661 Napier Street (off Commercial
Drive). $2 suggested donation. Call 687-
0353 for more info.
Opportunity to make a real difference in
high functioning 2 year old autistic boy's
life. Valuable training provided. Flexible
hours, men and women welcome. Please
call Cindy 9 827-0014.
RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS NEEDED for doctoral student research. Virtual
Reality Treatment study for driving phobia. Call Jaye 868-3890
DIAL; 25-Party, Ads*Jokes*Stories &
MORE! Free Call!* 18+ 'Try it NOW!!!
Between classes
Festival of Rights
Friday, Mar. 16 (that's today) 11 am to 3pm.
Main Mall between Koerner Plaza and University Blvd.
Learn about BC's land-use issues.
Speakers, free veggie lunch and music.
Anne, you rock.
Give the gift of sight
Did you know that the cost of a pair of eyeglasses is equivalent to one year's salary in many developing countries?
Donate your old eyeglasses or sunglassses to make a difference in a child or adult's life.
Whether they're broken, out-of-fashion, or just no good, the Lotus Light Charity Society wants 'em all.
Help reach the goal of 8000 pairs of eyeglasses nationwide by visiting the eyeglass drop-off
locations in the SUB or UBC Hospital.
Holistic therapy volunteer opportunity
Vancouver Friends For Life's Society offers wellness programs to people living with life-theatening illnesses
and has lots of volunteer opportunities for dedicated people interested in holistic therapy.
Call Anne at 682-5992 for more information.
Between Classes is a free public service of the Ubyssey.
Fax your submissions to 822-9279.
ESSAY SERVICE - Need help with any
of your essays? Take the help of highly
qualified graduates. Call toll-fee to Custom Editing and Essay Service: 1-888-
345-8295, customessayf2,sprim.ca
TUTORS AVAILABLE For All Elementary, High School, and Undergraduate
SubjectsTToll Free 1-866-888-8677
EDITING/PROOFREADING SERVICES AVAILABLE. Training and experience include academic and creative
writing, newspaper and magazine articles',
newsletters, andTlegal documents and
memoranda. Contact Deborah at 876-
5480 or dkhanula@hotmail.com
Come check out "The Originals" line of"
jewelry at the AMS Used Bookstore,
"SUBTITLES", in the display case,
(located in the bottom floor of the SUB).
Unique handmade earrings for between
$0.99 and $2.49!
Come to SCB llootn 245 with
the answer to the question
below, and you may win 1 of 5
copies o/SEMISOMC's CD
"All About Chemistry"!
Question: What was Semisonic's big hit song?
Have a place for rent?
The AMS Rentsline can help you!
AMS Rentsline i3 an easy to operate touch-tone telephone system that
connects thousands of landlords with UBC students looking for off-
campus housing.   All you need to do is call, or visit our website:
Oh, What a Year!
SUB Facts
Blue chip cookies eaten -109,500
Pounds of chocolate destined for crispy cookie goodness - 6,022
Cans of diet coke sold in the SUB - 26,250
Pints of beer consumed at the Pit and Gallery Lounge -284,562
Cartons of milk consumed at AIMS food outlets - 30,796
Wraps sold at Snack Attack in 2000 - 23,464
Rap albums sold from Subtitles - 75
Pizza slices sold by Pie R2- 383,250
Cheese slices used at AMS food outlets - 36,100
Kg's of penny candy sold from Subcetera - 2,463
Toothbrushes sold from Subcetera -195
Number of Safewalks this academic year - 3870
Bandaids sold at Subcetera - 3,900
your student society
-.7 *
77 f   -f/, / '»' • J ; * , ',"'-   '"
Want to get rid of some
books and journals?
Why pot donate them to the
Science and Arts Foundation?
We collect books, National
Geographies up to seven years
old and journals up to 2 years
old for students in
underdeveloped countries.
Drop your books off in the
yellow collection bins located
SUB (near Subcetera), UBC
Bookstore, the Graduate
Student Centre, CSCSR-
Computer Sciences.
Lend a hand. Give the
Gift of Knowledge.
info? science-arts@c-b.ca
or visit:
> A Ubyssey Special Issue
Race Issue
Friday. March 16.2001
FRIDAY, MARCH 16, 2001
Ailin Choo
Mwahi Jan Peeters-Kasengeneke
Daliah Merzaban
Alex Dimson
Sarah Morrison
Michelle Mossop
Tom Peacock
Nicholas Bradley
- Tristan Winch
Tara Westover
Hywel Tuscano
Graeme Worthy
Laura Blue
Ernie Beaudin
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the
University of British Columbia ft is published every Tuesday
and Friday by The Ubyssey Publications Society,
We are an autonomous, democratically run student organisation, and all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They
are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications} Society
of the University of British Columbia.
77ie Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University
Press (CUP) and adheres to CUP'S guiding principles.
AJ editorial content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Pubfications Society, Stories, opinions,
photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be
reproduced without the expressed, written permission of
The Ubyssey Publications Society.
Letters to the editof must be under 300 words. Please
include your phone number, student number and signature
(not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with all
submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are
dropped off at the editorial office of The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done by phone.
'Perspectives* are opinion pieces over 300 words but
under 750 words and su-9 run according lo space,
"Freestyles" are opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff
members. Priority wiD be given to letters and perspectives
over freestyles unless the latter is time sensitive. Opinion
pieces will not be run until the identity of the writer has been
It is agreed by al persons placing display of classified
advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to
publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the
liability of the UPS wil not be greater than the price paid for
the ad. The UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes
or typographical errors thai do not lessen the value or the
impact of the ad
Room 241K, Student Union Building,
6138 Student Union Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z1
tel: (604) 822-2301
fax: (604) 822-9279
e-mail: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Room 245, Student Union Building
advertising: (604) 822-1654
business office: (604) 822-6681
e-mail: ubyssey_ads@yahoo.com
Fernie Pereira
Jennifer Copp
Shalene Takara
Beats & Biles Our new column featuring tha Ubyssey'i picfcl for
music and munchiesl Tristan Winch: "Don't Wanna Lose You Now*
by Gloria Estefan: Daliah Merzaban: any song by Mohamed
Mounir; Tara Westover. chocolate ice cream; Alex Dimson; that one
by Dave Matthews; Michelle Mossop: hot water and peanuts; Sarah
Morrison: cookies and spaghetti; Laura Blue likes playing (he guitar Hywel Tuscano: "Shake Ya Asa* and brownies; Ailin Choo:
chocolate (except the dark kind}; Mwalu Peeters: "Assemble Not
Thyself by ihe Terrors and tychee smoothies with coconut jelly;
Adam Rudder plantain chips and The Sword of Allah"; Tom
Peacock: fig newtous; Nicholas Bradley: jelly beans; Holland
Gidney doesn't know; Nic Fensom; sushi and Tosca "Orozco'; Priya
Bala: those little coconut jelly things and "Pasilda' by AfroMedusa;
Duncan McHugh; locusts and wild honey; Alicia Miller chocolate
and 'Mother Father*; Terumi Taylor, Alana Stevenson, Alan Tong,
Kim The, Julia Christensen. George Fuller, Elhe. Tungchan, Andrew
Kostynink. Reginald Khoker, Anne-Marie Samarasinghe, Diana
Liao, and Izumi Waketd were unavailable for comment, but we
Grmly believe that they have tastebuds and eardrums too. ♦
a Poet Safe* AgiMm«nt Numbw 0732141
My name isn't Shaft
for Rohan
When I walk in your store, why do your eyes follow me
like tiny bombs waiting to detonate at my slightest movement?
My fingers aren't knives and the only steel strapped to my waist
is my belt buckle.
I'm not a pimp and I don't deal crack.
I'm not the mugger, the thief or the rapist
You've forgotten I was one who was raped
(Africans don't have names like Lincoln)
I don't have any illegitimate children.
I don't smoke ganja.
Fried chicken doesn't agree with my stomach.
I like to collect stamps, not welfare.
Why am I defined by my balls?
(the ones I dribble and the ones that dangle)
I don't know how to rap (my wife takes care of the gifts)
I'm not George Jefferson or Bill Cosby
(Why do they always arrest black men on COPS?)
I'm not the negro who dances like a tornado,
runs like a jaguar &
fucks like a demon
Why do I have to have a big dick?
Why does the dictionary define black as wicked, sinister & deadly?
Why is black magic the evil kind?
Don't brand my face with prison bars.
I won't hurt you.
aWhy do you ignore the softness of my smile &
the richness of mahogany?
-Reginald. P. Khokher
I apply my make-up with
a force unknown
each move, mechanical
knock on the door.
I greet my friend with a
smile, painted on perfectly.
Give me a minute.
Look in the mirror, at
my cappuccino cream.
Imperfections irk and I wipe
wipe wipe wipe peel slowly peeling
peel off the fake. Knock knock.
Hold on a sec, I'm coming.
Cappuccino cream my ass
as I
stare at the white revealed
uncovered. Unavoidably glowing
back at me in my reflection.
Like a conceited jester it greets me
thought you could get rid of me,
didn't you, brat?
Hastily, I
re-apply colour hard vigorous
stay on this time 11 mutter.
Knock knock. Come on, I hear.
I open the door, one final glance.
Quickly, I
straighten my smile
which has fallen to the side,
to drop off my face.
-Diana Liao
Drifting tides	
or like two cars heading
North and South
on a highway
in a
New Westminster apartment survive.
One a busy student;
career person, the other.
both strangers each avoiding the other
these last nine months
because of colour difference.
financial necessity
oppress us to
"tolerate" each other.
-Anne-Maria Samarasinghe
No such thing as a stupid question?
by Alana Stevenson
In academic settings, and the few occupations I have had, I have frequently
encountered people who perkily assure others that no question is stupid.
After many years of being patient and polite, the proverbial straw has been
thrust upon my back, and I must insist that stupid questions do indeed exist
Particularly in the realm of personal information, no one has the right
to ask a question which makes another feel uncomfortable, no matter what
the motivation is for asking.
For as long as I can rememblr, I have beeii polijely and not-so-politely
grilled about my ethnicity. Theraare sian^ method*/laoisfg tfiis, ranging
from bold strangers who will approach and demand, "What are yqu?" to
shy types who will hem and hai|, and finally, in a very politically <»rrecl
manner, inquire as to my "ethaic background^ to guessers, such as th*e
man who delivered my prescription last week, and bellowed "Are you
Chinese?" as he made his way back down my front steps. These are all variations on the same question, a question that should never be asked of
someone to whom you aren't extremely close.
Having ethnicity brought up all the time can have very negative effects
on a person. These effects can range from the simple annoyance at the
"What are you?" question (I'm a human being!), to other, more serious
problems. Being questioned about your ethnicity before someone gets to
know you can lead to the assumption that your background or 'pedigree'
is more important to them than what your personality is like.
