Posted in boo, Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, Happy Boy, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

What Has Your Child Said Which Was / Sounded Racist?


Recently, on CFRB1010am, host Jim Richards covered a topic about when children might have been racist – by accident or by innocence.

I would have loved to have called in and told my story, however, I was unable to, so when I arrived at the location of my next client meeting, I took a few minutes to send a tweet to his show, the Showgram, outlining my story.

They replied!

My story was good.

So I figured I would re-tell it here, and here it is:

Back in the day, when my oldest was just a wee little boy – around 3 or 4-years old, I brought him to a Toronto Rock lacrosse game.

After being completely infatuated with the music and lights in the arena, he turned his attention to the game and asked me; “Daddy, which team do we want to win?”

“Toronto”, was my reply.

“Are they in black?”

“No, the Toronto Rock are wearing blue, red and white.  The Rock’s opponents, however, were the Philadelphia Wings, and they were wearing black uniforms. I told him, “Philadelphia is the team wearing the black jerseys. We do NOT like Philadelphia. Boooo, Philadelphia!”

“Okay, Daddy”, was his response.

Then Philadelphia scored and he said, “Boooooo.  Boooooooo.  Booooo… Black guys!”

I spun towards him and said, “pardon me???”

“Booooo black guys!”

“No, no, no, no, no!” was my immediate response. “We don’t boo “black” guys.  We boo the Philadelphia Wings.”

“Booooo Black guys!”, he yelled, now standing up and at a moment where it is really quite in the arena.

I explained to him again, that it’s Philadelphia that we hate… Everything Philly… The Wings, Flyers, 76ers, possibly the Phillies… 

The crowd around us was laughing, hearing the dialogue between us, and knowing that there was nothing untoward intended.

“Booooo Black guys!” he yelled again.

Now being the superior parent that I am, I felt the need to silence him while I educated him, so I stuffed his little face with cotton candy and orange soda (bad daddy!) and I watched the sugar coma overtake his little body while I explained that we are rooting for the Toronto Rock, and rooting against the Philadelphia Wings, and that what he said was not very nice.

He looked at me… like a half-drunk adult, and said, “okay Daddy, I understand”.

And never a word was spoken for the rest of the game.

TRIUMPH!

I’m such a great daddy!

… and then he fell asleep on my lap.

As the game ended, we walked to the subway, little tired, over-sweetened child and I, and we got on a fairly empty car. and he laid down on the seat and had a quick nap.

As the subway car sped northbound, it emptied a little bit at each stop, until the car held maybe 10-15 people in it.

Suddenly a little head popped up and with his eyes wide open, my son asked me this, “Did we win?”

“Yes we did”, I proudly replied. “Do you like lacrosse?”

“I love the cross” was his response.

And then at the top of his little lungs, he blurted out, “BOO BLACK GUYS!!!”

Without noticing the 4 young boys sitting across from us glaring at us, I reminded him that the Toronto Rock wore blue and that we cheered the blue team, and we booed the team wearing the black jerseys, not the black guys.

Then I looked up and saw the boys looking at me for a second until they burst into laughter.

They understood…

He’s not a racist, I promise! He just doesn’t like the team in black at the cross.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Coffee, hockey, money, Parenting

Overheard


Overheard

I love when I have the opportunity to create a blog post entitled “Overheard”. It means I am in the right place and the right time, and I am able to quickly jot down conversations between random strangers from very public places, which are utter nonsense.

It’s been a while, but I have such a post.

The Location

I was just settling in to a local hockey arena, when I noticed that there were 2 guys not too far from me who looked quite suspicious. They were waiting for the rest of the group to leave, or looking for some privacy.  At first, I thought there was going to be a drug deal, or something illegal going down, so I placed my ear buds into my ears, flipped open my laptop, and pretended to be working while I listened to – what I thought was going to be – a sketchy transaction.

Little did I know, they wanted privacy to begin a conversation of absolute nonsense.

In fact, their conversation was so inaccurate that I really wanted to interject and correct them… But I couldn’t.

So I typed away on my laptop a bit quieter and I took down some of their brilliance.

The Conversation

“So I need to earn some more money and pay for all this hockey.”

“I’ve noticed there are a lot of Chinese kids playing – is it because they have billions of dollars and billions of citizens and they come to Canada to spend their money so they choose hockey because it’s the most expensive sport?”

“Yes.”

“So I need to compete or the entire NHL will be Chinese and there will be one else playing.”

“Right.”

“Or, I need to train these kids.”

“No.”

“You need to earn money and compete. You need to earn your money in Bitcoins.  Bitcoins are the future.  The Government is going to seize all the money.  They won’t print money anymore.  Every country is going to stop printing money.  Money is in the real estate.  Buy now, sell later.  It’s a conspiracy.”

“Like what’s going on in the US?”

“Yes. It’s a massive conspiracy to get money out of the hands of people.  Then the government will tell people what to spend and how much they can spend.  It will be like they’re controlling you.”

“We’re going to have to move to China to get away from it all. There will be room, because they are ALL moving here.”

“Is Trudeau Chinese?”

“No. He’s an Indian.  But not from India or Indiana.  From here.”

“Is Trump part-Chinese?”

“No, but I hear he likes coffee enemas…”

 

SILENCE

 

Then they whispered a bit more. People showed up.  I packed up and left.

