Sean Avery: What A Chump!

Sean Avery, What A Chump

By N Oji Mzilikazi

September 30, 2011

New York Rangers forward Sean Avery is a notorious instigator both on and off the ice. His inappropriate and intemperate behaviour, actions, statements and infractions are well documented.

To get under the skin of Calgary defenceman Dion Phaneuf who was dating ex-girlfriend and actress Elisha Cuthbert, Avery gathered a group of reporters prior to a Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames December 2008 match, and lamented about NHL guys falling in love with his “sloppy seconds.”

In March 2008, Avery’s name and private cell phone number was found on Manhattan madam Kristin Davis client list. He was pegged as a $500 john of her Maison de L’Amour brothel.

It’s rather ironic, given that Avery isn’t gay (unless on the down-low), hockey is a contact sport rife with trash talking, and where even a “good hit” can be career-threatening, a ladies’ man like Avery would complain that Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds called him a “f—ing faggot.”

The alleged insult occurred during a verbal dust-up between the two on September 26, during the Flyers New York Rangers pre-season tilt at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. Simmonds denied using the slur.

While I am in total agreement that homophobia ought not to be aided or abetted, and homophobic slurs can no longer pass for acceptable on-field or on-ice behaviour or be tolerated, Simmonds alleged usage was not denigration of Avery or vilification of gays. It was as Avery knew, to get a rise out of him.

Avery has had great success in being a pest; in getting a rise out of others. He could’ve “taken the verbal hit like a man” and shrug it off. When questioned by the press, go into the “I didn’t hear clearly what he said” mode. Then, later on, privately reprimand Simmonds.

Explain to him that even without malicious intent such an attack is unacceptable, and outline the reasons. For good measure, release a statement condemning the continued use of homophobic slurs in the sporting arena.  It would’ve put all players in the National Hockey League (NHL) on notice.

Such would’ve made the alleged incident a teachable moment, and show that there is tact to Avery. Seems to me, his accidental thrust into gay rights advocacy after endorsing gay marriage this past May, went to his head.

In my book, his ratting Simmonds out further strengthens my belief that he is a first-class chump.

This is the same guy who during his days with Detroit Red Wings (1999 – 2003), called Edmonton Oilers winger and enforcer Georges Laraque a “f—ing slug,” while mic’d up for television cameras. (The clip is available online.) And who, years later, while playing for the Los Angeles Kings allegedly called Laraque “a monkey.”

Since simian invectives towards Blacks originated from racism, are emoted from the same, and are meant to personally disparage, Laraque make an official complaint. Unfortunately there were no witnesses to substantiate Laraque’s claim.

Avery was quoted by Los Angeles Times writer Chris Foster saying Laraque “fabricated the whole thing.”

In view of the fact that Laraque was a feared on-ice pugilist, it is inconceivable he’d lie about a racially offensive remark, knowing he could always encounter Avery on the boards or on open ice.

Although no official was willing to go on record saying they believed Laraque, Rangers coach John Tortorella was quoted saying though he did not hear what Simmonds said, he was “sure Sean Avery is not lying about it.”

I strongly suspect Avery’s decision was all about taking the shine off Simmonds.

Four days earlier, Simmonds was a victim of racism. Simmonds scored in the last minute of regulation play to send the exhibition game between the Flyers and Detroit Red Wings at John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, into overtime. Then, when he was about to take a shootout, someone threw a banana on the ice.

The racist comparison and association of people of African descent to apes, gorillas and monkeys is responsible for the use of bananas as a racial insult.

While the Simmonds incident is the second recorded in the NHL, soccer has had a long history of white fans calling Black players monkeys, throwing bananas at them or on the pitch, and even unfurling banners showing a banana.

Rather than made a federal case out of it and tarnish the brand, Simmonds comments were terse. He said it was unfortunate. His focus was on playing hockey.

His willingness to move on positioned him as “one of the good guys.”

Avery’s revelation torpedoed that. The same people who applauded Simmonds for his stance over the banana asked for his head, especially after no punishment was meted out. Thanks to Avery, Wayne Simmonds had morphed into just another homophobic Black male.

The Killing of Fredy Villanueva

“The Killing of Fredy Villanueva:
Policing, Race Bias & Media Complicity in Canada”

Explores policing and race, the culture that gave rise to and supports it. The complicity of the mainstream media in sustaining the lack of accountability in those mandated to serve and protect, and how their failure to exhibit maturity and decency in being fair and impartial in reportage on visible minorities, specifically the Black community, and in catering to the fears, insecurities, and bigotry of the majority population have been contributors in the replication, moulding and support of racism and racial bias. The complicity of the legislature and judges in supporting a police culture of disorder and impunity while throwing the book at others, especially non-white minorities, and self-preserving techniques for people to best navigate interactions with the police.

