Black Toronto residents 20 times more likely to be shot dead by police, study says

May 30, 2020
Posted in Blog
May 30, 2020 Editor
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Black Toronto residents 20 times more likely to be shot dead by police, study says

Black people made up 61% of cases where police used force that resulted in death, Ontario human rights commission report said

in Toronto

Mon 10 Dec 2018

photo above: Attendees at a Black Lives Matter rally at Toronto police headquarters on 26 March. Photograph: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

WN: The article from a year and a half ago highlighted below was brought to mind by today’s “Trudeau: Canadians watching US unrest and police violence in ‘shock and horror’“. The Canadian stats are grim.[1] The highlighted article below states:

Black residents in Canada’s largest city are 20 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white residents, according to a landmark report from the province’s human rights watchdog.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission studied seven years of data surrounding interactions between police and black residents in Toronto, for the report, which found that black residents face disproportionate discrimination and violence at the hands of the police.

While black residents make up less than 10% of the city’s population, they accounted for 61% of all cases where police used force that resulted in death and 70% of police shootings that resulted in death.

“When it comes to law enforcement, when it comes to the police, there is an overarching reality of violence that is often a part of the fabric of everyday life for black people in this country,” said Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives. “I think this data is absolutely damning and reveals something very important.”

Yet I have a close relative who vigorously denies any significant claims of Canadian racism against nonwhites. This is so uninformed and downright bigoted when Canada’s main news magazine, Maclean’s, published this article under the title: “Canada’s race problem? It’s even worse than America’s.” In it we read:

The racial mess in the United States looks pretty grim and is painful to watch. We can be forgiven for being quietly thankful for Canada’s more inclusive society, which has avoided dramas like that in Ferguson, Mo. We are not the only ones to think this. In the recently released Social Progress Index, Canada is ranked second amongst all nations for its tolerance and inclusion.

Unfortunately, the truth is we have a far worse race problem than the United States. We just can’t see it very easily.

Terry Glavin, recently writing in the Ottawa Citizen, mocked the idea that the United States could learn from Canada’s example when it comes to racial harmony. To illustrate his point, he compared the conditions of the African-American community to Canada’s First Nations. If you judge a society by how it treats its most disadvantaged, Glavin found us wanting. Consider the accompanying table. By almost every measurable indicator, the Aboriginal population in Canada is treated worse and lives with more hardship than the African-American population. All these facts tell us one thing: Canada has a race problem, too.

How are we not choking on these numbers? For a country so self-satisfied with its image of progressive tolerance, how is this not a national crisis? Why are governments not falling on this issue?

Note chart above and the sources.

We read in the article about Trudeau highlighted above:

Canadian prime ministers have traditionally refrained from discussing political and social turmoil in the US – Canada’s main ally and largest trading partner.

Justin Trudeau has long spoken about the need to tackle racism, but his re-election campaign was marred by pictures of him in blackface as a young man.

This article, “Canada is hailed for its tolerance but is it ready to confront its racism?” is damning about Canada:

Canada is celebrated around the world for its diversity, tolerance and multiculturalism, often held up in contrast to the UK’s recent Brexit vote and the rise of Donald Trump as a political candidate south of the border. For many this narrative has obscured the realities of how multiculturalism in Canada plays out on the ground.

Statistics paint a far bleaker picture: between 2005 and 2015, the number of black inmates in federal prisons in Canada jumped by 69%. In Toronto, 41% of children and youth in the care of child welfare services are black, despite making up just 8% of the youth population in the city.

People in Canada generally will do anything to avoid talking about race. Desmond Cole, journalist

Suicide rates for young indigenous males are 10 times higher than those of non-indigenous youth, while for young females the number climbs to a staggering 21 times higher.

Last week Muslims across the country denounced an increase in hate crimes directed at them, with the number of reported incidences doubling between 2012 and 2014. In Vancouver and Toronto, more than half of those living in poverty belong to racial minorities.

