Cop critic should try living in Jane-Finch
Enzo Di Matteo thinks he understands our cultural pluralism, crime and policing well enough (NOW, June 29-July 5) to write, "With target policing in vogue, this is still a (police) force, at least at the top, that's in denial about why a disproportionate number of black males end up getting shot by the police."
Ain't it grand the games the minorities and their fellow travellers get to play with the public's perception of the police?
They use, select, misinterpret and skew stats on race as they please while the cops are precluded by decency, by their need for fairness and by outright minority demand from using statistical tools to answer. Thus police methods and important policy decisions are too often based on excessively liberal fictions, with the consequence that the safety of Toronto's streets slips away.
Better yet, Enzo should move to Driftwood and Grand Ravine (or any other such neighbourhood) for a month, after which time I am quite certain he would be forced to reinvent himself.
Chief's bucket of cold water no shock at all
Thank you for covering the Conference on Alternatives to the Use of Lethal Force by police in such a thorough manner.
It is unfortunate, however, that Enzo Di Matteo chose to focus on the chief's reaction to the conference.
As one of the organizers, I was not shocked by the chief's reluctance to attend. What surprised me more was the courage and integrity of those officers who, knowing the risk, agreed to participate in the very difficult process of planning a conference of this nature and scale.
The same must be said of community activists like Dudley Laws, Avvy Go and Pat Capponi. Pat said it all in her fine accompanying article -- "For those of us who can't afford cynicism, this conference has been a real learning experience."
How to make a tedious exercise more credible
Re: NOW Readers' Poll (NOW, June 29-July 5). Am I the only person who finds this poll tedious?
Many of your categories get the same Rorschach test responses from readers who know only what they see advertised or what they have seen promoted in some Toronto Life article.
Perhaps you should discount choices that are knee-jerk and do the readers a favour. I know you'll lose those gratuitous "Thank you NOW readers" ads, but this exercise would become a bit more credible.
Arab views twisted in genocide museum row
Your article, No, it's my genocide (NOW, June 22-28), contained inaccuracies relating to the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF).
The article states that CAF has had several "run-ins" with the "Jewish community over the years... over Palestinian self-determination in Israel, among other issues."
Although CAF has had disagreements with Jewish organizations that support Israeli policies, "Palestinian self-determination in Israel," has never been in dispute. CAF has advocated for self-determination of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
Your article fundamentally misrepresented our position.
May I point out that James Kafieh, who is identified as a "bigwig with the CAF" is indeed the past president (but) presently holds no title whatsoever. Occasionally, he is asked to assist with CAF projects. This sloppy journalism is not what we have come to expect of your newspaper.
Canadian Arab Federation Canadian Arab Federation
Did you expect Proust from Hooters crowd?
Cover your ass. Aha, yes, Josey. Booting the waitresses at Hooters (NOW, June 15-21) is easier than, say, recognizing that NOW itself perpetuates every tacky sex-trade promise on its rear (ha) 10 pages, week in, week out (i.e., your pay cheque).
Just what did you expect the patrons to be doing -- reciting Proust?
Riotous motley crew deserved cop beating
the exhumation of the Queen's Park riot by Tariq Hassan-Gordon and Glenn Wheeler (NOW, June 22-28) was just so much neo-Marxist agitprop about the demon rich versus the divine poor that it would be laughable if so many young people didn't believe in this collectivist crap.
Their whole argument is based on the idiotic notion that all the protestors cannot be blamed for the violent thuggery of a few miscreants.
Oh, spare me.
When you join a street revolution with a motley rabble of self-anointed socialist saviours (John Clarke), snot-nosed anarchists, social activists and other befuddled twits of the loony left, armed to the teeth with jagged rocks and ready to storm the gates of elected government, you should be expected to take your lumps like a responsible adult instead of whining like a cry baby about police brutality.
O.G. Pamp O.G. Pamp
Protestors were tired of being kicked around
AN Open letter to T.O. cops. Yes, people did go to Queen's Park with riot gear after they had been repeatedly bludgeoned, beaten, kicked, sprayed and arrested for peaceful protesting on too many other occasions.
To say nothing about some cops' generally boorish behaviour. Some of them have no respect for people, least of all people they like to sneer at as being less than human.
(I bet you authoritarian types got the shit kicked out of you by patriarchal authoritarian big daddies, whom you, of course, worship.)
Let's try creating a benign society, where (eventually) cops become an extinct species. We can start by asking our MPs or MPPs where they stand on so-called criminal behaviour, whether they think children should be tried as adults, if they believe in capital punishment, if jails should be run by the private sector and whether parents should be liable for their children's behaviour, etc. Push people too far and they'll fight back.
