In Memory: Elmyra Jemison (1980-2010)

When Joe and I re-designed this site about a year or so ago, I reached out to a web designer I’d met online, Elmyra (Myra, who also went by Ellie) Jemison.  She was the Ultimate Geek Girl (the name of her site), and did a great job.  Along the way, she also became a friend.

I recently learned that she died unexpectedly and much too young.   I will miss her.

In lieu of flowers, her family asks that people consider donating to the American Stroke Association in her name. You may also contribute in Myra’s name with gifts of time, talent or treasure in your community to causes that were significant to her including homeless shelters, food pantries, rape crisis centers, and domestic abuse shelters.

Anti-Immigrant Nativism Growing in Germany

It is not just the U.S. that is seeing a significant increase in anti-immigrant sentiment in the middle of this worldwide capitalistic recession. Agence France Presse has a story about the German chancellor’s moving to more of an aggressive anti-Islamic-immigrant stance:

Germany’s attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed completely, Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the weekend, calling on the country’s immigrants to learn German and adopt Christian values. Merkel weighed in for the first time in a blistering debate sparked by a central bank board member saying the country was being made “more stupid” by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants.

This right-winger resigned his bank position but his anti-Turkish, anti-Muslim views and book are popular in Germany, which is the country that helped accelerate modern racism under Hitler and his crew -– and where German Jewish scholar Magnus Hirschfeld actually coined the modern term “racism” for the anti-Semitic oppression of his day (the 1930s).

According to the French press story,

“Multikulti”, the concept that “we are now living side by side and are happy about it,” does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.

So the concept of multicultural pluralism is under even more open pressure from those who want more aggressive one-way assimilation to white-Christian-centrism in Germany. The contradictions in Merkel’s view are also clear in this article:

While warning against “immigration that weighs down on our social system”, Merkel said Germany needed specialists from overseas to keep the pace of its economic development.

Apparently, many German leaders are not aware that the mostly hardworking immigrants from Muslim countries are among the workers who can help bail out Germany from its falling and aging population problems over the next few decades.

Extreme Racism: It Gets Even Worse (“Have you no shame?”) – UPDATED



The President Obama attackers are getting extreme in our alleged “post-racial America” these days, as with this Colorado billboard’s political ad.

These used to be sent around by folks with such extreme views just in emails to each other but now they are going public, almost mainstream.


(Source: HipHopwired.com)

Here President Obama is imaged as highly stereotyped terrorist, gay man, criminal, and undocumented immigrant. Notice the white racist framing in its extreme version, with stereotyping of Muslims, Latinos, and African Americans.

It is often hard to be an American these days, with the world watching us spew forth this kind of viciousness–that keeps accelerating in a land whose rhetoric still speaks of liberty, fairness, and justice. This is supposed to be satire, but like racist joking it is a very thinly disguised way of letting much of an individual’s or group’s racist framing, and probably a white fear of an increasingly diverse America, out into the open. The painter put his name to it, but the owner of the billboard is hiding behind anonymity. Old tricks from the racist bag, this billboard’simages and language (DemocRats) are reminiscent of certain anti-Semitic attacks on Jews in 1930s Nazi Germany and elsewhere–who were sometimes stereotyped as dangerous “rats.”

UPDATE: They took the attack billboard down in Grand Junction, Colorado.

African Countries Today: A Governance Index and Social Distance



Two weeks ago, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation released its 3rd index of governance ranking all African countries on four dimensions: safety and rule of law; human development; participation and human rights; and sustainable economic development. The index is funded and developed by a Sudanese-born British communications mogul. Mo Ibrahim has an interest in encouraging good governance in Africa and has also established the prize for achievement in African leadership. When I reviewed this year’s release, I was not so surprised at countries such as Sudan (47 out of 53 countries in Africa), the Democratic Republic of Congo (51) and Somalia (53).

In my review of the indicators used for the index, I wondered about the usefulness of the index as a proxy for tracking inter-communal violence generally. I searched for an indicator on social distance – the metaphorical and geographic indicator of ethnic relations and inter-communal violence. I also wondered about the impact of such an index. Do African leaders care about how their leadership is ranked on governance? Do they make policy decisions based on their ranking?

