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Toronto District School Board Proposal For A School For Queer Youth Should It Go Forward?

Fan Wu, 20, thinks the Toronto District School Board should consider creating a gay-centric high school.Fan Wu, 20, thinks the Toronto District School Board should consider creating a gay-centric high school. (CBC)

A public meeting is being held Wednesday to gauge the interest in a possible gay-centric high school in Toronto.

University student Fan Wu, 20, says the Toronto District School Board could make life easier for some future students if they considered his proposal for a new type of high school.

Wu is hosting a forum at the 519 Church Street Community Centre Wednesday night and hopes to determine the public’s interest in the idea of a gay-centric secondary school.

But debate on Wu’s idea has already begun.

Irene Miller, president of the Toronto chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), says separating kids because of their sexual orientation won’t help encourage acceptance.

“What you’re doing is saying: ‘If we take away all the kids who are being bullied, then the bullying stops,’” Miller said. “What we should be doing is take away all the bullies and the bullying will stop. It’s the wrong end of the stick.”

‘Not a segregation project’

Wu maintains this conceptual school is “not a segregation project” but would simply be another alternative school focusing on diversity and acceptance.

“This is not an ostracism project,” Wu said. “As with most alternative schools, every student will have a choice to apply to this school, regardless of their academic standing, regardless of their financial background, regardless of their sexuality in particular.

“So we would welcome allies, straight people, lesbian, gay, bi, trans, people of all sorts into this school. There is no ghettoization going on here.”

Similar criticism about segregation was also expressed about a controversial Africentric high school program at Winston Churchill Collegiate in Scarborough.

Last week it was revealed that the program had just six students enrolled. However, the city already has an Africentric elementary school which opened in 2009.

Miller maintains that the creation of a gay-centric school isn’t working toward the bigger picture.

“It’s taking one group of children and singling them out,” she said.

“It’s a hetero-sexist society and we presume people to be straight. We should change that way of thinking because we know not every one of those children is straight so society at large has to make a pivotal change in order to educate that 10 to 15 per cent of kids in school today [who are] LGBTQ.”

The Toronto District School Board already runs the Triangle Program at the Oasis Alternative School, which is a Grade 9 through 12 curriculum taught through an LGBTQ lens.

The board says it would not comment on the proposed new secondary school until it has seen an official proposal.

Wu hopes to put forth a formal proposal if the interest shown at Wednesday’s meeting is strong enough.

National Post Article: Locked Out Quebec Students Sue The Quebec Government For Losing Semester.

 

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul ChiassonStudents yell and gesture to members of the riot squad as student block an entrance to the Universite de Montreal Monday, August 27, 2012 in Montreal. Some classes are being disrupted during the return to school of Quebec universities as students disobey the back-to-school law.
  • MONTREAL — A class-action lawsuit is being organized by young Quebecers frustrated because they say they were hurt by the province’s student strikes.

The motion to sue 25 universities and junior colleges, as well as the Quebec government, was announced Thursday by students and their lawyers.

The plaintiffs say not enough was done to let them have access to their classrooms and complete their courses.

One says she will get her nursing diploma six months late, which will cost her financially.

“I incurred losses and I’m just asking for a reimbursement,” said the nursing student, Kim Laganiere.

“This will delay my entry into the job market by six to 12 months.”

REUTERS/Olivier JeanA flag of Quebec is seen as thousands of demonstrators march against student tuition fee hikes in downtown Montreal, August 22, 2012.

The group’s lawyer is not setting a figure on the amount requested, saying the financial impact varies from one person to the next.

The damage includes loss of salary, lost work experience, lost tuition fees and lost summer jobs, according to lawyer Michel Savonitto.

“These amounts aren’t necessarily very big in some cases but if you add them up it becomes astronomical… A court will evaluate the amount of the damages at the appropriate moment.”

The case may wind up determining whether the right to strike, as laid out in the Labour Code, applies to students. Savonitto said he will argue that there must be some distinction made between the rights of workers and those of students.

The Charest government’s Bill 78 was designed to force classrooms to be reopened and, in most cases, classes are indeed carrying on. But students in a minority of faculties are continuing to strike, and the law is being ignored in some cases.

The issue was expected to dominate the current provincial election, but has played only a minor role.

The Coalition party’s Francois Legault pushed it closer to the forefront during a radio interview Thursday, where he referred to some of the protesters as “thugs.”

