Commentary | Letters: Jabs at Honours Poli Sci., Obamadness, and Tadamon!

Criticism in three parts

Two weeks ago the Quebec government announced that it would make all new immigrants sign a pledge saying they agree with some of its common values. These values include things such as separation of church and state, a pluralistic society, and gender equality (what’s up with the lack of coverage on that by the way? The Daily usually gets on that shit pretty quickly). And when was the pluralistic society thing and gender equality achieved? Kind of hypocritical for the government to hold immigrants to values that the majority of the country is still struggling with accepting, no? This is kind of like getting people to sign your petition to “End our dependence on foreign oil” while you drive around in an H3 Hummer.

Please bring back the Club Sommet Ads that were promising cheap condos to students at low prices and low interest rates with no money down. There’s nothing more ironic than a company trying to sell $140,000+ condos to people who clearly have no money while the entire financial system is collapsing around us partly due to a housing bubble. This is like…wait what am I saying? I don’t need an analogy to illustrate how fucked up that is.

Hey Obama realists, please shut up and let me bask in the illusion for a while. Just give me like a month where I can pretend that Obama’s the messiah who will end racism, bring peace to the world, end poverty, and create heaven on Earth. White people had the Friends, Seinfeld, and Sex and the City years to give them the illusion that New York City had no minorities, why can’t you guys let us live in a fantasy land for a couple more weeks?

Duong Pham

U3 Economics

Good job, and keep it up

I just wanted to commend The Daily on last Monday’s special issue on mental health.

Mental health is an area that is underrepresented in academic discourse and in activist communities. The Daily’s informative and non-judgmental investigation into the student experience as well as other experiences (such as that of homelessness) was very much appreciated.

As a suggestion, however, if The Daily wishes to look into these issues in the future, an interesting angle might be to investigate access to mental health care on a provincial or national level. It’s also important to talk about the systemic barriers faced by other visible minorities, and to investigate whether counsellors are queer or trans-positive. Indeed, systematically oppressed people often complain about having therapists make assumptions about their gender, sexuality, or culture. Basically, I just wanted to say good job, but please continue to write about mental health – there are tons of issues out there that people may not have thought about before.

I also wanted to commend Sara Mortimer for her bravery in writing about her experience accessing McGill Mental Health Services (MMHS). It was an interesting and eye-opening piece.

Finally, I’d like to commend James Albaugh for his good job reporting on the mental health structure at McGill – except for one minor correction: at this point, HeadSpace does not offer any peer counselling. We do offer confidential discussion and support groups, but this is different than peer counselling, which would imply that we actually sit down one-on-one with students. We do not have the proper training to do that.

If anyone is interested in helping HeadSpace plan action and advocacy on campus or attending one of our discussion groups, feel free to email us at safe.minds.mha@gmail.com. Headspace can also refer people to different clinics and programs that exist in Montreal outside of MMHS.

Iris Erdile

U3 Education

Headspace Collective member

Let’s call the whole thing off

Re: “Did you read my article, Ezra?”” | Commentary | Nov. 6

Mr. Huntington, eh?

You know I was down for a civil discussion about mainstream sexuality, the hijab, women’s rights, and whatever else you might have wanted to talk about, but when you up and called me “a culturally insensitive person,” the joy drained out of me like the pee out of a five-year-old. Admittedly, I had to look on Wikipedia to find out that Samuel P. Huntington is the author of Clash of Civilizations and a man from the “praise the lord and pass the ammunition” school of thought.

Listen, I’m not in Honours Political Science, so I take liberties like using the terms “East” and “West.” I now know that I should have included a thesis with well-sourced arguments regarding where the East ends and the West begins, including a section on the dynamic and reciprocal interaction between the two localities – but gosh darn it, I just don’t have the intellectual resources.

So how about we just forget the whole thing. The issue of a woman’s right to choose what to wear in the “East” is a non-issue; it doesn’t exist. Excuse me while I go out back and bury my head in the sand.

