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The city launched Pride Week on Monday.
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Donald Trump's apocalyptic acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was easily the scariest political event I've ever witnessed outside of 1930s newsreels. As CNN's Anderson Cooper summed up: "He painted a dark and frightening picture of America, he talked about people being attacked by criminals, attacked by terrorists, betrayed by their leaders, the game is fixed. And he said he can be their voice." The thing about this tactic -- a far cry from conservative saint Ronald Reagan's inspirational "shining city on a hill" much less Obama's hope and change optimism -- is that it captures (and, yes, fuels) the zeitgeist of white America.
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There is a systematic war against a set of people who cannot erase the colour of their skin; a type of oppression, experienced by my ancestors, which has been prettied up. One doesn't have to look too far to see this truth; the evidence is right in front of us.
In fact, BLMTO is doing something no other group or society has ever done -- centering a Black experience, instead of excluding it. BLMTO looks to put its efforts into elevating and putting forward the issues of Black folks because no one else is -- and this is important and necessary.
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One the most important concerns of police violence, and one that several fail to even recognize, is how much we do not know about the police use of lethal force. There is no national or centralized database for use of force statistics in Canada. A further problem is the fact that agencies do not normally release official statistics on use of force, and the way in which use of force data are collected varies greatly between jurisdictions. Although lethal force by police is much less common in Canada as compared to the U.S., we are not immune to police violence.
"As a black man in an overwhelmingly white industry, race is never far from my mind."
The group will not take part in the Pride Parade on July 31 because Pride no longer represents "community action, resistance and revolution.''
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There is a clear problem: hundreds of people of specific populations are killed every year in police interactions. Black Lives Matter is not saying that only their lives matter; they are saying that, historically, their lives have not mattered. They haven't mattered much, nor have Native American lives.
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Allies must create the "teachable moments," one Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder says.
Seeing an innocent member of your 'team' die tragically feeds this sense of 'us and them.' Micah Johnson, the Dallas shooter, did not see fathers, sons or brothers. He only saw white people and cops. This is the same mentality that fuels the atrocities of ISIS. When we see a group instead of an individual we feel justified in killing an innocent member of that group. Trained as a soldier, Johnson only saw 'the enemy.'
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"If you want me to go 'back' to Africa, then pay for it."
In death, Bland has become something of a poster child for police violence against black women. But on the anniversary of her death -- and every day to come -- her name and the names of the countless other black women who have been killed should be remembered.
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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.
If your 12-year-old son was playing in the park by himself with a toy gun and you saw video of a policeman shoot him and stand over him watching him die, and you spoke out against that injustice... what would you say if someone responded by saying All Lives Matter?