Activists call Winnipeg Whiteout tradition racist
Winnipeg is a diverse city that rallies around its beloved hockey team. The Winnipeg Jets have fans of all genders, ethnicities, political views, and religions. The Winnipeg Whiteout is a tradition that dates back to 1987, in which fans create a virtual blizzard in response to the Calgary Flames’ “C of Red” by wearing all-white clothing during games, while also flooding the streets in support of their team.
But now the fan-inspired “white out” is being called problematic by some Winnipeg activists, including local grassroots advocacy group Black Space Winnipeg.
According to Black Space Winnipeg’s founder Alexa Potashnik, some of the language used by Winnipeg Jets fans in their celebration of the postseason is problematic, and could potentially be making people feel unsafe!
They argue that usage of phrases like, “Turn downtown Winnipeg White again” mirror phrases used by “a problematic US politician,” he who shall not be named, President Trump. They argue that headlines like “Province to spend up to $400K on Whiteout parties” could potentially “carry a very different meaning depending on who’s reading it.” This is very true. If any social justice troglodyte were to come across such a headline, I’m sure they would be quick to demand an apology from the “alt-right” adjacent Winnipeg Jets.
Black Space Winnipeg may have unwittingly united all of us, as hockey fans of all creeds will now be joined in their belief that these people have no idea what they’re talking about.
“We’re getting people to think critically about it. If it’s primarily white people coming downtown wearing all white, painting their faces white… I’m sorry, that’s very concerning sometimes and you have to look at it from all perspectives,” Potashnik told Global News.
To the people who are concerned about the Winnipeg Jets and their “problematic” celebrations, to those sincerely concerned about their safety because of the Whiteout, I ask: what is it like to live in a bubble? How does your brain work? How could you be presented with all of the facts surrounding such a great tradition and bravely say, “Couldn’t that be problematic, you know, because white people?”
Whiteouts in Winnipeg, Blackouts in Pittsburgh, the aforementioned “C of Red,” and traditions of similar nature are common sports practices that have been around for decades. And guess what? They’re not racist. They’re just fun. Let us have nice things.
Of course, Potashnik doesn’t expect it will happen. She says she’d like to see a new name for the street parties. Something more inclusive, as terms like WHITEOUT or even, I don’t know, BLACK SPACE WINNIPEG, could be seen as not tolerant enough.
Her group’s ultimate goal isn’t to shut down the festivities, but to discuss how to make them more welcoming for Winnipeggers of all backgrounds.
“I’m willing to take on that conversation,” she said. “I’m open, we’re open to having these conversations, so folks should be open to making these parties inclusive so everyone feels safe.”
So this is where we stand. Yet another sad reflection of the state of our society. The lens of race has infiltrated literally all aspects of our society. Everything is racist, even making the playoffs.
Nevertheless, we look forward to next November when Black Space Winnipeg launches their next campaign against the white supremacy of snow.
On January 26, 1993, Calvin Hawley discovered that the curb outside his home had been wrecked by a snow removal machine.
“I came home from the hospital … and discovered a large chunk of curb under a whole whack of snow,” says Hawley, who lives on Tyrone Bay in St. Vital, Manitoba.
Hawley says he remembers the incident clearly, as it was the day his son was born.
Nearly thirty years later, Hawley says the curb situation has become comical to him.
“It is kinda funny when you think about. It will be a grand day when they actually come out,” he told CBC.
After dozens of calls to the city later, Hawley has come close to giving up on his dreams of a new curb.
“One time they told me the system for logging complaints had changed and my previous complaints weren’t on record…It’s not even jagged cement anymore. It’s been here so long, it’s weathered to a smooth state.”
Hawley says the final straw came on July 1, 2017, as he was woken up by the sound of City of Winnipeg crews on his street.
“I was watching crews merrily drive past the front of my driveway to stop and repair other curbs on the other side of the bay that weren’t as damaged as mine or as old.”
Finally, after decades of complaints to the city, Hawley has a date for when the curb will be fixed by. June 26, 2037.
“It’s 26 years old right now, if you do the math and they don’t get around to doing it until their target date of 2037. Then this is damage that would have sat here for  years. How is that reasonable?” Hawley said.
A new Ipsos poll has given another indicator of what many already suspected: The prairie provinces are more eager than ever to separate from the rest of Canada.
The exclusive poll conducted for Global News found that the majority of respondents in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and in the Maritimes believe that Canada is “more divided than ever,” and according to Ipsos vice-president Kyle Braid, those numbers have reached “historic” heights, specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“This is really a story of two oil provinces that feel that they made a substantial contribution to the Canadian economy during the boom years and now feel when things are not going as well, they feel isolated, underappreciated, misunderstood by the rest of the country,” he said.