Black Canadians Are Afraid To Be Black

I was talking to Aulelia, via e-mail the other day, and noticed she is so in tune with her blackness. Aulelia has a wonderful blog go check it out Charcoal Ink it is on my blog roll. Aulelia is a strong black woman she was born in Tanzania and raised in the UK.

Maybe ,that’s the reason Aulelia is so passionate about black politics is because she’s not a black Canadian LOL!

Aulelia was born in a country that has a large black population that wasn’t polluted with the white supremacy that permeates Canadian society. I am serious, in Canada ,black Canadian people we try too hard to fit in. We are never going to “fit” in here. The white Canadian majority always makes sure of that.

Black Canadians we are only discussed in the Canadian media when something negative occurs. Black Canadians we are the classic scapegoats in Toronto. There is a social hierarchy in Canada the whites are at the apex, Asian Canadians, black Canadians, and at the bottom with the Aboriginals.

When I utilize the term “social hierarchy” I am not suggesting that blacks, Asians, or Aboriginals should think we are inferior to white people because we are not. Since race is a social construction, I am illustrating that the “system” meaning the “media” attempts to dehumanize people of colour through language and images. For instance, the language in newspapers, television reports, radio broadcasts that are negative against people of colour sometimes reinforces white cultural domination.

Black activists such as Frantz Fanon, bell hooks, and black lesbian Canadian feminist Dionne Brand’s work are so important because they are utilizing language as a weapon a tool to empower the black race. Fanon, Brand, and hooks are attempting to find solutions for blacks to help ourselves.

Black Canadian lesbian feminist, Dionne Brand’s books, “A Map To The Door Of No Return” and “BRead Out Of Stone” are also very important books. I urge you all to read Brand’s books at the local public library or buy them. You will learn so much about the issues black Canadians encounter in Canada. It is important for people of colour to be “enlighten witnesses’ to ” White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy” this is a term black American feminist bell hooks created. hooks book “Outlaw Culture” reminds people of colour the media have their own agenda and that’s a white agenda. We have to be cognizant of this.

I am not stating that this social hierarchy is “static”. I am illustrating my view, different races are treated differently by the mainstream Canadian media. Asian Canadians are not attacked the same way as black Canadians are that’s a fact. Of course, Asian Canadians encounter racial discrimination I am not suggesting that they don’t. Also some Asian Canadians have racist prejudices and racist views against black Canadians as well.

Anyway, Aulelia is so proud to be black I love that about her! I also notice that I need to reconnect with blackness. In America, the African Americans are incredible people they are so organized and they don’t let “anybody” mess with them. Remember the Don Imus controversy? The African Americans quickly organized and gave Don Imus the boot! I love that about the African Americans they are righteous black people and they don’t take crap from anybody. You cannot mess with the African Americans.

For some reason, my perspective is, black Canadians we are afraid to be black. We are afraid, to stand up for ourselves and speak our minds. Aulelia is correct black people we need to be our own leaders and stop worrying about what other people think.

Now let me explain. Some black Canadians believe if we “don’t” talk about race we can pretend racism doesn’t exist. It seems to me in Canada some black Canadians believe if we follow the mythical norm and pretend “race issues” don’t matter things will be all gravy. However, it isn’t true. Black Canadians we definitely need to let our voices be heard about the black focus schools issue.

Aulelia is very passionate about the black race and African politics. Aulelia introduced me to the great French Caribbean liberation writer Frantz Fanon. How many black Canadian teens know about Dionne Brand, Evelyn Lau, Makeda Silvera? I have to confess in Canada the attitude is all about assimilation and integration. But is that the right solution though to try to be like “everyone else” wouldn’t blackness be displaced? It is important for black Canadians to make sure blackness is at the center. Black Canadian kids need to be proud of the black culture and build their self esteem.

The Canadian media promote this racist mythology of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism doesn’t exist in Canada that’s a complete lie. Canada is all about conforming to whiteness. According to the 2006 census black Canadians we are the third largest minority group in Canada with an estimated population of 783,800. However, if you pick up a Canadian newspaper, turn on the news, or listen to CBC radio it is all whiteness it has nothing to with people of African descent.

If I want to listen to black political issues I have to search the internet for foreign stations. I listen to a black British woman Jumoke Fashola’s radio show on BBC Radio London. I also listen to Michel Martin’s wonderful black radio program “Tell Me More” on NPR on American radio.

