The amount of hate directed at George Zimmerman never ceases to amaze me. Do a google search of “kill Zimmerman” and you will see the extent of the hate/threats of violence directed at him. The irony is that those who are upset/angry with what happened to Trayvon Martin are conducting themselves in the way that had originally upset them, but can’t comprehend that. They only care that their version is perceived as the right one whether they are right or wrong. They act in a mob mentality, where they will vocalize their hate for Zimmerman and others will join in with them. There seems to be a sense of being able to do and say anything they want and no one should be able to shut them up.
At one point there was a Twitter account “@ killzimmerman” which was set up by someone shortly after the killing of Trayvon Martin so that they and others could tweet their hatred and threats of violence against George Zimmerman. Then there are those like Spike Lee who tweeted what he thought was Zimmerman’s address which gives those who are inclined to go there and harass/threaten Zimmerman. Unfortunately, the address was wrong and innocent parties were harassed. Then there is Twitter itself. They are basically silent on their service being used to threaten people. I do believe in freedom of speech which means you take the good with the bad but there are limitations to that free speech such as you can’t yell “fire” in a theatre, etc.
Below is the correspondence I had with Twitter.
How can we help?: Offensive content Reported user(s): @ killzimmerman
Offensive Tweet: https://twitter. com/#!/KillZimmerman/status/185114089876488192
How long ago did this begin?: within the week How many times has this happened?: daily Blocked user(s): No
Description of problem: This username and what is being posted is just disgusting and I can’t believe this has been allowed to go on for so long. I did not join Twitter to see this kind of crap.
This was their response back.
This is a message to let you know that we’ve received your report and we’re taking a look into your issue. If we find that your report can be resolved through our help articles, you may not hear back from us. Below are common issues that can be resolved through our Help Center articles:
Reporting for another Twitter user: Whether they are a friend or a celebrity, we’ll need to be in contact with the person directly involved. If you are a friend of the person affected by this issue, please have them file a ticket.
Reporting bullying or harassment: As a policy, we do not mediate content or intervene in disputes between users. This means that users are allowed to post potentially inflammatory content, provided that they do not violate the Twitter Terms of Service and Rules.
Here is some additional information about dealing with bullying:
Reporting offensive content: As a policy, we do not mediate content, including potentially offensive content. Twitter provides a communication service that allows controversial posts even though some may disagree with the content. We understand that everyone has different levels of sensitivity towards content, and that you may feel uncomfortable with the posted content. If there is something that you don’t agree with, or find insulting, it’s best to block that user.
This help page has instructions on blocking other users: http://support.twitter. com/entries/117063
Twitter Trust & Safety
This was my response back.
Thank you for your reply, although I am not impressed with the response. I do understand what free speech is but there IS a difference between free speech and speech that promotes violence (free speech does have limitations to it such as you are NOT allowed to yell fire in a theater). Taking the route that you have is a cop out. Having the handle @ killzimmerman is way different than getting upset and posting a comment.
Sincerely A Current Twitter User,
There were also two separate instances where NBC employees were caught selectively editing audio/video to make it look like Zimmerman was racist/guilty. When you have companies like Twitter and the media being in cahoots no wonder people feel entitled to behave any way they believe. There were those in leadership roles taking advantage of the situation inflaming the situation. There is now a lawsuit against NBC, Al Sharpton and the lawyers for the Martin family by George Zimmerman.
How is the relationship between different races helped by this? Where is the outrage when it is for instance black-on-black attacks? Are those victims any less important and where is the outrage when it happens? The race baiting does no one or any community any good. What is the sleight of hand for? What is really being hidden from us when those in the know push the hatred buttons? We deserve better starting from the top down. Isn’t it time for them to be held accountable!
On Sunday, January 29, 2012, Mohammad Shafia, his second (polygamous) wife Tooba Yahya and their son Hamed were convicted of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four family members, Zainab (19), Sahar (17), Geeti Shafia (13), along with Shafia’s first wife Rona Amir (50), who were found inside a car in a lock on the Rideau Canal on June 30, 2009. The Shafia family are Muslims and originally from Afghanistan[i]. It is important to note that when Rona was brought to Canada, it was an aunt/domestic help work visa not as Mohammad’s first wife. Rona helped raise Tooba’s children as she had none of her own (she unfortunately was barren), thus the reason for the second wife.