According to the study, “agreement that the country is more divided than ever is highest in … Alberta (79%) and Saskatchewan (77%). A majority of residents in the two other western provinces of Manitoba (58%) and BC (54%) also agree the country is divided, but their agreement is aligned with Ontario (56%) and Quebec (54%) and not their western neighbours. Two-thirds (66%) of Atlantic Canadians agree the country is more divided than ever.”
The poll surveyed 1,516 voting-age Canadians online between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1, 2019.
Among the other questions were “Canada is more divided than ever,” “my province would be better off if it separated from Canada,” and “I think the views of western Canadians are adequately represented in Ottawa.”
According to the poll, approximately one-third (33%) of Albertans surveyed and just over one-quarter (27%) of Saskatchewanians agree with the statement: “My province would be better off if it separated from Canada.”
That separatist ethos is up 8 points compared to last year’s numbers (from 25% to 33%,) and up 14 points from the 19 percent figure found in 2001. According to the survey, “a belief that Saskatchewan would be better off if it separated is up 9 points from just over a year ago (from 18% to 27%) and up 14 points from 2001 (was 13%).”
That separatist sentiment is rivalled only by the Quebecois, where 26 percent believe that their province would fair better by leaving Canada.
The authorities can’t be everywhere, and that’s for the best.
After all, we wouldn’t want to live in an authoritarian police state in which signs of government power were omnipresent.
So, in a democratic society, the rule of law is paramount, and the rule of law functions on the basis of the vast majority of people agreeing to follow the rules, even when someone could technically get away with lawbreaking.
It also functions on people believing that the rules will be applied when warranted. If people are allowed to brazenly steal, show total contempt for any basic decency, and then get away without punishment, that kind of attitude can spread throughout society like a sickness, signalling a deeper level of corruption and breakdown.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly the kind of breakdown that’s happening right now in Winnipeg. And it’s worse than the rampant LCBO thefts in Ontario.
Twitter and Facebook conversation among Winnipeggers is increasingly focused on the appalling sight of Manitoba Liquor Marts being beset by criminals who brazenly walk into stores, steal vast quantities of alcohol, knock alcohol onto the floors, and then scurry away, all without any punishment or action from the authorities.
In many cases, security guards simply stand there and watch, doing absolutely nothing, not even admonishing the criminals to stop. The Liquor Mart employees stand there watching as well, and the only thing they usually do is tell law-abiding Liquor Mart customers not to intervene.
And how about the police?
Well, they’re telling people not to intervene either, warning they could face “legal action.”
“Winnipeg police are addressing the issue of customers physically intervening in liquor mart thefts. As frustrating as it is, officers are warning people not to get involved. Police say you could be hurt and could be held liable criminally or civilly if someone else gets hurt.”
So this is what society has now become: Criminals break the law with impunity, while the authorities warn law-abiding people to do nothing or else risk getting in trouble.
What the hell is this?
Society is supposed to punish those who violate the laws, and reward those who follow the laws. It’s actually incredibly simple. This combo of punishments and rewards is what keeps any healthy society functioning, and when it breaks down, then society breaks down as well.
And that’s exactly what we see happening.
The system of punishments and rewards is being reversed, with the criminals being rewarded – with free alcohol and no punishments – while law-abiding citizens are punished. And law-abiding citizens are really being punished three times, first with the threats from authorities not to intervene, then with having to pay for alcohol while criminals don’t, and finally by the increased taxes that will be extracted by the government to cover the mounting costs of the Liquor Mart thefts.
All of this is outrageous, and it’s an insult to every Manitoba Liquor Marts customer who is following the law and following the rules.
There’s also something deeper going on here. It’s no coincidence that this type of weakness from the authorities is being matched with our country’s inability to stand up to China’s mistreatment of our citizens, the rise in meth and opioid related-crime and death, and the rise of gang crime. Meanwhile, the federal government wants to jail people for five years for sharing what they call “misinformation” about politicians on the internet.
Our so-called ‘leaders’ are so weak and corrupt that they only know how to be aggressive against good, law-abiding citizens. They can’t deal with criminals, aggressive strength, or brazen disregard for the law.
This will have dire consequences. The more people see that the rule of law is breaking down, and the more people see that following the rules results in punishment while breaking the rules results in reward, the worse and more chaotic things are going to get.
Late Tuesday evening, a massive house explosion in Brandon, Manitoba left one 63-year-old woman dead and a 63-year-old man critically injured. Police say that he needed to be airlifted to a Winnipeg hospital.
According to police, the explosion occurred at roughly 7:50 p.m. in the 200 block of Queen’s Avenue East.
Following the explosion, police could distinctly smell gas and the investigation now included the Office of the Fire Commissioner as well as police.
Authorities said a strong smell of gas was present following the explosion, but the cause of the blast is under investigation by police and the Office of the Fire Commissioner.
Surrounding homes also had to be evacuated, but residents were allowed to return overnight. The street needed to be blocked off while police investigate, and students were redirected to the nearby school.
The explosion is still being investigated by the police.