The first time I heard the sound of gunfire, it sounded like firecrackers, until the people around me ran for their lives. Bright lights from a passing car and the sound of firecrackers, that’s all I really remember.
Chances are on February 14th the teenagers, children really, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas didn’t know what those sounds were at first, nor did the elementary school children at Sandy Hook in 2012. Not at first. Canada is not without its gun violence. Although not on the same par as American mass shootings, nonetheless, gun violence continues to spread, scattering like buckshot. Things are different in Canada, and of course, Canada didn’t have a leader who boasted he could stand in the middle of New York’s Fifth Avenue “and shoot somebody” and not lose any voters. The real question is, if someone else committed this unspeakable act, could Trump still not lose voters? 26 days later, the messages are still mixed.
“All of this has happened before and will happen again.”
As the 60’s rock group, Buffalo Springfield once sang, “There’s something happening here…There’s battle lines being drawn.” The devastation at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is the most recent mass shooting involving an assault-type rifle. The debate over gun control has been fueled by a combination of enraged and engaged students, a town hall meeting gone bad for politicians, and a White House listening session that resulted in crude and dangerous recommendations by President Trump. Add to the mix a CPAC meeting, where the NRA’s executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, gave a defiant speech warning that a perceived socialist agenda would strip away 2nd Amendment rights.Continue reading “Opinion | Buffalo Springfield, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and The Hour of the Gun”→
On January 20, 2017, the world changed, and the fight for Democracy began.
“As a writer living so close to our American neighbour, the country’s pulse beats so loudly, its sound is heard around the world, but never clearer than here in Canada. During Trump’s first 365 days in office, that pulse was, and still is erratic but remains strong. This was the year that Americans fought for America, unlike any other struggle in their recent history.”
In his first work of non-fiction, Canadian novelist and poet, k.g. Sambrano keenly observes and scribes the phenomenon known as Donald J. Trump, and America’s struggle against his policies, his history, and often the man himself during his first 365 days in office. This is a collection of twenty-two carefully selected essays written contemporaneously spanning from the time of Trump’s Muslim ban and firing of James Comey, to the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, and eventually culminating in the arrest of a Louisiana school teacher, Deyshia Hargrave, in the examination of violence and intolerance under the Trump banner. Click here for more information.
On some level, Donald Trump really does see himself as the hero—white hat, steed and all. As a one-time newbie candidate without a platform, it was not coincidental that Trump adopted the Populist approach, one that appealed to the “average” American. His stance on immigration, transgender persons in the military, and most recently his Tax Reform Bill, remains unpopular with the majority of Americans, yet these policies are the white horse upon which Trump believes himself to ride. And the platform that allows him to maintain his political base.
In the New Times interview of July 2017, reporter Maggie Haberman shared a quaint anecdote where Trump’s granddaughter, Arabella, visited the Oval Office during the interview. The interaction between grandfather and granddaughter became a defining moment far beyond anything else he has done, not so much as president, but as a person.
Let me be clear, Trump does not want to be the villain. This is not surprising, as the most poignant villains in literature, film and history, always believe they are fighting for a noble cause.
Marshall McLuhan’s 1960’s mantra, “the medium is the message” could be a vital key to understanding both Donald Trump’s presidency and the seemingly mystical following he has cultivated. Focusing on the impact of the internet and Twitter, rather than the content, provides insight into a baffling political and social phenomenon.
We first noticed it while Trump was still a presidential candidate. It continued into his presidency and seemed to have culminated with the events of Charlottesville, Virginia. While many may think I am referring to racism, I’m not. I’m referring to what may be a pillar of racism—intolerance. The most recent example may be the arrest of a female schoolteacher during what would have been an otherwise peaceful meeting of the Vermilion Parish, but for the fact that a woman dared to challenge the “white” mostly male establishment. But we’ll get back to this.
In Brampton, Ontario a public meeting also took place where a female heckler disrupted the meeting, walking to the front of the room to confront the male speaker, a Sikh. She continued to rant and interrupt the meeting for a little over four minutes as she physically and verbally chastised the speaker. He took control of the situation by speaking of an inclusive Canada where nobody is left behind leading the audience as they chanted, “We welcome you, we support you and we love you.” No violence. No arrest. No handcuffs. No joke. Welcome to Canada.
By way of contrast, let us return to Vermilion Parish where a woman at a school board meeting and is granted an opportunity to speak, during which time she is not unruly or disruptive in the least—not raising her voice or even making threats yet halfway through her questions she is forcibly escorted out by a Deputy Marshal. Seconds later screams emanate from the hallway where the woman is on her knees as the Deputy Marshal attempts, and eventually succeeds in cuffing her and removing her from the building. Continue reading “Opinion | Free Speech, Intolerance, and Violence in the Age of Trump”→
Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, will not set the Trump administration on fire. Best to look at this new release as fresh kerosene, rather than a flame-thrower. Unless Wolff is able to lead Special Counsel Robert Mueller to where bodies are charred and buried (and thus far the book has not) after the smoke clears, the revelations as to the inner sanctum of the White House promises to have no substantive impact other than gossip. The GOP knows it, loves it and sleeps well at night because of it. In short, Mr. Trump remains the person to support.Continue reading “Opinion | Why the Republican Party Continues to Enable Mr. Trump”→