In high school, when most teenagers are trying desperately just to fit in
and be normal, frequently being singled out as 'different' can have devastating effects on self-esteem. Even to a secure adult who appreciates individuality and non-conformists, constantly being reminded of differences
in appearance, which can't be helped, chisels at one's confidence.
I understand that curiosity is a natural response, and an undeniable
part of human nature. Occasionally, I have taken it to be a compliment;
that strangers are interested in the way I look. However, satisfying your
own curiosities at the risjs of making someone feel uncomfortable is simply afelfis-ly It's not thatd|fficult tcfsto|s a moment before asking a personal question, and consider how many times others may have asked the exact
lame thing, and wnat effect that migbi have on a person.
J rfave absolutely no problem with disclosing the fact that my mother is
a third-generation Chinese-Canadian, and that my father is English. I willingly and eagerly discuss many personal details of my life with those who
take the time to know me as a person. The people I take issue with are
those who know-nothing about me, yet because I look different, feel as
though they have a right to find out why.
As a human being, please try and keep this in mind the next time you
meet someone who cannot easily be pigeonholed into any one racial category. Ask yourself what's important, and get to know who they are, before
you start to guess what they might be. ♦ 4
Friday, March 16,2001
- Race Issue -
A Ubyssey Special Issue
All films $3.00
in the NORM (SUB theatre)
Film Hotline: 822-3697  OR check out
Sat Mar 17 - Sun Mar 18
7:00 Miss Congeniality
9:30 LockStock2Smokingbarrels
Wfd MAR 21 - Thurs MAR 22
7:00 All about my mother
9:30 \\frnmmthevogecfana\^ breakdown
In a continuing effort to increase the level of service provided by
the Faculty of Arts Academic Advising Office, the Faculty intends
to hire three to five students to serve as the first point of contact
for students attending the Academic Advising Office.
Successful applicants must be entering third or fourth year in the
Faculty of Arts and have completed at least thirty credits at UBC.
They must possess good communication skills, and be reliable and
conscientious workers. Their duties will include offering assistance
to students in finding the correct path to resolution of their
inquiries, referring students to appropriate Academic Advising
Office staff, and scheduling appointments for the Faculty advisors.
Pre-employment training is offered and required.
Employment will be 3 to 10 hours per week on regular shifts of
between 3 and 3.5 hours, morning or afternoon. Payment is at the
rate of $12.79 per hour. Term of employment is September 2001
to April 2002.
Applications, including a resume, two letters of reference, and a
statement indicating the qualities the candidate would bring to the
position, must be submitted to:
Ms. Grace Wolkosky, Academic Advisor
Arts Academic Advising Office
Buchanan A201
ITTC Inc. is looking to hire ESL teachers for its
language institutes located in Korea.
-Professional Positions Available - must have
Bachelor degree
-Internment Positions Available - must have
2 years post-secondary education
ITTC Inc. also offers 40 hr and 100 hr full-time
TESOL Training Programs.   Graduates will be
personally placed in teaching positions for all levels
and age groups in language institutes in Korea.
For placement or TESOL Programs call or fax
International TESOL Training College
2300-1066 W. Hastings St., Vancouver, B.C.
Tel: (604) 608-6721 Fax: (604) 608-6915
For a few dollars more...
by Mwalu Peetere
• Ailin Choo
• Michelle Mossop
To be a voting
• Alex Dimson
• Nic Fensom
Ubyssey staff
• Alicia Miller
• Nicholas Bradley
member,you must
• Bruce Arthur
•Regina Yung
have contributed to
• Daliah Merzaban
• Ron Nurwisah
three issues this
• Daniel Silverman
• Sarah Morrison
term, and attended
• Duncan McHugh
• Scott Bardsley
three out of five
• Ernie Beaudin
•Tara Westover
consecutive staff
•Graeme Worthy
• Tom Peacock
meetings. If you
• Holland Gidney
• Tristan Winch
have not met this
• Hywel Tuscano
criteria, but think
• Julia Christensen
you should be a
• Kathleen Deering
This person needs
staff member, come
to attend one more
to this week's staff
• Laura Blue
staff meeting:
meeting or talk to
• Lisa Denton
• Diana Stech
{On February 21, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)-the biggest of
the multinational pharmaceutical corporations collectively known as "Big Pharma"—held a press conference.
Amid talk of US$7.73 billion in profits and marketing
schemes for a new asthma drug, CEO Jean-Pierre
Gamier also announced plans to extend Glaxo's
"Accelerated Access' programme—an initiative under
which treatment drugs for AIDS would be made available to African governments at reduced rates. Under the
1 expanded programme, 'not-forprofit agencies with the
i ability to deliver the medicines^ wi
There are other options. Several countries—including
Brazil, Thailand, and India—have intellectual property
laws that prioritise the health and well being of their people over the bottom lines of transnational corporations.
These laws allow for the production of cheaper, generic
versions of patented pharmaceuticals in cases of dire
human need. The end result is a drug with the same
medicinal properties as the ones produced by; "Big
Pharma," but without the brand name and with a much
lighter price tag.
On many occasions, producers of generic pharmaceuticals have offered to export their versions of anti-
i for the discount rates, a move.expej
fpuld aba, be eligible    AIDS &u§s to African^nations. For example, Cipla,
pted to generate $<$m<k   Indian? compinyi has offered, to sell Kenya a generic'
JiaKf comtony^ria^ oj
positive publicity for GSK. |        ^       j    *    )   I   i  Igion o%thed|ug Fluconazole at a rate of $0.64 per pill,
Glaxo could use the good press, Inrecent months itf    comparecf to a brand-name price of $ 10.56 per pill. This
.' and the other made members of "Big Pharma," have
come increasingly under fire for their complicity in the
AIDS epidemic that is ravaging Africa.
More than 25 million
Africans are infected with the
HIV virus. Of these, only
25,000-0.001 per cent-
have access to the anti-retrovi-
ral drugs that would prolong
their lives and make their disease manageable—drugs that
are readily available in the
west These people are denied
access to the medicines that
they so desperately need
because neither they nor their
governments—many of which are in the throes of structural adjustment—cannot afford them. AZT and 3TC, two
of the basic antiretrovirals, cost between $10,000-
$ 15,000 per patient per year. In contrast, the average
working person in South Africa, one of the richer nations
on the continent, earns less than $3000 per year.
GlaxoSmithKline owns the patents to AZT and 3TC.
Under international trade law—the agreement on Trade
Related Intellectual Property rights, or TRIPs—they have
the exclusive right to produce these drugs for the next 20
years. This artificial monopoly, enforced by the WTO,
means that GSK can set the price for its patented drugs.
That they do, at rates that far outstrip many people's
ability to pay.
The reasoning put forth for the exclusive rights is that
companies like Glaxo must be allowed to 'protect their
investment' in research and development, so that other
pharmaceutical manufacturers can't just piggy-back on
their efforts. Likewise, the high prices are deemed necessary in order to fund the development of new drugs,
drugs that may be more effective than today's standards
in fighting disease. «**"*v*" ^ " %
This reasoning is, in two sjfuabte^ buH&jjpS-This is
especially true in the case of A?? ftp$5'^^[wxg? that
were developed through pubh^fe^aded US Jgsearch
projects. Glaxo didn't invent thi
the patents. Equally mired in d
that huge profits are necessary
research. Companies like Glaxo
than twice as much on marke'
and development More fund;
question the logic behind the
African lives should be sacrifii
medicines that will then be pri>
to afford.
"More than 25 million
Africans are infected
with the HIV virus. Of
these, only 0.001 per
cent-have access to
drugs that would
prolong their lives..."
3ffded!up with
to fun! 1 future
i spei d more
d on i ;search
man| would
ons of
bd inN>rdejJo« >roduce
fed too high for Africans
compared to a Drand-name price t
is much less than even the 'reduced' prices being
offered by western drug producers.
Not surprisingly, the greedy minds behind "Big
Pharma' have opposed and
obstructed exchange such as
these every step of the way.
Firing accusations of international trade violations and
intellectual piracy, they have
launched legal action against
African governments that
would dare attempt to provide their citizens with adequate, affordable health care.
For instance, in a lawsuit that
began on March 5, 42 different pharmaceutical companies—including the $14 mil-
lion-a-day earning GlaxoSmithKline—will challenge the
South African government's right to import large
amounts of generic drugs, or alternatively, to manufacture them within its own borders.
Which brings me back to Glaxo's press conference.
While touting the new and expanded 'Accelerated
Access' program, Garnier also made it clear that GSK
would continue to protect its patent rights, and would do
all it could to maintain its monopoly grip on Africa's
"If we can furnish governments with these drugs at
affordable prices, there's not much point in allowing any
other company to come in,' Garnier said.
But there may well be. If anything, the behaviour of
GlaxoSmithKline and its 'Big Pharma" ilk clearly illustrates that they are not fit to be stewards of world health.
Even if they yield to mounting pressure—the result of
' recent media focus on Aids in Africa and not any moral
agency—and finally offer the anti-retroviral drugs at
prices equivalent to generic medicines, what of other
infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, whose treatment in developing nations is also only
constrained by finances?
The greed and avarice of the big pharmaceutical corporations—and the system of patent laws, intellectual
property rights, and international capital that supports
them—in the face of human suffering speaks for itself.
Their willingness to sacrifice life—particularly Black
life—in exchange.for profits is a ringing condemnation
of them. It serves as a wake-up call for anyone who feels
that the impact of the 'new economic order'—based on
the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and 'intellectual prop-
erQf— on Africa an^i^ieans will differ in any way,
C^shape, or form frjft*|:mffTmpact of the old economic
Last May, in responsejffi^ffl^^wteage overIfreir    waiter—ba*sedji» slavery, theft, and colonisation.
apparent imwillingnej|^puSW^4ajjie out of the back ( -> {Note* In a similar lawsuit the US—led by everyone's
of a dying contineaV-EiSrcSSpSnies-Boehringlr - favourite oil-bred, son-of-a-CIA-director—is mounting a
Ingelheim, BristQllBISIlI3*lialbb' GlaxoSmithKline,
Merck, and F. Hoffman-LaRoche—with the backing of the
UNAids project, offered to sell their antiretrovirals to
African governments at a price 85 per cent lower than
the market rate—the aforementioned Accelerated Access
plan. Since that time, however, only two companies,
Glaxo and Boehringer Ingelheim, have actually moved to
reduce prices. And even at these cut rates, the cost is still
much too high for some African nations to afford.
challenge to Brazil's intellectual property laws. Brazil,
thjougrr tneproduction and distribution of ■ generic
drugs to its population, has been one of the few developing countries to combat AIDS with any success, dramatically decreasing the rate of HIV infection and mortality from AIDS in the past decade. This apparently, is
not good for business and a WTO tribunal will soon rule
on whether or not the government of Brazil will be
allowed to continue to care for its people.) ♦
Read two of us every week,
and write us on the weekend...
feedback® ubvssey.bc.ca
Curing boredom since 1918.
