Tuesday May 16, 2017

May 15, 2017 episode transcript

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The AIH Transcript for May 15, 2017

Hosts: Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

STORIES FROM THIS EPISODE

Prologue

CAROL OFF: Hello, I'm Carol Off.

Jeff Douglas: Good evening. I'm Jeff Douglas. This is As It Happens.

[Music: Theme]

JD: Tonight:

CO: An intimidating task. The RCMP watchdog says not enough has been done to tackle problems with harassment and bullying among officers. And that the force can't handle the problem on its own.

In helping him they did not help themselves. The Hong Kong government rejects the asylum claims of seven refugees. Their lawyer says they were dismissed for helping NSA-contractor-turned-wanted-man Edward Snowden.

CO: Fighting back tears. The WannaCry cyber-attack lived up to its name causing computer users around the world to choke back sobs. Until a group of security researchers disrupted the global disruption.

JD: Hatchet job. A New Jersey activist says her congressman was trying to get her fired when he sent a letter to her employer that singled her out as a so-called ring leader of political activism.

CO: Cold War. In a small Ontario town the family run ice cream parlor is doing battle with the town council. And now that the family has filed a lawsuit it seems there's little chance the two sides will coincide.

JD: And… it was more like Sargent Pooper’s “Boloney Parts Club Bland”. In 1967, a New York Times music critic savaged an album that has widely been considered a masterpiece. But with its 50th anniversary approaching he is revisiting the Beatle tracks. As It Happens, the Monday edition. Radio that reads the news every day, oh boy.

[Music: Theme]

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Part 1: RCMP bullying report, cyber-attack hero, Sgt. Pepper’s reviewer

RCMP bullying report

Guest: Emma Phillips

JD: “The RCMP will not be able to bring about the necessary change required to address its dysfunctional culture on its own.” That is according to a report released today by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP. The report looked at the procedures currently in place to deal with harassment, as well as harassment complaints. And it found that bullying and harassment persist as serious issues within the national police force. Emma Phillips is legal counsel for the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission. We reached her in Ottawa.

CO: Ms. Phillips, just how dysfunctional is the culture at the RCMP?

EMMA PHILLIPS: Well, what the commission found is that there is a broad dysfunctional organizational culture, which is manifesting in a persistent problem of harassment across the organization.

CO: Can you give us some idea of what and how?

EP: Well in particular, we found that a large proportion of the allegations of harassment involve abuse of authority by supervisors in relation to subordinates. So those could be a range of different types of conduct for example, including where a supervisor berates a member in public or uses abusive language. Where they refuse to allow a member to use basic policing resources for example, a police vehicle. A member might be denied leave. And there have been more serious circumstances where for example, a member's been left without backup call or left alone at a crime scene. But I just want to emphasize that there's a range of allegations. We don't have any sense of what the magnitude of the problems are of any one specific type of problem across the RCMP. But we did hear these very persistent concerns about abuse of authority.

CO: And just a few of the other complaints that you heard. You've listed verbal insults and abuse, transferring officers to another detachment as punishment, entering a Mounties home without legal justification, dropping in repeatedly on people who are on sick leave, tampering with police reports to undermine an officer's credibility. I mean what effect does all this have on people within the rank and file within the RCMP?

EP: It causes tremendous stress and tremendous anxiety. We found again through our interviews that there are a number of people who have gone off duty on sick leave. We asked the RCMP for data with respect to the number of people who are on sick leave as a result of harassment or workplace stress. And they don't, as it turns out, track that information. So one of our recommendations is that going forward there should be further examination study of the relationship between workplace harassment and absenteeism similes in the RCMP, but it's clearly having a very significant impact on some members and the RCMP. In some cases it could be career ending and it may also be having an impact on the operations of the RCMP.

CO: Do you believe the RCMP has the ability to fix this dysfunctional culture on its own?

EP: Unfortunately no, and that's one of the key findings of the report. We found that the RCMP has launched initiative after initiative, but these have been short lived. There's been ad hoc. They've been very limited in their scope and there's really no comprehensive system to measure the results or you know really to follow through on any of these initiatives. And so what we found is that there's really either unwillingness or an inability to carry out the kind of long term sustained reform that's really necessary to bring about a change in the culture of the organization. And only a change in governance is really going to have that impact.

CO: Let’s go through this will or ability. I mean yours is not the first review of this nature this is what's been going on for some years that we've known about it. I mean how many years it was going on before we even had the first reports this is another story. But why is the RCMP incapable of fixing this on its own?

EP” I think there are a couple of different reasons for that. First, the RCMP is an insular organization. And so those who have risen to the top in the senior leadership positions are uniformed police officers who have benefited from the particular culture of the organization. They may not be able to perceive the problems. They may not have the incentive to address the problems. They're protected by the chain of command, so they may not even hear of some of the problems that are faced by the rank and file. We've also seen that the RCMP is really lacking in the kind of civilian expertise that's really necessary we think to bring about changes to workplace culture. So you need expertise and labor relations and human resources and health and well-being of employees. I think another factor is that the RCMP really treats complaints and concerns, even when they're raised informally, with hostility rather than as a source of constructive change. And so we heard again from members about many concerns with respect to retaliation and reprisal when members did bring forward concerns about their day to day work lives. That's something that really struck me was the degree of fear that members expressed about even voicing their concerns around their workplace.

CO: So is it that the people who would make the changes — who need to make the changes — benefit from the status quo?

EP: That's right. And that doesn't mean that there aren't good leaders and we identify in the report some very promising local initiatives that has been created. For example, in E Division in British Columbia, there's been a very promising initiative to identify and address low level workplace conflict before it turns into full blown harassment. They developed a unit off full-time staff — 23 staff — who could carry out those kinds of activities and really act as a sounding board for supervisors and managers when they're dealing with workplace tension and conflict. But what we saw was that not only did they not get support from national headquarters, but instead in fact their funding was cut. So again, it's a lack of any kind of coordinated systemic efforts to carry out reform in the way that you know is a large organization, so it needs to be a sustained and systemic approach.

CO: You looked at 264 harassment complaints that have been filed since 2013. In 2013 there was something called “Gender and Respect Action Plan”, was there any evidence in the review that you did since 2013 talking with people where you saw that that had actually come to be part of the RCMP that plan?

