Michelle Latimer’s biggest wrong

Plus, coming out stories, Doug Ford's pandemic bullying and James Corden's gay act in reader mail this week


Respecting Indigenous identity

The revelations about Michelle Latimer’s misappropriation of Indigenous identity has opened the floodgates of discussion on the subject NOW Online, December 23). As most who know me are aware, I have been very tolerant of people who self identify as Indigenous. But my tolerance has come to an end.

Misappropriation of Indigenous identities has become prevalent everywhere, mostly among those in the arts community. But the ugly presence of misappropriation and spurious claims of Métis, First Nations or Inuit identity is also becoming more obvious in the academic community.

The universal standards for the identity of peoples depend on two criteria: self-identification and community acceptance. It’s far beyond time that our acceptance processes are recognized and respected.

Tony BelcourtFrom nowtoronto.com

Michelle Latimer advocated for Indigenous artists

Michelle Latimer spent more than a decade of often unpaid work putting projects together and advocating for the community of Indigenous artists that she whole-heartedly identified with. Her biggest crime appears to have been that she believed her parents and grandparents when they told her she is partly Indigenous. Wouldn’t you? I guess every adopted child, every urban Indigenous person, everyone who ever lived off-reserve, needs to watch their back now.

Tracey Hnatyshyn – From nowtoronto.com

Coming out – and reinforcing stereotypes

Re How The Pandemic Led These People To Come Out As Queer And Nonbinary (NOW Online, December 24) Some great content here, but it would be so much richer if the people interviewed were more diverse racially and culturally – or in circumstances where being public about their sexuality may be significantly more difficult. It’s so easy to unintentionally reinforce stereotypes.

Lorraine GaleFrom nowtoronto.com

Ford resorts to pre-pandemic bullying

Re Doug Ford’s Credibility On COVID-19 Goes Poof (NOW Online, December 22). “I’m a businessman,” Ford said. But really he is more of a salesman. He wants to keep his clients, essentially donors to the PC party, happy. To deflect from the skyrocketing COVID-19 infection rates in Ontario he blamed the federal government for being lax on international travellers despite the evidence that they account for only 1 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Ontario. Then he sent out an email to the party faithful asking for donations for the fight to “seal our borders.” Nonsense – and a federal matter, not provincial. Unlike Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, premier Ford is not growing into his position. Instead, he is regressing to his pre-pandemic bullying.

Moses ShuldinerFrom nowtoronto.com

Public pressure forcing lockdown

On the one hand, you talk about how Doug Ford’s response to the COVID crisis has been “too little too late.” But yet every week you write about all of the people that are suffering because of business closures. I guess you just want the government to close everything down until we all have the opportunity to get a vaccine. I see no reason why small, safe, mask-wearing businesses must close down, except for all the pressure being put on the provincial government to order them closed.

David HartFrom nowtoronto.com

Erin O’Toole’s dumb and dumber act

In November Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole told young Conservatives at Ryerson University that “Most of the lefty radicals are also the dumbest people at your university.” (NOW Online, December 4). Although his comments on residential schools made the news his assessment of student and faculty intelligence is also worth noting.

When I was a student at the University of Toronto in the 1970s the most famous lefty on campus was political scientist C.B. MacPherson. Although I don’t know if he was a radical by O’Toole’s standards, there were definitely conservatives less intelligent than MacPherson on campus. There were also some very bright lefties at York University during that era.

Although I have never been a student at Ryerson, hopefully, it will continue the Toronto tradition of employing and teaching thoughtful lefties and conservatives.

Bruce CouchmanOttawa

What, James Corden is not gay?

Re Should Straight Actors Play Queer Roles? (NOW Online, December 21). The first time I watched James Corden’s show, he showed a picture of a guy wearing nothing but a cock sock and crowed, “I just love that.” I’m afraid I assumed from that episode that he is gay. Is it possible he’s just a poor actor?

Ellis Portal From nowtoronto.com

The Elm Tree restaurant lives on

Re 99 Toronto Restaurants And Bars We Lost In 2020 (NOW Online, December 22). Great article! However, The Elm Tree was a Mediterranean restaurant on Elm Street in downtown Toronto. It closed in the summer and its owners opened up a new Middle Eastern restaurant in the Beaches in November. Thanks!

Andrew LakeFrom nowtoronto.com

Scott Weiland’s last live show was here

Re These 22 Live Music Venues Closed In 2020 (NOW Online, December 23). You forgot one of Toronto’s recent great live venues that has closed its doors for good – Radio (formerly Adelaide Hall). This bar was the home of Scott Weiland’s last live performance.

Dann ThomasFrom nowtoronto.com

Edwards Gardens redwood has a long history

Re Hidden Toronto: Eight Unexpected City Gems In Plain Sight (NOW Online, December 25) I would clarify that the Dawn Redwood is a 50 million-year-old species. The current phrasing of this article makes it sound like the Edwards Gardens Dawn Redwood tree itself is 50 million years old.

Adam WynneFrom nowtoronto.com

The Queen’s Gambit missing from best TV list

You include a so-so series like Sex Education in your list of The 25 Best TV Shows In 2020 (NOW Online, December 9) but don’t include The Queen’s Gambit? Credibility: zero.

Denis RobertFrom nowtoronto.com

@nowtoronto

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