THEUBYSSEY A Ubyssey Special Issue
Race Issue
Friday, March 16.2001
Surviving the Holocaust
by Ailin Choo
Call me what you will, but it came as
quite a surprise to find out that Ruth
Sigal looks and behaves like any
other successful career woman.
After all, Sigal is no ordinary person. The director of the UBC
Women's Resource Centre (WRC) is
a 'miracle' survivor of the
Holocaust, who has just recently
begun to tell her story, using it to
help raise awareness of the
Holocaust and of persisting discriminatory attitudes in society. She
was honoured last year for her
efforts towards fighting racism in
BC schools.
Sigal, born in Lithuania in 1936,
tells a frightening story of her childhood experiences. She remembers
the atrocities that occurred with an
astounding vividness. Her warm
smile fades as she recalls being
taken away from her home and
being forced to live in a ghetto at
only five years of age. She tells of
how the Jewish population in
Lithuania before the war was
reduced from 15,000 to 10,000
"They were all taken out to the
woods and shot by the Nazis...later,
they would come in and rape
women on the streets...it was
Sigal explains how all parents
were made to work throughout the
day, and describes the games the
children used to play in their
absence. She mostly remembers
playing in the mud, hungry, and
waiting for her parents to come
home with food.
Her most painful memory,
though, is that of losing her sister.
Sigal's face tenses up as she
explains how the Nazis decided to
kill all the children residing in the
ghettos. She remembers her mother warning them against men who
might come and take Sigal and her
sister, Tamara, away.
Sigal was given the responsibility of looking after her sister, who
was four years old at the time. She
was instructed to hide under a pile
of wood or to run over to her moth- ■
er's cousin's house and hide. The
Nazis finally came for the children
on November 5, 1943.
"That's when I realised that we
were in danger," Sigal says. "I knew
that was the day because they came
with trucks, barking dogs, and loudspeakers with lots of music, trying
to obliterate the screaming of the
children who were running around
like mice trying to hide."
As instructed, Sigal rushed over
to her mother's cousin's house to
hide. He was a bachelor and a well-
respected doctor in the ghetto at the
time, so Sigal's family thought that
the children would be safe with
"After hiding in the closet of the
doctor's house for an extremely
long time, my sister began crying
for her mother,' Sigal says, her
voice faltering. After a while, she
could no longer hear the loud music
or barking dogs, and so she decided
to come out of hiding. The two
young girls were immediately spotted and thrown into a truck.
In what Sigal describes as a "miracle/ her mother's cousin, by saving a German commandant's life,
was able to gain a favour from the
commandant he was permitted to
take one of the girls to safety. Sigal
was taken out of the truck. Tamara,
however, was left behind.
"In the meantime, the truck
pulled away with Tamara on it, with
her hands outstretched, saying,
'Don't leave me,' and they were
gone. I later found out they were all
taken to Auschwitz...she was four
years old and I don't even have a
picture of her."
Because her parents feared a
quick return of the German soldiers, Sigal was rushed off to a rat-
infested factory, where she spent
four days in hiding. Her parents
eventually found a Lithuanian-
Catholic couple who were willing to
take Sigal in as their own. "They
were my saviours," Sigal says.
Her parents were finally able to
escape the ghitto three weeks
before the war ended, and immediately set out to get her back. Sigal
remembers how she resisted
returning to them-she says it took
three to four months to wean her
"I figured I was Catholic and I
didn't want to be considered a Jew.
I hated them because they were
Jews," she said.
The years after the war were
chaotic ones for Sigal and her family. They immediately decided to
leave Lithuania, and with the aid of
fake passports, fled to Germany via
Poland. They resided in a displaced
persons' camp in Germany for five
years, before making their way over
to Canada. Thus began Sigal's experience as an immigrant
Sigal recalls the difficulties she
encountered in her constant movement from one place to another.
She moved several times before
finally arriving in Vancouver.
Language was always one of the
biggest problems. Lacking a proper
education for 12 years, Sigal found
it difficult to feel comfortable in her
"It was hard with the immigrant
experience, of being the new kid, of
trying to fit in, never feeling that
I'm part of any
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Ruth Sigal draws on her Holocaust experience in an effort to end racism in
local schools, aiunchoo photo
the prevalence of racism in Canada.
"I have such an affinity towards
new people who come to this country because they have no idea; people discriminate against you on a
very superficial level without even
Sigal went on to work as a
researcher, got married and had
three children. After her third child
was born, she decided to commit
herself to volunteering at the UBC
explains Sigal, led her to confront
her own experiences.
'We're the 'hidden children of
the Holocaust' and the last generation to tell the story. It's somehow
my duty to tell the story,* she says.
Sigal's decision to tell her story
was prompted by the rising spectre
of Holocaust denial. With the influx
of immigrants to Canada, she was
beginning to notice increasing
amounts of racism towards other
thing, always
feeling like the
outsider" she
Holocaust' and the last generation to
tell the story "
Sigal managed
to excel in
Grades 11 and
12 and graduated with honours. She was accepted
to UBC and pursued a degree in
Sigal laughs as she begins to
relate her most memorable
moment at UBC. She begins by
explaining that there were no language entrance tests at the time she
applied, and that, as she had completed Grade 13 in Regina, she was
put into second year. She was taking
a 200-level English course, and her
first assignment was to write an in-
class essay about what she had done
over the summer. She recalls her
professor singling her out in class
one day and asking to speak with
her later on.
"He told me, T want you to get
out of the university, you are not
university material.' He said, 'if I
have anything to do with it, you'll
never graduate, because your
English is atrocious' she said.
Sigal eventually changed the
course she was taking, to one that
did not require in-class essays. She
beams as she tells me that she
ended up with a final grade of 74
per cent Her face then becomes
serious as she tell3 me that this
experience shed new light for her on
We're the 'hidden children of the   'y™ ™w
you always
have to find a
she says.
—Ruth SigCll, observations
Holocaust survivorit*:rmo?e
active in her
fight against racism, and to set up a
support group for the 'hidden children' of the Holocaust She started
visiting schools and symposiums to
speak about her experiences.
"They see me standing here, and
I'm a director of the WRC, I'm an
accomplished person, I've done
many things, I'm educated and my
attitude to life is very positive...so I
want to teach that you can overcome adversity."
Sigal also combats racism by helping people come to a better realisation of their own and other's racist
mentalities. She gives the example of
one of her students who, in conversation one day, complimented one of
Sigal's cousin's successful coffee
businesses by saying, "you people
really know how to do that"
"You people' really got to me,"
says Sigal. "It's all stereotyping and
it's all divisive...soyou have to teach
people to be assertive, to be able to
know what's right or wrong and to
not be afraid to speak up."
When asked if she still feels
hatred towards the Germans for
what they did to her family, Sigal
admits that despite the numerous
times she has told her story, she
crisis centre. She said that she "simply couldn't just stay home and be a
Her work as a volunteer led to
her interest in counseling and her
realisation of the pleasure that
comes from working with other
people. She then decided to get her
second degree and, at age 39, pursued graduate studies in counseling
psychology. Placing her hand on
mine, she says 'And I've never
regretted it."
Sigal hasn't always talked openly
of her Holocaust experiences. She
told me that in the past she always
hid her experiences and her Jewish
'I was frightened to be out of the
closet so to speak, of being a Jew
because of always being persecuted
and always feeling afraid," she explains.
A turning point came when
Sigal turned 50. Sigal says that two
things began to happen. Firstly,
she began to experience feelings
of nostalgia, where she would
begin to think back on her life, in
search of her identity. Secondly, it
was a period of time in which most
Holocaust-surviving parents were
beginning to die. These things,
still feels'extremely angry at what
happened to her. She does not feel
angry with German people as individuals, but she is angry with
those who put people down or
killed due to a difference in colour
or religion.
"I'm just happy to be alive,'
exclaims Sigal. "What keeps me
going is just being alive. First of all
I feel very lucky that I survived...I
feel that there's some purpose in
my life, I have something to give
Despite her retirement at the
end of the year, Sigal assures me
that she will not quit volunteering
her time to speak to people. She
emphasises that education is the
most important thing for this society and that she will never stop fighting against racism. She adds that
racism in Canada is still a very
prevalent issue and suggests that
the solution lies in getting rid of the
barriers and "being people with one
As I pack up to leave, Sigal hesitates and then asks what exactly I
will be writing about her. She
reminds me that she is uncomfortable with the idea of having an
entire story written about her life,
and wants me to assure her that I
will not write in a manner that will
make people pity her.
In telling her story, Sigal wants
people to realise that there are
issues out there to be confronted
and overcome. She wants her story
to touch not only Jewish people, but
also all people who live in fear of
being attacked, and of being discriminated against
"The pain never goes away,
that's what makes me a good counselor; because I understand that
when you've come from that kind of
a horror, I don't care how good
things are now, that thing affects
you all your life.
"Life is just so precious.' This is
the message she wants to convince
people of. She has certainly
convinced me. ♦ Friday, March 16,2001
_ Race Issue .__
A Ubyssey Special Issue
Friday, March 16.2001
at UBC
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n' photo Meghan Gardinw
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Race on TV and white mainstream monotony
 by Ethel Tungohan
Watching mainstream television nowadays is much like getting a
lobotomy. To enjoy television, I find it necessary to turn off my
brain to stop my recurring, ongoing, painful analysis.
Unfortunately, more often than not, the intellectual part of me
emerges victorious, leaving me with no other recourse but to turn
the television off or to throw my shoe at the screen.
There exists a great misconception that because the latter part
of the 20th century has introduced prominent television minority
actors like Bill Cosby, Lucy Liu, and Will Smith, problems of
racism are gradually being rendered obsolete. Unfortunately,
minority actors like those listed above are the exception rather
than the rule. It also appears as though an unfair burden is placed
on their shoulders to represent all blacks, or all Asians, or all
minority groups, when different minority groups have diverse values and mindsets.
For example, when ABC first televised Margaret Cho's shortlived sitcom Ail-American Girl, news reports celebrating what a
great stride this was for Asian-Americans proliferated. Yes, it is
true that- seeing an Asian woman headlining the show was a
refreshing change from the white monotony of standard television
fare, but it is too far-fetched to assume that Cho's character was
"The Great (Yellow) Hope' for all Asians and all minority groups.
To do so would be to assume that people who fall under the general category of 'Asians' are all part of the same ethnic mass, when
each group has clear distinctions.
Of course, recognising that different racial groups have diverse
values is crucial, and sometimes TV shows fall in the trap of propagating stereotypes under the guise of diversity appreciation. It is
even more offensive when the token minority character amid an
otherwise all-Caucasian cast brings to life stereotype after stereotype. It is as though TV show producers are clamoring to jump on -
the bandwagon of political correctness by having the minority
character become the 'minority of all minorities.'
This blatant attempt at becoming more politically correct falls
flat because the end result is characters who are not realistic people but are worthless parodies-or to put it mildly, the manifestation of what mainstream producers assume a minority character
should be.