Sudan and DR Congo are two of the three largest countries in Africa; Somalia, of course, is experiencing the longest civil war in any country; that civil war has been raging for over two decades now – with no end in sight as African Union troops, with funding from the U.S. try to keep the peace and prevent the Islamist extremists from taking over the country. The Islamist extremists have taken responsibility for bombings in Uganda in July 2010 that killed 74 people, including an American. These extremists cannot allow any other world view as they lay to waste the future of the youth. There are reports of the same group sowing discontent among the immigrant Somali population in Nairobi, Kenya.

In DR Congo, over 5 million have died in the civil war; this has been a brutal war that is still raging in the heartland of Africa; where marauding soldiers rape and kill at will. The extra judicial killings in Sudan are estimated at over 300,000 in the Darfur region. In about 3 months, the Sudanese in the South will vote on whether to secede to form a separate country. The social distance between the groups there will take some time to bridge. (See here).

Killings in Darfur


Perhaps what we need is an index based on the per capita human suffering due to these brutal ethnic or religious conflicts; the index would be a predictive one based not on secondary data, but on surveys of sampled populations. The index would have a positive correlation with the indicator on social distance based on group identity. Perhaps we could use this model to explain the haunting case of Somalia – Somalia basically has one ethnic group, with several clans; it has one main religion, Islam. And yet, the country has not been governable for the past 20 years. It has managed to destroy the lives of generations its people.

Suffering in Somalia

Nevermind Columbus

It’s that time of year again.   A few blocks from where I live, people are gearing up for the annual “Columbus Day Parade” which will disrupt traffic along 5th Avenue from 44th Street up to 72nd Street.  I won’t be joining in the celebration.

Like most school children in the U.S., I was taught the lie that Christopher Columbus was “an explorer” who “discovered America.”  It’s a lie that conveniently leaves out much of the truth about Columbus’ crimes against humanity.  And, this lie continues to be used by advertisers to sell products.  The spam from one retailer in my inbox this week featured the subject line, “Columbus Discovered America, and You Can Discover Savings at Barnes & Noble.” Uhm, thanks but no thanks B&N.

While the local news stations here relentlessly refer to the parade as a “celebration of Italian heritage,” I think it’s long past time we said “nevermind” to the myth of Columbus “discovering America.”    By celebrating Columbus, we replay the legacy of colonialism. Yet, despite the genocide that followed in his wake, some see the embrace of Columbus as a national hero as a response to racism and discrimination experienced here in the U.S.  Tommi Avicolli-Mecca writes:

I understand why Italian-Americans embraced Columbus. When we arrived in this country, we weren’t exactly greeted with open arms, any more than any other immigrants. There were NINA (No Italian Need Apply) notices in store windows, as well as lynchings in the South, where we were considered nonwhite.

And, like so many other holidays, this one is a bit misguided.   In point of fact, Columbus is a man with a tenuous link to contemporary Italy.  As you’ll recall from the grade school rhyme, Columbus “sailed the ocean blue” in 1492; contemporary Italy wasn’t a country until 1861.

Still, I don’t think that means we shouldn’t be celebrating Italian Americans’ heritage and contributions to the U.S.  I just think we should be focusing on the radical tradition of some Italian Americans, such as Mario Savio, Vito Marcantonio, and Sacco and Vanzetti.

There is a strong, radical history among Italian Americans that has been largely forgotten.  In their book,  The Lost World of Italian American Radicalism (Praeger 2003), Philip Cannistraro and Gerald Meyer, help uncover some of this history.   Their edited volume shows that in contrast to their present conservative image (cf. Carl Paladino’s recent anti-gay remarks), Italian Americans played a central role in the working-class struggle of the early twentieth century.   Italian Americans were leaders in major strikes across the country—notably the Lawrence textile strikes of 1912 and 1919, the Paterson silk strike of 1913, the Mesabi Iron Range strikes of 1907 and 1916, and the New York City Harbor strikes of 1907 and 1919, as well as coal mining strikes. They also made important contributions to American labor unions, especially the revolutionary Industrial Workers of the World, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. At the same time, they built vibrant radical Italian immigrant communities that replicated the traditions, cultures, and politics of the old country.   For example, Italian immigrants formed their own political and social clubs, mutual aid societies, alternative libraries and press, as well as their own orchestras and theaters, designed to promote and sustain a radical subculture.   This radical subculture was oppositional to both the hegemonic culture sustained by prominenti (the powerful men of the Little Italies) and the individualistic culture of capitalist America. Yet, for the most part, this radical tradition has been set aside in favor of the hagiography of Columbus.

