Is it too late to say sorry for Komagata Maru?
News: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologizes for racism
Though many know the outline of an ugly chapter in Canadian history, the truth of the Komagata Maru is both an indictment of institutional prejudice, and a testament to the strength and pride of the passengers aboard the infamous vessel
By Rod Mickleburgh
At long last, a formal apology is being delivered in the House of Commons for Canada’s racist behaviour in its shameful treatment of Sikh passengers aboard the Komagata Maru who had the effrontery to seek immigration to the West Coast more than a hundred years ago. Not only were they denied entry, they were subjected to two months of exceptionally inhumane treatment by unflinching immigration officers. While many now know the basics of the ill-fated voyage, the story has many elements that are less well known. To fill in the gaps, we can look to Hugh Johnston and his definitive book, The Voyage of the Komagata Maru.
Just days before the outbreak of World War ...
What Color Is Donald Trump?
Listicle: What Color is Donald Trump?
He won't be painted by any brush, unless it's covered in bronzer. It's enough to make you think Donald Trump has not only destroyed the traditional boundaries between party lines, he's destroyed your television's onboard color processor. The Ex-Press heads up a special investigative team headed by designers, painters, political pundits and Pantone experts to solve the compelling mystery: What color is Donald Trump?
By The Ex-Press Staff
Red? Trump's tie is red, suggesting he's Right when it comes to financial policy. And so are his lips, because he knows he needs to talk like a Republican. Hey. Talk is cheap.
Blue? His suit is navy, his eyes are sky blue and so is pie-in-the-sky line about making "America Great Again." What? It's not great already?
Orange? A day without Donald is a day without his sun shining on the rest of ...
Three movies that helped me understand terrorism
Brazil, The Green Prince and Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam
If movies are empathy machines, can they help us understand the incomprehensible reality of intentional violence against the innocent masses? Veteran film critic Katherine Monk says maybe, and offers a list of titles that helped her gain a better understanding of the big picture.
By Katherine Monk
A drunk man reels backward in a burka as the random thump of a bass drum ricochets through the basement walls, sweating from the heat of writhing humanity. “This one is called Sharia Law in the USA!,” screams the shirtless, bearded man on the mike. “I am an Islamist! I am the Anti-Christ!!”
It’s a scene from the 2009 Omar Majeed documentary Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam, a film that didn’t make much of an impression the first time I watched it, but something pulled me back to the movie about young, thoroughly westernized Muslim men who found a sense of tribal belonging in a form of vocal and violent ...
Syrian refugees face a new life and old ghosts
Fear of the 'foreigner' all too familiar
Recent Remembrance Day tributes included a special acknowledgement of 120 Japanese-Canadians who fought for the Allies while branded "enemy aliens"
By Rod Mickleburgh
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Last week, two days before the numbing atrocities of Paris, I went to the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the Japanese-Canadian War Memorial in Stanley Park. It was a simple, almost homespun occasion, far removed from the military-like precision of the packed event at the main cenotaph downtown. A black-robed priest gave a purification prayer, clapped three times and performed a spiritual cleansing by waving about a long baton festooned with white paper streamers. He then talked six minutes past the proscribed 11 a.m. time for the two minutes of silence. No one seemed to mind. Beside me, a teen-aged girl wiped away tears, while an elderly Japanese-Canadian woman in an ordinary gray kimono stood with head bowed, eyes tightly closed.
There was also a ...
Dog by Dog points a paw at AKC
New doc exposes dogs as cash crop
The American Kennel Club, big agri-business and -- surprise! -- the Amish emerge as chief enemies of the humble and lovable canine in a new documentary aimed at changing how the consumer purchases a pet.
By Katherine Monk
VANCOUVER – It’s enough to make you burn your VHS tape of Witness and boycott the Westminster Dog show, because according to a new documentary film, the Amish of Pennsylvania and the American Kennel Club resist efforts to curb puppy mills.
“It’s about money. Dogs are a cash crop” says Christopher Grimes, the director behind Dog by Dog, a feature documentary airing on PBS later this year.
“Papering dogs is a big part of the American Kennel Club’s budget… and for the Amish, they will do what is most profitable, and right now, they can get $3000 for one puppy. They have no other commodity that they are raising that can command the same price.”
On the surface, there’s nothing inherently ...
Lest We Forget
First-hand history lessons
Every Remembrance Day, reporters are asked to speak with those who witnessed history from the trenches, today, Rod Mickleburgh looks back at his personal archive and the stories that still haunt his Boomer-peacenik psyche
By Rod Mickleburgh
There’s nothing quite like the experience of talking to a veteran. They have so much to tell us of a time we peacenik baby-boomers simply can’t comprehend. Death and carnage and mayhem all around them, seeing buddies blown up or shot before their eyes, killing enemy soldiers themselves, and yet they carry on with the fight. Not quite the ordeal of finding a downtown parking spot.
Over the years, I’ve interviewed veterans from the Boer War (no, I wasn’t there…), World War One (the worst of all wars), and the Second World War against fascism. Never have I failed to come away in awe at their courage in signing up, the hell they experienced, and their vivid recollections of a distant past.
My own ...