For example, Lucy Liu's character, Ling, in Ally McBeal is
admirable in many respects. I admit to feeling ambivalent when
asked to categorise her as a 'good' or as a Tjad' character for racial
minorities-her strength, at least in comparison to Ally's innate,
docile ineptness, is laudable. On the other hand, I cannot help but'
think that the way she is always so ferocious makes her the stereo-
, typical Asian 'Dragon Lady.' Surely TV producers can create characters whose core values are promoted without resorting to turning them into ethnic caricatures.
• And why is it that there are always just one or two ethnic characters in popular TV shows? To put it more succinctly, I get the
feeling that television producers-in their quest to look more politically correct—introduce one or two minority characters into
shows as a last minute attempt to make sure that they do not get
accused of ignoring the cultural mosaic. Call me paranoid, but I
get the feeling that producers are reluctant to add more racial
minorities lest the show become 'too ethnic'
To prevent the show from becoming 'too ethnic' or too concentrated on minority characterisation, most TV shows relegate
our token minority players to the sidelines, either as a sidekick or
as a secondary character.
This fear of the TV bigwigs is probably why we hardly (if ever)
see certain minority groups like First Nations people, Southeast
Asians, and Muslims. Still, such an excuse should not always
mean that other people suffer as a result It is imperative that
diverse lifestyles are shown, if only to show that in multicultural
countries like the United States and Canada, multicultural representation is truly practised, even in the realm of television.
That this is easier said than done need not be reiterated. That
is why to promote different lifestyles and to break free from the
reluctance of mainstream television networks like NBC and Fox,
certain networks like UPN have made a determined effort to highlight minority characters.
In cable networks, we have different channels that have
shows catering solely to one specific group. These are good
because they allow minority characters to be represented on TV,
even on a small cable channel. Unfortunately, in a way, they
merely strengthen and emphasise minority separation from the
In retrospect, at l<»ast minority representation now on mainstream television is better than it was decades ago. Contemporary
shows like The Practice, ER, and NYPD Blue successfully represent
minority characters.
But again, the same problems recur-for example, in The
Practice, why is it that one of the two black characters has to resort
to the 'tough black guy' stereotype? But at least efforts are being
made to ameliorate the situation. Some effort is better than no
effort whatsoever. Or is it?
Are efforts made by TV producers truly motivated by a desire
for change? Are we settling here? Or is there really no point in my
angry tirades?
Perhaps in a sense, I am being self-righteous in my indignation, for I, too, propagate the arduous cycle of stereotyping.
Perhaps ignorance really is bliss. But being ceaselessly inundated
by image after image that solidifies the status quo, and not seeing
yourself represented in television, can have harmful effects. It
invalidates your lifestyle and makes you believe that the standard
white upper middle-class tradition is normal-that your experiences are not valid. At least I am taking a decisive stance. ♦
Three black kids, three white dogs
    by George Fulfer
So I'm a little white boy hi a nice clean, white world-Kingston,
Ontario, 1928. Difference didn't really threaten. How could it?-
It really didn't, exist, at least not visibly. Was it not there
because nothing brought it to consciousness, or was it simply
the segregated world?
Memories become selective over time. When I was about
six, my family spent a year in Washington, DC, During this
time, my first memories of people of colour, of African descent,
and the word 'nigger/ left me with an indelible psychic scar of
alienation, wounding, radical difference, fear and even revulsion. Returning safely to white Winnipeg removed the chance
of further encounter and indoctrination. •'    J>
,* But did it? Who vyere^ these Frerich-speaking'pepplS acjrossY
the river in St Boniface, with their separate ways, different language, and demands for- recognition? NoUike. mej and*min«i
but objects of suspicion, ferment, and even divisiori-potential'
thorns in our comfortable world. :
At the age of 16,1 moved to the US. I entered a university
chartered by the US Congress, which barred admission to people of colour. It seemed strange, as a Canadian kid, but nothing
to get worked up about Then, into
my life came a university student
of African-American descent.
Visiting with his family was the
start of my consciousness raising. I
spent a three-day \ weekend in a
totally 'black' world I never knew
existed. j
Suddenly, unknown subconscious fears surfaced: Was I the
enemy? - How should I have
behaved? Was it safe to eat their
food? Why an all: ^lack' world?
How come I didn't feel this way in
North Africa three years earlier?
Such was the introduction to
rhy culturally-molded subconscious racist prejudicial emotions.
It raised more questions than I was
ready for or could Answer.
Some ten years later, a rat-
infested apartment in New York
City drove my wife^and I, both students at the time, 'to apply for an
apartment in a low-income public
housing area. We were placed in a
high-rise project in Harlem, the
famous ManhattaiJ 'black' ghetto,
as, at the time, the* only white tenants in a project pi six to eight
buildings each of 2i floors with 11
apartments per floor. I was also
working in the samp area as a community worker and! legal advisor.
When it comesj to confronting
your deeply-ingrained prejudices,,
there is nothing like immersing
yourself in a comiiunity your own
race has oppressed! It can be a profoundly enlightening and frightening experience. \lo longer are
these people a faceless mass, indistinguishable one from another.
Their emotions spring alive, recognisable through each unique face
and gesture, through friendly smiles, expressionless self-protective stares, and eyes of anger and hostility. Each personal
encounter is loaded with responses whose genesis lurks in the
stormy history of 3 50 years of slavery and oppression.
The ghetto can be a dangerous place, not only for its regular
.occupants, but especially for a foreigner. Repressed anger at
denial of self-worth and opportunity make your presence a
potential ignition flash point .   .
It was the early 1960s, the peak of the black fight for civil
rights, and we were swept into involvement It was in confronting the white community and its racist legal system that
we discovered how deeply-rooted our racist assumptions were.
This unanticipated journey of self-discovery led me to
reflect on my inherited prejudice as an Anglo-Canadian toward
my fellow French Canadians. It made it possible to see the parallels between the oppression of people of African ancestry and
our history as Europeans in the invasion and genocidai
destruction of the original inhabitants of these continents, now
known as the Americas. Parallels that leave scars that, like it or
not, affect everything we do as Canadians.
As a family, we entered into interracial adoption and foster
parenting. As a result, we were continually sensitised to underlying racism, as our children experienced it through their youth
into their adulthood.
Even today, our youngest son, an African-Canadian nightclub singer, will be stopped by the cops in Vancouver when he
is driving home after gigs in his girlfriend's car, on suspicion
of being, perhaps a pimp, perhaps driving a stolen vehicle-
simply because of his race.
Four years ago, while teaching in China, some students
asked what a Canadian is. I told them they should probably wait
60 years for an answer, as we are a people undergoing such
rapid change. I explained that in many ways Canada represents
a unique set of circumstances. Through our history of immigration, particularly since the end of the Second World War, we
have become one of the most racially and culturally diverse
nations in the world, and the process is continuing, perhaps
accelerating. Yet, our children are raised in tragic ignorance of
this history. Rather than appreciating the diverse nature of
being a Canadian, they are all-too-frequently polarised by their
We are most comfortable with what we see in the mirror.
The real issue for any society is to create a climate that allows
us to celebrate our uniqueness, to preserve it for ourselves, and
share it with each other, while at the same time admitting our
exclusive tendencies. Isn't it possible for us to be vulnerable
enough to each other, to share our worst tendencies so that we
can care for each other in our common humanity? The alternative is ugly. We have thousands of years of endless tragic
But let us not forget that as we preach to the rest of the world
arid seek restitution for our own historical wrongs, that we are
all invaders in the, land of First Nations people. Settling with
them is the inevitable first priority. ♦
Dream casting the motherland:
innocence found
 by Adam Rudder
The other day I was thinking of my
trip to Africa, 'back' to th$ mother-,,
land. There are so' many little
everyday things that ari different
about Ghana. I; am thinking of a
mini-bus ride, and a lesson about
love taught by an African stranger
He was a Christian, born a Muslim;
"But the problem is power. The
white man has the power to enforce
his divisive form of Christianity-
whole'Jove| argument was oversimplifying the issue.   \   j    \   ,*
"Yes, y^ung brother," but no'one
has the power to take that love that
yQuhaveinyour heart You have to
and had read some Buddhism./''~-Ngive*aiat away,' the man said with
1        JapanMan (a Ghaniin whfrhad    ^smueNhat succeeded in melting
Ibeen nicknamed JapanMan Hue to soma of th\aggression I was begin-
his interest in ^Buddhfeiil ajvi r nuMo feelA
s Japanese culture/and I dlsc\tssll i^yU^nn, the\e issues get me heat-
the pitfalls of th^ Christian religion -"ed. Nek at this'pentle man who sat
for the African,tnan on a minims > to front of me-il respected and val-
speeding for Russia (a suburb ofeSdh/s input, iiwas inmyself-itis
Accr4 ;■ f\    (.tfiis/anker tnat'fteKuncontrol-
"Yeahman,;the whites don t see.    lablte, theVgyeAge I onl^know as
the unity, andkhis ignorande^ is a"'   unqjienc&ableJ        f\   \
persistent thence in the WaytKey it furls m/^row,;hardens my
study and live Christianity,'^ ven- wgyes and puts" ed|<kdn my words,
tured, with new confidence-found I am abrodiict o/Mt BabWji sys-
on a mini-bus where the majority    temTn^^^^fi5^ higiC#ied in
of people were black.\        \ my psyc^^fether pa^'d it^n    felt as though I had been revealed
"Yes sir! Before the fchite maq^ Jn^piss^d-ofJ-'and m#ancholic\ to myself, through the fog of illu-
came we had our owji-feh'gion. It ""glances^metimes I,|eel like that \sion that protects me from the
was a religion that-was set m*$^ishj^nave. inhered the middle 'judgment of white suburban
particular way that African's see - . paSMigeAthroughfSy father's eyes.     '
Eyes Jhft tgjpof the pairi in our
hatred, manifest from violence
passed, that shadow that meanders
| in my souL yearning for physical
vengeance. He had seen it, and in
| his &an<k I felt a^sen^ of calm. If
I everf fof*f moment, I became
• aware of that love* that, I had forsaken. I could tell thafthe warmth of
my smile was received, it reflected
back to me in the glint of his eyes.
There was pause.
"We need to follow the example
of Christ and love our fellow men
without condition. And we must
start now,' he paused for a
moment "I love you.'
I sat frozen in a moment The
ever-present music on the minibus paused. His words pierced
through the story that had been
constructing my surroundings.
The story that helps me survive
back home. The story of better and
worse, that gives power to differences. I moved back slightly, and
the world. The Bible can be used by
black people—but we have to read
it and understand it for oufsetves-.-
Everywhere, 'there is the white
man's Christianity," JapanMan
said, shaking his"head.
At that point, the'inan sitting in
the row in front of us cut-in politely but with confidence, "Do""you:
mind if I join your cSaversatioi^L.
I smiled. That is wfifTlove
about Ghana.       ^\  \.
'I overheard yWtaflqpg-about
disharmony amongvthe different
peoples and races of the world.