Thank goodness for the internet! In Toronto we have one black radio station in Toronto 93.5 yet 93.5 is afraid to be black. 93.5 is so white these days I can’t believe it is called “Urban Radio”. 93.5 sounds like any of the other white Canadian radio stations it has nothing to do with the black Canadian race. Race issues and black politics are off limits on 93.5 radio.

Whenever black people attempt to organize something the mythical norm attempts to try to tear us down. Last year, an African American speaker wanted to speak to black students at Ryerson University about black community uplift. Well surprise, surprise, the white Jews and the mythical norm shut the event down. Once again the mythical norm is up to no good. Once again, when black Canadians try to help our children the system tries to “put blacks in our place”. One step forward two steps back.

For instance, the Toronto District School Board has approved the the Black Focus Schools. However, the black focus school is only for Kindergarten to grade five. Isn’t this a complete cop out? Give me a break! The issue here is the secondary school level 40% of black teens are dropping out of school that’s a scary statistic. It also means almost half of black teens aren’t graduating high school I think this a crisis. The Toronto District School Board now wants a “study” conducted. It is just a stalling tactic it is racist and total bullshit. Next, you have some people claiming the black focus school is segregation. The TDSB hopes black Canadians we will “forget” about the fact the system is failing our children!

Black children are already marginalized by racist teachers, a racist curriculum, and a racist anti black Canadian society. Black children have to read racist books such as Mark Twain’s work or Harper Lee’s racist novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” and Shakespeare in grade twelve. Why is white culture pushed down the throats of black children? Why can’t black kids read more books by black authors? And why is this such a struggle? The black kids already are treated rather unfairly yet Premier Dalton McGunity is dragging his heels as usual to find a solution. Black activists and black educators are being proactive taking a stand stating this is a “crisis”. I am glad an Afrocentric school is going to open in September 2009 for the young black children. However, I also believe this is all smokes and mirrors. The Toronto District School Board wants to appear as though they are “taking” action. The truth is the TDSB is doing nothing because the crisis is at the high school level. Some black teens are depressed, they feel alienated, they feel unworthy and hopeless.

Next, you know the racist teachers and principals are saying privately “well the whites and Asian kinds are doing well why can’t the blacks do well?” Why haven’t more black teachers been hired by the TDSB? Only 5.2% of the teachers in Toronto are black. Also only 9.6% of the principals and vice principals are black. Black children need to see educators that look like them that will invest their time and energy and believe in them. Why can’t black teens read Frantz Fanon, Dionne Brand, Makeda Silvera, or George Elliott Clarke? Well anyone that has bothered to read Audre Lorde, or Dionne Brand’s work knows the answer. The system treats black people differently then Asians. For some reason blacks we are thought of as more of a “threat” because we are very outspoken about race relation issues.

Is The B.A. Degree The New High School Diploma?

Do I really want to return to college or university? The answer is no I really don’t. I hated York University it was so boring I definitely won’t be returning there.  The only happy moment was when I graduated with a B.A. degree it definitely opened up a few doors. Notice that I used the word “few”. It seems everywhere these days you need a B.A. degree to do anything. My goal is to have a more enriched life. I just feel like something is missing from my life right now I can’t quite explain it? Unlike my first post secondary experience this time around I’m going to actually take courses that enhance my skills.

I was on the telephone with a friend the other day and he says the B.A. degree is the new high school diploma. I remember when I graduated from university with a B.A. degree I honestly thought that all the hours of studying, staying up all night writing essays and term papers were over. Well guess what? The competition is fierce and it seems everyone is acquiring a B.A. degree.

The question is how do you separate yourself from the pack? I was thinking about these new online college and university programs that are flexible because you can work and also go to school. Get a Masters degree! However, I should caution I’m doing my research. I think I will definitely skip the University of Phoenix online university courses. I just read an article the other day that HR agents actually look down on the University of Phoenix. I was surprised because the University of Phoenix is an accredited university it is legit. However, the University of Phoenix is a for profit university and there standards may be lower then other universities.

It Is Official Premier Dalton McGunity Is A Racist He Will Not Fund Black Focus Schools!

