Today's show was a follow-up to the Rally for Peaceful Communities, held on October 7th, 2009, resulting from two highly publicized hate crimes in the City of London that occurred last September.
Highlights from the Rally included an address from Mayor Anne Marie Decicco-Best and from Deputy Chief of the London Police Department, Brad Duncan.
"And I don't want my London, or your London, to be a place where someone is walking down the street and needs to look over their shoulder. I don't want our London to be a place where people are afraid to be in their neighbourhood or in a place of business. The acts of violence that we've seen in particular over the last couple of weeks, but that I would say at any time, are reprehensible, they are appauling, and they are unacceptable," says Decicco-Best.
"And it's been our commitment and our mandate as a police service to work with our community and our council, but I think it's broader than that - to work with the community at large, in making sure that we understand we all have a role to play if we want London to be the best and safest city anywhere," she continued.
Deputy Police Chief Brad Duncan reiterated the mayor's sentiments.
"As the Mayor has indicated, the London Police service is committed to providing a safe, and secure community for all our citizens. A community that is supportive of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, cultural background, or sexual orientation....streets where individuals and couples can walk freely - free from harassment and violence; free to work, live and play in our city. We will not tolerate violence in any form, perpetrated against those who have done nothing wrong, and targeted by those who prey on someone simply because of who they are."
"I commit to you, that anyone who becomes a victim of violence, will be treated with compassion and understanding. We will investigate and charge persons who engage in hate crimes, ensuring that our victims are protected and the offender is brought before the courts."
As per Duncan, the LPD investigates approximately 30 hate-motivated crimes a year in London - of those reported cases, over 30% involve a member of the LGBT community.
(Due to length, you can read the rest of the post HERE.)
On our March 1st show, about weight discrimination, follows in the wake of the media frenzy surrounding Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines.
Over the Valentine's Day weekend, famed writer and director Kevin Smith was removed from his flight for being 'too fat' - and after bringing public attention to this incident, he received an apology from Southwest Airlines and was given a seat on a replacement flight; however, when the woman seated next to him was subjected to the same humiliating experience, Silent Bob became 'Not So Silent Bob.'
This brought a backlash from the media, and from members of society, who considered Kevin's weight, health and lifestyle to become the subject of criticism, proving that one's size is still considered the last 'socially acceptable' grounds of prejudice, discrimination and hate.
When it comes to obesity and being overweight, the filters of acceptability seem to fall away. People seem comfortable making comments, criticisms, and derogatory comments that degrade and insult a fellow human being, eroding away their confidence and attacking their sense of self.
To examine this issue further, we brought in four wonderful guests to talk about weight discrimination, the rights of people of size, and 'fat advocacy': Jill Andrew (Fat activist and founder of Curvy Catwalk), Prof. Anna Kirkland (author of Fat Rights: Dilemmas and Difference of Personhood), Peggy Howell (PR director of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance), and Natalie (known from her appearance on Kevin Smith's SModcast).
Due to length, you can read the rest of this entry HERE.
My interview with Barbara Godard, co-editor of Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women's Poetry, airs on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 6-6:30 pm (Repeated Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 6:30-7:00 am).
To celebrate the London Reads event on March 11, where Bob Smith and I presenting Gil Adamson's The Outlander, we are also airing part of my interview with Gil on the March 3/10 show. See also londonreads.uwo.ca. You can hear our full interview here. See you at Central Library on March 11!