What they are really guilty of, is, “honor killings”. “Honor is one of the core values of Arab society. This fact supports the belief that this society devalues the position of woman. The interests of the active powers within Middle Eastern society decide the definition of this value. The dominating powers or the higher class in the society determines the meaning of honor as suits their interests. (Al- Zayat, 1993, Page 66 and Abdo 1999, Page 13)
Once we realize this fact, we discover the misinterpretation of the meaning of honor. The noble values of dignity and seniority are neglected. Instead, the only focus is on the woman’s body and her virginity. According to this definition, the woman is an object owned by the man who assumes responsibility for her behavior and her life. The social traditions lead to the isolation of the woman in her home. She is required to cover her entire body in order to maintain the honor of the man. A decent honorable man has to have a decent honorable woman. The major factor in this theory is the body of the woman that is capable of bringing new members for the family, so that it can extend and live longer. Thus, the woman’s body is the private property of her husband. By maintaining and protecting it, there will be no confusion between families in the community. The family, and men in particular, have the responsibility to defend the honor of ‘their’ woman. (Al-Turki and Zuraiq, 1995, Page 104)”[ii] What I would like to know is, why those responsible for defending the honor of ‘their’ women are not punished as they are the ones who have truly failed in their duty.
When immigrants choose to come to Canada, they come for a reason, such as other family members living here, a strong community already here, etc. They could have chosen to live anywhere else (i.e. Europe, Australia, United States, etc). Most people, emigrate from their country for monetary or persecution for political, religious or other reasons. The country they choose is a place where they look to have a better life where they can succeed and live life to its fullest, where they can practice their religion in freedom, or live in relative safety. Unfortunately there are those, who come to Canada for whatever their reason, but have no intention of becoming a Canadian citizen. Because of multi-cultural policies, many new immigrants are not encouraged to embrace Canadian values and to integrate into Canadian society. You may also find those who are here illegally and disappear or are disappeared (usually those paying off their coyote debts, etc. – financial slaves) into these neighbourhoods. In many cities there are neighbourhoods that those from other countries gravitate to. I do understand the comfort of being with those from the same community/culture so as to feel part of a community, but then there are those who never venture from those areas to discover other areas of the city that is now their home. Also, there are those that bring their baggage from their home country to Canada. If I were to live in another country, I would be expected to adapt to their culture/rules and to not to try and change their country to suit my particular needs/beliefs. Yet there are those because of the freedoms that everyone enjoys that try and take advantage of this. Many times, politicians, judicial officials and the general public have not wanted to say anything with regard to this or make excuses using ‘multiculturalism’ as the excuse. Not wanting to offend the immigrant or their culture, even though their behaviour would be offensive to Canadian values and morals, has paralyzed people in dealing effectively with issues that come up that differ.
More needs to be done to assist those new immigrants in becoming Canadian citizens, where Canadian laws and values are explained to them. There is much to acclimate to when coming to a new country and any help that can be provided to them should be made available so the transition is easier.
There comes a time when people who adopt Canada as their home become Canadian. We as a country cannot accommodate everyone else’s cultural and religious beliefs or we cease to be the country that attracted them here in the first place. Trying to please everyone pleases no one as someone would be offended by these changes. Each country has their own customs and an explanation would save embarrassment to someone breaching these. Worrying about not offending someone does them no favours. What is acceptable in their home country does not mean that it is acceptable here. Honor killing has NO place in our country and is the garbage that needs to be left at the door!
As of January 18, 2011, Obama has blocked the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have gone from Canada to the US. OPEC and Venezuela must be overjoyed that they will NOT be losing business to Canada. The Federal Government MUST ensure that the Northern Gateway is built so that our oil can reach the west coast of Canada and allow us to sell to others countries who want ours. Until we can use alternative energy that is affordable WITHOUT federal assistance, we need oil for fuel and other products.
