"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Charlie Smith to be honoured in Surrey for standing up against bigotry Featured

The Editor of the Georgia Straight will be given Radical Desi's medal of courage on Sunday, December 1.

Charlie Smith had recently refused to interview Maxime Bernier, the leader of far right People’s Party of Canada, because of his anti-immigrant views.  This was in sharp contrast to many editors of mainstream media outlets who provided Bernier with a platform to air his opinions that fuelled racism during the federal election.

Smith has frequently faced backlashes for his advocacy of diversity.  

Radical Desi, which covers alternative politics, will honour him at a public event being held at Strawberry Hill Library in Surrey on Sunday afternoon between 1-3 pm.  Not only will Smith be presented with a medal, he will also be unveiling the annual calendar of Radical Desi on the occasion.

The year 2020 calendar of Radical Desi is dedicated to the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Devji, who had denounced discrimination on basis of caste, colour and gender.

Smith believes that Nanak was ahead of his time and had taught his disciples about the values that are even more relevant today, when bigotry and inequality continue to grow. He has a deep understanding of the Indian society and history, besides the progressive aspect of Sikh religion.

Smith had openly asked for a street in Vancouver to be named after Gurdit Singh, a Sikh activist who had chartered the Komagata Maru. The Japanese vessel carrying more than 300 South Asian passengers aboard was forced to return in 1914 under then-discriminatory immigration laws passed by the Canadian government, to keep Canada as a white man’s country. Singh’s act of resistance was against racism, but his image has often been distorted by Eurocentric historians. Smith came under online attack for suggesting this.

 

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Last modified on Thursday, 28 November 2019 03:40
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