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Well, it looks like the black community in Toronto needs to keep a close eye on the Premier of Ontario Dalton McGunity. Premier McGuinty says he is against black focus schools and he will not provide funding for black focus schools. According to statistics 40% of black teens in the city of Toronto are dropping out of school! Only 5.2% of the teachers in the greater Toronto area are black even though the largest concentration of blacks in Canada live in Canada’s largest city. At the executive level only 9.6% of the principals and vice principals are black. The people teaching, creating rules and regulations for black students are not of African descent and obviously don’t understand the needs and concerns of the black race. It is clear the anti black racism is entrenched and institutionalized. For far too long black Canadians we just accept Canada’s racism and bigotry and just go with the flow.

It is obvious black children are encountering alienation.People scream the scapegoat about segregation yet ignore the fact segregation already exists. We have done nothing for far too long. I am sick and tired of those black Canadian cowards that are so afraid of rising up against racism. Let the cowards sit while the rest of us speak out about oppression against the black race in Canada. We cannot allow black children to fade away. Black kids are becoming disillusioned by a supremacist racist education system that ignores black contributions to Canada. And please don’t preach to me about black history month there is more to black history in the African Diaspora then the under ground railroad, Martin Luther King, and slavery.

Black kids are becoming depressed, unhappy, having feelings of hopelessness, despair and nobody cares. People wonder why crime is a big issue. Guess what people, when children feel alienated they act out and become a problem to society. The psychological effects of institutionalized racism is so powerful but of course in lame ass Canada we ignore the mental side of oppression.

It is so pathetic that people are trying to compare Afrocentric schools to faith base schools. There are clear differences. The Afrocentric schools will help black children achieve so they can advance in society.Toronto is a racist city everyone knows this fact but Canadians are so pretentious there is always this covert racist attitude to state sponsored bigotry.

It is obvious to the discerning eye that the current education system is flawed and not working for some black children. The question remains why? It is also clear Premier Dalton McGunity, the Liberal Party, and some racist bigots will attempt to use black children as scapegoats to advance their own racist anti black agenda. Canada is a racist country and the pernicious attitude of Premier Dalton McGunity underscores this. It is obvious that Premier McGunity doesn’t care about black children succeeding and advancing in Canadian society.

Now this number of 40% of black teens dropping out of school is horrendous it is absolutely shocking and scary! We are in a crisis here! We want a solution so why is Premier Dalton McGunity trying to stop black progress? Is anyone really surprised with McGunity’s racist anti black attitude? McGuinty is now in his second term as Premier of the province of Ontario. The scare tactics of some media outlets about segregation is not going to work. Black children are already segregated by racist teachers, and racist anti black curriculum. I cannot blame some black kids for being sick and tired of reading about white Canadian history or about European culture. What does European culture got to do with the black race anyway? Why can’t black kids learn about black history beyond black history month?

People need to know Canada is not some multicultural paradise the racist attitudes of the white Canadian majority against black Canadians has been growing for years. What has this man Premier Dalton McGuinty ever done about the education crisis in Toronto? Absolutely nothing! If Premier McGuinty had taken the concerns of the Toronto District School Board and black educators more seriously perhaps the drastic step of opening a black focus school wouldn’t be necessary.

Dalton McGuinty is the Premier of the province of Ontario his racist comments are absolutely abhorrent and disgraceful. Why is Premier McGunity so scared about one black focus school being opened in Toronto to help black children? Could it be because black Canadians we want to uplift our children that suddenly some white Canadians want to hold us back? Should we just go with the flow and watch more black children be disillusioned and drop out of school?

Black Canadians need to be paying close attention to Premier McGunity’s comments because he is exhibiting the blatant racist and pernicious attitudes that are powerful. Racist bigots will read and discern the real underlining message the Premier of Ontario is saying that the black community concerns don’t matter. We are not going to sit and wait any longer for black focus schools!

The current education system in the province of Ontario is flawed doesn’t Premier Dalton McGuinty get it? Or perhaps Premier Dalton McGunity doesn’t care? Black educators and other education experts have sounded the alarm for years there are serious flaws in the Ontario education system. Premier McGunity’s perspective is so sick it makes me want vomit right on his face.

I find Premier Dalton McGuinty’s racist attitude not surprising but also chilling and deleterious. Whenever black Canadians want to improve ourselves some white Canadian people always want to set up a road block or a detour. Some white Canadians want to impede our progress. The racist haters scream about segregation even though black children are already discriminated against with a racist curriculum, racist teachers, and racist hiring standards.

