Inaction Is Complicity
If you’re here, it’s because you want to take action steps towards making much needed changes in how the police play a role in our communities.
It is important to continue uncomfortable discussions in this current social environment about racism and white fragility. However there comes a time when we need to make a stand. Stop the talk and start the action. If you are in Toronto, I’ve compiled a list of resources from various activists and elected officials that guide you on action steps to help fight police brutality. Links provided below.
I’ve seen black squares posted everywhere and generic info-graphics on the BLM movement. Whilst the sentiment is appreciated, this is gas-lighting unless you are doing something behind the scenes to really help create changes within your community. I’m not surprised by some people’s resistance to speak out. We sit too comfortably in ignorance, especially if we feel those around us would not approve of the activism underway. Learning and understanding the truths behind why we are rising against police brutality, can sometimes come from the person we least expect. Ultimately the more people that make a stand, the more we see leaders created and people mobilizing to make a change for the better.
Defunding the police is a controversial topic. However I stand with Councillor Josh Matlow in the divestment of 10% from the TPS and into the communities that need it most. If you stand with him, there are many resources to guide you to reach out to other elected officials to engage with them on these issues. I understand if you do not support the notion of "defunding", but we can all agree that police brutality needs to stop. I implore you to use your own words to write to Mayor Tory explaining your stance against police brutality and how defunding the police [or other action that you feel is worthy] could become the beginning of the end to the injustices we are seeing at the hands of people meant to serve and protect. The links above provide you with template emails, but again, I would suggest finding your own words on what you think can be done to improve relations between the community and law enforcement. For defunding the police specifically, it’s important we take these actions steps prior to the Toronto Council budget meeting on June 29th! Again, suggested email scripts are provided in the links above.
If you feel you don’t know enough to take a position in these matters, there is still time to catch up. You are needed for the mass mobilization of people power in these unjust times. Now is the time to get informed and speak your truth. I've also included below some resources in order to help people get started on better understanding this revolution we are living in. The items with an asterix are the ones I personally have watched/read/listened to.
- Ava Duvernay’s 13th*
- and When They See Us*
- Innocence Files*
- The Kalief Browder Story
- Let It Fall and Let the Fire Burn
- Alt-Right: Age of Rage*
Free on Audible:
- The Other America*
- In Search of Black History*
- Reconstruction the Dreamland by Alfred Brophy*
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Fatal Invention by Dorothy Roberts
- Locking Up Our Own by James Forman
- They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery
Lastly, I want to leave you with this wholesome video on Western Australia's first Indigenous-run police station. It is worth a watch - I believe it exemplifies what we need in order to build respect and trust between communities and authorities.
Until next time... stay safe, stay healthy!