This was not God's. plan».G©d split
the people of theNvorld-- at' "the
Tower of Babel as a test, so that we
might overcome our differences,
regardless of the languages that we
speak. There is another language—
not captured in words, in symbols
constructed in Twee or English or
"Yes, one love, we have to learn to
work'together," JapanMan broke in.
anj^traLeouls. It is 40O years of
in^rprpduct of violence, mani-
^t*in tsis anger-that lies just
belbw^ t&ose"subIle- glances. A story
that lingers in the silences, too dangerous to be spoken.
Thesd thoughts} thoughts th^t*
; did not 'ejisen have words, ,ran
.. j^irpugh my mind in waves pf emotional mempry. As if he- had. been
reading them, the man broke into
m^passing thoughCahd responded with words: "We have toojntfch
hate in the world already" we need.''
neighbourhoods-but that also
keeps me shielded from the possibility of kinder realities. This was
ne^v, uiiexplainable, a simple concept given life in a manner which
I <ha'd never experienced before.
These are the fruits of another
/land, another knowledge, different from the one I had unknowingly invested so much unspoken
confidence in. My front receded,
for a moment the speech battle
on the bus that I had created
YYeah, I love you too.'
/Andj^hat was it, he was leading
to advocate on the behalf of love*. |ne places ^ere love dominated
JesusTaught that we must stay oilr ^d defbMg th^context in which we
judgments, loj-e without condition, s^ojceTwords rr^ihis-black man's
andleadjjyexample.' ■'&■&*ltVi i«ft m.f"'..„-tu - i.-..,„ 	
His words rained down and
there was growth, devoid of reaction. Growth, of that same kind that
first manifested love from Divine
I shook my head arid smiled
warmly. He had seen that ghost.
uth left jn^'with a love unex-
, ., red*-sp!ace\from the anger that
LtWistslmy soul." And as I turned to
face the window, in an effort to
escape the intensity of that moment
I saw the countryside pass me by,
and became aware that Ghana had
once again transformed me. ♦ .8
Friday, March 16,2001
Race Issue
A Ubyssey Special Issue
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 by Terumi Taylor
What is it about Islam that makes
people consider it a race rather than
a religion? Islam is not a race in any
way, shape or form. Muslims, the followers of Islam, come from just as
t cippf. :tm mmiMiM&re
of Islam is manifest through the pervasiveness of racial harmony in
mosques, to the activities of Muslim
communities, and to interracial
Many people seem to have severe
misperceptions about Islam or
Muslims. These misperceptions are
present not only as media bias, but
also extend to the general population
regarding who Muslims are and
what Islam is all about
You can receive your dose of blatant media misrepresentations by
watching Thg^JAarine
Prin, ,
se movieVthrive on
false images of the
ivations of Muslims,
to particular Muslim
women, are shown to be a voiceless
and weak people, forced to partake
in what the media wants you to
believe are the evils of Islam.
The unfounded fear of Islam was
most vividly demonstrated during
the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing,
' when CNN announced a search for
several Islamic-Arab terrorists. The
bomber turned out to be Timothy
 By Alan Tanq
"I felt like a marginal man. I could
identify with two cultures...but I was
never at ease with either.'
—Dr Miguel Tecson, March, 2000
If you visit the Museum of
Anthropology, you may notice this
quote on the wall. It comes from a
small exhibition where Tecson
explains his plight as a new immigrant to Vancouver to the 1950s. It
is seldom that one quote sticks in
the mind, but this quote unknowingly nudged itself into mine.
Is he asking for our pity or merely
our acceptance?
It hardly seems like a young man
given the opportunities and riches
of a new land can be considered a
victim to any sense of the word. Yet
my heart goes out to him as I consider the struggles he must have
endured to a different place, at a different time, when racial intolerance
was to vogue. Or is it because I
somehow see myself to his statement?
Vancouver is now 'the most
Asian' city to North America, my
Lonely Planet guide proudly declares.
Why should I care, though? It is not
like I relate to these people. What I
really wanted to know was how many
Australians there were in Canada.
Yet I took a strange comfort to
knowing that there were Asian people to Vancouver. But how could that
I had been the secret president of
the Anti-Asian club for so long. I
would denounce all things Asian. I
would mock their polyester | lotlitog,
curse their Japanese cars, ridicule
their 'pearl tea,' stare at them ru<%
ly, and call them uncouth when they'
persisted in speaking loudly to
someone two feet away from them.
Give me sheepskin, a Holden
(you call it 'GM' to Canada), and a
Tooheys any day.
There had never been a battle
between cultures to my mind. I
Islam is not an NBC made-fee-;
television movie, but is one of i
few religions that blatantly opj
colour intolerance and racial jkelu-
dice. In Islam, Muslim's leajp^Jtnat
their intentions and actions almost
important, and that race i$T Irrelevant ^7
Some will argue that m%m is for
gabs only, but this is l^from the
'tr^f^am does not flpmjp'abs any
superioS^pr advanfeeover others,
but rather 3$^^KiV 'toe best pe^
pie in the eyes <$te>d are thoas^ho
are the most plbusy^l^mil^lS)''*
According to UN figures, there
are around 1.1 billion Muslims
worldwide, and of these people, less
than 25 per cent are Arab, with the
remaining 75 per cent residing to
areas outside the Middle East, and
identifying as Indonesians, Indians,
Pakistanis, or Malaysians—to name
a few.
In  addition,   'Jbe^tj  are  many
Muslims, sucl^pg \u*£ Islam, also
known as £|| Stlvenl-the folk
singer wh^Stged his life through
Islam—a^tjjyself, who are white
^^Cm/mbers of this society, we
ouja seek to understand others
instead of judging. Shakespeare
once wrote, "There is no darkness
but ignorance,' so let us seek the
light through understanding and
education. A greater comprehension of complete systems, including
Islam, that have had and continue
to have success in establishing a
global interracial community,
should be seriously considered in
seeking solutions to intolerance
and prejudice. ♦
never once gave a second thought to
my identity or race back to Sydney,
but why now in Vancouver?
Vancouver and Sydney are so similar, but my whole life has changed
since I arrived here. Vancouver has
become a haven for my freedom,
where the constraints of home; are
sofa/ from my spincL fa many way£
SlfmWriLidAV&lA.i 1
^ 1 "Ypu,^si|n bbyl $20 dWunti' J
shopkeeper declares fo me:
Me, 'Asian boy?' What the hell
was he going on about? But instead
of starting a Freudian discussion
about my identity, I walked away ,
with a heavier wallet, ashamed that
my values could be so easily bought
*I am Australian" I proudly pro
claim when the question, "Where
are you from?' is asked. Once to a
while, wondering eyes scanning my
features, while eyebrows meet to
confusion. 'Australian?" they ask
"Funny, you don't look
Australian* has never been said to
id |br the love of God, I hope it
rieve/is. Rage will hold no bounds if
|i evej^ dive into my well-rehearsed
soliloquy of race, culture and multi-
culturalism to Australia.
Yet for the next couple of months
I will continue to live my double life,
telling myself I have no doubts
about my identity. All I know is
that I am not a victim and never
will be. ♦
« A Ubyssey Special Issue
Race Issue
Friday, March 16.2001
A visionary for First Nations education
 by Julia Christensen
Most UBC students have never been
inside the First Nations House of
Learning. They may have passed
the building, noticing how its
design distinguishes it from other
buildings on campus. But most students probably don't know what
actually goes on inside the long-
house. They probably don't know
about the dedicated people who
strive to make the House of
Learning a "home away from
home' for First Nations students at
And they are probably not aware
thatjo-ann Archibald, director of the
House of Learning, has been nationally and internationally recognised
for her life-long dedication to facilitating First Nations learning to the
education system—for First Nations
and non-native students alike.
In 1995, Archibald received the
Justice Achievement Award, an
international award from the
National Association for Court
Management for her work to developing First Nations justice curricula.
In 2000, she also received a
National Aboriginal Achievement
Award for her work as 'an agent of
change and unrivaled pioneer in
the advancement of First Nations
Growing up just outside
Chilliwack, Archibald, a member of
the Sto:lo people, was raised on the
Sowahlie First Nation reserve.
Life on the reserve was isolated
but very happy, she says—a beautiful place to grow up, surrounded by
mountains, rivers, and fields.
Archibald feels quite fortunate
because of her childhood experiences. She spent a lot of time playing "in nature' with her friends on
the reserve.
Starting public school off-reserve
when she was five marked a major
transition in Archibald's life.
Growing up on the reserve, she had
never felt different. She had never
felt uncomfortable. But life off the
reserve was different.
'Of course, we always knew we
were different, in a sense. In the
sense of who we were as Sto,:lo people,' Archibald says. "I felt in high
school especially that I knew I was
different culturally and there was a
difference to where I lived. I could
sense that but at the same time I
didn't understand why...It was not
an easy experience because you do
experience forms of racism...names
that kids call you and that hurts.'
Archibald says she chose to create her own identity, rather than
accept any labels that others put on
her. She did well to her studies. She
excelled to sports. She was popular.
She was even prom queea a fact that
she reveals with an embarrassed giggle. Yet even though she did her best
to fit in, she still felt different.
While all the reserve kids attended elementary school, few made it
to the high school level. Archibald
was one of only two First Nations
students in her graduating class.
What helped her graduate,when
others dropped out, she says, was
the support she received from the
town and "something inside" her
that pushed her to work hard and
Archibald says that going to pub-
he school and then returning home
to the reserve each day was her first
experience living in 'two different
'A lot of our elders say we have
to learn to live in two different
worlds and I really feel that differ
ence,' she says. At the
House of Learning, it's
that sense of 'living in
two worlds' that
Archibald always keeps
in mind. The longhouse,
she says, is intended to
be a "home away from
home'—a world separate
from the rest of the university, where First
Nations students can feel
safe, comfortable, and 'at
"For aboriginal people,' Archibald says, 'we
get used to living in these,
different environments
or worlds but we need to
have a place that feels
like us.'
It was this same
desire to create a place
for First Nations people
that led her to consider a
career in teaching.
Throughout her high
school years, Archibald
felt disappointed at the
lack of First Nations representation to the curriculum. She was taught
about the problems of
aboriginal communities
in Canada and the history of the Iroquois, but
nothing about First
Nations history in BC. So
Archibald applied to UBC
and was accepted into
the Faculty of Education.
"I was very much interested to
learning more about First Nations
history and culture," she says.
'Although when you grow up in the
community, you attend the various
functions, at that time you don't
realise that's part of our
culture...That was part of being
Sto:lo but I didn't recognise it, of
course at the time.'
Making the move to Vancouver
was not easy for Archibald, and her
first year at university was a lonely
one. While she poured herself into
her studies, she desperately missed
her home community and felt
bewildered by the size and activity
of the UBC campus.
