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Okey Chigbo

Writer, editor, former associate editor for Equinox and Metro Toronto Business Journal, winner of the National Magazine Award (1997) for best essay for "Reading, writing and racism"


For many of the black intelligentsia, especially those from the Caribbean, all roads lead to racism, which is both a starting point and an end point for endless discussions about black problems. Racism wields tremendous religious power in that, like a belief in the malignant, pervasive and invisible workings of Satan, it so clearly and simply explains why so much evil and misfortune contaminate black existence.

May 1997 - from "Reading, writing and racism", published in The Next City Magazine, Spring 1997
The antispanking movement of the last 15 years has done a brilliant job propagating the view that spanking is just another form of child abuse. Today, normal parents are not just frightened of appearing abusive; they also fear that an occasional swat to the behind can turn their little darling into a dangerously aggressive adolescent and an incorrigibly criminal adult, as the "scientific evidence" says. In fact, the antispanking movement, and its agents in the mainstream media, has used this weak, and in some cases simply non-existent, evidence to beat parents into submission. Antispanking advocates have given us nothing more than a smattering of half-truths along with heavy smacks of propaganda.

Jul. 1998 - from "Bum rap", published in The Next City Magazine, Summer 1998
In the U.S. the teaching of African and Afrocentric history in schools with black populations has been going on for literally decades. American blacks have even set up separate school systems. Do we observe significant improvement in the performance of African-Americans? No, we don't. Similar changes have been occurring in Toronto schools since the 1970s in response to demands by the growing black community and its white supporters. ... a plethora of multicultural policies target the schools with equally dismal results.

May 1997 - from "Reading, writing and racism", published in The Next City Magazine, Spring 1997
Even without a PhD in sociology, the average person, using his common sense, should be suspicious of studies that claim spanking increases societal violence. The first question the skeptic asks: Was there more violence and crime in the '50s and '60s than there is now? The answer, of course, is no.

Jul. 1998 - from "Bum rap", published in The Next City Magazine, Summer 1998