Black Lives Matter Toronto

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Desmond Cole Will Be Fine; The Canadian Media? Not So Much

Black writers can't be expected to continually argue and prove the very basics of their life experiences every time they're granted some space in a publication. Can you imagine a (non-female) sportswriter being quizzed by readers about the foundations of their sports knowledge? Yet open up any Canadian news piece about Black Lives Matter, Islamophobia, or misogyny, and I promise you'll see the equivalent.
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.
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I Am Grateful Social Media Has Burst My White Bubble

So what do I do now? I'm still learning. I'm still seeing. It's my job to spread the word -- not my own experience of this, either -- the voices of black men and women. It's my job to stop racist talk, behaviour and ideas from perpetuating within white culture. It's my job to get off my defensive high-horse and listen and learn. It's my job to be an ally, to join wherever I'm needed and to not be offended if I'm not wanted.
Mark Blinch / Reuters

This Is Why People Of Colour Fear The Police

I told him that Indigenous people fear the police because of many instances of abuse and the feeling that it was an institution designed to oppress Indigenous people. He told me that wasn't true. I told him their actions say something different. And that was that. It was only a few weeks later, walking with my then girlfriend (and future and present wife) late at night on Adelaide outside her apartment that the cruiser pulled up beside us. They shone the spotlight on me and ordered me to face the wall.
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Black Lives Matter TO: Please Stop Pushing Allies Away

Dear Black Lives Matter Toronto, I approached your booth and said, "I would like to buy a shirt and make a donation," but your volunteer told me shirts are $20 and are only for sale to the black community. What baffles me is you really took the time to tell me I'm not the right race, colour or minority to purchase your T-shirts or support your organization. I replied, "That's not right" and left quickly, dumbfounded and shocked, trying to collect my jaw from the streets of Toronto.
Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images

Black Lives Matter Protest Proves Pride Needs More Empathy, Less Prejudice

Instead of griping about a 25-minute delay, or complaining when people bring up issues that don't personally affect you, how about adding a little empathy to your pride instead of prejudice? LGBT rights have progressed because of protest and people who have benefited from those actions should look beyond themselves and consider the struggles of those still fighting because Pride is, always has been and always will be, political.