Rachel Décoste
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Rachel Décoste is a media critic, educator and pundit from Ottawa, Canada. Ms. Décoste has been a community activist since her youth, working with organizations such as Children's Aid Society, S.O.S. Montfort Hospital, the Famous 5 Foundation, and the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund, to name a few. Her commitment has not been limited to local activities: she has traveled abroad to provide aid in South and Central Americas. In 2008, Ms. Décoste worked on then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign and again in 2012. Ms. Décoste was named in Ottawa's Top 50 Personalities in Ottawa Life magazine's 2010 annual edition. Ms. Décoste lives in Washington, D.C.

Entries by Rachel Décoste

South Africa Renews Canadian Ties With Fort McMurray Aid

(0) Comments | Posted May 30, 2016 | 5:34 PM

2016-05-30-1464584980-4522794-sout_africans_prep1.jpg

By the time Fort McMurray was evacuated this spring, Canada had suffered its worst wildfire in generations. Images of the small Canadian city engulfed in flames went viral, as frightened city residents fled for their lives. Despite boasting first rate infrastructure,...

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Meet Canada's Donald Trump: PM Robert Borden

(5) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 1:19 PM

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is shaking up the U.S. political establishment with his nativist policy ideas such as deporting Mexican workers, banning immigrants based on their religion and renegotiating (or cancelling) free trade agreements with the neighbouring nations.

As Canadians look down upon the severe tone of the Republican...

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Je me souviens... du blackface made-in-Quebec

(6) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 4:41 PM

La parodie que Normand Brathwaite a joué en blackface lors du dernier Bye-Bye à l'antenne de Radio-Canada a créé beaucoup d'émoi...

Dans la plus récente tentative d'épuration des origines racistes du blackface que nous offre La Presse, le professeur de dramaturgie au Conservatoire d'art dramatique...

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Little Black Lies: When Blacks Agree With Bigots

(16) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 10:28 AM

It's painful to watch someone pimp themselves out for a paycheque. But Black people do it every day. Why? To "go along to get along," to make colleagues comfortable, to ensure the few strands of opportunities that may come their way despite an uneven playing field aren't rubbed out.

This...

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Louis Morissette et Les Moustiques qui lui piquent

(22) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 3:15 PM

Voilà que le mari de Véro, Louis Morissette, se vide le coeur en trois temps: dans la revue nommée pour sa célèbre conjointe, sur les ondes de Radio-Canada, et dans le grand journal.

C'est à cette échelle-là que l'homme, à qui sont accordées toutes les tribunes officielles, a le privilège...

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Pope Francis' Criticism Of 'New Colonialism' Disregards Africa's Past

(19) Comments | Posted November 27, 2015 | 4:07 PM

Thirty years ago Pope John Paul II chose Cameroon as the location to apologize to black Africa for the involvement of white Christians in the slave trade. This time, it is Pope Francis who uses Sub-Saharan Africa as a backdrop to speak out against colonialism.

This week...

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Trudeau's Cabinet Isn't As Diverse As You Think

(126) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 4:13 PM

Stephen Harper's reign ended this week as PM Justin Trudeau took his oath. As Trudeau 2.0 picked the persons who will join him at the head table of political power, many in the media trumpet the "most diverse parliament ever."

The previous Harper cabinet included women, Aboriginals, South Asians,...

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A Long Campaign Might Fix These 4 Problems in Politics

(18) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 10:27 AM

"An election is no time to discuss serious issues."

That is how a reporter summarized then-Prime Minister Kim Campbell's poorly-received pontification about the relatively short writ of Canadian elections. Campbell's observation was widely derided in 1993, but many political observers later reconsidered their knee-jerk dismissal of...

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Dominican Republic and Haiti: Is it Time for an Island Reunification?