By her second year, Archibald had
managed to find a couple other First
Nations • students at UBC, 'even
though there were very few First
Nations students at that time,' and
they decided to rent an apartment
After second year, Archibald
married her long-term boyfriend
from Chilliwack. He moved with her
to Vancouver, and she began her
third year of university as a married
After Archibald graduated from
UBC, she spent two years teaching
at an elementary school to North
Vancouver before she and her husband decided to move back to
Chilliwack. There, Archibald taught
at primary schools for several years
before becoming involved with the
Coqualeetza Cultural Centre. At the
centre, she worked with other teachers and elders to develop curriculum for elementary and secondary
students that looked at the history
of the Sto:lo people.
By this time, Archibald had given
birth to her only child, a daughter.
Tragically, . two years after her
daughter's birth, Archibald's husband was killed in a car accident
The support of the Sowahlie
community, and the Archibald and
her late husband's families, helped
her overcome many of the obstacles
she faced as a working single moth-
JO-ANN ARCHIBALD: strives to create a
home-away-from-home" for First Nations students at UBC.
er. These support networks were
equally important in helping to
raise Archibald's daughter, whom
she feels benefited from all the family and friends she had surrounding
her as she grew up.
While Archibald continued her
work with the cultural centre, she
also began a Master's program part-
time at SFU. Her research focused
on local First Nations curricula.
Studying for her Master's', working at the centre, and raising a
daughter all at the same time, made
for one of the most challenging periods of Archibald's life. Finding balance was hard, she says. Her first
priority was giving her daughter a
good home life. Work came second.
Graduate research was often left at
the bottom of the pile. But she knew
it was something she had to do and
she pushed on.
After Archibald received her
Master'&degree, she pursued a PhD
program, again part-time, at SFU.
Researching for, and writing, her
PhD thesis was a seven-year process
as she continued to work full-time
and raise her daughter.
Meanwhile, Archibald's work
with the cultural centre ended and
she began working for the Native
Indian Education Program (NITEP).
Most of the students were women
with children, and were very motivated, serious learners. This was
Archibald's first experience teaching adults and she loved it.
Archibald was eventually
approached to fill the head position
at NITEP. Though initially doubting
her abilities, Archibald decided to
take the job. She packed up her
daughter and moved again to
Vancouver, a decision she didn't
While heading NITEP, Archibald
also worked with Master's students
and taught a few courses at UBC.
Then the position of director at
UBC's House of Learning became
available, and she was approached
to apply. Again she resisted, fearing
she didn't have what it would take.
Something inside of her, however,
pushed her to accept
"I think what pushed me to take
these leadership positions is
because...they were opportunities to
make some positive changes in programs or within the institution. I
was always much more interested
to changing the institution to be a
better place for First Nations learning, whether it's for the First
Nations learners themselves or if
it's about learning about First
As an aboriginal woman working at UBC, she feels she has a great
responsibility to the First Nations
community. "My teaching is to give
back [to the community] and I am
there to serve,' she says. To First
Nations people, Archibald adds,
community service is given more
priority than research. Working
within the university is, therefore,
very challenging because 'at university, research is a priority...and
community service is bottom of the
"I have the aboriginal world that
I am responsible to so I must
ensure that I meet those responsibilities but then I am also within
academia so I must work to meet
those responsibilities, too, and they
can clash...I choose to stay in academia because I think we need to have
First Nations indigenous knowledge
within academia...it needs to have a
place and it's my job to provide it,'
she says.
Archibald has accomplished a lot
during her time as director of the
House of Learning. A First Nations
library, child-care centre, and fully-
equipped computer lab; Were all
established under her leadership.    .
She has also worked extensively
with the University of Auckland to
New Zealand as she is director for
the International Research Institute
for Maori , and Indigenous
Education—an institute that is working to share resources, perform collaborative research and provide
staff/student, and faculty exchanges.
Archibald also successfully
developed an aboriginal admis
sions policy with UBC and worked
to create a new First Nations studies
program in the Faculty of Arts. Trek
2000 also set targets to increase
First Nations enrolment at UBC.
Archibald stresses the significance
of a major university like UBC looking at what it can do to increase the
number of First Nations students
on campus.
But her biggest accomplishment
as director, says Archibald, is working to make the House of Learning a
home for First Nations students.
"It is an intellectual home...
because there are many opportunities here to learn about First Nations
people and First Nations issues. It's
also an important cultural home—
we have lots of different cultural
activities. It's a social home. It's a
spiritual home. It's an emotional
home. I feel good about my part in
making the house a home to that it
addresses all those areas.'
Archibald's term as director will
end this June. As she looks back on
her term at the House of Learning,
she feels proud of what she has been
able to accomplish. Looking forward
to the future, she is excited about
things .to come. After she leaves the
longhouse, she plans to take a year's
leave, and will travel to London,
where her daughter lives. After her
sabbatical, she plans to return to
teach in UBC's Faculty of Education.
"I'm really looking forward to it,"
she says. "I really miss teaching
courses. I find working with university students very invigorating."
For now, Archibald will continue
her hectic life, still trying to balance
all that is important to her. When
she does get some free time, she listens to the child inside of her who
still wants to play "in nature," and
goes for long walks to the woods or
on the beach. It was that same child
inside, frustrated with the lack of
First Nations material in her high
school courses, that has pushed
Archibald to make all of the great
leaps that she has made throughout
her career. And First Nations education is stronger for it ♦ 10
Friday, March 16,2001
Race Issue
A Ubyssey Special Issue
by Kim The
"Nobqdy outlives Gim here," boasts Gim
Wong, a sharp and robust 78-year-old who will
proudly parade his zest for life when given a
sympathetic ear.
Wong, clad in a plaid shirt, gray slacks and
his purple felt army beret, stands with an
extended, clenched fist and furrowed brow,
while singing the last words to the Canadian
national anthem in a wavering voice. He
smiles upon hearing my applause and laughter and tells me that his love for amateur
singing only draws negative remarks from his
Not only is Wong probably, as he claims,
one of the few Chinese Canadians who can
sing both the American and Canadian national anthems, he is also one of the few surviving
Chinese-Canadian army veterans. He dodged
bullets and deked out enemy planes as an aviator and gunner during the Second World
War. More recently, he earned a reputation for
being one of the few Asian race-car drivers, by
speeding around tracks along the coast for 11
Since the 1950s, Wong has spent about
seven months in jail on various charges,
including disturbing the peace, obstructing
justice and swearing at the Crown. But most
notably, he is one of the few Chinese-
Canadians from his generation whose many
encounters with racism have goaded him to
become a rabble-rousing activist, seeking
redress for the former Chinese Head Tax and
Exclusion Act in Canada.
After thousands of Chinese helped build
the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, Chinese
immigrants were forced to pay a head tax
upon entering Canada. The price started at
$50, was raised to $100 to 1890 and was
$500 between the years of 1904 and 1923.
During this period, white Canadians feared
the 'mongolianisation of BC and the so-called
yellow peril.'
Wong recounts the hardships that his
grandfather, father, and mother experienced
when they came to North America to the
early 1900s. His maternal grandfather
docked at New York to a dilapidated junk
after being barred from landing at other
ports, including Vancouver, Victoria, San
Francisco, and Honolulu. His wife didn't find
out that he had arrived safely in New York
until one year later.
For the next six or seven years, Wong's
grandfather laboured as a houseboy. Wong
explains that the poor living conditions and
cold weather probably accounted for his
left), Sean Gunn (top left), Gtoydda ShinE (right)
seek to raise head tax awareness, kim the photo
grandfather's early death at the age of 45.
In 1906, Wong's father came to Canada at
the age of 15 and paid the $500 head tax.
Years later he went back to China after the
First World War to get married, due to the lack
of Chinese women in Vancouver's Chinatown.
When his mother arrived in 1919, she had to
pay the $500 head tax too. Wong compares his
mother's exodus from China to Canada to that
of the hundreds of Fujian boat migrants who
landed to several boat loads at the Canadian
Forces Base on Vancouver Island, beginning
to July, 1999 under similar dire conditions.
His mom told him that she never left her bunk
in the bottom of the filthy junk during the 20
day voyage.
After landing in Vancouver, Wong's mother
was interred and quarantined with the surviving Chinese women at the bottom of Burrard
Street, for more than one month to unsanitary
Wong and his parents worked to the laundry along with his uncles, who first established the business in Vancouver's Chinatown.
Then, in 1923 the federal government
passed a harsher law, known as the Chinese
Immigration Act or the .Exclusion Act which
barred all Chinese immigrants from entering
Canada. Wong says that such overt racism
directed at the Chinese community created a
bachelor society in Canada and separated families for 24 years. His eldest uncle only got to
see his son and daughter once, when he went
back to China for one year.
A trip home meant that you had 'to give up
the farm and pack up all your stuff, you would
go for one year and then have to start all over
again, completely broke," said Wong.
Although Wong was born and raised in
Vancouver's Chinatown, he has felt the effects
of these racist laws, which continue to reverberate today. Wong cites racist encounters and
fights he has had with police and tenants over
the years as examples of existing racism.
Wong now wants to speak for his 'voiceless'
descendants. Along with about 50 head tax
payers, their wives and descendants, Wong
has signed up to be a plaintiff for the class
action lawsuit that was filed on December 18,
2000 by the representative plaintiffs, 93-year-
old head tax payer Shack Jang Mak, 89-year-
old widow Quen-ying Lee and her 50-year-old
son Yew Lee, against the Canadian federal government for the $ 18.9-24 million that was collected in head taxes under the Exclusion Act
Wong says that most of his Chinese friends
from his generation do not understand his
adamancy to advocating the need for redress.
But Wong has remained resolute and determined to bring justice to his 30 relatives (most
of whom are deceased), who were victims of discrimination and segregation. .  .
. The majority of the people who
support redress are descendants of
head-tax payers. Out of the approximate 81,000 head tax payers, there
are about 200 alive today.
Victor Wong is a Canadian-born
descendant speaking on behalf of his
grandparents, who had to pay head
taxes. Wong was the founder, and is
currently the executive director, of
the Vancouver Association of Chinese
Canadians, a chapter of the Canadian
Chinese National Council (CCNC),
which helped make court action possible.
Wong recalls that he didn't actually learn about a racist history against
(lie Chinese until he went to UBC. At
home, the past was not talked about
n gularly. Wong says that because of
the Exclusion Act, his grandfather,
who entered Canada to 1912, visited
his wife to China only four times over
21 years.
After the Exclusion Act was
repealed in 1947, Wong's father
moved to Canada in 1950, and got
married in 1958. Such family fragmentation has led Wong to seek
redress for his parents/grandparents
and the larger Chinese community. He has been fighting for it since the CNCC
first lobbied for redress in
Wong says that after a
man named Mr. Mark
approached his MP,
Margaret Mitchell, in 1984
to help him get his head tax
money back with interest,
the council in Toronto
received over 2400 claims
from head tax payers, mostly from BC.
In 1988, Prime Minister
Brian Mulroney settled the
Japanese redress and paid a
total of $600 million, about
$21,000 to each surviving
interned victim to symbolic
compensation. The success
of this settlement encouraged the Chinese-Canadian
community to push for their
own redress ' movement.