EP: We were asked by the minister to specifically look at the status of the implementation of the gendered respect action plan. And one of the key objectives of the plan was to change the culture of the RCMP to address harassment. And we found that the way in which the plan has been implemented is really typical of the kinds of problems that the RCMP has in carrying out reform. So the plan says that the divisions need to develop advisory committees as key forums for discussion of employee issues. But only eight out of the 15 divisions appear to actually have functioning committees. The plan also says that the divisions are supposed to establish respectful workplace programs, but there was no confirmation by national headquarters that each division has established such a program or that they are active. And we found that national headquarters doesn't provide any guidance on how programs should be administered or reviewed. There was no senior leader in national headquarters who is accountable and responsible for ensuring that the program is actually effective. So you know the RCMP likes to point to the “Gender and Respect Action Plan” as evidence of their concrete efforts to bring about change. But in fact, we see a distinct lack of follow through and accountability.

CO: You've made a number of recommendations and so if the RCMP doesn't follow through on them and they've had some of these recommendations before — some of them a number of times. What do you think is the possibility that RCMP will change if they don't look at these seriously and implement them?

EP: Well, that's perhaps why two of our key recommendations are actually made to the minister rather than to the RCMP directly. And that's because in our view, a fundamental component of the change that needs to occur is a change to the governance model and that's something that only the federal government can bring about. There are changes that the RCMP needs to also carry out. But fundamentally, the federal government has to play a role in forcing the RCMP to face the necessary measures whether or not they're popular in the senior leadership to bring about that kind of cultural change.

CO: All right. We will be following this issue and the story. Ms. Phillips, thank you.

EP: Thank you.

JD: Emma Phillips is legal counsel with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP. We reached her in Ottawa.

[Music: Ambient]

Cyber-attack hero

Guest: Ryan Kalember

JD: It was called “WannaCry”. And that's exactly what it made tens of thousands of people around the world do when they turn on their computers on Friday. The most visible victim of course of the hack was Britain's National Health Service. The ransomware locked up NHS computers and messages flashed on the screens demanding money. But then a small group of cyber security researchers, including a 22 year old British man, discovered an Achilles heel in the ransomware hack. Ryan Kalember is a Senior Vice President of Cybersecurity Strategy for Proofpoint. He was on the team that was able to disrupt the attack. We reached Mr. Kalember in San Francisco.

CO: Mr. kalember, when did you and your team first realize how serious this attack was?

RYAN KALEMBER: We realized that very early on Friday, actually in the middle of the day European time. We saw a signature actually of a piece of NSA code — what we call an “Exploit” — called “Eternal Blue” that had been leaked back in March. We actually saw a piece of malware using that, which was an indication to us that something was potentially really going to be nasty.

CO: And that the National Security Agency is the NSA the U.S. agency. Can you just describe maybe in layman's terms what it is that you saw?

RK: So what we call “Exploits” are basically little pieces of code that take advantage vulnerabilities in a system to do something that they want to do. In this case, this is a very powerful “Exploit” that can basically take over the system that it's targeting.

CO: This vulnerability was in Windows and what role did the National Security Agency play in that?

RK: That excellent question. So the vulnerability is basically in the way that Windows allows its users to share files back and forth. Now, the part of this story in March was one that has some interesting sort of geopolitical intrigue associated with it. There was a group calling themselves “The Shadow Brokers” and they claimed to have a hold of tools for what they called “The Equation Group”, which is widely believed to be the NSA. First they tried to actually auction these tools, but in March, they actually released them out into the wild to be used by whoever wanted them.

CO: Aha. So this is how they became available to the ransom people and they didn't just use it. They launched a quite large exploitation of it. So why were they able to be so effective? I mean do you think they even knew they would be this effective?

RK: I don't think they knew that they would be anywhere near this effective. And actually, what happened back in March was that right before all of this was released Microsoft actually released a patch for it. So if everyone had applied those patches or taken other sort of countermeasures, this worm wouldn't have succeeded at all. The problem is you have lots of organizations that are either not able to apply patches quickly enough or they're running systems like as an example, maybe you have a million dollar MRI machine that runs Windows XP that you're certainly not going to replace as a hospital just because it has this vulnerability in it. In that case you have a somewhat of a difficult decision to make to try and protect yourself. Although the risks in this case has been pretty well known for at least two months.

CO: And now getting to this story of what happened on Friday when you and some others identified this and that there's been much said about this young fellow — 22-years-old — goes by the name of Malware Tech, a Cybersecurity researcher who was seems to be hailed as the hero in defeating this hack or at least stopping is slowing it down. What really did happen and how did you do it?

RK: Sure. So one of our researchers actually found a malware sample and provided it to Malware Tech. Once our researcher passed it to Malware Tech, he and our own internal research team both got to work doing basically reverse engineering of the malware. Trying to figure out what it did? How it did it? And whether there was any way to stop it. What we found and what Malware Tech also found was that there was basically a web site address —what we call a domain name — coded into the malware itself. Now, the domain name hadn't actually been registered by anyone. So it was free for us to try and control. Malware Tech took that first step and again spent about $10 U.S. registering the domain name itself to create what we call a sinkhole where instead of actually doing the bidding of the malware’s author we as defenders can have it do something else that's benign.

CO: Did the hackers themselves not know about this kill switch?

RK: Well, they built the kill switch in themselves and they just implemented it poorly in a way that we could leverage to actually stop it from spreading.

CO: OK, so crisis averted. Is it over?

RK Sadly, it's not over until we're all patched. I think one of the things that I've learned in being in information security for a long time is that these things have a longer life than anyone should ever have a reasonable expectation that they will. Just to give you an example, the last big worm was the “Conficker Worm” all the way back in late 2008. And we're actually still seeing that ping around the internet as there are some systems that haven't been patched.

CO: Just to go back to these hackers they were doing it for money. Did they actually get anybody to pay them in the end?

RK: They got a few people to pay them — just north of 100 — it looks like at current account. The total haul for them was somewhere between 30 and $40,000 U.S. and that's paltry compared to the amount of time and effort and expense that has gone into fighting against this worm.

CO: They sound like really smart people I mean if they're able to do this you think what they could do if they would just get a job.

RK: Well, they are certainly not amongst the smartest of the of the malware authors out there. In fact, the smartest part of their code wasn't written by them. It was again attributed to “Equation Group” or the NSA. That's what enabled this to be so powerful combined with the inability of a lot of organizations and individuals to patch themselves against the vulnerability.

CO: Mr. Kalember, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

RK: It was a pleasure.