Leave it to the words; Trump, coffee and enema to kill a conversation.

Posted in urbandaddyblog

Daily Prompt: Replacement


via Daily Prompt: Replacement

Thoughts swirling through my head around the word “replacement”.  In my life, what could replace me, or what (whom) could I replace?

What about in other aspects of society?  Where could the world benefit from replacement, aside from the office of the President of the United States of America where some recent decision scare the crap out of many, while bringing the “protectionist” US back to a time when they turned away other immigrants who were slaughtered by the Nazi’s.

Instead of having a “Trump” card, or a “Veto”, the US needs a “Replacement” vote which should allow the majority of their citizens to have stupid / racist / sexist decisions replaced by common sense ones.

Just a thought….

 

But about me, as a Dad, husband, and tax services professional – I recently had that conversation with my kids about my wife’s new best friend… Art.  She loves Art, and Art makes her feel good.

Art, you see, is not a person, but is what artists do, and my wife has become one seriously talented artist.  Watching her create is exciting and seeing the final product is awe inspiring, but I digress.  “Art” would be a suitable replacement for me.

My kids, however, wonder if “Art” were to be their next daddy, how “he” would treat them.

I told them since “Art” is not a real person, we could pretend that “Art” was really rich… like Bill Gates rich, and “Art” would buy them whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted… And then if “Art” had a huge family then it could help expand our super-small family.  That would be cool right?

They liked the thought, but felt that getting what they wanted, whenever they wanted would become boring after a while, and they kind of like me as their Dad… Awwww.

So “Art” would replace me as a husband, but not as a Dad, while common sense would replace dumb, racist political decisions.

Replacement might be the word of the day, but it offers the best opportunities for everyone to be happy.  At least I think it does.

Posted in Life

Don’t Be a Twit on Twitter: Twitter adds tougher language to ban on hateful conduct, threats


It’s been a couple of weeks now since Twitter changed their rules of conduct to highlight the fact that violent threats and abusive behaviour are not tolerated, and I have to say I have noticed a bit of a difference.

Normally in my newsfeed I come across a few threads which are full out battles which include threats, racist or hate speech, negative stereotypes being used and full-on hate for someone because of how they were born.

So while I am seeing a reduction in this type of behaviour from nitwits, I’m not sure how these rules reduce the threat of extremists from using Twitter to recruit members and promote their illegal activities.

Personally, I’d like to see a case come up and then see how Twitter handles it.  The proof really is in the pudding, right?

The company has said: “The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behaviour intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice. As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs — but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse.”

So what has changed?  Well, the new language gives Twitter the authority to suspend or shutter any user account that engages in “hateful conduct” or whose “primary purpose is inciting harm towards others.”

But it’s not that this was allowed before, right?  Twitter has always said that users could not promote or threaten violence, but the new wording broadens the scope, by using language under “hateful conduct” like this:  “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.”

The new policy also explicitly bans the creating of multiple accounts which contain the same users so that if one account is suspended the bad guys just use another account right away.

Ideally, the other thing Twitter needs to look at is the long inactive accounts which people want, and to open up a service whereby for either a small fee – possibly a donation – or by making a compelling case, they will close the inactive account and provide access to users who really want or need them for, I don’t know, their blogs maybe.

In my case, to be specific, the ideal twitter handle only had a few posts over a couple of years and then has fallen silent for the last 3 years, whereas I’ve been blogging under this name for over 11-years.  I’d love to get my hands on that account to clean up my social media but the owner of that account does not respond and Twitter does not do anything.

But I digress!

If people cannot be nice to each other and polite online, understanding that they are unlikely to change anyone’s view in 140 characters and with hateful language, they deserve to have their accounts pulled.

I hope to see Twitter take action and when they do, I hope it sends a message to the haters to lighten up and start being nice, or find another service.

 

 

Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, Community, family, news

Norwegian Cruise Lines Takes a Stand Against Racism. Tunisia No Longer a Port of Call.


Amazing.

Hats off to Norwegian Cruise Lines for their swift condemnation of the Tunisian Government for their last-minute decision to ban 20 Israeli travellers from disembarking the ship and entering Tunisia during a port of call.

Not was Norwegian Cruise Lines quick in their verbal condemnation, but they also notified the Tunisian government that they would no longer bring tourists to Tunisia on their cruises, as punishment for this narrow-minded clearly anti-Semitic decision.

Digging further, I discovered that they might be a visa situation in play here where visas are needed – or were needed – to allow Israelis to visit Tunisia and visa-versa, however, in this day and age, we are talking about 20 human beings who wanted to visit a country, shop in that country, and contribute to the economy of that country and if the government there can only see them as “Israeli” (and they could be Christian, Jewish or Arab Israeli) then they deserve the world’s scorn.

I do, however, wonder if this calls for a flotilla to Tunisia, or maybe the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant church in Canada, who launched an official boycott of Israeli products because, “With these efforts, we join with many others striving to bring peace with justice to the Holy Land,” said United Church of Canada Moderator Gary Paterson. Maybe they want to boycott Tunisian products now because what’s fair is fair, right?

It’s not about the “Jewish people” but it’s about what is “fair”.

Here is a link to one of the many articles on this story.

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2014/March/Norwegian-Cruise-Line-Writes-Off-Tunisia/