A young black boy’s life is worth far less today in Canada than during slavery! To say Canada’s black population of roughly 3.25% is stagnant and can ultimately become extinct is not far fetched. Some blacks and other visible minority believe that Canada is more racist than the United States. The most salient difference between the USA and Canada is that in Canada racism and discriminatory behaviors are more covert; where as in the USA it is a lot more blatant. There are several contributing factors to the acceptance of racism in modern day Canada. Canadians in general turn a blind eye. The least popular catalyst to any “conflict is race or ethnicity.”That of course is if you are a part of the majority group. This is not to say most Canadians participate in discriminatory practices, albeit ignorance to racism and discrimination is rampantly prevalent. Blacks in Canada and especially males are not worth much. In fact, back in slavery days, if a slave was hurt by another slave master or plantation owner, that person would be sued for damaging the slave owner’s property. And in a lot of cases the person whose slave was injured would be compensated. Now in 2013, a black life is not worth much if anything in Canada. Each year many young blacks die violently on the Canadian Streets: police brutality, race related hate crime, gang related crimes and especially in Toronto. In February of this year, the number of young black males killed in Toronto and the GTA was four. The age ranges from 10 to 24. Three out of the four murders happened in Jane-Finch area of Toronto. This is a much marginalized and predominantly black area. The most interesting observation is that no one seems to care and if they do, it appears to be fleeting. Here is the cycle: immediately following a shooting/death, the media picks up the story: a)the attention seekers go on TV to talk about a solution b) the politicians talk about how they will intervene c) parents crying injustice d) neighborhood calling for justice and sometimes vigilante justice e) the youths and children feeling isolated, abandoned, neglected and alone f) “kids trying to numb their feelings with alcohol or substance just to cope for the moment.”In a lot of cases, the murder or shooting is not heard of again until the next murder. Some factors that are contributing to the plight of blacks in Canada: – statistics Canada- 4 of every 10 hate crime is against blacks -high black on black crime in marginalized areas -Negative stereotyping – Systemic racism and discrimination in: education system , work place, justice system In 2008, an article in the Toronto Star stated that “Canada’s largest school board is poised to set tough targets to chop the alarming 40 per cent dropout rate among black students to 15 per cent within five years.”This is 2013, exactly 5 years later and sadly, the problem remains the same and in some cases worse. The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, reported that there is an increasing gap between suspension rates of black and white students. One in nine — middle school and high school students were suspended in 2009-2010, including 24 percent of black students and 7.1 percent of white students. The report found that one in three black middle school males were suspended once or more during the school year. The numbers were worse for racial minorities with disabilities: 36 percent of black students with disabilities in secondary school were suspended at least once. “Certain students, especially poor students and African American students, are more likely to receive harsher penalties,” said Russell Skiba, an Indiana University professor who worked on one of the reports. Most of the suspensions are for minor infractions such as dress code violations or lateness. The research also found that suspensions increase the likelihood kids will drop out of school and commit crimes. (Canada’s black students drop out rate1 in 4) Black males make up over 70% of the jail population in Canada -Apathy with in the black community due to sustained racism and oppression. -Lack of black involvement/participation in politics and government Lack of cohesive collaboration within the black community -Some black community leaders are too busy stretching their hands out for grants they are afraid to let their face be seen…voices heard….to rock the grant boat -lack of self determination and direction, lack of authentic support, acceptance of tokenism -Fear, jealousy, anxiety and an inherent mistrust for one another, a direct result of Willie Lynch Letter, ‘The Making of a Slave.’ http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Perspectives_1/Willie_Lynch_letter_The_Making_of_a_Slave.shtml According to Center for disease control, “…. rate of gun injuries was 10 times higher among Black children and teens than it was among White children and teens. In 2009, the gun injury rate was 51.1 per 100,000 for black children and teens; for White children and teens it was 5.0 per 100,000. Boys are far more likely to be injured in gun assaults or accidents.”School drop out rates for blacks in the US: 1990 was 13.2%, in 2010 -8%. In Canada: The above is just a very brief outline of some of the contributing factors to the plight of blacks in Canada. The sad thing is, main stream and especially our government turned a blind eye on a lot of what is happening with and to blacks. The immigration policies put in place by the government is anti-black. 4 out of every 10 hate crimes in Canada are against blacks and such crimes have increased 30% since 2007. The situation with Canadian blacks is bad and threatening to be worse! What if anything can we do? We often do not even acknowledge the issues, let alone seek to find solution. Self Determination the only way to go: It is obvious that the issues are way more complex than what this very brief out line would indicate. A one dimensional starting point however, would be a close look at the role of self determination with regards to the black community: Believe in yourself and know that you are the ruler of your world.; despite your circumstances you can be and do anything you set your mind to. Parents can play a vital role –a) set high standards for your children. B)Teach them to reach for the stars c) get involve with your child’s education d) monitor your child’s friends and activities e) encourage them to get involve in positive activities from an early age f) try your best not to blame others or the system for your plight; focus on your goals. Seek knowledge-educate yourselves about your history and pay attention to the great achievers that came before us. Focus- on the positive and become allergic to negativity Look out for one another-it is no longer the ghetto thugs versus the good people, it is only us; when the police profiles a black person, he/she does not care if you have a PhD, the commonality, ‘black skin’ Collaborate- let us work together, share resources, show genuine concern for one another, note, we are all one people. The world sees us as one, we must see ourselves that way, as then and only then we can help ourselves and our community…our future. Love one another- We are all God’s people: descendants of Salomon. Only love can rid us of the psychological fetter that have paved the path for our demise.
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