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An unnecessary fight

Re: Robinson's apology 'insincere' (Aug. 26). The fight between Osborne House and Eric Robinson need not have happened. If Osborne House, an essential service, had been funded properly by all levels of government, there would not have been a need for a burlesque show fundraiser.

If Robinson were a city councillor, he would get a $40,000 increase in his communications budget, so he could at least have bought a black felt marker that works.

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The suitability of the fundraiser is irrelevant. Eric Robinson's statement is offensive and it is racist.

If a white deputy premier had said that anything "demonstrates the ignorance of do-good aboriginal people," he or she would be immediately out of a job, and rightly so.

After reflection and discussion with the premier, the best Robinson can do is apologize for choosing "regrettable" words? He just characterized a broad group of people defined by skin colour and insulted them all, but he doesn't get it.

Robinson should resign immediately. If he doesn't, he should be fired. Do the right thing.




Racism is a systemic form of oppression under which people who are white in Canada do not suffer. Let's all say it together: white people in Canada don't and can't experience racism. It is simply not the way the (racially based) power dynamics in this country are set up.

It's disheartening at best, terrifying at worst, that someone heading up an organization like Osborne House (that, no doubt, serves a disproportionate number of indigenous women) doesn't understand what racism is -- and isn't.

Apology? Sure. Barbara Judt should apologize to those of us white folks who try to "do good" and critically examine the way oppression in our society actually works.




Thanks to all you do-good white people out there. You are the ones who volunteer to help those in our community who are in need, no matter their race or circumstances.

You are the ones who contribute with your hands, heads and cheque books.

You are the ones who pay the taxes.

That someone who is no less than the deputy premier, and who also purports to represent a substantial aboriginal constituency, views you with obvious racist contempt is shameful.

Thanks again to all those Winnipeg do-gooders, whatever your race or station. As a do-good white person myself, I can say that you are the heart and soul of this community.




If Eric Robinson is a racist, it is a relief to know he is a sincere one. I therefore presume he will have no objection to being labelled "a do-good Indian" providing this message, like his, comes from the heart.

No wonder history warns us to beware the virtuous man.




The Human Rights Commission is meant to protect vulnerable groups from further discrimination and harm, not to avenge the hurt feelings of individuals who belong to dominant groups. Barbara Judt must understand this on some level.

What would she say to a man filing a human rights complaint for "sexism" against a battered woman who wearily states she doesn't trust men, or even that "do-gooder men are ignorant about the problems women face"?

I hope that Judt would say, "Buddy, cut her some slack after all she's been through," or maybe even point out that the second statement is, um, correct.




So Eric Robinson called the directors of Osborne House "do-good white people"? That's not the real story here. Incredibly, the government thought they had the right to withhold this information, and it was only because of a toner cartridge malfunction that these blocked-out words became visible.

The Freedom of Information Act (FIPPA) is a sham. They tell you only what they want to tell you. (It's especially horrifying the way the police hide behind FIPPA.) You can appeal the decision to withhold to the ombudsman, but in my experience the FIPPA investigators are patsies who side with the public bodies against the little guy.

What's more, it's hard to appeal a decision to withhold when you have no way of knowing what's on the table. Unlike the rules of civil procedure, there is no obligation for the public body to list the documents for which it is claiming privilege.

If the deputy premier is sending emails calling you a "do-good white person," I think most people would expect that under FIPPA you'd have the right to know. If not, what is it good for?




Stadium has seen a win

Re: New stadium still winless (Aug. 26). The new stadium is not winless. The first home team to win in the new stadium was Winnipeg Team West in the U16 Red River Cup held July 6-13.

Winnipeg East lost to North Saskatchewan in Game 1 of the tournament. Winnipeg West beat South Saskatchewan in Game 2.

Winnipeg West then went on to beat Team BC, North Saskatchewan and Winnipeg East. Winnipeg West lost in the final to Team BC.

The new stadium was funded in part by local governments with the understanding that there would be support for and access to amateur football in the city and the province. The staff and management at Investors Group Field hosted a first-class event.

Next year Winnipeg plays host to an expanded Red River Cup for U16 football as well as the Canada Cup for U18 football.

And let's remember the key point here: Our young men beat Saskatchewan.




Where's Little Blue Book?

Re: Chinese journalist in tussle (Aug. 24). Considering Stephen Harper's human rights pep talk to China in February 2012, it's no wonder Chinese journalist Li Xue Jiang would experience considerable confusion and frustration Canada's democratically elected prime minister would not allow him to ask a question at a press conference.

But then after Li was hauled to the back of the conference room by the RCMP, he probably felt right at home.




Opportunity for Trump

Re: New York sues Trump over phoney 'university' (Aug. 26). After the American judicial officials are through with Donald Trump, he should become a Conservative senator in Ottawa.


New Bothwell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 27, 2013 A8

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