‘I wish my constables could have guns’: New Toronto Community Housing CEO
This is an excerpt of a longer response which follows:
Police with guns, stop and frisk tactics, even a long history of racial profiling in this city and across North America do not stop or curb criminal activity. His comments also clearly criminalize poverty, and enforce the stereotype that the people most likely to be 'criminals' are people who are living in housing. There is a documented high rate of white men becoming serial killers, based on this faulty logic, should we increase the police presence in neighborhoods where shy white men live?
More than that, it is more likely that the police will end up shooting a young black kid in housing than it is like that kids in housing will shoot police, security or any other person in authority. Take a look at this link to history of police violence against Black communities in Toronto:http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/blog/ajamu-nangwaya/6183.
The violence that is happening is lateral violence, it is happening within communities and has everything to do with cuts to social programs which are being felt deeply this year, as well as an absence of meaningful jobs and opportunities for youth of colour post school. Still in this country, racialized Canadians are three times more likely to live in poverty than other Canadians, despite arriving in this country more educated.
It is clear that Gene does not want to solve social problems, or put an end to gun violence and criminal behaviour, he is looking for an excuse to treat Toronto Community Housing as a shooting range, where instead of working with the community that he is paid to advocate on behalf of, he is working against them. This way of talking about people as opposed to talking to them and working with them is such an effective strategy of dehumanization and erases the ways that we have been working diligently for years to address the roots of youth violence in our communities.
While Toronto is larger than all but 3 U.S. cities, its murder rate is far below most American cities, regardless of size, the way this 'problem' is being sensationalized is only going to increase the violence in this city.
Read the rest of the National Post Article here.