"Gypsies" reference offensive to Roma
I'm writing to you with regards to a photo that appeared in NOW (NOW, June 8-14) by Peter Sibbald entitled Gypsies In Perpignan, France.
I would like to know what the reason was for publishing this huge photo of our Roma people without any information about what this photo represented.
Why was it newsworthy?
We don't like people calling us Gypsies, and we would like to ask you and NOW magazine to refer to us in the future by our proper name, which is Roma.
Just as "negro" is no longer acceptable to African-Canadians or "Indian" to Canada's native peoples, "Gypsies" is not acceptable to Canadians of Roma origin.
That you are not aware of the reality of the Roma people is not unusual for Canadians.
I hope you will understand our reaction to the stereotyping of the Roma.
Editor-in-Chief, Romano Lil
These city planners no advocates of chaos
While we were pleased that Sheila Gostick could attend the Planners Network conference (NOW, June 29-July 5), we were troubled by her apparent inability to clearly communicate the conference's theme and the purpose of Planners Network to NOW's readers.
Most misleadingly, she labelled us "unplanners" and as professionals who "think allowing city chaos is the best plan of all."
The Planners Network does not advocate chaos (whatever that means).
Rather, we emphasize organizing, both locally and internationally, in order to make cities work for the people who live in them.
We promote local opportunities for self-determination and democratic participation in planning, against planning that blindly supports the pro-growth corporate agenda.
We believe that planning should be used to assure adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, jobs, safe working conditions and a healthful environment.
We advocate public responsibility for meeting these needs, because the private market has proven incapable of doing so.
We seek to be an effective political and social force, working with other progressive organizations to inform public opinion and public policy and to provide assistance to those seeking to understand, control and change the forces that affect their lives.
Barbara Rahder and others
The following Letters to the Editor were published in last week's issue of NOW. Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch they did not appear on the website and we apologise for this.
Museum must honour all the holocausts
I believe the article about the proposed genocide museum (NOW, June 22-28) is unbalanced, in particular in its portrayal of MP Sarkis Assadourian. I do not believe he reopened conflicts. Rather, he proposed a way to solve conflicts through inclusiveness.
In the 1980s when I lived in Boston, I witnessed a similar conflict. A state-sponsored genocide commemoration included the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide and the Cambodian genocide.
I might add that Armenians are a powerful political lobby in Massachusetts and the patron of the event, the governor's wife, Kitty Dukakis, worked for Cambodian refugees.
When other groups asked to be included, they were told that the three groups represented all groups. Of course, who is to decide which group or event should represent the others? In the unseemly struggle that followed, it emerged that when public funds are used, one must be inclusive.
Why not a Canadian National Armenian Genocide Museum (contrary to Ruth Klein's statement, it, too, has all the "classic" steps of genocide) where a place would be found for the Holocaust. Or a Ukrainian Terror-Famine Museum.
Or a museum on Nazi atrocities or Soviet atrocities? Or would it not be best to have an inclusive museum, if it is to be funded by Canadian taxpayers?
As you point out, the organized Jewish community in Canada has had conflicts with other groups, as has the Armenian community, the Serbian and numerous others. The Canadian government should not favour one group over others. I think Assadourian is giving Canada a good lesson in the meaning of multiculturalism and civil rights.
Frank E. Sysyn
Maybe reporter should join the riot police
Re the article by Tariq Hassan-Gordon on the Queen's Park riot (NOW, June 22-28). OK, just so I understand... the OCAP posters promoting this event stated "Fight to Win" with a drawing of demonic cops with skull heads. People who met at Allan Gardens before the march to Queen's Park already had their cowardly masks, their mattresses to rush the barricades, their ball bearings and slingshots and their Molotov cocktails.
So the crowd didn't waste any time with puny speeches and went straight to work tearing down the barricades and throwing Molotov cocktails, pointed wooden stakes. So they did all that -- still, the riot was caused by the cops?
May I humbly suggest that such an eminent and knowledgeable crowd control expert as Hassan- Gordon -- and, for that matter, the entire editorial board at NOW, who are clearly experts on how police should do things -- join the cops under the barrage next time. Leadership by example, right?
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return to planet earth.
Do earth a favour, ask idlers to turn it off
Thanks to Nick GarriSON for his on-site licence plate-specific exposé of some of Toronto's idlers (NOW, June 22-28).
Like Garrison, I've begun to go out of my way to ask idling drivers to please, turn off their engines. Naturally, they're "just waiting for someone" while also parking in a no-park bike lane.
Some people must think that shutting off is an action so laborious that they couldn't possibly do it until back in their own comfy garages. Sigh.
To think that, in some European jurisdictions, cars that are second or third at a traffic light have to shut down. Sounds good to me.