Finally, I am by no means a proponent of mainstream sexuality, but what exactly are you insinuating about nuns?

Ezra Black

U4 History

Why I’m voting against QPIRG’s fee increase

My issue is with QPIRG is their pet-project, Tadamon! As a first-year, I skipped around between various froshes, and didn’t much like any of them, but that’s beside the point. My point is to relate my experience with Tadamon! I had at one of the discussion sessions during Rad Frosh.

The discussion was supposedly about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, but it was really an indoctrination session to convince wannabe radicals that Hizbollah was their ally and Israel was the enemy.

I don’t want anyone looking at my name to think I’m a hawkish Zionist. I came to that session ready to criticize Israel. I was involved with a group of Jewish students opposing the Israeli invasion. We collected thousands of signatures for our petition. I opposed the war, oppose the occupation, and am generally what I would think of as the target audience for efforts at finding a middle ground. But QPIRG isn’t interested in that.

Tadamon! quickly turned the discussion to propagandizing about why Israel shouldn’t exist. I was the enemy, and they didn’t want my support. Tadamon! contributes to a simplistic binary of innocent native Arabs versus alien colonizing Jews. What is most troubling is how this reinforces the Western-Oriental divide by holding (Western) Israelis to one moral standard while allowing Hizbollah (or other perpetrators of heinous acts in Darfur, Congo, etc.) to absolve themselves of any responsibility by virtue of being the “other.” This reserves responsibility and morality as beyond the capabilities of non-Western peoples. Any truly radical voice would destroy this barrier and seek allies from all backgrounds.

When I emailed my concerns to the event organizers, I received no response. I am deeply disappointed in the so-called radical and left voice QPIRG brings to the discussion, and am asking all of you to vote against their funding increase.

Isaac Binkovitz

U3 Geography (Urban Systems)

Previewing Obamadness

Re: “Obama, after that beautifully singular night” | Commentary | Nov. 10

Hey Daily, reading Ricky Kreitner’s skeptical column gave me the strength to comment on all this Obamadness. I’ve got a secret to admit. I moved to Canada because it appeared that public opinion had turned against my glorious President and fearless leader, George W. Bush. I was scared for the prospects of my country. I feared that after what would be eight years of impeccable and flawless leadership, my country would turn against the stalwart defender of America that is the Republican Party. And boy did it ever. The GOP got trounced worse than I do in NHL ‘09.

My main woman, Anne Coulter, tells me that Barack Obama is a commie, pinko, lefty, terrorist, better known as a CoPiLeT. Obviously, this makes him inherently opposed to America, as we have always been in the driver’s seat since we told the British to bugger off. Furthermore, if that coalesces into a word so disastrously, imagine what his presidency will be like. I know I’d personally feel much better with a WASP at the helm, which, in case you haven’t noticed, forms an actual word quite nicely.

Come January, America will enter something I call “The Baracky Horror Picture Show.” The sweet virgin purity of Brad and Janet (collectively America) will be shattered by Baracky (Barack) and Dr. Frankenbiden (you know who), all because we’re letting Riff Raff (the Democratic Party) take control. It’s going to involve singing/dancing, fishnets, the warping of time, and many other things our Puritan forefathers and Dr. Scott would gravely disapprove of. The only thing vaguely American in this whole situation is that we’ll all be eating Meatloaf.

So my fellow Americans, and by that I mean real Americans (Joe Plumbers, Tom Hunters, and Dick Corporate-Executives), if you too have fled the coming disaster, give me a call. I’ve got a hastily built bomb shelter that will keep us safe until Revelations kicks in. We can all share a laugh when those Democratic asses get Left Behind©.

Logan Clark

U2 Political Science

More letters were received for this issue than could be printed – actually, it was just one letter from Manosij Majumdar. Hang tight man, we’ll print it soon.

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