Isn’t this interesting, so Premier McGunity doesn’t mind taxpayers money paying for Catholic schools but a school to help a disadvantaged group he ignores. Why the hell should taxpayers money go to paying for Catholic schools and not one black school? There are thousands of Catholic Schools in the province of Ontario why are we funding them? The uproar is about one black focus school that is going to open in September 2009.

I think the sinister, racist, and subversive message Premier Dalton McGuinty is sending is that he once again wants to treat black people concerns as the other. Why is all this racist hysteria emerging now? I think the truth of the matter is Premier Dalton McGunity’s attitude isn’t really about opening a black focus school. The racist attitude is that black Canadians we should just accept our fate as being the other and keep our mouths shut. Well we aren’t going to be quiet we are going to rise up!

Does anyone remember May 2007? Well here is a reminder. Black Canadian people need to remember Premier Dalton McGunity is the same man that supported the Jews in May 2007 and blocked a black American speaker from talking to black youth. Black Canadians should be paying close attention to the subliminal destructive messages Premier Dalton McGunity is sending which I believe are abhorrent and racist.

I have a serious problem with the Premier’s statement because obviously Premier McGuinty doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of black children. The reason the Toronto District School Board decided to agree to black focus schools is because a disproportionate amount of black children are dropping out of school. Black children encounter racism and apathy from racist teachers, racist principals, racist education system that creates a pathology and marginalize them.

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080131.wmcguintschool0131/BNStory/National/home

It Is Official: Toronto District School Board Agrees To Open Black Focus School In September 2009

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In the past, I would of said it is wrong for the Toronto District School Board to open a black focus school. There has been a passionate debate that I believe is a hindrance. The truth is, 40% of black teens are dropping out of school in the Toronto area. Also, only 5.2% of the teachers in the greater Toronto area are black. Only 9.6% of the principals are black.The question is why are a disproportionate number of black kids not completing their education? Let’s be real and honest here, the attitudes of some racists are that black kids are stupid, lazy, and lacking discipline.

It is obvious to me the issues some black children are encountering go deeper and deal with the psychological such as alienation, hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair. Next, people will whisper quietly of course that “the Asians and the white kids are adjusting and not having problems so why are some black kids struggling?” The covert racists will use this rationalization as an excuse to maintain the state sponsored racist curriculum that is detrimental to black youth.

The answer is obvious different groups are treated differently by the system. In the city of Toronto, black Canadians we have consistently been branded as the “out-group” and categorized as “the other”.

Toronto has a racial hierarchy, and in this racist hierarchy blacks are demonized consistently in the Canadian media and society compared to Asians. The editors, managing editors, editor in chiefs of Canadian newspapers are whites and Asians.

Pick up a Canadian newspaper you will notice no black people in high power media positions. I don’t think this is just a coincidence either. The racism is institutionalized. If more blacks were in power positions in the Canadian media the Canadian media would be run very differently then the lax journalism that currently takes place.

The Canadian media has a propensity to publishing in print or broadcasting on television and radio racist anti black pieces in order to create a pathology about us. Also, notice there are Asians that work in top media positions in Canada but blacks are excluded. Do you even have to wonder why? Race is socially constructed, and when a group of people are bashed consistently it can have a negative psychological effect on some members of a community.

Black lesbian Canadian feminist Dionne Brand, wrote a book about the racist attitudes of the Canadian media in her groundbreaking 2001 book “A Map To The Door Of No Return”. Please, I urge you go to the public library and read Ms. Brand’s excellent book about the ways in which the Canadian media and culture pathologize and demonize black folks. Also, read Dr. Joseph Mensah’s wonderful book “Black Canadians” Dr. Mensah provides statistical evidence with a strong polemical message about the entrenched racism against black Canadians. Both books are available at your local public library.I am sure since its black history month both books will be on “display”.

Dionne Brand and Joseph Mensah’s books didn’t receive a lot of ink in the Canadian press because Canada has this pretentious image of being less racist then America. The truth is, Americans are more real about racism then Canadians. Canada is a place where covert racism thrives and grows like a cancer. Some of these kids may even be depressed they don’t feel the material they are studying is engaging or interesting. When kids are interested in something the passion will emerge and they will try. When children have teachers that are anti racist that actually care about black kids they can achieve. However, the Toronto District School Board has a history of being racist against the Toronto black community and this is a fact.