“The Killing of Fredy Villanueva” is about deconstructing and confronting racism, a demand to a return of the old-fashioned law and order ideology of “to protect and serve,” equal and consistent enforcement and application of the law, procedural fairness, protection of human rights and civil liberties, and  healing and strengthening bonds of nationalism so the nation’s ethnically diverse citizenry can truly sing with pride, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”

Table of Contents

Introduction:

Implicit in citizenship is membership willing to sacrifice life and limb in defence of nation. In that respect, African Canadians have a long history of being good citizens. People of African descent – freeborn, runaway slaves, and former slaves from the United States and France fought for the British Crown during the Canadian wars of 1780’s and 1812, gaining the moniker of Black Loyalists.

During World War II, Canada was one of the nations who recruited young men from the West Indies to fight for them. Ostensibly, to fight for a land they had never seen. Black West Indian youths in their prime, some not yet men, contributed to the war effort.

In April 2002, Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer, a Black Canadian soldier was killed in the Allied war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Suffice it to say, people of African descent have been shedding blood for Canada since the 1780’s. On the other hand, when it comes to reciprocity from the state and its institutions to allow African Canadians the unfettered benefits that go with being a citizen, a different politic emerges. The Black community is seen as outsiders, as having no roots in the society and no stake in its well-being and as a sort of internal enemy. As a result, Blacks continue to feel the sting of racism, discrimination, and marginalisation.

Chapter 1: The Killing of Fredy Villanueva

Is a brief overview of the 2008 shooting of Denis Meas and Jeffrey Sagor-Météllus, and the death of Fredy Villanueva by a police officer. All three Latino youths were unarmed. The chapter is framed against the jeremiad of police abuse against visible minorities and Aboriginals.

It is my contention that judging from the non-implementation of recommendations from the Bellemare Report 1 & 2 (1984 & 1988), Coroner’s Yarosky 1992, the Corbo Report of 1992, and the Malouf Report of 1994, in respect to the police and their interaction with visible minorities anyone hoping the inquest into Fredy’s death will bring clarity, resolutions or changes to the culture of policing are going to be sadly deluded unless…

Chapter 2: Policing & Race

Criminality exists in every community, society and country, and among every race, religion and ethnicity. Disproportionate number of criminals from any culture, race, religion or society is never an indictment of nationality, country, religion, race or ethnicity. Furthermore, no race is a unified biological population. As such, it is backwardness and dishonest to tar and feather an entire community on account of the few who commit crimes.

Yet, on account of the ideological philosophies in support of racism, that is exactly the vice-grip within which people of African descent find themselves.

Blacks are positioned as, and accepted as a racial monolith with a singular culture, to wit ingrained criminality, stigmatized and criminalised over the errant few, and victimized by a police culture of race-based policing – skin-colour being automatically a cause for suspicion in lieu of probable cause, and Black neighbourhoods detailed as zero tolerance and suppression zones.

Subscription to the criminalization of Blacks (and by extension certain non-white communities), and race-based policing is the source of law enforcement officers demonstrating a different code of behaviour and attitudes towards Blacks than the rest of the population.

Under greater scrutiny by police officers (and by extension private security guards), Blacks are subjected to frequent stops, being questioned and searched.

Oftentimes in the process, they encounter officers who do not see Blacks as citizens, deserving of common courtesy, civility, respect and most importantly, the presumption of innocence that has long been one of the cornerstones of the law. Consequently, those officers exhibit behaviours that are downright hostile, abusive, openly racist, and or would relentlessly assail or assault their dignity.

While law enforcement has consistently and steadfastly denied the existence of race based policing, documentation to Black officers admitting having racially profiled Black youth is provided, thereby supporting my case that racial profiling is endemic and an intrinsic aspect of Canadian policing.

In addition, to bolster my contention that racism thrives in law enforcement- that race bias is police culture; I’ve also provided evidence showing that Black police officers are themselves not immune from victimization and acts of racism by fellow white officers.

Chapter 3: Sentencing Disparity

Since the legacy of racist ideology is at the heart of the law and order machinery mobilized against Blacks, their is continued collusion between politicians, legislators, the police, judges and prosecutors to ensure people of African descent who fell afoul of the law feel its full weight.

As presented evidence show, judges are prone to impose longer sentences on Blacks than on whites, even when their crimes were of the same magnitude or of a lesser degree, and it was not unusual for Black juveniles to be tried as adults in order for them to receive a more severe punishment.

Chapter 4: Deconstructing Race Bias

Government policies, legislation and programs to combat racism have failed to have a bigger impact because white folks (and by extension Blacks) are trapped by complex historical, institutional and deep-rooted racist and cultural forces, and education to dismantle some of those foundation stones of anti-Black racism has been woeful to say the least.