This holiday, I’m saying “nevermind” to Columbus and cheering the radical history of Italian Americans.

Racist Attacks on Immigrants



The sharp escalation of right-wing rhetoric in this year’s political campaigns now includes much racialized political propaganda, as in this Sharron Angle ad:

The images intentionally try to stereotype Mexicans/Latinos as dark, sneaky, dangerous and/or threatening, and of course ignore the reality of numerous undocumented immigrants not being Latin American. This negative imagery reminds me of the kind of propaganda imagery used in the case of a black man (the ads about white-named “Willie” Horton, using intentionally scary photos) in the earlier George Bush I campaign. Angle is also attacking the Dream Act youth, who have to be among the most hardworking and courageous Americans in their efforts to get good educations and become good citizens– just like the white immigrants (many also undocumented) most white families celebrate as part of their ancestry.

This type of skewed and racialized “threat” propaganda has a few ominous parallels to that used by Hitler and his minions, such as Goebbels, in the Nazi era in Germany. See, for example, the very good book on propaganda, Hitler: The Führer and the People by Joseph Peter Stern.

According to the Washington Independent, Angle is not alone in using this racist propaganda:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is the latest GOP candidate to come under fire for a campaign ad against illegal immigration. The ad features men and women climbing through a hole in a chain-link fence, set to arguments that Vitter’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon, wants to welcome undocumented immigrants into the country. Through the fence, the immigrants are greeted by a marching band, a welcoming committee and a group holding a giant check. The non-partisan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana [stated] that Vitter’s immigration spot is “totally abhorrent and shocking” and “racist” in its depiction of illegal immigrants. “In this ad, he has these Hollywood stereotypes, caricature-types portraying Latino workers,” a spokeswoman from the Chamber said. “First of all, he uses the word ‘illegal’ so many times.”

In addition, the evidence is now clear that Vitter and Angle, and perhaps other conservatives, are using as a central feature of these ads a stock photo of Mexican citizens in a town square in Mexico, not of undocumented immigrants actually trying to cross the border. (See more here) It appears that to such white conservatives, in this case part of the elite, “all Mexicans look alike”?

Did the Government Invent AIDS to Kill Black People?

The news that doctors representing the government intentionally infected Guatemalan citizens with STDs has inevitably provoked comparisons to the famed Tuskegee experiment where black men were denied treatment for syphilis so that doctors could study the course of the disease. In another post, Jessie has eloquently discussed the broader public health and racial implications of this work. But while comparisons to the Tuskegee experiment are often the first that come to mind, these are not the only cases where mostly white doctors have exploited patients of color in the name of experimentation and/or racist ideology. Journalist Amy Goodman recently interviewed medical historian Susan Reverby (who brought the Guatemalan scandal to light) and reporter Eileen Welsome to discuss other cases where people of color have been abused and mistreated by the medical community, often with governmental support. This is a transcript of the interview between Goodman and Welcome, discussing the case of Elmer Allen:

“AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Eileen Welsome, who won the Pulitzer Prize for revealing the names and doing the investigation into eighteen people who were injected with plutonium in the ’40s without their knowledge by federal government scientists. In a 2004 interview on Democracy Now!, I asked Eileen Welsome about one of those people. His name was Elmer Allen.

EILEEN WELSOME: The sad part about and the tragic part about Elmer’s story is that nobody believed him. He went to his doctor and told him, you know, “I think I’ve been injected with something.” His doctor diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic at the same time that he was conversing with the atomic energy scientists in Argonne National Lab to provide them with tissue samples and—

AMY GOODMAN: Wait, wait, wait. His doctor said he was a paranoid schizophrenic at the same time his doctor was providing Elmer’s tissues to the government scientists doing the experiment?