JD: Ryan Kalember is Senior Vice President of Cybersecurity Strategy for Proofpoint. He was on the team that managed to disrupt the “WannaCry” ransomware hack. You can find more on this story on our website: www.cbc.ca/aih

[Music: Indie pop]

Sgt. Pepper’s reviewer

Guest: Richard Goldstein

JD: It has been described as a quote, “orchestral baroque pop masterpiece.” A quote, “psych-rock opus.” By Time magazine it's been described as quote, “a historical departure in the progress of music — any music.” And in any conversation about the greatest albums ever made it will come up almost immediately, and everyone will nod and say yeah, “Obviously.” When the Beatles released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, the reviews were universally glowing. Except for one in the pages of The New York Times, a music reviewer by the name of Richard Goldstein had his own descriptors for Sergeant Pepper's. Among them “spoiled,” “cluttered” and “fraudulent.” Now, next month is going to mark the 50th anniversary of Sergeant Pepper's. So we decided to revisit the record with Mr. Goldstein to see if he's had a change of heart in the past half century. We reached Richard Goldstein in Paris.

CO: Richard, it was the summer of 1967, the Beatles had just released this hotly anticipated new record “Sergeant Pepper”. Where were you when you heard it for the first time?

RICHARD GOLDSTEIN: Well, I was in my living room and in those days we didn't use headphones. I would lay on the carpet of my living room with the speakers right next to my ears and turn the volume up, it so loud that my feelings hurt usually.

CO: And that's how most people I recall listened to albums like. That's why our hearing is bad now, but how did it hit you? How did you feel about the album when you first heard it?

RG: I think it may have baffled me. And then I had a negative reaction. It wasn't rock and roll and the Beatles were my favorite rock artists. So I was a huge fan of theirs and a champion of their work. But this did not sound like rock n roll to me.

CO: It was a legendary negative reaction wasn't it? Because you wrote you wrote things like, “Like an over intended child, Sergeant Pepper is spoiled. For the first time the Beatles have given us an album that is special effects dazzling, but ultimately fraudulent.” I mean you trashed it.

RG: Yeah. Well I might as well have given Glenn Gould a bad review on a Bach piece. No, it was that notorious for sure.

CO: Why do you feel you reacted that way? Do you feel that it deserved that kind of reaction?

RG: Well no, of course I don't. But the way I listened to music in the 60s was with a very sort of strict maybe rigid view of what constituted rock and what rock should be. And in many ways I associated these orthodoxies with masculinity itself. So rock to me was a masculine adventure in the 1960s. And so the problem with this album, aside from the fact that it veered very far from rock, was that it wasn't very masculine. You know it kind of and even the cover of it the pictures of them in those strange uniforms. There wasn't anything sexy about it.

CO: But some of the some of the songs incase people don’t remember what’s on the album: “Within you Without You”, “With a Little Help From My Friends”, “When I'm 64”, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”. I mean these were songs that are now of course people can sing all the words to them. But at the time, what kind of a departure was this album from what was happening in the music scene in 1967?

RG: Well, I mean it veered as far afield from rhythm and blues as you could get. There were aleatory passages of classical music, chamber music settings, marches, animal sounds and all sorts of things you know that that totally violated the fundaments of rock and roll. However, the other sort of horrible thing about this is that one of my speakers wasn't working and I missed a lot of I think a lot of what made of that was the rock part of it. I think it didn't really come across to me as strongly as it as it should have.

CO: But Richard, if one of your speakers was busted I mean there's some entire parts of the tracks that only come from one speaker and that was the beauty of it. That was the fun of lying and the speakers on either side. It was like all around you. So how much did you miss by not having that speaker?

RG: Well I don't know, because it was I think it must have been working some because otherwise I would have missed some of the vocals, but the balance was completely off. You know I had no idea and neither did my wife, who also listened to it with me. I guess you can say I listened to a mono version of it in stereo. So you know I have heard it in stereo I know about the effects and all that, but it's still the same work even if you hear it in an imperfect way. So the real question is why I didn't get it? And aside from the fact that sometimes critics don't get things that are new because they can't kind of put them in the compartments that they've set up. It also was as I say a rather different piece of work and I think I had a lot of issues involving masculinity in those days as a young man. And so the album sort of violated all of that for me. As I got older and I came to terms with my sexuality, because I'm a gay man, I listened to the album in a different way and I felt myself much more positively drawn to the sort of degendered aspects of their image as reflected in that album.

CO: You were you've been described as having been well you're 22 at the time. You are described as a hippie in a dark blue cape and you were the original rock music critic. I mean this was something it was a new kind of genre writing you were you were it at 22-years-old and even Paul McCartney said a few months ago that he still remembers that review you did and it still hurts. What do you make of that?

RG: Well, I mean that album it's sold through the roof. It was a historic work. And you know if somebody criticizes the Bible it doesn't mean Solomon is insulted. I guess he remembers that all these years, so I'm really flattered. I was the first rock critic because as a as a young man and as a teenager growing up in a housing project in the Bronx, I adored music. I sang Doo-wop on the streets with the other guys. I had a transistor radio held permanently to my ear, but I also was a very alienated kid. And I read literature. So when it came to writing about rock, it was very easy for me to see it as an art. So you know it had to do with being young, being working class and being alienated.

CO: And it is it has endured hasn't it? We are looking at the 50th anniversary of “Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”. What will you do on that for the Anniversary? Will you listen to Sergeant Pepper's again?

RG: Oh yeah, why not? I have bluetooth ear phones. I can get it on YouTube or wherever it is. I'm sure I can call it up. So yeah, I think that's a very good idea. I'll go out and I'll lift a glass of wine and toast them. And I'll also toast my own coming to terms with myself because that album really figures in the process of knowing myself. Because as I knew myself better and relaxed around the self I was, the music came through for me much more clearly.

CO: Just make sure you have both ear buds in when you're listening to it again and taking that glass of wine in Paris. Richard, it's great to talk to you. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

RG: Thank you. It's a pleasure.

CO: Bye bye.

RG: Bye.

JD: Richard Goldstein is a retired music reviewer, who in 1967, wrote a scathing review of The Beatles “Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” in the New York Times. Next month is going to be the 50th anniversary of that album's release. We reached Mr. Goldstein in Paris via Skype.

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Part 2: Targeted activist, Snowden refugees

Targeted activist

Guest: Saily Avelenda

JD: A New Jersey woman has resigned from her job at a local bank after her Republican congressman sent a letter to her employer about her political activity. Saily Avelenda was a senior vice president and assistant general counsel at Lakeland Bank. She was also involved in a local political organization that was trying to get their congressmen, Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, to hold town hall meetings about the Republican's health care bill. Now apparently Mr. Frelinghuysen didn't like that very much because he sent a letter to a board member of Lakeland Bank calling Ms. Avelenda a quote, “ringleader” of opposition activists. We reached Saily Avelenda in West Caldwell, New Jersey.

