Black Lives Matter

Randy Risling via Getty Images

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.
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.
Lucas Oleniuk via Getty Images

Black Lives Matter Toronto Can't Stay Silent On Co-Founder's Tweet

Critics of the international movement have called it discriminatory and racist, citing it as an attempt to prioritize black lives over all others ("It's not just black lives -- all lives matter!"). And perhaps most significantly, many have accused the organization of inciting hatred and violence against police. Though these assumptions are completely false, the discovery of a co-founder's tweet talking about killing white people does nothing to quell these criticisms. Rather, it simply adds fuel to an already raging fire.
Omar Alnatour

#OurThreeBrothers: Do You See Us Black Muslims Now?

It's become clear that Muslim bodies are only newsworthy when they are responsible for a crime and not when they are the victims. We love to complain about injustices against Muslims, but in our own mosques choose to echo so many oppressive views. We want justice, but only for some of us. We talk about Islamophobia but never anti-blackness.
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

Why Celebrity Activists Matter

From the moment Beyoncé walked off the Super Bowl stage, halftime show sticking out of her back pocket after broadcasting black power imagery and black pride lyrics to an audience of 112 million people, the backlash began. From boycotts to criticism from senators and pundits alike, the goal here is to intimidate the pop star into silence because she holds power. But here's the thing; celebrity activists matter. Being an artist does not mean that you cannot speak out about injustice, but critics push that agenda because having a following for your art does mean that people might actually listen when you do.
C/O

Don't Blame The End Of Carding For An Increase In Gun Violence

Like most people that call this city home, I am deeply troubled by Sunday's shooting deaths in Toronto's Chinatown and the eight other gun-related deaths the city saw in January. This is obviously unacceptable, and police must be supported in their efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for these horrific crimes. That being said, most people would be hesitant to draw any clear conclusions about why we have seen a high number of gun crimes over the past month. Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, the union that represents police officers, feels differently.