EILEEN WELSOME: That’s correct. That’s what the medical records show. So, Elmer was not only used in 1947 when he was injected with this radioactive isotope, but he continued to be used as a guinea pig for the rest of his life.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eileen Welsome. She revealed the names of eighteen people in this country injected with plutonium. Elmer Allen was a black conductor on a train in San Francisco. He was injected at the University of San Francisco hospital. This story of the people injected with plutonium, he’d always said—he used the term “I was guinea-pigged by the government.” His wife was a nurse. His daughter was a teacher. We spoke with Elmerine Allen, his daughter. They never understood what he was saying, and they believed what the psychiatrist was saying. Yet the psychiatrist was working with the US government, telling them he was crazy. But he wasn’t.”

And another story about medical experimentation on Puerto Rican women:

“So, what happened in Puerto Rico is that the research, you know, for birth control pills was done—the major work was done here in Massachusetts, actually, but giving out birth control pills was illegal. Contraception was illegal in Massachusetts. So the research was done in Puerto Rico. And the use of very high estrogen dosages was because at that point they really weren’t sure what would be necessary, and they wanted to absolutely make sure that they could stop the pregnancies. So, and there were connections to people. They were working with a physician who had connections in Puerto Rico. So, that’s one of the reasons they went there. There were some objections, clearly, within the Puerto Rican community to this, but women also, frankly, wanted a better way to protect themselves from endless pregnancy. At that point, in Puerto Rico, the Church actually protected sterilization and thought sterilization was acceptable after women had had enough children. But the Church actually objected to the research on the pills, when a number of women—we think a couple of women died because of the high estrogen.”

I raise these stories here to make the point that there is a long history of abuse, gross mistreatment, and exploitation of people of color by the medical establishment in this country. Such stories are documented both in the accounts of these unnamed Puerto Rican women, Elmer Allen, and in several excellent books that show the disturbingly recurrent and often government-sanctioned nature of these practices. Jennifer Nelson ‘s exceptional book, Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement, explores the widespread practices of sterilization abuse wherein mostly white male doctors performed hysterectomies on women of color without their knowledge and consent for decades, with some of the most notable examples of this being the forced sterilization of Fannie Lou Hamer , a 1960s activist, and Minnie Lee Relf, a mentally disabled young woman who was underwent this process at age 13 without giving consent or understanding the effects of the procedure. Rebecca Skloot’s book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, also explores the medical community’s exploitation of a poor black woman’s medical tissue without her or her family’s consent.

These cases abound, and there are probably additional ones of which I am unaware. The common theme among them, however, is the story of white doctors and other members of the medical establishment—often acting with the support of local, state, and federal governments—engaging in ethical and medical violations that exploit communities of color in various ways. These practices erode trust, minimize confidence in the medical establishment, and most importantly, manifest some of the worst forms of racial dehumanization and inequality. Yet they also highlight a particular irony in contemporary discourses about race relations. Often, one of the talking points used to imply that blacks are oversensitive and embellish racial issues is the citation that blacks are more likely to believe various theories about the inception and spread of the AIDS virus that point to government complicity or intent.

In 2005, a Washington Post article cited that more than 25% believed the virus was produced by the government, 12% believed the CIA was responsible for spreading it, and 15% asserted that it was a form of genocide among black people. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Dr. Jeremiah Wright was widely mocked for his endorsement of some of these statements, which were used to further the image of him as a crazy radical (and by extension, to cast doubt upon then-Senator Obama). Ultimately, the statistics about the number of blacks who believe government involvement in the creation and/or spread of the AIDS virus are often used to imply that blacks are paranoid, crazy, and grossly exaggerate racial issues to the point where they believe absurd conspiracy theories, or else that their willingness to endorse such theories hinders their treatment. This latter argument is particularly significant when it comes to the spread of HIV, since black Americans comprise only about 14% of the population but constitute the majority of new AIDS cases. Both arguments, however, suggest that the endorsement or embrace of these beliefs represents something problematic on the part of black Americans.

