Andrew Loku

Pride Toronto

Fellow Gay White Men: Our Experience With Police Isn't The Norm

Since Black Lives Matter Toronto's sit-in during Pride 2016, many of you have shown woeful levels of misunderstanding of where our community as a whole sits with the police. I've heard several of you say that the police don't pose a threat to LGBT people, because we've made "progress." "The bathhouse raids were 35 years ago. Everything is fine now between LGBT people and the police!" is how the argument goes, as if conflict between police and LGBT people is a thing of the past. What you mean to say is that your battle for your rights (which did not include an agenda for LGBT people of colour) was already hard fought decades ago.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

This Is What You Mean When You Say, Tweet Or Sing 'All Lives Matter'

I would like to think that the police, of all people, are following this controversy closely and that their social media managers know what they're tweeting out into the world and how it will be perceived. But maybe they don't. Maybe you don't. Maybe your uncle doesn't. (Though, c'mon, you've heard him rant after a few glasses of red at Thanksgiving.) Maybe you refuse to believe that when you say, tweet or even sing "All Lives Matter" what people hear is that you're racist. But if you don't think that it devalues the lives of black people consider this.
Sheila Paras via Getty Images

The Double Danger Of Being Black And Mentally Ill

The current inquest into the police killing of Jermaine Carby should serve as a powerful reminder about the deadly consequences of institutional discrimination within the force. Unfortunately, the larger issues raised by this case, specifically, how police deal with blacks and people with mental health issues, likely will not be addressed within the confines of the inquest's recommendations.
Centre Daily Times via Getty Images

Recognizing Black Lives Matter is Just the Beginning

Yes, our basic human right to live matters. The fact that our pigmentation is a target of death and destruction is a crime against humanity. We are in the midst of one of the world's longest -- and visible -- genocides. But what happens when we are no longer just treated like raccoons? The omnipresent pest of city streets, devoid of human dignity, one to be exterminated and only recognized upon our untimely deaths?
Centre Daily Times via Getty Images

Recognizing Black Lives Matter is Just the Beginning

Yes, our basic human right to live matters. The fact that our pigmentation is a target of death and destruction is a crime against humanity. We are in the midst of one of the world's longest -- and visible -- genocides. But what happens when we are no longer just treated like raccoons? The omnipresent pest of city streets, devoid of human dignity, one to be exterminated and only recognized upon our untimely deaths?
Facebook/Black Lives Matter - Ottawa Coalition

The Defacement of Sandra Bland Mural Proves #AllLivesMatter Is Destructive

In the wake of Sandra Bland's death, artists Kalkidan Assefa and Allan Andre painted a mural in Ottawa in remembrance. Less than 48 hours after it was completed, the mural of Sandra Bland was defaced with "All Lives Matter." Make no mistake, this is an act of white supremacy. #AllLivesMatter is a mantra of white supremacy that ignores history, social relations, power, and, most of all, the lives of non-white people. #AllLivesMatter is a mantra of peaceful multiculturalism that proclaims equality in the face of disproportionate violence against black and indigenous peoples, in particular.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Why I'm Tired Of Being Told Black People Need to fix Our Communities

It seems every time a black person becomes a horrific hashtag that reignites the dire need of structural change in a system that doesn't prioritize black lives as important or equal, there's always a large contingent of folks ready to utter the same ignorant retort of, "Black people need to fix their/our communities FIRST, before worrying about [insert extreme act of racism here]." This bullshit trope is quickly reeled out by non-black people who are uncomfortable with acknowledging the factually disproportionate racism that we suffer from everyday.