Whathas been so frustrating is how long it is taking to file charges against thoseinvolved in the riot. As of November 30, 2011, only 25 people had been chargedwith 61 charges laid[iii]. It wasreported that a majority of charges should be laid in early 2012[iv]. What I wantto see is these people having to make restitution to the businesses and peoplewho had property destroyed or hurt. If they don’t have the money to pay, thenthey should be made to do community service that the court decides where, whenand for how long. If the courts give the rioters a slap on the wrist, they arenot doing the rioters any favours. I am not certain if jail time would do anygood, but hurting them in the pocket book to pay for the damages caused wouldcause them to think before engaging in this type of activity.
Canadian Federal Election
The May 2, 2011 federal election saw the Conservative Party, headed by Prime Minister Steven Harper, finally become a majority government after 3 kicks at the can (2006, 2008, 2011) and the Liberal and Bloc Quebecois parties were decimated. Finally the Conservative can govern without the threat of an election hanging over their head.
The Northwest Territories and Quebec were the only provinces where the Conservatives didn’t finish in first place in numbers of ridings won. They also won with only having 5 seats in Quebec. This is something that hasn’t happened before and many people were pleasantly surprised. Right now people are wondering whether the Conservatives will get out of running as a minority government and start running the country as a majority government.
We saw the NDP (New Democratic Party) become the Official Opposition for the first time and the “Orange Crush” was in full gear. In Quebec, the Orange Crush swept the province, with the NDP taking a majority of those seats, also a first for the NDP.
For many years, the Liberals have not had a leader that Canadians felt confident with. With all the Harper/conservative hate going around, the Liberals should have done way better. Maybe it is time for the party to take a serious look at how they choose their leader and see what can be changed to bring in stronger candidates. The following leaders of the Liberal party all have a Quebec connection (either lived in or represented a riding in Quebec):
• Stephane Dion
• Paul Martin
• Jean Chretien
• Bill Graham (Acting)
• John Turner
• Pierre Trudeau
Only Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae (Acting) have not lived or represented a riding in Quebec. The party needs to build up a better profile out west and look for a leader in the western provinces where growth of population and economy is happening. They also need to move back to the centre as that is where voters want them to be. The further left they go, the less likely voters will stick with them. We already have a leftist party in the NDP and they have had far more practice being there and do a better job at than the Liberals could ever do.
The Bloc Quebecois were given a “wake-up”/”don’t take us for granted” call. Originally started by those in the Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties from Quebec, they were set up to enable the province to secede from Canada and to only campaign within the province during federal elections. Their tunnel vision left voters disenfranchised from them so they were reduced to 4 seats from the high 40’s to low 50’s in numbers of ridings won. Only time will tell who will be the clear winner in Quebec but the Bloc has much to do to repair their relationship with their fellow separatists.
Jack Layton – Leader of the New Democratic Party
Say what you will about the man, but 2011 was his year. Unfortunately, with his untimely death, we never got to see the man engage parliament as the leader of the Official Opposition. While battling cancer, Jack Layton took the “Orange Crush” to new heights with its growth in popularity especially in Quebec. Many of the Orange Crushers were young people who never thought that they would win, had never held elected office, and some have never been to their respective ridings are now scrambling to learn French so that they can communicate with their constituents. Jack Layton was the kind of guy that connected with many people even if they didn’t agree with his politics. The NDP did very well across Canada but without their charismatic leader, how long will it take for them to implode. Many voted for Jack Layton rather than specifically for the NDP. Can the NDP carry on what Jack Layton started? Time will only tell.
Christmas can be a trying time or a joyous time depending on what is happening in your life. Most of us have a tradition or memory that will bring a smile to our face when we remember these traditions or memories. I love it when it snows Christmas Eve night. It almost makes me feel like I can hear jingle bells. The snow covering leaves a peaceful feeling, like everything is all right in the world.
What I would like to know is, what is your favorite Christmas tradition or memory? Please comment below and let me what yours is!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!