CO: Ms. Avelenda, how did you learn about this letter from the congressman to your bank?

SAILY AVELENDA: I was shown the letter on March 23rd by my boss, who had apparently received it from the CEO, who received it from the board member to whom the letter was addressed.

CO: And described the letter to us?

SA: It was a it was a form fundraising letter, so it was not personal in the sense of the content. It was basically a form letter we'd seen before requesting money to fight these “activist liberals” as he called us. But there was a notation at the bottom corresponding to an asterisk in the in the letter and the notation stated or something to the effect of and one of the ringleaders works at your bank. And attached to the letter was a copy of an article in which I had been quoted. So there would be no other way for them to make the connection between me and the bank except through that Politico article.

CO: So what do you think that he expected the bank to do with that?

SA: It's interesting because when I first saw the letter I was actually just stunned. Stunned that I would be targeted and stunned that he would almost be so inept as to have put this effort into a piece of paper. And I actually thought it was an impulsive move on his part until I really started to think about how much effort he had to have gone through to make the connections to find my name and to connect it with my employer and to look for a person of influence at my employer to whom to direct the letter. I thought that was a very calculated and directed move.

CO: And the fundraising letter was sent to a board member of the Lakeland Bank where you worked. And he has given money to the campaign of the congressman. So that was the person who got the letter. Why do you think that your bank — your employer — actually showed the letter to you? What were they trying to tell you with that?

SA: They were uncomfortable with my political activity. It had come to their attention that I was involved in this group. And I think this letter just heightened the awareness and I was asked to you know explain my activities and put together a statement to the CEO.

CO: What are your political activities?

SA: Essentially I'm a citizen. I'm not paid by any organization. I am not a candidate. I am not part of a democratic funded or any party funded group. I'm a citizen who got together with another group of likeminded citizens to try to force our congressmen to be accountable for his voting and for his record. So to me, it felt like not just an attack on me personally, but an attack on an activist culture that's arisen after the 2016 elections. And really an attack on a citizen I mean that to me was just a line that was crossed.

CO: Are there restrictions on your activities outside the bank or have you been told that you weren't allowed to be part of any kind of citizen's group like this?

SA: No I was not. And in fact, the bank actually employs a state legislator on staff. Our state legislators are part time. And so his other position is with the bank. So I was I was aware that we had a state senator on staff, which is why I raised the question whether that state senator had also been subject to similar scrutiny for his political activities or whether this was just something that because of the name recognition “NJ Eleventh For Change” were getting maybe that was the issue that the employer was having.

CO: And this group “NJ Eleventh For Change” is the group that the thousands of members of it and you were among those who were trying to get this congressman to come out and have town halls.

SA: That was it. I mean if you really want to think about the timing of this letter. All we had done at that point and the only press we had received was we had held five town halls during District Week at the end of February. We held them without our congressman because he would not have a town hall and we'd received some press for that a fair amount, but this letter came at a time when we were almost barely on the map.

CO: Why have you resigned from your position?

SA: There are a lot of reasons why I resigned. This was not the reason I resigned. It did play into my decision. I did consider it as a factor. I knew that my political activities were not going to wane. I was actually going to become more politically involved and I knew it would become an issue. If that was the scrutiny I was under for just having my name associated with the organization I wanted to make sure that I could do this in a you know a safe environment. And again, they did not ask me to resign I certainly had other reasons for which I left the bank. But it was part of my decision.

CO: Now you've talked about how many people are members of this group. If he went to the trouble of identifying you and pointing you to your employer do you think he has done that elsewhere?

SA: We have not heard anything. We have 10 members on our steering committee. So there are nine are there people whose employers he could have reached out to. Well, a couple are self-employed. But there were certainly other employers of prominent members that he could have associated. I've never heard that anyone else has been approached. Which is why again, I come back to the point that this is a very targeted attempt on his part. He did find a way in through a sympathetic person of influence at my employer. And the only reason I can think of that he would do that is to try to influence my employment.

CO: Ms. Avelenda, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

SA: Thank you so much.

JD: Saily Avelenda resigned from her job at a local bank after her congressman sent a letter to her employer about her political activity. We reached Ms. Avelenda in West Caldwell, New Jersey and we did contact Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen. We have not received a reply yet.

[Music: Ambient rock]

Appropriation prize

JD: The backlash continues to unfold, after a group of Canadian journalists started raising money for an “appropriation Prize.” As you may have heard on the news, in a late night Twitter conversation on Thursday, several influential Canadian journalists including the CBC's Steve Ladurantaye, the managing editor of “The National”, started pledging support and money to create a prize to celebrate cultural appropriation. The Twitter thread was in response to an editorial piece written by Hal Niedzviecki in Write Magazine, which argued in favor of cultural appropriation. The editorial was published in an issue dedicated to Indigenous writers. Now Mr. Niedzviecki has apologized and resigned his position at Write. Several of the journalists involved in the Twitter thread have also apologized including Mr. Ladurantaye. One, Jonathan Kay, has resigned from his position as editor of the Walrus. Earlier today on CBC Toronto's “Metro Morning”, cultural critic Jesse Wente, who is himself Ojibwa, spoke to Matt Galloway about why the idea of an appropriation prize is so hurtful.

SOUNDCLIP

JESSE WENTE: You know when you tweet at midnight like that it displays a remarkable arrogance. It displays how much you truly value our voices because you don't think we can see you? It means they didn't care, Matt that we could see them. It didn't matter to them. Now, there’s all the scrambling. There's all this apologizing.

MATT GALLOWAY: I was going to say tweets have followed by apologies.

JW: Of course, and listen it's appreciated. Words are great, but we need actions. These things can happen again. This absorbs so much energy. It causes so much pain in our communities to have to re-argue for our value as human beings on our own land, Matt. In a foreign language as I do to you now. One that imposed on us, please! What are we talking about in 2017? I'm sorry Matt.

MG: One of the reasons why we wanted to talk to you was because you've been front and center in this. one of the reasons why I was concerned about talking to you because this is so emotional and this is so difficult for you. What will what will prove to you that people are taking this seriously finally?