So take a deep breath, Justin–and White Canada (including my on-this-issue-deplorable close relative!)–before judging our neighbour to the south!

As for Jesus?:

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone . . . (John 8:7)

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  (Matthew 7:1)

Yikes! 😕 

Or is everything in the post just “fake news“?  So claims routinely that unnamed relative! 😳

Finally, one wonders how much the racism has worsened or–hope, hope!–bettered since the older articles were written! Please also see today’s: “Thousands rally in Toronto against anti-black, anti-Indigenous racism“; and (added a day later) “Racism In Canada Is Ever-Present, But We Have A Long History Of Denial.: It’s tempting for Canadians to fall back on the idea that we’re not as racist as Americans“. In the latter–compellingly presented–we read:

Part of our reluctance to examine that part of our history is connected to the reluctance so many Canadians have in acknowledging the Indigenous people who lived on our land before European colonialists murdered them and tried to stamp our their way of life. The impact of colonialism is clear in so much of our recent history — residential schools, the “Sixties Scoop” — and the contemporary landscape.

But many Canadians, including political leaders, still won’t call the treatment of thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women a “genocide,” even though that’s what experts, who spent three years working on the inquiry, found.

As American University professor Ibram X. Kendi puts it, “the denial of racism is the heartbeat of racism.” In his view, we shouldn’t define people or actions as racist or not racist, but rather as racist or anti-racist. If we aren’t willing to look at our own behaviour, we’re not actively working against racism.

“When a racist is called racist, they deny it, they refuse to talk about their own racism, they shut down the conversation, feeling offended as if they were personally attacked,” Kendi told the Washington Post. “When an antiracist is called racist, they assess whether what they said or did or did not do was racist based on clear definitions, and if they did say something was wrong with a racial group, if they did support a policy that was leading to racial inequity, then they admit they were being racist.”

Yebuga graciously provided a very comprehensive list, including newspaper and magazine articles, podcasts, novels, nonfiction books, movies, resources for kids, TV shows, anti-racism organizations, and many more resources. Some are academic, but most are very accessible. Now that so many of us are staying home due to the pandemic, it’s a great time to check some of them out.

She also added some of her own personal favourites to the list: the novel “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and anything by the late American writer Richard Wright, whose most famous works include the memoir “Black Boy” and the play, “Native Son.”

Please also see: “Top UN human rights expert urges US to listen to demands of protesters“.

excerpt:

Black residents in Canada’s largest city are 20 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white residents, according to a landmark report from the province’s human rights watchdog.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission studied seven years of data surrounding interactions between police and black residents in Toronto, for the report, which found that black residents face disproportionate discrimination and violence at the hands of the police.

While black residents make up less than 10% of the city’s population, they accounted for 61% of all cases where police used force that resulted in death and 70% of police shootings that resulted in death.

“When it comes to law enforcement, when it comes to the police, there is an overarching reality of violence that is often a part of the fabric of everyday life for black people in this country,” said Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives. “I think this data is absolutely damning and reveals something very important.”

The report also found that the practice of “carding” – where police stop residents and collect personal information – “reveal[ed] a lack of legal basis” and often included “inappropriate or unjustified searches during encounters; and unnecessary charges or arrests”.

Encounters with police that are seen as arbitrary or without cause run the risk of reducing the effectiveness of the city’s police service, the report said, calling the current relationship between black residents and the police “fractured”.

For many in the city, however, the data merely confirmed a reality they had long known existed.

Please click on: Canadians in Denial About Racism

 

 

  1. [1]Please see Snopes on this claim: “Police shootings kill more white Americans than black Americans.” The short answer:

    What’s True

    In absolute numbers, more white people than black people are killed in police shootings (because white people outnumber black people [roughly 5 to 1] in America).

    What’s False

    Overall, black Americans are several times more likely to be killed in police shootings than white Americans are.

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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