Plus, George Floyd and why Black people like me are burning down cities, and a reminder that we're sharing our space with nature in Letters To The Editor
We shouldn’t have to see Black people die to ask tough questions about police racism. (NOW Online, May 29). The recent death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old, Afro-Indigenous woman who was alone in her apartment with police officers has brought into question issues surrounding police brutality and racism in Canada.
When covering this story, journalists must question the effectiveness of reforms when it comes to continued police brutality against Black citizens. There has been no evidence that reforms like bias training and community-relations initiatives work. Journalists must explore the potential of more radical measures and defunding the police, and begin the dialogue that explores how these funds could then be redirected to community-based initiatives that safeguard lives and create sustained safety and security in these communities.
Black lives matter, now and always.
Until I realized that murdered Black man George Floyd and I both went to Jack Yates High School, in the Third Ward Black ghetto of Houston, Texas, I wasn’t going to comment on Regis Korchinski-Paquet, violence and protests.
Immigrating to Canada in 1967, in the wake of the murders of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK, I understood why Black people like me were burning down cities. Now, in 2020, I can say how soul-destroying it is to realize that my Black brothers and sisters in the U.S. know their lives have gotten hugely worse in 53 years.
But there are signs of enlightenment in Canada that were not there in 1967. In big cities, our elected officials are not in denial about the virus killing the poor, the homeless, people of colour, and stress that we must correct the systems and not blame the victims. I’m cautiously optimistic Canada has improved in 53 years.
Rita Shelton Deverell
The race riots in the United States should remind us that the notion of white – any privilege – turns us all into monsters and breeds antagonism and violence. This loathing of minorities is a cancer.
Like letter-writer Drew Hirwin (NOW May 14-20) I’m also over 60 and don’t wear a mask when I’m outdoors. I don’t want to hide my overabundance of rugged handsomeness and actually quite enjoy it when people steer clear for whatever reason. The further the better.
My partner and I went on an evening stroll to visit a patch of greenery where we had seen a cluster of snails. A number of raccoons made their presence known snarling and scratching branches above. Then, snap – one of the raccoons fell from a height of four metres. All this reminded me that we share our space with nature, and have a responsibility to be aware of the space we take up.