Author: Josh Dehaas

At Social-Justice Law School, Feelings Trump Facts

On May 27th, Claudette Beals-Clayton called the Toronto police from a high-rise apartment in the city’s High Park North neighbourhood. Her 29-year-old daughter, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, was in a state of crisis and acting violently. Beals-Clayton wanted officers to take Korchinski-Paquet to the city’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Police arrived and coaxed Korchinski-Paquet into the building’s hallway. Then the woman asked if she could go to the bathroom before leaving, and police let her re-enter the apartment. Several officers followed her while family members waited outside. Moments later, the family reportedly heard “Mom, help!” Not long after that, Korchinski-Paquet plunged 24 floors to her death. In the heat of the moment, a devastated Beals-Clayton told reporters that police “came in my apartment and shoved [my daughter] off the balcony.” A man identifying himself as Korchinski-Paquet’s cousin made similar claims on Instagram. Before waiting for any kind of corroboration, reporters from Vice repeated these claims and vaguely linked the death to George Floyd, the Minneapolis man shown on video suffocating to death with a police …

How to Stop the Corporate Virtue-Signaling Before It’s Too Late

Just before Halloween, the U.S. streaming giant Hulu sent out a tweet: “If you’re dressing up for #Huluween this year, this is your reminder to wear a costume that is culturally appropriate and respectful to others. Let’s celebrate the holiday in a way that we can all enjoy.” The question of whether some Halloween costumes are “appropriate” is one of the hottest flashpoints in the culture wars right now. The mainstream media, university professors and left-wing politicians seem to agree that dressing up as people of another race is inherently offensive while a large proportion of regular people believe that costumes are only offensive if there’s an intent to mock. Unsurprisingly, Hulu’s finger-wagging tweet pissed off a lot of people who wondered why a streaming service was suddenly sounding like a social justice warrior. Hulu deleted the tweet. Days later, another company was getting political online. Ben & Jerry’s launched a new ice cream called “Pecan Resist” featuring an angry looking dark-skinned woman on the container. The company claimed that buying the ice cream was a way to …

‘Indigenous Ways of Knowing’: Magical Thinking and Spirituality by Any One Name

At a conference in British Columbia this month, a self-described “Indigeneer”—the word being a portmanteau of “Indigenous” and “engineer”—described the ways in which traditional Indigenous knowledge could be productively injected into contemporary science curricula. “All too often, Western science will make a so-called discovery after years of research really confirming what elders have been telling us for decades, for tens of thousands of years in some cases,” one of the conference hosts told the CBC. “The idea of bringing traditional ways of knowing together with empirical data and science is important.” Such conferences are part of a larger trend in Canada. From the University of Calgary to The University of Saskatchewan to Acadia University in New Brunswick, Canadian deans are pledging to infuse their curricula with a doctrine often described as “Indigenous Ways of Knowing” (IWK), which teaches that Indigenous peoples arrive at their understanding of the world in a unique way. The idea has been around in some form for many years. In a research paper prepared for the Canadian government in 2002, for instance, …