Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists have demonstrated outside the Fourth Precinct police station in North Minneapolis since Jamar Clark, 24, was shot by an officer on November 15. On November 23, five protesters were shot near the demonstration. The following day, I photographed demonstrators and asked them all one question: What are you afraid of? […]
By PAT WATSON
The subway train had already been sitting for more than 10 minutes when this commuter got on. Almost immediately, there came these words of warning from another commuter already in the train: “Don’t go into the third car. Someone in there is causing a disruption and hitting people.”
A look toward the third car revealed no particular activity, except a man in a red jacket standing in the aisle, looking somewhat lost. Other people continued to board the detained subway train while over the loudspeaker system could be heard one of the standard announcements that there was a delay at this particular station because of a passenger disruption.
The TTC was having a mental health issue.
Black males being traumatized by police stops in Toronto
Here is the lead-in from my October 3 opinion column in Share newspaper:
The Toronto Star has been reporting again on the actions of Toronto police officers regarding the over documenting of Black males in this city. This is a grievous issue, and there does not appear to be any intention on the part of the police to put a stop to it.
The best the Toronto Police Service (TPS) has been able to offer so far is that they will give a receipt to those men that they stop. Not sure what that is supposed to do. This is at best an empty gesture.
The news media do a particular effective job of regularly reminding everyone about what terrible lives Black people live. And, if someone didn’t know any Black people, just their portrayal in the mainstream media alone would make readers wary about getting to know any.
Thankfully, the very core of Share’s purpose is to counter the narrow presentation of the lives of Black people that permeates the mainstream.
Frankly, I do not know any Black people who have committed the kinds of serious crimes that are presented with regularity in the mainstream media. I do not know any individuals who are members of gangs. I do know a lot of hard working, God-fearing Black people who go about each day trying their best to live respectful lives. I know a lot of Black people who would like to spend more time away from being preoccupied with how they are maligned in the public mind.
Share is Canada’s largest ethnic newspaper and is now in its 36th year of publication.
Toronto writer and columnist Pat Watson is the author of In Through A Coloured Lens, available for Kindle, tablet or PC at Amazon.com