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

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

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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. 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.

    Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on "Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:
    The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below. 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.

  2. [2]It continued:
    ‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians. ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.”   The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed.  It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing. “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops… ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’ Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.  He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities. ''I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,'' Mr. Turse said by telephone. ''I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn't stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That's the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.'' Yet there were few prosecutions.
  3. [3]Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:
    Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin's gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] ("The Cold War in Central America", pp. 216 - 221).
    What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary "City on A Hill" that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. "The Land of the Free" conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America's leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.
  4. [5]
  5. [4] The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world's) reality: "Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button". [5]He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:
    Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List In These Times “Best Books of 2017” Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List LitHub's “Five Books Making News This Week” From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
  6. [6]A classic instance of this aligning with "just war" is the United States' "war on drugs" as subset of "war on crime", while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels -- all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War -- and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America's too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again... See: "The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It". A citation from the article reads:
    In June [2017], the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:
    It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.
    Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here. Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:
    The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.
    To be noted as well is Johann Hari's Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America's long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide -- that several nations are successfully embracing.

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.

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Kairos means a highly significant historical moment. We are in one this year (2020), given:

— a worldwide pandemic

— worldwide anti-racism protests

— an attempted coup by U.S. President Trump–that affects the entire world.

The very busy kairos post you may wish to click on is:

Cornel West Says ‘Neo-Fascist Gangster’ Trump and Neoliberal Democrats Expose America as ‘Failed Social Experiment’

Thanks for clicking on the post. I encourage you to leave a comment at bottom of this or any post, and of most pages. See Sitemap for a full list by titles and dates, under “HOME“; or see  BLOG for thumbnails you may view from current to previous; or check ARCHIVES below each post for groupings by year and month. You may also see Related Posts below each post. There as well, you may choose to rate posts/most pages. At bottom of each page is also a “SEARCH” box. My commitment is to respond if comment is approved. I can learn something for sure! Hopefully you may too…

Thanks, 

Wayne Northey

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