Novel Thomas

About the Author Novel Thomas

Novel is a well-respected columnist and a foundation member of the CONTACT team. He graduated from Concordia University’s English department. His writing is insightful and thought-provoking.

Commentaries

So is there now renewed hope for Zimbabwe?

The End Of Rhodes, Rhodesia, and Robert Mugabe At a certain point in my existence I began to pay closer attention to the news… especially in relation to Black people (of the African Diaspora) vis-à-vis our place in the world…) our on the global stage and how our lives were being impacted by geopolitical events, especially those unfolding on the African continent. Listening to, reading about, or watching news coming out of Africa, the stories were almost predictable: drought, famine, starvation, and predictable multinational NGO appeals to the developed world for assistance…). And there were wars, recurring coups d’états… resulting …

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Commentaries

The Post-Election Flavour Is Visible Minorities And Diversity. But Is It Still Just Talk?

In the wake of the November 5 municipal elections, discussions and conversations about the absence of those oft-spoken-about proverbial “visible minorities.” A handful of them were visible on posters around town in that recurring, almost futile attempt, to make inroads into the houses of political power, in this instance at the municipal level. But as always, while a few “visible minorities” were elected, none of them are of African origin. Plainly stated, none of them are Black. All that to say, the diversity many of us Black people were hoping to see this election did not materialize this latest election. …

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Commentaries

Waiting for the nuclear war?

When I was a boy I had this crazy fascination with war movies, books, magazines… anything about war, real or fictional, I enjoyed reading. I especially liked war movies, all that action with those… what you call “stars” – men like Audie Murphy, Victor Mature, John Wayne, immediately come to mind. I truly cannot recall the names of any of those films, which always included a line-up of predominantly white males, in starring roles, along with minor characters of both genders (but mostly males) in supporting roles. And there always was that female love interest – a wife, girlfriend or …

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Commentaries

And when the protesting and talking is over, what?

AFFLICTING THE COMFORTABLE, COMFORTING THE AFFLICTED   Many people think, are even convinced, that racism stops at the 49th parallel. That when it produces its passport and reasons for wanting to enter Canada there’s a swift rebuttal: entry denied. The difference between the USA and Canada is the old cliché, “their form of racism is blatant; in Canada it’s more subtle.” As if there are different ways of gauging the repugnant institutionalized practice and its manifestations. Furthermore, inasmuch as there weren’t any cultivation of Poplar trees, or establishment of a slave industry in Canada, it still engaged in “peonage léger.” …

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Commentaries

POLICE IMPUNITY AND IMMUNITY

Black double jeopardy scenarios resulting in death and exoneration So in the latest case of what most Black people would refer to as blatant injustice – a trial and outcome of ‘another’ fatal white police shooting-Black male victim, this time out in St. Louis Mo. – trial Judge Timothy Wilson essentially stated that after long, painstaking deliberation he couldn’t come to any other decision than find former police officer Jason Stockley “not guilty” in the December 2011 fatal shooting of Anthony Lamar-Smith. As the reports go, Stockley and his partner engaged in a car chase of Smith “after witnessing a …

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Commentaries

Fire and Water, natural phenomena: Be prepared not sorry…

I too watched, rapt, as that short-lived daily reality show played out in Houston, Texas. It was the Hurricane Harvey impact and effect, wreaking its fury on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And as I watched that waterlogged city and hundreds of thousands of people trying to cope with nature’s wrath, I couldn’t help thinking Thank God I’m not there. What a catastrophe playing out before our eyes, live… people wading in flood waters, up to six feet deep, deeper in some places, according to reports. All those people were essentially fighting (against the effects of) nature for their lives. In …

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Commentaries

Racism In Your Face

In a world where [some] Europeans think we do not belong… it’s always about Black people standing our ground and staking out our rightful place. Contrast what many described as the “White torchlight march” the night of Friday, August 11, in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the candlelight vigil the night of Wednesday, August 16, to celebrate the life of Heather Heyer, the young white woman killed by a younger, enraged white supremacist named James Fields. Both were representing forces of good and evil, Heyer for justice and human rights, Fields for white power and racial superiority. But he took it a …

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Commentaries

Stress: Our path to early death

I have become accustomed to listen to early morning radio, not necessarily to be entertained, but to hear what’s in the news every given day. And three particular stations meet my daily information needs: CJAD, CBC, CKUT—not necessarily in that order—each one offering specific news and social tidbits of interest to ruminate, and perhaps digest. So a couple weeks ago, in the lead-up to CJAD’s 8 AM news, Doctor Mitch Shulman’s always informative health segment touched on an issue of particular interest to Black people: stress, and it’s potentially fatal outcome if not taken seriously. Generally speaking, stress can be …

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Commentaries

More studying and consulting

About race, racism, ethnocentrism… “Québec veut ouvrir le dialogue sur le racisme systématique…” screamed a headline on the cover page of last weekend’s Metro newspaper. It’s like a rite of passage for any MNA who holds the Quebec Immigration portfolio. Each one invariably establishes a commission to conduct an inquiry into the reality (or the perception) of systemic racism in the province. According to the article, the announcement of this latest endeavour “coincides with the appearance of a poster proclaiming “All these hateful acts are unacceptable in a society…” the minister stated. That’s true. But platitudes are all that; they …

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Commentaries

Hear This…

Call me a Pollyanna if you like. But at a time of year when people should tune out all the madness happening in certain pockets of the world and mentally preoccupied with (thinking) things summery, summertime and living easy, and all things beautiful that the season conjures, I’m going against the grain, obsessing over urgent practical matters of the world—at least some of them—and how they could be remedied with a modicum of international political and social will. So there they were recently, a handful of politicians—aka leaders of the free world—men for the most part, under the auspices of …

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