However, I know from personal experience with the Toronto District School Board the course work is boring and anti black. Black kids are being alienated by racist teachers, racist principals, a system that is a form of systematic racism. I don’t understand the eruption of anger here there is only going to be one black focus school opening in the city in September 2009.

My question is where the hell does the segregation argument emerge from? The term “segregation” is an explosive word. However, aren’t black kids being segregated and alienated anyway by a racist Toronto education system that is anti black? Why is there such an imbalance in the number of black teachers teaching in the greater Toronto area? Teachers also have their own racist prejudices and biases against the black community. I remember when I was a kid back in the early 1990s. I had several battles with the racist teachers that wanted to hold me back because I am black.

Also, another important issue the media ignores is about the racist teachers that keep on discriminating against black kids. It is well known in Toronto that black students are treated differently then the whites and the Asians. In the 1990s, in the city of Brampton, which is a suburb of Toronto there was a teacher that was fired in the year 1993 he was a part of the Ku Klux Klan. Isn’t that scary the Peel District School Board didn’t even do a background check? The Peel District School Board allowed a member of the Ku Klux Klan to teach impressionable children.

However, I now understand this new school for black students that will open in September 2009 is so important. The bottom line is some black children are simply slipping through the cracks and it has taken the Toronto Board of Education this long to realize something needs to be done. I think one school is not the solution but a step in the right direction. It is obvious to me that the hiring practices of the Toronto District School Board needs to change they need to hire more black teachers.

The curriculum also needs to change immediately! Why should black children be forced and subjected to reading racist anti black books such as Harper Lee’s garbage white savior novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” or study just European history? Why can’t black kids learn about the history of the African Diaspora? There needs to be more diversity in the course material to engage and interest black kids.

Some people are getting all emotional but this is only one school so the vast majority of black children in the greater Toronto area still will have to attend regular school. I just hope the Toronto District School Board wakes up and realizes this is just a band aid solution. The real culprit is their apathetic attitude to the concerns of the black community. Why should black kids be subjected to reading Shakespeare? Who cares about Shakespeare? Why can’t black kids read about Canadian writers of colour such as Makeda Silvera or Evelyn Lau?

http://www.thestar.com/News/article/298714

Malcolm X Asks What Kind Of Black Person Are You?

Watching this clip of Malcolm X makes me realize the discussion about House Negroes and Field Negroes exists today. Of course we are all individuals we have a right to have divergent points of view and perspectives. I am not suggesting that there needs to be a collective mentality taking place. However, we cannot change the fact as the scholar bell hooks says race always matters. It doesn’t matter how much power or money you acquire to ignore race is to ignore reality.

  When I think about black people like Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas its clear to me that  Malcolm X comments makes perfect sense. Sure, Rice and Thomas are blacks with very powerful positions in society but they also follow the status quo. Thomas and Rice certainly don’t give a damn about the black race all they care about is maintaining the power they have acquired. Malcolm X wasn’t perfect but he loved black people and he cared deeply about the black race.

Documentary: What Does It Mean To Be A Real Man?

In this clip from Jackson Katz’s documentary he explores the issue of masculinity and why it is considered palatable for men to be “violent”. Katz film investigates many issues about “why” men think we have to present this macho image. Its clear to me that society accepts male violence and tells men that in order to be real men the only acceptable emotion is anger. I don’t agree with everything in this clip of the documentary  but Katz does make some valid points.

I see it all the time on the bus, walking through the mall, on the subway, I see young men posturing trying to act hard. I’ve always wondered why do they do this? The documentary also explores the role that women have in this. Some women admire and want men that appear “macho” they consider this to be attractive. Also some females look down on men that are not “tough” or “aggressive.” I think that’s part of the appeal rapper such as 50 CENT has with young males. I love Kanye West because he illustrates that a man can be just be himself, show his emotions, and be real. I wish there were more positive images of black manhood out there.

Why are John Wayne and Steve McQueen so revered and popular? One can argue that Wayne and McQueen were just actors in films but they were also very masculine and dominant in their movies. I think a lot of men don’t want to admit it but there is so much pressure to be strong all the time. I find this emotionally and psychologically draining and I am glad I never tried to be that way. However, I have been criticized throughout my life for not being “macho” and “aggressive”. Men place a lot of pressure on other men to conform to gender roles.

