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

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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Commentaries

At 150 she’s aging but is still young and beautiful

CANADA I’m not one to wrap myself in national political colours, or pretend to be a pseudo historian of any kind, but as a living soul it’s incumbent on me to suck up as much as I can about where I live, as well as the rest of the world. So listening to CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup last Sunday it was interesting to listen to Canadians of various backgrounds—racially, culturally, ethnically and otherwise, all of whom are (the products of) immigrants, some recent, others going back two, three, four… generations. Ultimately, we are all (the children, grandchildren, great… grandchildren …

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Commentaries

Doing whatever one enjoys in life for a living invariably defines personal success and happiness

WORK, SATISFACTION AND SUCCESS Here’s something: “Success has become synonymous with financial wealth, influence and status. But can we define success in another way — one that welcomes a broader range of accomplishment? It may not be as obvious as you think.” So reads an online introduction to the subject of success, and how it is defined in different societies. Ted Radio Hour is an interesting one-hour program “about arts and life… ideas, inventions, new ways of thinking and creating… heard weekends (Saturdays at 12 noon, repeated on Sunday) on CJAD radio. The narrator’s name is Ted Raz, the subjects …

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Commentaries

TRULY A MESSED UP WORLD

So there they were again, G7 leaders at their annual summit, held this year in a place called Taormina, Italy. The gathering included the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, representing the political leaders of the seven major economies of the world. They discussed the important matters of the summit, such as their nation’s individual economies (as well as the global economy in general), the urgency of global warming… climate change, terrorism, etc. Once all the important matters of the world were discussed, the leaders used the latter day or two of the summit …

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