JW: I'm not sure at this point. You know I've spent a long time working in large cultural institutions like the one we sit in today. Hoping and working to see fundamental change in them that we needed to change their very nature for them to understand themselves in order to move forward. These moments make me question whether that work is achievable. And I think that's really difficult because it means that we will have to build it ourselves and we will. You know if anything this proves our strength as a community and our endurance. And don't mistake my emotion here or my civility anywhere as weakness. This is our strength. This is me being in touch with my ancestors and feeling them sitting beside me. I hope to never do this again, Matt. Thank you.

JD: That was Jessie Wente speaking to Matt Galloway on CBC Toronto's “Metro Morning” earlier today.

[Music: Piano]

Snowden refugees

Guest: Marc-Andre Seguin

JD: They helped Edward Snowden find shelter. And now, seven refugees in Hong Kong could lose their shelter. The Hong Kong government has formally rejected the asylum claims of the three families who assisted Mr. Snowden in 2013, when he was on the run. The families are from the Philippines and Sri Lanka and their identities came to light last year when the Oliver Stone directed a biopic “Snowden” was released. Now, a group of lawyers in Montreal is urging the Canadian government to accept them as refugees in Canada. Marc-Andre Seguin is one of the lawyers representing the refugee families. We reached him in Hong Kong earlier today.

CO: Mr. Seguin, why has the Hong Kong government rejected the asylum claims of these three families?

MARC-ANDRE SEGUIN: Well, from the get go the odds of having an asylum claim successfully adjudicated in Hong Kong or extremely low. Historically Hong Kong has had a 0.36 per cent acceptance rate since 1992. Now more precisely, our clients have been specifically targeted by the Hong Kong authorities even though they entered Hong Kong years apart from one another and filed claims that were different in nature as well. Their claims were rejected on the exact same day. This is not something that is normal. This does not happen. And we believe that that is for political reasons first and foremost.

CO: Are the political reasons because they gave shelter to Edward Snowden?

MS: That’s certainly one of the reasons. Their profile ever since it has become known in the general public since last September is that they provided shelter to Mr. Snowden when he was in Hong Kong. They've been at the center of a significant media attention and have been thrust onto the world stage. Because of that they present a security interest in Hong Kong. They've been interrogated by the police ever since their assistance to Mr. Snowden has been known. Despite the fact that that assistance was lawful at all times because Mr. Snowden was not a fugitive in Hong Kong he was lawfully on Hong Kong territory and there was no mandate for his arrest. But despite that, they've been specifically targeted and interrogated without any regard to the basis of their original claims for why they came to Hong Kong in the first place. We're talking about people who have been in Hong Kong in some cases as far back as the early 2000s. So the Snowden factor has certainly been important. What's also important is that they have essentially become the very public illustration of Hong Kong's very poor treatment of asylum seekers in violation of international law. And for this have become an embarrassment for Hong Kong must be discarded no matter the consequences.

CO: Last September, we spoke with Robert Tibbo, who is a lawyer you're working with. He also represents Mr. Snowden. He was looking for a way to help Mr. Snowden as he made his way out of the United States. And Mr. Tibbo is the one who set up this plan to have the refugees in Hong Kong offer Mr. Snowden a place to hide.

MS: To understand the context of this you have to understand that the asylum-seeking community in Hong Kong is a very special group. And one of the most ostracized segments of the Hong Kong population. And when they first saw Mr. Snowden they saw him as one of their own. And their act of compassion was one of solidarity towards a fellow asylum seeker. And to this day they have not regretted it. The one thing that they could not predict was that the role that they played would be depicted in a major Hollywood production. Ever since 2013, and up until September of 2016, nobody knew about this specific chapter of Mr. Snowden’s stay in Hong Kong. And our clients certainly did not disclose that.

CO: But at the same time, these people were willing to give him shelter. And our understanding when we've done this story in the past is that they didn't know who Mr. Snowden was and they certainly didn't know what kind of heat it might bring on them. Do you think that they should have been better informed by any of the lawyers trying to help Mr. Snowden that they might be putting themselves in jeopardy?

MS: Well, in all fairness no one at the time had an idea of what type of heat might come of this. This was presented in the documentary “Citizenfour”, but also in Oliver Stone's production. What happened, at the end of the day, after Mr. Snowden made these revelations to Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald is they went back to sleep. They didn't go into hiding. So if they couldn't have a full understanding of what would happen next how could our clients know without even having any further information than even the principal protagonists?

CO: But do you think that more should have been done to protect them from their identities coming out as they have? From becoming these public figures who are now probably going to be deported and split up with their children, but became recognizable on the streets of Hong Kong. Do you think that somebody should have done more to protect them?

MS: Well, a lot was done to protect them. It's important to remember our clients and their legal representatives never sought this type of attention and for three years, our clients were very successful in keeping a low profile.

CO: So now what we are faced with is that these people — seven of them — possibly to be deported back to. One is to the Philippines, others to Sri Lanka and they may even be split from their children. So what can you possibly do at this point to get them someplace safe?

MS: There is the Hong Kong work that Mr. Tibbo is doing and that that's to appeal the decisions. So what we've done was file refugee petitions to Canada for all three families. We received confirmation that the petitions that we filed have been transferred to the Canadian visa office here at the Canadian consulate in Hong Kong. Now, we simply hope that they'll look at the fact that our clients were rejected, that they could be subject to deportation and that they'll understand also that because of these rejections our clients can now be arrested by immigration authorities, detained and be separated from their children while their appeal is processed.

CO: And you're also playing beat the clock aren't you? You only have a few weeks to make this appeal. What happens if your clients are deported back to the Philippines or to Sri Lanka?

MS: There's good reason to believe that they will be arrested on sight. They will be detained, tortured and most likely killed. Because of their very public profiles, it will be impossible for them to return to their home countries unnoticed. Very clearly local authorities over there will be expecting them and will have a security interest. Si Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department has dispatched officers on Hong Kong territory to try and locate and possibly harm our client right here extra judicially. And the CID has also been to the houses of our client’s family members back in Sri Lanka. So there's a lot of reason for concern.

CO: All right. We will leave it there. We will follow this story. Mr. Seguin, I appreciate speaking with you. Thank you.

MS: Thank you very much for your time.

JD: Marc-Andre Seguin is a Montreal-based lawyer. Today though, we reached Mr. Seguin in Hong Kong.