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2015 | 5:44 PM

To keep the peace, one might avoid pairing certain nationals together: Argentina versus Britain, Japan versus Korea, Armenia and Turkey, India versus Pakistan, Russia versus Ukraine. There's one lesser-known international squabble that's been festering for centuries: Haiti versus the Dominican...

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Fairness Falls Short: Carding Continues Across Canada

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 8:13 AM

In Ontario (and elsewhere in Canada), race has been a factor in determining who rightfully belongs here, and who is, by default, an intruder to be wary of. Betraying Canada's mantra of multiculturalism, a constant cloud of suspicion follows dark-skinned Canadian citizens every day. Whether they are

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With So Many Scandals, Why Should We Save the CBC?

(84) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 9:07 AM

Evan Solomon is out of a job. The Toronto Star uncovered secret commissions that Solomon pocketed from art deals he facilitated. The CBC fired their star journalist just 2 hours after the damning article appeared online.

Solomon [...] took commissions in excess of $300,000 for several pieces of...
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Kathleen Wynne Is a Champion For Women and LGBT Groups But No One Else

(24) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 1:11 PM

It's been two years since Kathleen Wynne broke the proverbial glass ceiling when she became Ontario's first female premier in 2013. She is also the first openly gay politician to reach this level. (Québec's André Boisclair was the first openly gay politician to win the leadership of a Canadian...

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A Black James Bond: Advancement or Albatross?

(76) Comments | Posted March 29, 2015 | 10:52 PM

His name is Bond.

James Bond. 

Or, how about Tyrone Bond? 

The fictional Secret Service agent for the British MI6 has captivated audiences for half a century. Bond is also known by his code number, 007.

Writer Ian Fleming created a character in his own image: Caucasian, male,...

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La langue de bois d'ébène

(18) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 10:56 PM

Le maire de Saguenay, Jean Tremblay, s'est livré à des propos navrants une fois de plus cette semaine. Mis à part sa lutte « contre Greenpeace et les intellectuels », le maire Tremblay a parlé des travailleurs de sa région:

« Il y a des gens qui travaillent...
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Canada's TV News Networks Have a Diversity Problem

(8) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 1:07 PM

CBC Television went national in 1958. The CTV Television Network followed three years later. Both TV networks have grown into a Canadian staples. Over a half century, consumer habits have changed. But have the networks evolved with the changing face of the viewership?

CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais recently outlined...

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Why We Need Better Dark-Skinned Dolls

(3) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 4:38 PM

Both American and Canadian media have showcased the new wave of ethnic Barbie-sized dolls. The culturally-attuned figurines fill the gaping void in a transforming consumer base.

For Queen Cee Robinson of Hamilton, ON, the search for "a doll that resembled her daughter" was...

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Success Comes in All Shapes, Colours and Sizes

(5) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 11:35 AM

For two decades, the Screen Actors Guild has been highlighting its members' best performances. The annual gala isn't as white as the 2015 Oscar nominees, but it's pretty close.‎ ‎

Over 21 SAG award ceremonies, only ‎seven non-white actresses have ever garnered a nomination...

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Sir John A. Macdonald: 5 Frightening Facts About Our First Prime Minister

(115) Comments | Posted January 18, 2015 | 12:20 PM

As Canada commemorated the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald on Jan. 11, CBC personality Shelagh Rogers shared her thoughts online:

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CBC Personalities Minimized Canada's Role in 'The Book of Negroes'

(18) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 8:55 PM

Canada's national public broadcaster, CBC, has collaborated with none other than Black Entertainment Television (BET) to produce an epic $10-million television miniseries about a woman's 18th century journey from Africa to the Americas and back. Based on the acclaimed historical novel by Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes...

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The 10 Most Racist Incidents of 2014: Canadian Edition

(47) Comments | Posted January 3, 2015 | 9:47 AM

As the year winds down, news readers are treated with a feast of annual compilations. From fashion to finances it is a time to look back at the hits and misses.

In quintessential Canadian style, the subject of race relations is missing from the roster. Every year. Until...

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