Bonjour my lovely friends.

I’m back with all of the stuff I hated this week.

Let’s waste no time, shall we?

Jagmeet Singh Peterborough incident

This past week NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was verbally harassed while in Peterborough, Ontario visiting the office of another NDP candidate.

Protesters waited outside for an hour as Singh met with supporters inside and then hurled insults at him as he left in a vehicle that was waiting for him out front. From telling him to “go die,” to swearing, yelling and flipping him off, the angry and aggressive crowd grew angrier as Singh continued to smile and wave. It was clear that the motive of the crowd was to make sure that Singh knew he was not welcome there. 

The video highlights how alt-right viewpoints, hatred, and disinformation are starting to spread in Canada, and that this group of people feels empowered to spew their violence and hatred so openly and callously. A thread by Kurt Philips of the ARC Collective sums up the context behind this rising threat in Canada, demonstrating that this is not an isolated incident.

Singh has since issued a statement about the incident, assuring supporters that he is in “Chardi Kala,” or “rising spirits.” He added that, “when hate is given space to grow, it spreads like wildfire.”

People of colour, including Singh in this particular instance, often have to showcase such grace and poise when being repeatedly harassed by people who don’t offer them even an ounce of the same kind of decency. How he handled the harassment is a testament to Singh’s character, but this kind of abuse should not be normalized as “just part of the job.”

As Singh said, the hate and divisiveness that has become so commonplace must be confronted, before this insidious threat further spreads throughout the country. 

But I can guarantee that saying that “this is not us,” any time there is an instance of racism, bigotry or harassment, is definitely not the answer.

Royals being out of touch

The Royals couldn’t read a room if their lives depended on it, probably because they’ve never had to. This week was no different.

While sitting on a golden throne and adorned in numerous golden military pins and medals, Prince Charles discussed the government’s priority to "help ease the cost-of-living for families,"  and "level up opportunity in all parts of the country.”

To make matters worse, the Imperial Crown was positioned on a stand alongside him as a symbol of the absent queen while he spoke. The crown was apparently driven to the palace in it’s own car, as another example of unnecessary pomp and circumstance by the Royals. According to Express, the crown is fit with “2,868 diamonds in silver mounts, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls and four rubies,” and has never been appraised, but is estimated to be valued between $3 and $5 billion.

The extreme irony in Charles’ speech is that easing the cost of living would be the direct consequence of getting rid of the Royal family as head of state and redistributing all of the wealth that they have stolen. 

Also, we don’t even know where Queen Lizzie is?!?! They sent a crown worth a couple billi to stand in her place, but if she isn’t even around anymore why can we not redistribute the wealth and get people out of poverty and be paid a living wage? Show yourself Lizzie or the jewels should go back to their rightful owners. 

How is it still acceptable for them to quite literally parade their wealth and opulence while the cost of living rises and regular people struggle to survive?

I hate it here.

Ontario’s Minister of Education participated in “Slave Auction”

Speaking of hating it here, Ontario’s Minister of Education is under fire after his participation in a “slave auction” fundraiser at his fraternity 15 years ago has come to light.

According to Press Progress, Stephen Lecce participated in the Sigma Chi slave auction and “slave day” at Western University in 2006, and was even auctioned off as one of the slaves. 

As if the implications of doing a charity auction and calling the people being auctioned off “slaves,” wasn’t bad enough, reporting from Press Progress states that  “Sigma Chi, Lecce’s own fraternity, was racially segregated under an official “whites only” policy until as recently as the 1960s. It also counts Confederate soldiers among its founding fathers.”

Frat culture is known to be problematic, but to make a mockery of slavery in a fraternity that was once “whites only,” is next level bad.

Lecce has since issued an apology for his participation in the event.

​​“The event from 2006 was inappropriate and in no way reflects who I am as a person, which is why I unreservedly apologize,” Lecce said.

“I will continue to passionately advance the interests of all Ontarians — irrespective of faith, heritage, orientation or race.”

Lecce is currently seeking re-election in Ontario’s provincial election. 

Good grief brother.

Cucumber Gate

I’m always surprised at what nonsense is amusing the Internet and this week was no different. The latest episode of The Kardashians new Hulu series aired this week, and as per usual, the memes dropped almost as soon as the episode did.

In the latest episode, we see Kendall Jenner struggling to slice a cucumber to fix herself a snack, while her mom, Kris, offers to call their personal chef to do it for her instead.

Imagine being so rich you never had to learn how to use a knife.

@el.jefe960 Omg how does #kendalljenner not know how to properly cut a #cucumber ♬ original sound - El.Jefe👅

The wealth of the Kardashians is no surprise to anyone, but them having a chef on standby to run into the room anytime a vegetable needs to be sliced is really on another level.

Kendall declined her mom’s offer to call the chef, saying she will do it herself—likely an effort to make herself seem like the “down to earth, chill, cool girl” she believes she is. But from the video, it is truly a miracle that she didn’t cut her finger off.

The Internet is of course having a field day, seeing Jenner confirm the fact that we simply do not have the same 24 hours. I mean maybe she was just trying to take her sister Kim’s advice and “Get her ass up and work?”

Regardless, this season of The Kardashians is certainly giving us a lot of meme material, which requires me to give honourable mention to this train wreck featuring resident gremlin Tristan Thompson.

In the clip, Khloe mentions how the fathers of the Kardashian sister’s children are “not leaving” the family—including Tristan.

Thompson responds by saying, “more like, you’re not leaving me.”

The AUDACITY of this cheater, who at the time of filming had impregnated another woman, to play in Khloe’s face like this and mention that she will never leave him given the fact that he has already cheated on her multiple times.  A mess! (One I can’t look away from, but alas— a mess!)

Eat the rich

In my last and final iteration of “eat the rich,” for this week, we have the latest from fashion house Balenciaga, who unveiled a new campaign this week that is raising eyebrows.

According to CNN, Balenciaga is selling a pair of “extra destroyed” sneakers for a whopping $1,850.

“Only 100 pairs of "extra destroyed" sneakers will be available to buy for $1,850. Meanwhile, the non-limited edition, and less roughed up versions, are being sold on the Balenciaga website for $495 and $625, depending on the specific style.”

Again, I understand that there may be a market for stuff like this, and that rich people should be able to spend their money however they wish, as the argument goes—but there has to be a line drawn somewhere. 

Wearing extremely tattered shoes you paid a premium for is a way to create an aesthetic out of poverty while maintaining your proximity to wealth and class. It’s wasteful and excessive, and is only ever seen as “in fashion” if it costs too much money and is worn by someone who is also rich. 

Whether they do it for outrage clicks or whether they think this actually looks good, I hate it all the same. 

If you want a pair of busted up shoes just ask a TikTok girl for her dirty Air Force 1’s and call it a day.

Anyways. That’s all I got for this week.

Peace and blessings to you all.

- R

About the author

Rumneek Johal

Rumneek is a journalist, host and speaker. She is currently the BC Reporter at Press Progress where she focuses on systemic inequality, workers and communities, as well as racism and far-right extremism. Her previous work centers on asking tough questions within her community, starting conversation and chipping away at the status quo. Other focus areas for her work include the South Asian community, arts and culture, pop culture, and more. She is a proud Punjabi woman from Surrey, BC.

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