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Part 3: Virginia protest, ice cream wars

Wilensky’s Light Lunch

JD: A Montreal restaurant, nay an institution, is celebrating its 85th today. And while we are happy for it, quite frankly, we assumed it would have needed a triple bypass by now. Wilensky’s Light Lunch is definitely considered an institution in Mile End in Montreal. It is famous for a sandwich called the Special, which is only light I guess compared to say an entire deep fried ham. The Special is made with bologna, salami and mustard and should come with a side of defibrillator. Wilensky’s other claim to fame is that it made a prominent appearance in Mordecai Richler novel “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” and in the movie version of same. Sharon Wilensky is the daughter of the founder of Wilensky’s Lite Lunch, Moe. And today, she spoke with Sue Smith, host of CBC Montreal's “Homerun”.

SOUNDCLIP

SHARON WILENSKY: A lot of people tell us oh, I haven't been here in a long time and of course that could mean anywhere from two months to 40 years. But when they come in they expect to have the same sandwich with the same taste and that's what they get. And I think for older customers they feel like they're coming home. You know this is one of the few places that they went to in the neighborhood they grew up in that hasn't changed. And for new customers it's cool we're cool, which I find kind of funny. We’re so uncool we’re cool.

SUE SMITH: I described the Special, but for people that haven't been there could you describe it? Just so that people make sure I'm not exaggerating.

SW: OK. So it's grilled salami and bologna on a roll with mustard. You can add cheese to it now if you like.

SS: Oh.

SW: Yeah, that's new. That's been 35 years. We have our rules. You cannot get it without mustard.

SS: Right.

SW: We used to charge you more if you did not want mustard because that was more work for us. All the rolls were mustarded ahead of time. But then when it became the main item here that became too difficult to do. So you can't get it without mustard and we never cut the sandwich either. So as long as you know that everything will go swimmingly.

SS: What is it like for you to carry on this Wilensky tradition?

SW: My grandfather actually had the barbershop cigar store. It was my father's idea to start the restaurant and he invented the Wilensky Special.

SS: Ah.

SW: Yes. And it's my mother and my brothers that were here for a long time. So yes, my mother's retired, one brother passed away unfortunately and another one is kind of retiring now. So you know it's kind of on my shoulders now. But it's been part of my whole life. You know I played here as a child. And so it's always been part of my DNA. So everyone's telling us they hope for another 85 years.

SS: And?

SW: That's a little much, but you know let's go five at a time at least.

JD: From earlier today, that was Sharon Wilensky in conversation with Sue Smith on CBC Montreal's “Homerun”. Ms. Wilensky is the daughter of Moe Wilensky, founder of Wilensky’s Light Lunch. And today, we wish Wilensky’s Light Lunch a very, very happy 85th birthday.

[Music: Ambient]

Virginia protest

Guest: Wes Bellamy

SOUNDCLIP

[Sound: Protestors chanting]

CROWD: Blood and soil. Blood and soil. Blood and soil.

JD: That was the sound in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, as protesters carrying torches gathered under a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Charlottesville city council voted to sell that statue back in April. But local opponents have tied up the sale in court and then came Saturday's protest led by self-described “white nationalist” Richard Spencer. Wes Bellamy is the Vice Mayor of Charlottesville.

CO: Mr. Bellamy, what was your reaction when you heard those chants and saw the images of those burning torches on Saturday night?

WES BELLAMY: I was angry, disappointed and upset to say the least. But, to a certain extent, I was also encouraged and inspired because I knew that their reaction and what I heard from those chants on Saturday was not the representation of the city I’ve grown to love. And I knew that we would respond forcefully, powerfully and send a very clear message that is not who we are. And I think that's what happened at our protest on Sunday. So you know it is what it is and what they meant to be bad turned out to be a good and powerful thing.

CO: Among the people who were there was the white supremacist Richard Spencer, who has called for the United States to return to being a white country. He's talked a lot about blood and the importance of white people reigning supreme. Do you think he represented the people who turned out for that protest with their torches?

WB: Oh, I think he represented the people who turned out for their protests. I also think unfortunately, he speaks to a fashion of the people who are still not only within our community, but in our in our country. And that's a side of people that I think we oftentimes try to pretend as if they don't exist. But they actually do exist.

CO: And they seem to be getting a stronger voice. Mr. Spencer himself has talked about how he didn't have much of a following until some of the rallies during the Trump campaign when he suddenly became very, very significant. And he believes that the Trump victory was a victory for what he champions, which is a country that doesn't include minorities. So does it appear to you when you see things like that they are a somewhat emboldened group?

WB: Oh undoubtedly, they've definitely become more empowered and embolden since Trump has been elected. And anyone who believes that just the people who came in on Saturday were all from out of town it’s their mistake. Unfortunately these are issues that we've had within our community for a very, very long time and in some ways and in different ways it is starting to reach the surface. But in totality as a whole I don't think it represents our community because when you look at the nearly 400 to 500 people who were at our rally last night. When I'm walking around the street and people are coming up and show me love and showing support. When I look at the different ethnicities who have decided, not only last night, but throughout the past few months and over the last year or so to come together and rally together for that marginalized people and also to speak up together in love. I think that represents Charlottesville, but don't get it twisted. And please don't be mistaken. We still have the ugliness here.

CO: The issue here that the protest was against a decision on the part of the city council to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from your town. Tell us a bit about the reaction that you have seen to that decision?

WB: Oh well, I mean it's been mixed. On one end I've received death threats and I’ve been told I'm going to be hung from a tree. They’re going to take me behind the watershed and all this other stuff. But on the other end, I’ve seen an outpouring of support from black people, white people, Latino people and all who say that we don't want that symbol here in our community and please stand strong. I’m also seeing specifically within the African-American community, people coming up and saying thank you for being our voice. Thank you for speaking up boldly and proudly and loudly for us. So you know it's been mixed, but you take the good with the bad. I definitely think the good outweighs the bad.

CO: The protesters were chanting you will not replace us. You cannot destroy us. We have awoken. We are here. We're never going away. All of this to keep the statue in the square does General Robert Lee represents something to these people that deserves your regard?

WB: That's what they think, but what they think doesn't matter. What matters is what we do and what we're going to do is continue to press on.

CO: Do you think that they have a point in any at any level?

WB: No, none whatsoever.

CO: Do you think they will continue to protest against your decision?

WB: They can and I'm sure they will. That's the great thing about democracy they have freedom of speech sand they can do what they want. We're going to continue to do what we do. And I firmly believe that love outweighs hate and we'll win in the end.

CO: Mr. Spencer said that the purpose of the torches, which were I guess these bamboo Tiki garden torches, he thought it was evocative and spiritual and not intimidating. What do you think?

