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Running out of words

Thank you, David Camfield, for educating us all about racism (Racism yardstick: It's all about oppression, Sept. 3).

Since racism exclusively applies to whites oppressing non-whites, we need a new word for when a person of any race commits racial bigotry against a person of any other race. Or is "racial bigotry" also netted by the word "racism"? What about "prejudice"? "Hate"? "Slander"? "Discrimination"? "General disapproval"? Whew, I'm running out. Let's consider some other things.

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Is it possible for a non-white person to commit a hate crime? Either they're incapable of hatred or of crime, or of doing both at once. Or -- and, I think this is the case -- hatred of white people doesn't count. Am I right? Letters of correction should be sent to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.




Judging oppression by an academic definition is lopsided and is heartbreaking. It is very difficult to measure the pain of an oppressed person; it can only be felt.

Sometimes the wounds and scars of racism are severe; they take years and years to heal. The history and the present-day suffering of our First Nations peoples is an example right before our eyes.

I think Canada has come long way in its attempt to eliminate racism, at least on paper. It is about time we had the courage to live with empathy and justice, eliminating racism in reality from the hearts of individuals and our institutions.




Opening a can of worms

Opening up Portage and Main to pedestrian crossing traffic is an extremely bad idea. But if enough young people keep asking for it, city council will probably do it (Let Portage and Main breathe, Sept. 3).

Then people will find out what an extremely bad idea it was. I'm 90 and I've lived through the times when that intersection was open to pedestrian traffic. I don't want to see that happen again in my lifetime.

It's a terrible idea. There will be three lanes of traffic, headed east and waiting to turn north or south, all tied up bumper to bumper all the way back to the Bay.

If Portage and Main were reopened to pedestrians, people will discover, within a maximum of 10 days, what a terribly bad idea it is, and they'll be screaming to have the intersection returned to its present configuration.




It seems to me the solution to the crossing of Portage and Main is to rebuild the underground so that people can cross straight to the side they want to get to directly instead of having to feel like a rat in a maze.

The underground was never built properly in the first place. The idea was to keep people warm from the windiest corner in North America by being able to go underground. Simple problems require simple solutions.




I recently visited Winnipeg after a significant absence and was pleasantly surprised by the way the city is progressing.

Portage Avenue seemed a lot cleaner than I remember in the past, and with the exception of the area around the Portage and Main dead zone, the street seemed more inviting. Even the decline of the North End seems to have halted.

To those who are working to make Winnipeg the city it can be, keep up the good work. It's paying off.




A surprise windfall

Re: Manitoba, Ontario make splash in ELA (Sept. 3). I must have missed some windfall that Manitoba had while I was away for a weekend. Imagine my surprise to see that Greg Selinger, in his fiscal wisdom, is committing Manitobans to more than $6 million over five years.

Where has he found the money for this? Do we have another tax hike in store? Does he not realize, or care, that we are taxed beyond our means? We cannot afford to keep Selinger as premier anymore.




New meaning to hypocrisy

Re: Teachers fear abuse of anti-bullying law: PCs (Aug. 31). Brian Pallister's comments invoking his concern for the welfare of teachers if the NDP's proposed anti-bullying legislation is passed brings new meaning to the word hypocrisy.

In the 1990s, Gary Filmon's government, in which Pallister was a cabinet minister, did its best to bully teachers, nurses and other government employees into wage reductions and the gutting of contracts. The current anti-bullying legislation being considered by the Manitoba legislature is fully supported by the Manitoba Teachers' Society and most of its members.

The proposed legislation promotes the existence of gay-straight alliances of students in our schools in order to prevent bullying. Pallister's supposed concern for teachers to support the anti-gay agenda of his party made me feel used and dirty even after 14 years of retirement from teaching. Where was Pallister's concern for teachers and students when he was in a position of real power as a cabinet minister?




Honk when crossing

On Tuesday, my husband and I watched in horror and dismay as motorists struck down a flock of geese on McGillivray Boulevard in Linden Woods. One goose was killed and another severely injured. We rushed it to the veterinarian, where it was euthanized.

At this time of year, young geese, just learning to fly, are unable to take off when cars approach. They also do not realize the danger that cars pose. We urge drivers to please slow down when you see geese on the streets and stop to allow them to cross safely.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 5, 2013 A12

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