While endless whites have repudiated racism and racist ideologies, a vast majority are so emotionally bound to race prejudice that they don’t care to or simply refuse to accept and institute equality on the social level. Hence the continued state of affairs. This chapter seeks to exorcise the devils of racist beliefs that arose out of the evils of slavery and its legacy of institutional racism.

Chapter 5: The Myth of the Lazy Negro

Given that Judeo-Christian doctrine espoused the view that Blacks are a people born to servitude, African enslavement was seen as unto perpetuity.

The life of a slave was one of constant labour. There were no holidays, vacation, age of retirement or a pension. The enslaved were worked to death and until death. Consequently, the application of “lazy” to Blacks was none other than a slander to hamstring the race, and was psychological punishment and retribution over the freedoms brought by Emancipation.

Emancipation threatened the economic survival of plantation economies as well as portended change to the racial and social dynamics of the society. It positioned the former slaves to earn wage. To determine what their labour was worth, to control, set its price, sell it to the highest bidder, work for self and the options of migration – freedom to move wherever and start a new life.

Chapter 6: Why Don’t Blacks Learn From Other Immigrants Trap

Giving the impression that people of African descent are anything but industrious, Blacks are routinely scolded. Oftentimes the telling is along the lines of taking a page out of the books of other immigrant communities and lifting themselves up by their own industriousness. While the advice appears to be sound and logical, it is misguided and emanates from ignorance.

Such a view conveniently ignores the roles of racism, discrimination, marginalisation and racial hatred in sabotaging the industriousness of people of African descent and keeping the race in the vice grip of poverty. It overlooks the deliberate underemployment of educated Blacks and those with professional qualifications/certification, and how white skin advantage enables other ethnic and immigrant communities an easier go at economic gains.

Furthermore, what is never exposed is that members of some immigrant communities are products of merchant/business and or criminal/mafia collectives in their own country, and thus invested in abroad with a resource pool that includes financing and expertise at their disposal.

Chapter 7: Media as an Instrument of Racism

While freedom of speech is worth defending, this chapter details how corporate owned media in Canada have constantly reinforced and reproduced racial bias in their newspapers, slant and colour stories that deal with race, cater to the bigotry of the majority population, use photo to highlight and imbue the crime with increased severity and inspire fear of the race to which the person(s) belongs, and the reliance of counterfeit images of Blacks in television commercials.

Bearing in mind that a society can only truly prosper when there is tolerance and respect to those who are ethnically, culturally and religiously different, such things perpetuate racism.

The overwhelming emphasis is on the Montreal Gazette, for excluding the short-lived Montreal Daily News that lasted less than two years, the Gazette has been the province only English daily newspaper for the past thirty years, ever since the closure of the Montreal Star in 1979.

With such marketplace monopoly, I’ve set out to show that the Gazette has repeatedly abrogated journalistic ethics of accurate and balanced reporting, opting to be a bastion of support for racial bias as well as being a running dog for the police, all to the detriment of Montreal’s Black community.

Chapter 8: Law & Disorder. Police as Thieves. The Culture of Impunity

Amidst the calls and implementation for stricter penalties to rein in crime and punish wrongdoers, this chapter documents how judges continue to be complicit in giving the criminals in law enforcement the lightest possible sentence, if ever it comes to that, and police ethics and disciplinary boards continue to exonerate officers or give them the lightest of slap on their wrist.  Such a state of affairs has justice in Canada operating with her eyes open and being of a multi-tier system. There is one standard of justice for the police, another for legislators, a different one for whites, and an even different one for Aboriginals and Blacks.

Chapter 9: The Politics of Containment

Exposes the collusion between Montreal’s City Hall and the police to contain Montreal’s non-white communities, police harassment to get Black youths into the system, and the usage of incivilities by Montreal’s police to oppress the community as well as generate revenue for the city.

Chapter 10: Economics of Crime and Punishment

Explains that as strange and sad as it is, on account of the inter-relatedness between crime, punishment and economics, crime is a necessary and much needed evil.

The infrastructure that surrounds crime and punishment is an employment bonanza. Tickets and fines put money into the State’s coffers thus police zealousness in issuing tickets.

City administrators, the justice system – prosecutors, judges, defence lawyers, clerks, bondsmen, prisons, ancillary and associated industries need crime and a constant prison population to maintain their employment.

Law enforcement is a business of knowing. As such, police in every city have files on every criminal organization, street gangs and the like, their leadership and who controls what area. They know who is doing dirt and the locations of drug dens and its dealers.

Chapter 11: How to Best Deal With The Police

Overwhelming documentary evidence attest to police officers benefitting from an ingrained culture of impunity. Its sanctification by the courts allows them to figuratively and literally get away with murder, brutality and oppressive conduct. As such, the police are the deadliest threat to the health, well-being and quality of life of Blacks and other non-white minorities. This chapter offers self-preserving techniques to best navigate interactions with the police.

