Looting and rioting are acceptable responses to racism

There are many sentiments floating around on social media that invoke Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela as embodiments of peaceful protesting. Many have likened rioters and looters to ‘criminals’ and have condemned outrage as a response to anti-black racism. In the end, why do people riot? In this post, Christina Hutchinson argues that this is in fact the wrong question to ask.
BLM: Libertinus

No Silence: Anti-Black Racism as Spectacle

In a first contribution to Conditioned Things, Christina Hutchinson considers the way in which social media desensitizes viewers to acts of anti-black violence and spectacularizes police brutality. On the one hand, social media allows us to bear witness to this violence and expose systemic injustices; on the other, white viewers may ‘consume’ the violence and walk away from it relatively unmoved and unharmed. Here, she provides a few tips on how to become a responsible witness, rather than a passive consumer of anti-black violence.

University-prison partnership brings hope to incarcerated learners

“In a makeshift classroom at a correctional facility in Southern Ontario, some 20 students – half of them incarcerated at the facility – sit in a circle alongside a professor. While the professor is responsible for framing discussion topics and structuring class activities, students are encouraged to direct comments at their peers, linking personal perspectives and experiences to the class readings. The students are participating in the Walls to Bridges (W2B) program, which was launched by the faculty of social work at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2011.”

University-NGO partnership brings hope to students overcoming war

“In late April, the administration at Wilfrid Laurier University announced it will provide additional support for international students from war-torn countries to come study at the university. The news is a big win for the leadership of International Students Overcoming War (ISOW), a student-led group at Laurier which provides full scholarships to international students whose lives have been disrupted by violence in their homeland. ISOW has been advocating for more money since January, when the uncertain political situation in the U.S. made Canada the preferred choice for many international students fleeing war.”

Redefining the role of the university in the Trump era

“Canadian universities face potential funding problems as a result of United States protectionist policies, but the bigger threat is of populism spreading across the border. As a result they need to embrace their role to teach more than skills, educating individuals to take responsibility for their part in society.”

The human foundations of the university

There is a good bit of dusty German philosophy in Karl Jaspers [1], who doesn’t seem to be known as a philosopher so much as a psychiatrist and for his contributions to that field. Some of his dusty philosophy can be found in the book The Idea of the University, a couple of chapters of which I discuss here because, well, I had to discuss it in class so I might as well.
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