Pop culture such as music videos and movies have a role. However, I think socialization is a big part of it. Its obvious society believes that men must be “dominant” or “in control” at all times to be real men. My perspective is that the education system has a serious role in shaping the minds of young males. I think this film is very interesting because I have fought with my emotions about what it means to be a real man my whole life. I remember when I was a kid I got called sissy, fag, wimp. I cry when I am depressed and sad I don’t hide my emotions although society says to be a real man we are supposed to.I was a very shy boy I didn’t really stand up for myself. I also recall my older brother verbally abusing me and I didn’t really feel that my parents stood up for me either.

Instead of turning my anger on to “others” I internalized my anger and hurt myself by not speaking out. People wonder why so many young men are dying? Its because in society some young men don’t know that it should be okay to “talk” about our feelings. You turn on the news and you watch and listen about more young men dying on the streets due to male violence. Men are killing and hurting other men and we just sit and watch. I think a real man is a man that can admit he has feelings and emotions that can feel hurt, feel pain, he can also cry.

I am Applying To University Again For 2008 May Give Up Writing

I finally decided that I’m going to apply to university and work towards a second degree. One thing is for sure I’m definitely not making the same mistake twice. Why did I get a B.A. degree in history? I am so stupid!!! What was I thinking at the time? I think the first time around I just wanted to graduate and get the hell out of York University LOL!

I just wanted a B.A. degree and that’s definitely not the right way to think but that’s the truth. I don’t want to be a teacher. I can’t tolerate dealing with thirty brats screaming and yelling while I was trying to conduct a lesson. A B.A. in history is basically useless. I’m definitely going to apply to a journalism program but I’m also interested in screenwriting, theatre, and film. Maybe I can also take a creative writing course too? I think I’m going to make at least four choices this time around instead of the standard three. Maybe I will make five choices.

The competition I am sure will be fierce but I’ve got to try. I wonder if I can apply as a mature student even though I already have a B.A.? I am doing something wrong my life is not perfect?  All I know is I will not make the same mistake I made the first time around. Time is running out. I’m not getting any younger. I need an edge. Its obvious I am lacking something but what? What am I doing wrong? Why haven’t I gotten a second book published by now? I must be doing something incorrectly? But what? I’ve got to think about this a bit more. I have tried, and tried, and I am tired of trying!!!!

How do I make myself stand out? And writing maybe I should just give it up? Its so frustrating right now rejection after rejection. I think I am going to scream!!! I know I’m not supposed to bitch and complain but I’m going to anyway right now. I really wanted to do that reading at the University of Toronto yesterday. I was so excited about it. I was going to read some selections from “You Don’t Know Me” and also some new poetry. Maybe I should give up writing poetry? It is so frustrating to get poetry published and all these literary journals seem to think poets and writers have deep pockets? It costs a lot of money to send S.A.S.E. and pay for all that damn postage! Nobody seems to accept e-mail submissions anymore either!

Do you ever question your own decisions and have doubts?

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Should I enter a journalism program? I keep on thinking about that. I wonder would it give me an edge? I feel like I’m getting too old to return back to school. I have  been having this ongoing conversation with myself inside my mind. It is this  constant tug of war. Part of me feels like maybe it would “help” and another part of me feels like I should be spending more time actually acquiring more “experience.” I don’t know what to do? I’m getting old I’m not getting any younger.

Next, I say to myself school isn’t everything experience also counts. Now this year I have been “gaining” more experience but not the payoff. Toronto is an extremely competitive media market. I did finally get my first professional radio credit this year when  my documentary “The Good Son” was broadcast on CBC radio in May. I’m very interested in radio and I’ve thought about expanding my experience in this area. 

 I’m interested in so many things. I’ve thought about taking a screenwriting course next year, I’ve thought about that a  lot. I thought about completing that novel that I have procrastinated about finishing. Well actually the rough draft is complete its all about finding the right “editor” to edit it. I want to get another volume of poetry published. I am so sick of being a one book writer!

 I already have a BA degree but I have been wondering lately if that’s enough? I secretly think to myself how the hell do some people get published in the LA Times or the NY Times? I really want to know? I’ve been to media journalism websites such as the webiste http://www.mediabistro.com  and asked for advice.

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