However, despite the 4000
or so claims that were gathered and presented to the
government in 1993, the
community was only
awarded an apology from
Secretary of State, Sheila Finestone.
The class action lawsuit, drawn up in
November, was filed in December due to the
government's rejection of the claims and
refusal to compensate those Chinese-
Canadians who incurred race-based taxes. If
the lawsuit is rejected or dismissed, Wong
says that he will speak to the United Nations.
Sid Tan, a member of VACC and an activist
and local community television producer, is
another descendent who is tenaciously seeking redress for his grandparents. Tan wants'
the '$1.2 billion (compounded amount) taken
from the Lo Wah Kiu [Old overseas Chinese]"
in head taxes to be given back. "In those days
$500 was a lot of money. It could buy you two
houses today,' says Tan.
His grandfather, Chow Gim Tan, managed
to raise $500 and came to Saskatchewan
because of the confiscation of his property to
China during the 1949 Chinese Cultural
Revolution, and the repeal of the Exclusion
Act In Saskatchewan, "he became a cook, paid
his taxes and contributed to charity, while separated for a,quarter century from his wife and
family in China," says Tan.
Tan is the only voice left who can speak for
his grandmother. She has told him of her fear
in claiming her rights. "No, what if they.come
and tie you up and kill you?" Tan is riot surprised by the intense terror that his grandmother feels due to the amount of suffering
she has undergone.
Another supporter of the redress
movement is Chinese-Canadian author,
singer/songwriter Sean Gunn. Korean born
author, singer/songwriter Qloydda ShinE
joins Gunn in singing the song, "Head Tax
Blues,' to raise awareness about these racist
issues. Although ShinE and her family
weren't affected by racist legislation, she
believes that she should fight for this cause
because she has an interest in human justice.
ShinE notes that "history is a part of our cellular conscious memory, time doesn't make
things better.'
But to opposition to these redress advocators, who refuse to forget this aspect of history, are those who do not support the redress
My own grandfather; David Yuen, has
accepted the injustices of history and moved
on. Yuen, concedes that although his father
came to Victoria in the early 1900s, when
racist laws were enacted, one has to accept
that that was the law then.
"The Chinese immigrants that came from
China weren't forced to come to Canada, it's
not like the Japanese-Canadians who were
forced to evacuate the Pacific coast," he said.
"The difference is that the Japanese were resi-
TAKING ACTION: Gim Wong stands proud in his Army
beret, kim the photo
dents here, whereas the Chinese were immigrants. The Japanese had no choice. There's
no parallel here."
Both Roy Mah and On Lim, whose fathers
had to pay head taxes upon entering Canada,
agree that Chinese were not forced to come to
Canada. Although Mah admits that it was a
racist law targeted at Chinese, he compares
paying the head tax to paying an admission fee
at a theatre or a license fee for a hunting or
fishing permit. He says that the Chinese were
given the opportunity for a better life to
Canada, which came with a price.
Mah asserts that in China, the Chinese who
came to Canada were not considered 'victims,'
but, rather, the 'the cream of society,' who
were privileged and fortunate. Although
angered by the unfair Exclusion Act, which
they call, the "Humiliation Act,' Mah and Lim
do not want individual compensation. They
argue that since most of the head tax payers
have died, they would rather have the government offer a formal apology and collective
compensation that would go to establishing
'an education fund that could include a chapter on this part of history in textbooks to prevent mistakes from occurring again.' Mah
also suggests that a few million dollars could
be used 'to build a landmark commemorating
the Exclusion Act*
Yuen, Lim and Mah all acknowledge that
racism did exist while they were growing up.
Yuen recalls that his schoolteacher replaced
his Chinese name with an English one. Lim
recalls that the Chinese were not allowed to
move outside of Vancouver's Chinatown,
while Mah remembers the segregated Asian
schools. All three' speak of being denied the
opportunity of professional jobs, and of being
refused entry into places. But despite'having
endured such overt racism, they have persevered and have not harboured deep animosity or resentment towards white Canadians.
What remains to be answered is why people from the same generation, with similar
experiences, have such opposing perspectives.
It seems the definition of oppression is very
subjective and relative.
And why is it that the larger Chinese community is not interested in the redress movement?
The complexities of this contentious issue
are manifold and ambiguous. Hopefully, what
the larger Chinese community can agree upon
is the need to increase awareness and educate
the general public about a significant part of
Canadian history that has resonated through
the consciousness of several generations of
Chinese Canadians. ♦ A Ubyssey Special Issue
Race Issue
Friday, March 16,2001
Immigrants face discrimination
 by Andrew Kostyniuk
"They're taking all our jobs!" A couple of years ago, I heard this
misinformed opinion from people my own age much more
often than I had expected. It was made to the context of the
near-hysteria to BC over the boatloads of Chinese refugees who
had arrived on the icy shores of Vancouver Island. Numerous
discussions at the time brought me to the realisation that It was*.
a bit naive; I had assumed that this kind of ugly rhetoric had all *
but died out in Canada. Evidently not •   -'
BC is the second most popular Canadian' destination for
immigrants, with 40,000-45,000 people arriving each year
from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. This
number includes about 2 700 refugees, the great majority of
whom originate from Africa. Among the refugees, about 1100
are conventional refugees who are government and/or group
sponsored, while the rest are asylum seekers or refugee
claimants—people who left their home countries fearing for
their lives.
Refugee claimants who have yet to be granted citizenship
(which can take up to 12 years), lack the basic sense of security that most of us take for granted. In Canada, they can be
detained and held for an indefinite period of time, without
charges of criminal wrongdoing and without any given reasons. The Chinese refugees fall under this category, and 20 are
still being detained. The reasoning behind this treatment te^
that asylum seekers are considered a 'security riskyby ou|ju*oi-
cial system.
Refugees may be held in detention until
tation hearings. The number of people deporl
jumped from 2379 to 1989 to 8296 in 1993,
whom were not considered to be criminals.
Chris Friesen, director of Settlement Se
Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia [.
that the millions of dollars spent annually by the
and Refugee Board on the detention of refug||feg
much more constructively. Friesen also notes|nes
mechanisms to review the findings of the heari
cites Canada's deportation of torture survivori
tries where torture is routinely practised.
Most people would likely agree that claiman|s^|^io have
committed violent crimes here in Canada should immediately
be sent back to their country of origin. This contrasts sharplyiiw
with the idea of detaining refugee claimants for up to 15
months without hearings, which is unacceptable on human
rights and fiscal grounds. While there is a mandatory judicial
review every seven days, this has helped the detained Chinese
refugees little.
Canada is thought by some to.be the least racist country to
the world. In reality, immigrants and refugees, particularly
women and members of visible minorities, face systemic discrimination upon arrival in Canada. They face racial barriers
in areas such as housing, employment, and social acceptance.
The root causes of these barriers are many, including our traditional immigrant profile, and the recent shift in source countries.
Part of the problem stems from the history of racial and cultural discrimination in this country. At the time of
Confederation, only eight per cent of the population was not
French or British. In the next half century, several million
immigrants, primarily from northern Europe, were let to to the
country as it expanded westward. The all-time peak in immigration was reached in 1913, with 400,000 new immigrants
Until the late 1960s, Canada's official policy was to preferentially accept immigrants from Europe. The first large influx
of immigrants from South and East Asia came in the 1970s.
Since*theaC mOs,t Canadian'tities' h^ve become' much rdpre
interesting places to live, but the problem of anti-immigrant
ahd refugee sentiments ha? continued. \ , \ J /
Frieserf states that rnany of the current problems with
racism against immigrants to Vancouver are linked to the
'shift to source countries over the last ten years.' There are
now many more immigrants from countries like Africa, Iran,
Iraq and Afghanistan—groups that have experienced extensive
discrimination while working tasSettle into their new home.
The growth of our coujotity nasAeen closely tied to immir
thgforiginal inhabitants, mind
rhaps due to this, become
totinues to pursue policies
all prospective immigrants.
Immigration Canada involves
st positive for the virus from
gration (without the con
you), but systemic racis'
deeply embedded^ 0
such as mani
This propo;
the exc
attend depor-
d from Canadfe
je-quarters olU
ces of the
|SBC), said
I be spent
fck of appeal
. He further
ack to coun-
family-sponsored indium non-European coun-
is considerably
the recommendation of
festricting     ^„
grounds of HTvS^UI
The systematic
ent and legal system
.modeled by the
.jantSculturaT society,
unable to dispense fair
corffi%d!bre them.
On uiebrighter sidef there have been a number of recent
developmfjfts to ease toV&fljeyifes faced byftv^mmigrants^
and refugees toj&ncouver. AmonMhese is the^ening affile
Bridge Commulitv Health Clinic, wtacfi|s JTRefi|ee Chnic
specifically targeting the health' neeoVba refugees in
Vancouver. This project, the first one of its kirid*J& Canada, waj
rffiplea^ejgjed through a partnership between
Vancouver/pucfMMd^H^al^^pJf^ISSBC, and Provide,
»f residence oti
sed rapjsnTour'^vern-
the di^p^*r^sulWMthem
even-handednreatment ti
Health Care. In addition totoferpretafi
Asian languages, SpanisE*aSra
m services in s^vera}
^__      _ feftigee CMff ro-
vides immigration examtoation^ani€Menfs hr-1**"5'—
begun^hifihg more inter-
bf acute health care for the
to landed immigrants not yet
Many area hospitals have ;
prefers to increase the accessib:
immigrant population.
In 1995, UBC implemented a Student Refugee Sponsorship
Program which brings two or three refugees to BC each year.
This forward-thinking program provides them with social and
financial support while they attend UBC free of charge.
Among the immediate problems faced by new immigrants
and refugees upon entry to BC is the difficulty of finding decent
rental accommodations. Barriers such as references and racist
attitudes towards visible minorities appear to lead to
sub-standard housing.
Racial barriers to gaining employment include problems to
attaining recognition of foreign credentials, a lack of Canadian
experience and problems gaining acceptance by professional
associations and colleges. These difficulties are particularly
noticeable in the fields of engineering and medicine.
Many immigrants with professional qualifications and
experience find they are warmly invited to Canada, but have
great difficulty having their credentials accepted and finding
work-in even remotely related jobs. People who leave their
home countries as refugees often arrive in Canada without official copies of their credentials. Often unable to return for them,
these immigrants are forced to abandon the hope of ever
achieving recognition to Canada. This has lead to the Canadian
stereotype of the immigrant doctor delivering pizzas or doing
In 1997, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC)
ordered Health Canada to introduce quotas for the promotion
of visible minorities to senior management positions after ruling that 'systematic* racial discrimination within the government has "bottlenecked' minorities to scientific and professional fields. The CHRC study found 'significant underrepre-
sentation' that could not be explained by disinterest or lack of
Historically, immigrants to Canada have been able to
achieve equitable employment and income rates after 15
years, but now more and more immigrants are economically
marginalised. A 1998 study of immigrants and refugees who
arrived in BC between 1991 and 1996 found that 52 per cent
were living in poverty. Typically, unemployment rates to the
Lower Mainland among recent immigrants are double those of
The myth of reverse-racism is sometimes raised to reference to immigrants and employment In truth, reverse-racism
serves as an excuse for racism. The barriers encountered by
\ males to the work place are inconsequential when com-
pag^oSwith those experienced by women, visible minorities,
inmusrants and refugees.