Rather than dismissively marginalizing African Americans’ perceptions or blaming them for allowing these beliefs to influence their health practices, I think that the recent information about yet another case of the medical community’s egregious breach of the trust of minority communities should spur a renewed attention to the continued, ongoing perils of racial stratification and inequality. Susan Reverby’s findings are undoubtedly important and critical, both on their own and because they point to a larger pattern of state-sanctioned medical abuse. But they also give broader context to ongoing public health issues like the rise of HIV/AIDS in black communities. With information available about the Tuskegee Experiment, Henrietta Lacks, Minnie Lee Relf, and now the Guatemalan women who were deliberately infected with viruses, it’s not so surprising that the theories about government involvement in the AIDS virus might take hold among certain communities who have been the target of the worst kinds of medical racism.

Let me be clear: I am not writing this to advocate the theory that the AIDS virus was government invented. However, I do believe that these blatant examples of the medical establishment’s state-sanctioned abuse of minority communities have a great deal to do with why blacks in particular are less likely to trust doctors and government.  I also think it’s a mistake to suggest that blacks who hold this belief are the problem, given that there is ample evidence that government has in the past engaged in medical experimentation, mistreatment, and negligence when it comes to people of color. Acting as if some blacks’ concerns about the origins of the AIDS virus are evidence of racial paranoia or a self-imposed inhibitor to treatment is akin to suggesting that black men who express misgivings about the criminal justice system are inventing a paranoid racial reality, rather than relying on exhaustive evidence of racial profiling and disproportionate arrest rates.

The larger issue, in my opinion, is to assess how we can create a more racially equitable society so that these sorts of egregious violations don’t exist to eradicate trust in the first place.

Debate over E. Michigan U. Klan Cartoon

Inside Higher Education has an account of intense debatesover a Klan cartoon run by the Eastern Michigan University student paper.
(Source: Jason Promo [currently #14])
The newspaper editors gave the usual lame non-apology apology, which many also found hypocritical or offensive:

We understand the “You Are Here” cartoon may have offended some readers. We apologize for the lack of sensitivity some felt we showed for publishing the piece. The cartoon points out the hypocrisy of hate-filled people. Its intent was to ask how can someone show affection for one person while at the same time hating someone else enough to commit such a heinous act as hanging. We wish to remind readers that they are free to express their opinion on our discussion boards and we hope to continue to foster free thought and open discussion on campus and in the community. – The Eastern Echo

One sharp comment after the editorial was this:

The cartoon comes nowhere NEAR “pointing out hypocrisy.” The decision to publish that cartoon is a travesty, no matter how you measure it. In a civilized society, we have to recognize that some things are never funny. If you don’t know what these are, then you need to go back to school.

So, the editors apologize because “some felt” they showed a lack of sensitivity, not because they really did show a lack of sensitivity. One wonders if they would similarly allow a cartoonist mocking of some people in Nazi uniforms making silly superficial comments near a major German Nazi death camp like Auschwitz. I doubt it.

It appears that these students, including the cartoonist, need a good set of lessons about the scale and brutality of the thousands of lynchings that whites have conducted over the last century to the present day. For many African Americans and others that tree and noose imagery in the cartoon conjure up painful memories of brutal killings of black Americans (and some other Americans of color) by mobs of white Americans. About 3,513 lynchings of black men and 76 of black women were recorded for the years 1882 to 1927, but many more did not get recorded.

Between the Civil War and the present, perhaps as many as 6,000 lynchings of black men and women have been perpetrated in the southern states and in certain areas of the northern and border states. Many thousands of other violent white attacks on African Americans have also gone unrecorded. Lynchings were savage events often with a strongly ritualized character. One lynching account from the 1940s involved a black man accused of trying to rape a white woman. A white participant told the story of a Klan-type white mob’s actions. Here is just part of the story:

I ain’t tellin’ nobody just what we done to that [black man] but we used a broken bottle just where it’d do the most damage, and any time you want to see a nigger ear all you gotta do is go to see old man Smith and ast him for a peep at one…. Yes, ma’am, we done things I never knowed could be done and things I certainly ain’t mentionin’ to no lady.” After being cut, the black victim was doused in kerosene and burned, with the ending being that “the groanin’ got lower and lower and finely it was just little gasps and then it wasn’t nothin’ a tall.” After pulling him out of the fire, the white mob tied him to a tree, leaving him for his relatives to take down.