WB: He's obviously lying and if that is what he believes then he's an idiot.

CO: Was it intimidating to people?

WB: He doesn't intimidate anyone. And I make sure that all of my people here in the city know that we will not be intimidated. We're not afraid. We stand tall at all times and any in every situation of hate and bigotry. And whatever kind of battle or whatever kind of way he wants to go about this we're fine with doing so. And again, love trumps hate. But we won't be intimidated. We are scared the same way that my ancestors and abolitionists fought before. We have this spirit within us and we'll do it the same way.

CO: The removal and sale of this statue of Robert E. Lee has been tied up in the courts by a group saying that it's trying to preserve local history. Might they be successful?

WB: I'm not sure. That's what the courts and we'll see what happens. But either way, I still believe that we’ll prevail one way or another love will win. And I think our community has been a better place because of this discussion as a whole. So in a way we've already won and that part will be changed in some shape, form, or fashion. Whether it's the name, the statue being moved, or if it stays that means that we decontextualize the park. Whether that means that this community as a whole is awakened. This city is not the same as it was when we first started it and for that, that's a victory.

Do you think this protest made a difference for that?

WB: Yes, definitely. I think for a lot of people who were in denial about this statue not being a symbol of racism, or bigotry, or hatred for some people. I think there’s a lot of people who really when they saw essentially remnants of a Klan rally from the 1930s to the 40s, people dressed in white with torches and white flames they saw exactly what this means. And you can stand idle and just sit back and allow for people to do that in your community well you see those up trying to send a very clear message. If you can't come on our side after that I don't know what to tell you?

CO: Mr. Brellamy, I appreciate you speaking with us. Thank you.

WB: Thank you.

JD: Wes Bellamy is the Vice Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia. And we reached him in Charlottesville earlier today.

[Music: Ambient]

Old torch bearer

JD: When the athletes gather to compete at this year's Canada Summer Games, they're going to get a shot in the arm from Jean Morrison. Ms. Morrison is 95-years-old and she is going to be one of this year's torchbearers before the Games officially kick off in Winnipeg. And last Friday, Jean Morrison spoke with CBC Winnipeg reporter Trevor Dineen.

SOUNDCLIP

JEAN MORRISON: This is new for me. It's very exciting for me because I just feel so honored to be chosen to do this. Because it may be my last time that I'm going to be able to do this of thing. But I mean when I looked up that the torch is named after a man called Roly Mcclenahan. And I. Googled him and found out that story of his life and I feel like I should do this to honor him.

TREAVOR DINEEN: Oh really?

JM: Well, yes because I say the human race is made up of two kinds: short sprinters and the long distance runners. And when you read his biography, you realize that he was one of a long distance people because he was very interested in sports for Youth. Of course, as a great grandmother and a grandmother, I just feel that to have somebody giving continuity to the importance of sports is very important to me.

TD: What sports did you play?

JM: I rode horses, I rode camels, I even rode an ostrich. But swimming was my passion. I was swimming last summer actually.

TD: That’s great.

JM: Of course that’s a big decision to make at my age. I needed a new bathing suit and kind of wondered will I invest in a new bathing suit? So I had all sorts of decisions to make to satisfy my passion.

TD: And you have to go 200 meters with the torch?

JM: Yes.

TD: Are you excited or nervous?

JM: I'm not ever nervous, but I'm excited in the sense that I'm doing something I haven't done before and that always makes me feel good.

JD: 95-year-old Jean Morrison, speaking to CBC Winnipeg's Trevor Dineen about being one of this year's torchbearers at Canada's Summer Games.

[Music: Classical guitar]

Quote/Unquote: space walk

JD: And now Quote/Unquote.

[Music: Quote/Unquote theme]

JD: On his way to the moon, Neil Armstrong planed something to say when he became the first human being to set foot on the moon. And on July 20th, 1969, he said it sort of. What he said of course was, “That’s one small step for man — one giant leap for mankind.” Now Neil Armstrong meant to say one small step for a man. And for decades, he insisted that he had indeed said that even though you can't actually hear him say it. His insistence was understandable because as he told his biographer quote, “I think that reasonable people will realize that I didn't intentionally make an inane statement and that certainly the ‘ah’ was intended to because that's the only way to even makes any sense.” Unquote. Now my point here is that space is overwhelming. So much so that even seasoned pros can say things they didn't necessarily intend to say when they're confronted by the sheer awesomeness of it. Take for example Jack Fischer. Last Friday, the flight engineer aboard the International Space Station took his first spacewalk and he was blown away by the sheer scope of the view. His first comment was quote, “Biggest slice of awesome pie I've ever seen.” Unquote. And then, station commander Peggy Whitson, who has done more space walks than any other woman ever I asked him if he meant “awesomesauce” rather than “awesome pie”. At which point, Mr. Fischer expressed his wonder as follows quote, “A fondue pot. A ginormous fondue pot bubbling over with piping hot awesomesauce.” Unquote.

[Music: Quote/Unquote theme]

Ice cream wars

Guest: Miyah Lampe

JD: It is being called the Great Alliston Ice Cream War. The Lampe family runs an ice cream parlor called “What's the Scoop?” in the town of Alliston, Ontario. They've been operating it for the past three summers out of the garage, but all is not chill. The family is fighting the town over zoning laws even though the town approved the business when it first opened. Now, the lampes are really digging into something other than rocky road. They have filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the town council in Alliston. Miyah Lampe’s family owns What's the Scoop? We reached Ms. Lampe in Montreal.

CO: Ms. Lampe, first of all describe your ice cream parlor?

MIYAH LAMPE: Our ice cream parlor is located in the garage of a home. It's very unique and quirky.

CO: And what do you sell? And how much do you sell?

ML: Well, we sell Kawartha Dairy ice cream. We serve soft serve ice cream as well as scooped ice cream. Tons of different flavors.

CO: And this is just the summer, right? You're not open all year. It's a seasonal business.

ML: Exactly, just the summer.

CO: You got a permit for the business and now the town is not so happy with your business. What has changed that may have led to them to challenge your right to have a permit?

ML: I would say what initiated the change was a complaint that they received about our business. I guess someone in the town didn't like that we were as busy as we were. So from that point on, the town then had a very tight eye on us. They were kind of watching everything we were doing. And then suddenly started giving of us all these rules that we had to follow, regulations and they told us we couldn't use our patio.

CO: And can you describe the surveillance you were under?

