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One's a class act...

My son and I attended Monday night's Winnipeg Goldeyes game, which was the last game of the season for the team. Not only did coach Rick Forney make a great thank-you speech at the end of the game, but as the fans were leaving the ballpark, he stood at the top of the stairs and shook hands with as many fans as could get close to him.

He is a class act. Thanks for another entertaining season.

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RON JOHNSON

Winnipeg

 

...another not so much

Does Bomber quarterback Justin Goltz know he is on a 1-8 team? I don't think he does when he acts like some high school kid after scoring a touchdown.

Classy football players just get the job done; they don't act like children. By the way, Goltz didn't get the job done. When the Riders turned up the heat Sunday afternoon in the second half, he choked big time.

I hope the Bombers hit bottom soon, so we start developing a team to be proud of.

PHIL DUPONT

Airdrie, Alta.

 

Defining racism

Re: Eric Robinson may be rude, but he is not a racist (Aug. 31). Tim Sale tells us Deputy Premier Eric Robinson cannot be a racist by definition: "Racism is a set of beliefs and actions that use the power of some to oppress in fundamental ways a less powerful group, based on their race."

Sale's definition of racism is, of course, not the only one. He is describing systemic racism and exhibiting a syndrome of left-wing thinking to limit racism to something only the powerful can do. Racism is discrimination on the basis of race and can happen on the micro as well as the macro level.

In being a general value judgment of a people on the basis of their skin colour, Robinson's remark was racist. A racist remark does not necessarily make one a racist if discrimination requires action. The haste, however, with which Robinson levelled that value judgment suggests prejudice. Both Sale and Robinson anticipate such criticism and attempt to explain it in the context of Robinson's individual and collective experience as an aboriginal person in Canada.

For the left, grown accustomed to the lazy intellectualism of antipathy, a racial dichotomy expressed in classic recriminations of colonialism is irresistible. If there is any pity to suspect, it is that which relegates aboriginal people to perpetual victimhood.

MICHAEL MELANSON

Winnipeg

 

Reading the letters and articles on the subject of the Osborne House flap, I am rather amused. What appears to be lacking is the definition of "burlesque."

No doubt the organizer planned a performance in a variety-show format featuring bawdy comedy rather than female striptease. Such a wicked mind some people have!

However, there is no doubt as to the meaning of Robinson's term "do-good white people." Would he accept my referring to "do-good redskins" as appropriate when I discuss First Nations chiefs and their treatment of their people? The haves and the have-nots. That is as close to burlesque as I wish to get.

SERGE MASSICOTTE

Winnipeg

 

Re: A mom beaten, a son changed (Aug. 29). If Eric Robinson truly wants to be politically correct in his description, he should use the term "non-aboriginal... in appearance."

DEBBIE WALL

Winnipeg

 

As someone who worked for several years in U.K.-based organizations dealing with the consequences of violence against women, I am shocked by the behaviour of Barbara Judt. In whipping up a media storm around Eric Robinson's email, Judt has surely alienated one of the core communities -- aboriginal women -- who the refuge is supposed to be serving.

She has unnecessarily stoked racial tension for the sake of what appears to be a personal vendetta. I have never in my life come across a women's organization that has ranked a personal slight over the well-being of women and vulnerable communities at large. Furthermore, I thoroughly agree with Eric Robinson and his adviser Nahanni Fontaine that a burlesque fundraiser is hugely inappropriate for an organization that is supposed to be sensitive to sexual exploitation, and to the reasons why women enter the sex industry and its associated offshoots.

As a visitor to Winnipeg, I am saddened and disappointed. I only hope there are others working in support of women in Manitoba who have a more nuanced understanding of the causes and consequences of violence against women.

HELEN WAKEFORD

Cambridge, U.K.

 

In his Aug. 28 letter, Wayne Craig insists he experienced racism dozens of times.

White people cannot experience racism, simply because they alone hold white privilege, whereas people of colour (including Canada's First Nations) do not hold such privilege and never will.

Race has never been a barrier for white people, as we are admitted everywhere we go, we can walk freely down the streets without fear of harassment from the police and can enter restaurants and retailers without receiving worried, uncomfortable looks from others.

We can also ride the bus without fear. The same cannot be said for many people of colour, including aboriginals, who are scorned simply for being in any public place at any particular time.

CANDICE BODNARUK

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 4, 2013 A10

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