La?w|g?issues are also at the core of much racist reaction.
ImmMraion adjlpsj.es such as Friesen put much of the blame
ori.the l^cjs, of*€ comprehensive ESL policy framework in BC.
Atfottt $20 million is spent annually on adult ESL education to
Bt^but toarserves to provide immigrants and refugees with
diuy\a.t<Sw#nntermediate level of English. To attain a higher
X levefg^&ighsh, as is certainly necessary for anyone working in
a professional capacity, costly language classes are required.
TrW^overnment has a crucial role to play to changing the
way immigrants and refugees are dealt with to Canada. Much
internal change is needed as well as greater education of the
public. Communities themselves should take action to solve
problems of racism and improve the quality of life for everyone.
Already, many religious, ethnic and other community groups
have taken it upon themselves to help immigrants and refugees
feel welcome and get a solid foothold to their new home.
Undeniably, Canada will continue to be composed of people
whose origins he all over the world. The only way to true mul-
ticulturalism is by passing through this veil of racism. Surely,
there can be enough jobs for everyone. •>
Want to know more about
government services for you?
• Looking for a new job
• Starting your own business
• Getting access to the Internet
• Taking parental leave
• Planning your retirement
• Making your home
energy efficient
Learn more about the hundreds of services available. Call us and
talk to an agent in person. Visit our Web site. Or drop by the
Service Canada Access Centre nearest you.
1800 O-Canada
(1800 622-6232)
TTY/TDD 1800 465-7735     www.canada.gc.ca
Canada Friday, March i6,2001
Race Issue
A Ubyssey Special Issue
j j
This review of Reflection Eternal's first album, originally titled
Train of Thought, comes a year late, but the album took a cool
minute to grow on me.
Part of my delayed reaction was due to expectations. Ever
since popping up around '95, Talib Kweli's image has been that
of 'a thinking person's emcee,' a socially-conscious lyricist who
consistently drops lessons to his rhymes. His penchant for
politically-charged content continued on subsequent releases.
By the time The Human Element— Kweli's scathing indictment of the US criminal justice system and the death penalty-
dropped in early 2000,1 was keyed-up and sweaty, waiting for
Reflection Eternal's first full-length to hit the pavement The
upcoming Train ofThoughtwas going to be a manifesto, a call
to arms, phase two of the Pan Afrikan socialist revolution to
hip hop that dead prez sparked on their album. Let's Get Tree.
After my first few listens to Train of Thought, though, I felt let
It's not as if the hi-teknology-no-ordtoary-brother and the
man whose name is in the middle of equality came completely
incorrect The intro to their album, "Experience Dedication,"
aptly illustrated that the duo was still building from a solid foundation: "all the political prisoners, social prisoners, freedom
fighters, graffiti writers, grass-roots organisers... we don't represent the streets, we represent the folks to them.'
But compare this to the words of Chairman Omali Yeshitela
on "Wolves,' the first track off of dead prez's album—
"Imperialism— white power— is the enemy when it first came to
Afrika, snatched up the first Afrikan, brought us here against
our will, is the enemy today,'—and you can see that that fire,
that sense of uhuru sasa urgency isn't as prevalent on Kweli
and Tek's offering.-
So, if Reflection Eternal's album wasn't the trumpet blast to
shake down the walls of Jericho, another small axe to the big
tree of Babylon, then what was it? Even after a week or so on
heavy rotation, the Train of Thought seemed to be missing
some chug. It seemed too standard issue, just Hi-Tek beats and
Kweli braggadocio. Dope for sure, but for the most part, not the
type of shit that would make you want to pull a Fela and declare
your backyard an independent republic.
There were exceptions, of course. "Love Language" deserves
honourable mention for being only mildly corny despite having
it's chorus sung to French. The lovely and talented first name
Dante last name Beze makes two appearances: on the chorus of
'Some Kind of Wonderful," and trading verses with Kweli on
"This Means You' ("Smog in the city ain't no good for your
healthl'); automatically bumping both of these songs onto my
lazy Sunday morning play list "The Blast' makes you want to sit
on your front steps to the sunshine and smile, nodding your
head, sipping mango juice, and pausing only to sing along
when Vinia Mojica chimes to. The incredible 'Africa Dream'
starts with a Zimbabwean proverb: "If you could talk you could
sing, if you could walk you could dance," then brings ancestral
spirits to life between your headphones for the next three minutes. 'Good Mourning* features a sombre Hi-Tek track, which
Kweli uses to reflect on death before asserting the need to celebrate life.
The real jewel on this album, though, is the final song,
Kweli's take on Nina Simone's 'Four Womea" Titled "For
Women,' I was a ■.little leery of it at first In a genre where
women's voices are so rarely heard, it seemed a little counter-
progressive to have a male emcee-even one as astute as Talib
Kweli-telling their stories for them. But after listening to the
song, and to the Nina Simone original, then to the 2000 version
again, I was converted.
"For Women' (along with my gradual realisation that, even
if he seems to be to T3attle' mode for most of this album, Kweli
is consistently seasoning his boasts with wisdom) made this
album for me, moving it from the shoebox under my bed up to
the stack of discs on top of my
stereo. More than that, it reaffirmed my faith in hip hop as
a continuation of Afrikan oral
Kweli's beautifully crafted
narrative weaves its way
around Simone's four stories,
paraphrasing and quoting at
points, distinguishing itself at
others, but always remaining true. By paying homage to
Simone, Kweli reasserts hip-hop's birthright as the grandchild
of soul and gospel, offspring of reggae and funk, a fledgling
branch on a family tree whose trunk is the field songs and spirituals of slavery days, and whose roots push back across the
Atlantic to the continent.
'For Women' exemplifies the many levels of resistance that
have been and continue to be a hallmark of Black life and
expression to the face of downpression. Kweli's detached,
almost resigned end to the song: "Folks 'round here call me
Peaches, guess that's my name,' is markedly different from the
embattled, fed-up and ready to throw down "THEY CALL ME
PEACHES!' that Simone ends with, just as the start of Reflection
Eternal's album is not the same as the abeng blast that sets off
Let's Get Free. Dead prez's album and Nina Simone's song
assert that the time for decisive action is now. Kweli and Hi-
Tek—while no less defiant and equally aware that the proverbial
fit will hit the shan at some point—are more abiding, willing to
endure hardship a little while longer'while the people continue
to sharpen their tools. And until that day when they "hear fate
calling,' they remain "freedom fighters ready to attack at the
crack of a new day dawning.' ♦
-Mwafu Jan Peeters-Kasengeneke
i *
Top Ten reasons
to read
.&i.J l    - '- ■> 7 L-»(-.-J..i.iJj
Our Picture of Health
We've been rated as a leader in Canada's health care system for the second year in a tow by the Canadian Institute of Health Information and Maclean's magazine. Today,
Capital Health stands as one of the largest integrated academic health regions in the country with several hospitals, care centres, public health programs and quality
facilities. We serve a local community of more than 800,000 residents and provide specialized services to another 400,000 people in northern and central Alberta, the
Northwest Territories and, at times, BC and Saskatchewan. Explore these new employment opportunites for:
Graduate Nurses
Various locations including; the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), University of Alberta Hospital (UAH), Gtenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (GRH);
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operational needs and will be discussed at the time of interview.
Full Time Regular (FTR) learning opportunities with a requirement to actively seek employment on permanent Registered Nurse vacancies
available across Capital Health once you attain your RN status and within one year of appointment.
What We Offer
• An extended orientation period based on individual development needs under the guidance of a clinical educator, clinical supervisor
and/or on a 'buddy'' basis with an RN to build clinical confidence.
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FTE & Departments
Up to 100 Full Time Regular (FTR) positions are available in PICU, NICU, Child Health, Home Care; Medicine, Surgery, Neurosciences,
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requirements. Note: All programs are not available at all sites.
Successful completion of 3 basic nursing program during Spring 2001 and writing CRNE in June, 2001. Possession of temporary nursing
permit with the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses (AARN) prior to commencement Current CPR certification. Personal suitability
including enthusiasm, commitment to nursing principles and professionalism, strong communication and interpersonal skills with
demonstrated ability to problem solve within a team environment. Must be available to start in May, 2001. Must have a vehicle and valid
driver's license for Home Care positions.
For RAH, UAH, GRH & Home Care: Contact our Nurse Recruitment Officers at (780) 491-5518 (toll free 1-877-648-4127)
or (780) 407-7666 (toll free 1-877-488-4860).
For GNCH & MCH: Contact our Recruitment Coordinator at (780) 930-5244 or (toll-free 1-877-450-7555).
How do I apply?
For RAH, UAH, GRH & Home Care:
Send your resume, quoting Competition #HR-0060-RS-NF and clearly stating three (3) interest areas and site preferences to: Regional Human
Resources, 10th Floor, Harley Court Building 10045-111 Street, Edmonton, AB T5K 2M5 or FAX: (780) 408-5959 or Email (text only) to
Send your resume, quoting Competition #VR-08101/MH clearly stating three (3) interest areas and site preferences to: Human Resource
. Services, 16940-87 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T5R 4H5 or FAX: (780) 930-5957 or E-mail to hr-mis@caritas.ab.ca
Closing Date: March 27,2001
tamonton, Aioena
is a great place to live.
Edmonton has many fine
qualities including one of
the strongest economies in
the country. Our cost of
living is exceptional with
affordable housing, and no
provincial sales tax.
Quality of life in Edmonton
is equally attractive. Our
river valley is the world's
largest urban forest with
elaborate, all-season trails,
parks and golf courses. Banff
National Park is a five-hour
drive, and Jasper National
Park is only a three-hour
drive away. West Edmonton
Mall is as popular a
destination here in town.
We are home to professional
and amateur sports teams,
and the largest volunteer
recreation program in North
America, as well as a vibrant
and diverse multicultural
arts community. All contribute
to the spirit of our city,
especially now as we prepare to
host the 2001 World
Championships in Athletics.
====* Capital
m=== Health
Healthier People in Healthier Communities
Capital Health promotes a smoke-free environment. Applicants may be required to pass a skills assessment test.
All employees new to Capital Health must provide a criminal records check,
1. Better than Arts
County Fair.
2. Soft and absorbent.
3. Full of great ideas.
4. Patrick Bruskiewich.
5. No naked pictures
of Karen Benson.
6. What are you going
to do—read The
7. Fifty minutes is a
long time to listen to
some old guy talk.
8. Beats watching
9. No megaphones.
10. We're the shit.
I lit. uu 1 vub 1
Narcissists since 1918.


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