Apologize for the #AppropriationAward tweets & make structural change
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On the evening of Thur May 11th, a number of senior Canadian journalists wrote some extraordinarily offensive tweets. They were registering their unhappiness with the resignation on May 10th of Hal Niedzviecki, former editor of the Writers' Union of Canada magazine Write. Mr, Niedzviecki resigned after the publication in Write of an opinion piece he wrote titled "Winning the Appropriation Prize," which explained how he did not believe that cultural appropriation was wrong.
Jonathan Kay, editor-in-chief of The Walrus, first tweeted that he felt that Mr. Niedzviecki had been "mobbed" and that it had been the result of "identity politics fundamentalists run riot." Ken Whyte, former Macleans and National Post editor-in-chief, then tweeted that he would "donate $500 to the founding of the appropriation prize." In a matter of hours, a number of other top ranking Canadian media leaders tweeted their support of Ken's initiative.
We call upon all of the Canadian journalists who published those tweets, along with the media outlets where they work, to publicly apologize for their behaviour, which is outrageously disrespectful and contemptuously dismissive of the experiences of Indigenous people and people of colour in Canada. A few of you have already done so, which is recognized. In addition to an apology, we also call upon you to publicly commit to work on the following:
1) Diversifying the Canadian media landscape, at all levels of decision-making power.
2) Actively and deliberately supporting the careers of Indigenous journalists and journalists of colour throughout the rest of your own careers.
3) Understanding how structural racism, structural oppression, structural inequality function both in the media industry itself as well as in the larger world.
4) Building in an anti-oppression framework into all levels of operation at your media organizations.
The list of Canadian journalists and their news organizations, in alphabetical order:
Rick Anderson – Globe and Mail
Christie Blatchford – National Post
Miro Cernetig – CityAge Media
Andrew Coyne – National Post
Scott Feschuk – Macleans
Barbara Kay – National Post
Jonathan Kay – The Walrus
Steve Ladurantaye – CBC News
Jason Lietaer – Enterprise Canada
Steve Maich – Rogers Media
Anne Marie Owens – National Post
Lise Ravary – Le Journal
David Reevely – Ottawa Citizen
Alison Uncles – Macleans
(Image from VICE article: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/a-bunch-of-white-canadian-editors-really-love-cultural-appropriation
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