I see no humor in cartoons about such lynchings, whatsoever. Only pain. Indeed, where is the public discussion about these thousands of lynchings and their perpetrators and survivors (and relatives) who are still alive in the present day? That would be an important focus of student newspaper discussions of our long history of such lynchings.

Racism in Canada: Hostility to Asian (Tamil) Refugees



Imagine … you risk life and limb to cross the Pacific in a freighter. Eventually you dock at Vancouver Island in British Columbia. You claim refugee status with the hope of starting a new life. You are a Sri Lankan national of Tamil origin.IMG_5509
Creative Commons License photo credit: un_owen

Will a purported illustrious Canadian empathy greet you? Will Canadians’ celebrated sense of compassion with the stranger at their shores define your arrival? Or will the veil on Canadian intolerance and racism be lifted?

While the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) commend the “exemplary” work of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) in coordinating your arrival and reception, some determined politicians and vocal citizens demand you be arbitrarily refused the right to land; a claim paradoxically being made by Canadians, whose ancestors never asked the Algonquin, Six Nations, or Cree for immigration forms when they first arrived on Canadian shores. Some ‘nice folks’ think you should be given food [long pause] and sent back from where you came. Others believe your freighter should have been intercepted on the high seas and diverted to somewhere in South Asia. There is even annoyance that Canada’s Constitution guarantees you the right to ‘life, liberty and security.’ There is resentment towards you because Canada has its own problems, including appalling conditions on native reserves and homeless people on the streets of major cities. We need to deal with them first. Disregard the fact that government policy, racism, poor-bashing, and apathy are root causes of these social problems.

Are such reactions to your arrival due to the fact that you are not white? No, of course not! But look more closely… racism is seamlessly veiled behind rhetoric concerning refugees “jumping the queue” and talk of “freeloaders.” As Stephen Hume points out in a recent Vancouver Sun article, “Raise this uncomfortable theory and a din of sanctimonious denial rises. However, why the fuss over a few Tamils compared with larger numbers of asylum-seekers from Russia or Hungary or the United States? Why aren’t these asylum-seekers subjected to similar vituperation as queue-jumpers?”

Perhaps Matthew Claxton, a Canadian reporter for the Langley Advance explains best the reason for the unenthusiastic reaction to your arrival. He writes: “I’m having a hard time imagining a boat of English-speaking white Irish-Catholics [from Northern Ireland] getting the same vicious reception that the Tamils have received since they arrived….”. Claxton’s contrast of your plight to imaginary boat people from Northern Ireland is not accidental. Your arrival on the freighter, along with the other 491 Sri Lankan nationals of Tamil origin, is met with concerns that some of you might be terrorists. Would similar anxieties arise over determining who among the Irish-Catholic boat people is an IRA bomber, an IRA supporter, or who is a bystander or accomplice out of fear?

Whatever your hypothetical answer to this question, it is essential to concede that it is not a crime to seek asylum. In fact, when a person arrives at a Canadian port of entry, s/he is entitled to make an application for refugee status. Once the person is in Canadian waters, they cannot legally be turned back. Moreover, labelling Tamil asylum seekers as “terrorists” before they have an opportunity to make their case is unacceptable, especially given that Canadian and international law requires that refugees have access to individual and unbiased determination of their claims.

Wanda Yamamoto, Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) President, recently explained that “[o]ver the years Canada has saved the lives of thousands of Tamils fleeing persecution, by providing access to a fair and independent refugee system. Whether they arrive by plane, foot or boat, people seeking refuge from human rights abuses have a right to an individual hearing on the reasons why they fled—a right recently reaffirmed by [Canadian] Parliament”.

“Taking to the seas in a boat like this is very risky,” said David Poopalapillai, National Spokesperson for the Canadian Tamil Congress . “We can only imagine that the people on board must have been very desperate to undertake such a dangerous voyage. We hope that our fellow Canadians will listen sympathetically to their stories and will support the government’s fair application of the law.”

We hope so too!

Tessa M. Blaikie is a sociology honours students at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. Kimberley A. Ducey is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology, University of Winnipeg.