Fear

In Canada, Trudeau Is Meeting Fear With Progressive Strength

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as President of the land of the theoretically ‘free’, and home of the allegedly ‘brave’, a series of hate crimes broke out throughout the United States.

Young children exposed to hate speech at home, began imitating it in elementary schools throughout the country, bullying children whose skin tones were different from theirs, and insisting that they “go home”.

Any naïve hopes that Trump would change his ways once elected—that a year of bigotry, misogyny, and explicit racist behaviour would change once he became president—came crashing down with the White House’s announcement that Muslims from seven nations would be banned from entering the United States.

The slamming of the door to innocent Muslims created a gust of wind so strong, that it made its way up to Quebec where once again, we saw that hate inspires hate.

Canada, which has experienced very few acts of terror on its home soil, was faced with a devastating one last month.

A young, Trump and Le Pen supporting, Quebecois male decided to open fire on a room filled of innocent Canadians.

While no borders were closed in Canada—no bans were mindlessly ordered—the feelings of exclusion, hatred, and division were undoubtedly felt by Canadian and American Muslims alike.

It was with great pride and relief to watch Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, say in the aftermath of the attack “this was a group of innocents targeted for practicing their faith. Make no mistakes, this was a terrorist act.”

Too long, have acts of violence perpetrated by Muslim individuals been distinctively classified as ‘terrorist acts’.

Justin Trudeau at a 2013 event. Photo Credit: John McCallum/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

But what precisely, distinguishes an act of violence committed by a Muslim individual versus one perpetrated by a non-Muslim individual?

Read More: Rory, Obama, And Me

Why are certain individuals’ acts of violence categorically different?

If every shooting in the US got the same press coverage as a ‘terrorist’ attack—if every white-skinned American murderer was labelled a terrorist—islamophobia may not have seeped its way into the homes of millions of American and Canadians; Racism may not have been so rampantly contagious.

Trudeau stayed quiet after the election of Donald Trump.

But since his inauguration, Trudeau has been subtly standing up to our southern bully by supporting Women March protestors, demanding that FOX NEWS rectify false information victimizing Muslims, and by reminding Trump in his speech last week, that violence against minorities is an act of terrorism.

Justin Trudeau is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

As a self-proclaimed feminist, whose socially liberal ideals have defined his leadership, he is faced with the difficult task of navigating relations with a racist President who stands for everything Trudeau ideologically condemns.

Meanwhile, healthy relations with the United States is pivotal for a stable Canadian economy.

Trudeau is faced with a difficult task.

Photo Credit: trumpvstrudeau/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Either he stays quiet, embodying the Canadian stereotype of being polite to a fault or he takes a far scarier path, and refuses to surrender in the face of hatred.

Read More: Here’s How Trump’s Gaslighting Reminds Me A Lot Of My Abusive Ex

Although his future actions are unknown, perhaps Trudeau has already unveiled his plan for the next four years.

Last week he said simply, “we will not meet violence with more violence. We will meet fear and hatred with love and compassion, always.”

Maybe hate—which divides and alienates—can be overcome when met with love and compassion, which unifies.

Perhaps Canadian values of politeness & kindness are not so impotent after all.

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Cover Photo Credit: John McCallum/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The Unlucky History Of Friday The 13th And Why Some Of Us Fear It

It’s that special day of the year again. This Friday will be the 3rd and final Friday the 13th of the year.

Like black cats and broken mirrors, the day has become synonymous with bad luck and dread in western culture.

According to NPR, fear of Friday the 13th is an actual clinical condition called paraskevidekatriaphobia.

People suffering from this condition fear the day so much that some actually refuse to fly, make business decisions, or even spend a lot of money on this most inauspicious of days.

According to National Geographic, “It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they normally would do.”

But this begs the question, why?

Accounts vary greatly as to the origins of the superstition of Friday the 13th. Some historians claim that the superstition surrounding the day most likely originated during the Middle Ages and may even have Biblical origins, according to the Telegraph.

One of the most popular legends surrounding the misfortune of Friday the 13th involves the events of Friday October 13th, 1307.

It was on this day that King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest and execution of all those associated with the Knights Templar to avoid having to pay back the massive financial debt he owed to the knightly order.

This legend was popularized when it was referenced in Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code.

Prior to this; however, Friday and the number 13 were both considered to unlucky. Geoffrey Chaucer referenced the belief that it was bad luck to start a journey or a project on a Friday in the Canterbury Tales.

In Christian tradition, Good Friday is remembered as the day when Jesus was crucified. Some biblical scholars actually claim that the crucifixion of Jesus actually took place on Friday the 13th.

The number 13 has also been considered unlucky in western culture since antiquity. A Norse myth told of a dinner party for 12 gods at which Loki, 13th guest, showed up and shot the god of joy and happiness according to Livescience. A similar belief exists that Judas the betrayer, was the 13th person to arrive at the last supper.

Today, Friday the 13th is most commonly associated with the Friday the 13th movie franchise.

But whether you’re talking about dead Templars or dead camp counselors, Friday the 13th continues to capture the imagination and hold a special place in western superstition.

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Cover Photo Credit: Ed Schipul/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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