Here are some questions and answers for those pesky white supremacists

Their mantra is Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, and Europe for Europeans. When someone says that to you, the obvious retort is:  Then you must believe that the Americas and Australia are for Aboriginals!  Then you must believe that European Colonialism was very wrong, and upset the “balance” of the continents!  (Perhaps the Europeans venturing into the other continents set up the history and politics that result in the current immigration from those countries back into Europe.)

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Those kids today! (aka I’m old)

There have been several millennials making impressions upon me lately, and not good impressions.  I wonder what kind of parenting my generation chose in order to produce such dependent unquestioning progeny.

The young people in question have no problem describing their fears of daily events.  Not a fear of rape – but a fear of being catcalled.  Fears of independence, fears of public transit, fears of lone travel… My generation was looking forward to these marks of adulthood, and longed to conquer fear (and were embarassed by small fears).  Yet somehow, they have discouraged their own children from embracing these same milestones. Continue reading

No wonder I don’t trust authority

I hear there was an election in the U.S.A.
Before I starting watching the news, I read books about the ‘possible’ news.
I learned about the politics of immigration, the politics of authority, the politics of gender, and the politics of media and technology from great science fiction authors.  Most of these I read in my teens. I searched for the covers of the editions I read, as I remember them.
Strangely, I am still not sure of the cover of the 1984 I read.  That makes me feel manipulated.

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You Have To Be Taught

You’ve got to be taught

To hate and fear,

You’ve got to be taught

From year to year,

It’s got to be drummed

In your dear little ear

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid

Of people whose eyes are oddly made,

And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,

You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,

Before you are six or seven or eight,

To hate all the people your relatives hate,

You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote a heart-wrenching song for their musical South Pacific in 1949.

My mom loved South Pacific.  She was born in a harbour of a bay of the North Atlantic.

©2006 Marion Pennell

©2006 Marion Pennell

My mom was the least racist or prejudiced person I have ever known.  Her father was a bigot, in the typical way of his generation (he was born in the tail end of the 19th century).  In the 1970s, in the hospital, dying, she told me he didn’t want any black nurses to attend to him.  I thought, lucky for the black nurses that they didn’t have to attend to such a grumpy verbally-abusive patient. Continue reading

Will I Ever Use This In Real Life?

People question the value of an education.  I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Minor in Mathematics (1985), Qualifying Status as a Customs Broker from the CICB/Revenue Canada (1990), and a DEC (College Diploma) in Special Education (1995).  (Of course, I live in Québec and I didn’t have to go into exorbitant debt to do so.)  I am currently an artist/writer with a day job washing dogs, getting by and living in a poor part of Montréal.  Don’t regret any of it.


My time at Concordia University was formative.  Living in the city for the first time, meeting people from so many places studying so many things!  Optimistic enthusiastic ambitious people at the lunch table (very different from a workplace lunchroom).  We were going to change the world.  Our professors dared us to.

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