Copyright © 2011 by N Oji Mzilikazi, All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted (other than short excerpts for review purposes only) in any form: electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, online reproduction or recording without express written permission by N Oji Mzilikazi.

Drunk, I wasn’t Drinking (Poetry for the Strong Hearted)

Is an unpublished compilation of poems with a proactive stance and no holds barred attitude to the ongoing hydra-headed and elephantine social crisis: economic uncertainty, heightened anxiety, frayed nerves, disenchantment, resentment, anger, hate mongering and political timidity. It’s a call to fearlessness, sparking a fire under comfortable and complacent butts.

Foreword

We live in a time and culture of anti-intellectualism, moral laxity, declining civility, social indiscipline, where aggressiveness, vulgarity, crudity and hyper-sexuality have been normalised, and one has to be either crazy or drunk to openly speak truthfully on things.

Everyone knows crazy. The mouthing of crazy is ignored or dismissed as illogical. Intoxicated persons are known to say and do all manner of foolish things. More often than not, their verbal outbursts, verbal assaults and embarrassing acts are excused as they being out of it – as being temporarily crazy, and so exempt from recriminations. At the same time, there are “smart folks” who have no qualms assuming intoxication to capitalise on the free pass wrought by drunkenness.

Let me assure you dear reader, I am not crazy, and rarely do I imbibe intoxicating brew.  “Drunk, I Wasn’t Drinking, (Poetry for the Strong Hearted)” was conceptualized and crafted with total mental clarity and disdain for the culture of correctness and political docility, and I make no apologies for anyone offended by its bluntness.

The stakes are just too high to be pussyfooting around issues given the rise of political, community, ethnic and religious misleaders who exploit the illiterate masses, appeal to our base instincts, fears, bigotry, racial and religious intolerance, the willful embrace, cultivation and spread of ignorance, the elevation of mediocrity, abandonment of vigilant parenting, mass migration of youths to gangs and incarceration, and the self-destructive culture of victimhood, self-oppressing and self-defeating behaviours.

Some Titles

Letters to the Editor
Viewer Discretion Advised
The Labyrinth of Mystification
Academic Treachery
Groundation For Contemplation
Nudity, Violence, Course Language
An Apology to Woman
Woe Unto Woman
Cultural Pornification
Beauty the Beast
Toxic Mix of Palliatives
The Concrete Jungle
Posturing For Profits
Rum Shop Politics
Papa Bois, The Midnight Robber
Words of (dis) Honour
Elegy For The Family
Gang-Gamily: the New Family
Arrogance in Ignorance
Smart Sentencing
The Pierrot Granade

 

Copyright © 2011 by N Oji  Mzilikazi, All Rights Reserved

 

The Journey of a Soul (Liberation Through Poetry)

Is an unpublished compilation of poetry that though borders on the personal, is simultaneously an exploration of the human experience, delving into matters of the heart; love, sex, relationships, faith and spirituality, joy, hope, pain, frustrations and pain with the hope of fortifying, uplifting and inspiring.

Each person confronts life’s unveiling of the human experience: growth, the pursuit of love, intimate relationship, employment, wealth, status, joy, success, and the devastation wrought by the unexpected or circumstances beyond one’s control, failures, frustrations, pains and disappointments differently. In addition, a person’s moulding and center of being – their morals, values, character, integrity, and mental constitution oft determine how they fare in the face of challenges, adversity, temptations, social pressure, and navigating life’s highs and lows.

Weaned on racial pride, integrity, honour, social consciousness, environmental awareness, self-defence, revolutionary philosophy, pan-Africanism, articulating and languaging voice, race and class issues, poetry saved my life on many occasions. Putting pen to paper allowed me to diffuse mountains of frustrations and anger from the continual psychological defacement, systemic and deliberate economic, educational, cultural and social inequities, injustice and discrimination wroth by racism, and refraining from the execution of dark deeds or seeking to blunt the pain by way of drugs or alcohol.

Writing allowed me to emerge with a little more strength, sanity, clarity, balance, patience, and rejuvenated to do battle. Furthermore, initiation and exposure to spiritual and religious philosophies profoundly affected the perspectives of my politics. I came to see revolutionary struggle as more than raging against the machine, but also striving for mastery over one’s mental and emotional self, as well as unifying or integrating the disparate elements of self. The infusion of spiritual awareness allowed both my politics and writings to breathe… 

The poems fall into the following categories:

The Obeah Chronicles
Love & Pain
Love Should Never Lie Trilogy
Canadia
Reflections In Water
Crab & Callaloo
Dancing In The Light
Revolution
Carnival In Nine Movements

 

Copyright © 2011 by N Oji  Mzilikazi, All Rights Reserved