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Bruce Dowbiggin

Bruce Dowbiggin’s career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience, with successful stints in television, radio, and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster

Barack Obama: Divider on race

“In the old age black was not counted fair/ but now is black beauty’s successive heir” — Shakespeare Sonnet 127 It took 400 years, but The Bard might well have thrilled to the 2008 election of Barack Obama as president of the United States. To see blackness counted fair in the land that indulged slavery and its offshoots for so many centuries was drama in the vein of Othello. Even his opponents acknowledged the moment’s significance. More than seven years later, it is now a Shakespearian tragedy that finds Obama raging like Othello against a host of imagined foes after seeing the sweet promise of his election end up in the corrosive racial divisions of America. Republicans, police, the NRA, social conservatives, religious communities. All are to blame for not divining his genius in re-engineering society. His announced goal of uniting Americans is now a scrum of identity groups scrambling frantically to carve a “safe space” away from those they hate. No one talks of accomplishment. No one talks of accommodation. People can no longer bump against each other without an “ism” being hurled. Obama’s presidency didn’t begin that way. Actor Morgan Freeman captured the promise of Obama’s election when talking to Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes in 2009. Mike Wallace: “How are we going to get rid of racism and — ” Morgan Freeman: “Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man… I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman… You know what I’m saying?” Freeman is now considered by Black Lives Matter as an Uncle Tom for not playing the colour card. An appeaser. Yesterday’s man. In Obama’s United States you’re a nobody unless you have… Read More

Grievance Culture & the Usual Suspects

Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience, with successful stints in television, radio, and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013). Follow him on Twitter @dowbboy. With the Summer Olympics hoving into view, it’s time to ask whether the IOC is missing a big opportunity by not including Grievance as a new medal sport. Just imagine the competitors for the gold this year. In Toronto, the Grievance competition is thriving as put-upon groups pile upon one another in a bid for the rapt attention of media and government. In a sublime example of the Rule of Unintended Consequences, the LGBT crowd is furious at the Toronto branch of Black Lives Matter. The promoters of the annual Gay Pride Parade had extended a grievance branch to BLM in recognition of how it had convinced Ontarians that problems in the black community were the fault of white people. In any event, BLM was so moved by the invitation to be honoured guests that they immediately demanded that the float for the Toronto police be tossed from the parade. Cops being devils in the view of BLM, a group boasting dozens of absolutely furious members. When LGBT hesitated, a BLM apparatchik named Alexandria Williams said Pride had “a historical and current culture of anti-blackness… deeply embedded in the festival.” Suddenly, it was one sob sister to another in the war against The Man. Naturally, the LGBT crowd— who think they’re the most oppressed group in Toronto— were miffed. The nerve of BLM, trying to bully people in a good cause. Those would be the… Read More

O.J. Simpson and the perversion of justice

I just finished watching the new O.J. Simpson series produced by ESPN. With all the stunning material available, the only surprise is that there isn’t a TV series done each year. His tragic tale is rife with metaphor. This new series, O.J. In America, decided to dabble in the racial politics of a man who was widely accepted by the white community and shunned by progressive blacks. A series of New York Times/ New Yorker types in the series interviewed made this out to be a very bad tradeoff. O.J. was a sellout to his race, they intoned. Got his head turned by the dominant culture of the land. The money perverted him. Simpson got lost in the white world of his murdered wife and the corporate shills of the day. Certainly Bernie Sanders would approve of this revisionist spin. But for those who lived through the late 1960s, when Simpson became a transcendent football star at USC, the approved racial memes of today seemed a little less certain. For all his power and anger, Malcolm X was not the voice of black America. Neither was Cassius Clay when he accepted Islam and became Muhammad Ali. The towering intellectual and moral force in the black community at the time was Martin Luthur King. As opposed to Barack Obama, who preaches racial harmony but practices racial sequestration, Dr. King walked the talk. He was imagining at a very different America than the dream state of the current president. It’s hard to recall how King’s message resonated when he delivered his stunning speech in Washington in 1963. People today cannot comprehend the electricity he generated in all communities when he said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:… Read More

Today’s Paul Martin bears no resemblance to the ’90s’ debt warrior

  Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience, with successful stints in television, radio, and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013). Follow him on Twitter @dowbboy.   Upon the unveiling of his prime ministerial portrait on Parliament Hill, former PM Paul Martin was asked for a few well-chosen words about the role of government in our lives. After all, Martin was the courageous finance minister who got government debt off the backs of Canadians in the 1990s with an austerity program that helped Canada weather the financial turmoil of the next decade— a meltdown that almost bankrupted the United States. But while the painting hanging over his shoulder looked like Martin, the person talking is now a changed man. In passionate terms he extolled the beneficence of the expanding modern state apparatus. "It is possible to do more good in five minutes here [in Parliament] than it is anywhere in five months," he said. (Since when do government do anything in five minutes?) For people wondering the appeal of the Trudeau Liberal majorities from the 1960s to the 90s, Martin’s gauzy tribute succinctly summed up their missionary zeal. Government — which creates nothing, picks winners and losers and siphons off half the incomes of many taxpayers — is a wiser steward of the public purse than anyone else. Here in Ottawa, an emotional Martin thundered, is where the fairy dust resides. The magic that propels our society. You folks who create wealth and jobs and prosperity are mooks compared to the savants of Canada’s Parliament. From a man who was… Read More

Larry Wilmore, the N Word & the Usual Suspects

Here’s where we stand in Einstein’s Relativity Theory. (That would be comedian Bob Einstein, also known as Super Dave.) The theory states that stuff getting shot out of a cannon can go anywhere. To wit, GOP nominee Donald Trump referenced a National Enquirer story linking Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Naturally, legacy media lost their minds. CNN’s Jake Tapper almost blew a fuse box refuting the story. Forget that the Enquirer has, in fact, broken a number of the legit political stories the past decade (John Edwards’ infidelities, Jesse Jackson's love child, Hillary Clinton's brother selling presidential pardons) that legacy media have missed. Anything that attaches to Trump in the media is now a clown car for the punditry to drive. Is it a rude move? Absolutely? Is it a low blow? Perhaps. Should we join the braying mob before the facts emerge because it’s the Enquirer? Hey, it’s Trump. Still, there is outrage. Or OUTRAGE. Or there was till Cruz pulled the pin on his campaign Tuesday after being pulverized in Indiana. Now no one cares about Oswald or Rafael of the Enquirer anymore. So let’s pivot to the bunfest known as this past weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. This is the annual trade gathering where the people who cover the president assemble to be skewered by the same president. This was Barack Obama’s last WHC dinner, and so there was an expectation that the transformative guy would be loaded for bear. (Er, that’s if he didn’t hate hunting and guns— which he does.) You can watch his speech here. Understand that, like Shelly Berman in the Catskills, Obama was born to play this room. His entire presidency has been one extended Colbert Report bit. So after the usual repartee about how he’s been treated by the… Read More
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