ML: Apparently we were watched/visited over 50 times throughout the summer. This is last year and that they were parked across the street taking photos watching. Apparently they would come in and purchase ice cream, but I was never introduced to whoever was doing the surveillance.

CO: OK. OK. 50 times that you were under surveillance. You're selling ice cream out of your garage. I mean what would warrant that kind of observation?

ML: I ask myself that question every day. I really have no idea. We're selling ice cream. It makes people happy. So that's what we're confused as to why? Why do we need to be watched and photographed and really bullied in a sense?

CO: I understand the bylaw enforcement officer who made visits to observe your establishment, parking at a distance, taking pictures and what were they trying to catch you in the act of doing?

ML: I think they were trying to prove that we were a lot busier than was let on to be. We weren't supposed to be using our patio. So they were seeing I guess who was sitting out on the patio. A lot of the time it was me sitting out there. So I'm sure they have quite a few pictures of me reading a book.

CO: OK. OK now this gets to who actually complained about your establishment? Who went to the city counselors to say that you were in the wrong?

ML: So we were told that it was a competitor.

CO: An ice cream competitor?

ML: Yes, an ice cream competitor is what we were told.

CO: Do you know who that might be?

ML: We do. We have a fairly good idea as to who it would be. And we found out that that person has some pretty good ties with the township. They have a fairly good relationship with them. We kind of put two and two together and actually that competitor has now sold their business.

CO: Well there can't be that many ice cream parlors in Alliston. So you figured out pretty quickly if it was a complaint by a competitor?

ML: Exactly. Exactly.

CO: OK, so if the other ones shut down then what happens to your business?

ML: So they sold their business, but it was purchased by someone else, which we are really happy about because honestly Alliston is growing. We're on opposite ends of the town. We really are not competition for each other. People love ice cream. We're both going to be busy no matter what. I think we could work together. I really don't think that it's a bad thing to have two ice cream stores.

CO: OK. So this should be a happily ever after story except you are suing for $500,000. Why is that the case?

ML: We truly believe that we were treated very unfairly in this whole situation. We had multiple articles written about our establishment on Facebook talking very negatively about us. Making us out to be it was almost like criminals selling ice cream. We think that that really affected our business. Not so much in the amount of people who came in, but people were very weary of us as people thinking that we were doing something illegal going against the township. Really like we weren't going against the township. We weren't illegal and that's why we have decided to go ahead and continue with this lawsuit.

CO: Do you open this weekend for the season beginning?

ML: This past weekend was our kind of grand opening for the season. We're very excited about it. So yeah, we are now open.

CO: OK. We'll keep an eye on what's happening there in Alliston and the ice cream parlor wars. But it's good to talk to you Ms. Lampe, thank you.

ML: Thank you very much.

JD: That was Miyah Lampe, whose family owns the ice cream parlor What's the Scoop? in Alliston, Ontario. We reached Ms. Lampe in Montreal and this story reminded us of a significantly more intense ice cream truck war in New York City. I don't know if you heard, but last June we spoke with Ricardo Cruz, Mr. Softee driver in that city and he likened selling ice cream to kids in New York to selling drugs. And he wasn't shy about sharing how he defends himself against other ice cream truck drivers who may want to steal his turf.

SOUNDCLIP

RICARDO CRUZ: Can I just keep it real with you guys? It’s just for defense we keep a machete. We don't keep a bat. So it is only for defense because we are around a lot of money and like there's a lot of threats in New York ice cream and you never know especially that after my interview with New York Times and all that their seeing that. They are probably like oh this guy I'm a target basically.

CO: Well Ricky, do the others know you're carrying a machete?

RC: No. Well my boss does.

CO: Ricky, you're selling ice cream to kids.

RCI am selling ice cream kids. It's just it's just as if anybody comes. Anybody comes and tries to attack me. I'm just only defending myself that's all. But the kids other than that I love taking care of kids. This is the reason why I'm working in this ice cream industry. That's the only reason why for the kids.

CO: Ricky, Be careful out there

RC: I definitely will. Thank you for your time. And can I give a shout out?

CO: Ok.

RC: I want to give a shout out to my partner Mark-Angelo Rodriguez, he's the retard vet and he was in the Army infantry. And I’d like to give a shout to you guys for having me on. And New York Times and Andy Newman and I like to give a shout out to Drake. Drake, you come to my ice cream truck any time. We do parties. If you want to rent us you can do that.

CO: OK we'll get the message out. OK Ricky, take care.

RC: OK. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

JD: That was Ricardo or Ricky Cruz, a Mr. Softee truck driver speaking to Carol last June about the New York ice cream truck. Turf war.

Band Name

SOUNDCLIP

CHRIS PRATT: The band has had a few different names over the years. We started we were Teddy Bear Suicide. But then we changed it to Mousetrap. Then we were God Hate Figs. Department of Homeland Obscurity. Flames for Flames, Muscle Confusion. Nothing Rhymes with Orange then Everything Rhymes with Orange. Punch Face Champion.

JD: Choosing a bad name can be difficult. You want to try to get it right before you put it out there. Because once it's out there it is not easy to take it back. And that is a lesson a British boy band is learning the hard way after a little schooling via social media from a well-known Canadian artist Tanya Tagaq. It is important to note here that the band boy in question is made up of four young white guys, who in response to a tweet by Ms. Tagaq admitted that they did not put a lot of thought into the name. They settled on which is “Get Innuit” you likely see the problem, right? So last week Ms. Tagaq tweeted quote, “I still can't believe Get Innuit is a white boy band! Why?” Well their tweets eventually prompted a response from get in a tweet from Get Innuit band member James Simpson. And that response was quote, “Three days ago you started tweeting us accusing us of appropriation and claiming to be Innuit. Being of a strongly progressive mindset politically this was pretty upsetting. As you know we're a band from England. We write upbeat simple pop songs and self-deprecating messages and lyrically we enjoy playing with language. Finding words and phrases that sound like other words and substituting them in to change the meanings of the phrase. Get Innuit was probably the first one of these substitutions that we thought of. When said in our accent it sounds like get into it, a fun phrase that encourages people to enjoy themselves and our music.” Unquote. Except that fun is obviously not how Ms. Tagaq describes it. In fact, in an earlier tweet I used a different adjective writing quote, “I’m an Inuk and your name is annoying AF.” She did not spell out AF, neither will I. And in response to Mr. Simpson's post she tweeted quote, “I am completely uninterested in hearing about your good intentions or excuses. I'm coming to London in June. Meet me.”

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