Just Conjuring Food For Thought…Novel Thomas
There I was last weekend doing domestic, but necessary chores. And as normally is the case whenever I’m doing mundane stuff my mind was roaming and racing with thoughts from the trivial to serious matters of social import. In the process the perennially troubling one of policing in Montreal and how it impact the Black community, more specifically why the police continues to harass Black males in particular came to mind.
I know… I know… It’s sounding like Christmas so there must be something pleasant to muse on.
We now know that there’s a long history of questionable police interactions with Black men in this city, it’s as we’ve been conditioned to expect them. I visualize some people feeling defeated, simply rolling their eyes whenever [another] news story of another Black male-police interaction eventually comes to light.
Again, these incidents are recurring. So there’s a lull, people become complacent and go on with mundane business as usual. And then the next one comes to light, often months after the incident; people become riled, go through the motions… and invariably go back to [lives of] the mundane. Until the next time another one makes the news.
The world of the mundane is a sort of cathartic process, latching on to ideas, some trivial, others providing food for thought.
So the old cliché “the more times and things change the more they remain the same” came to mind. And I thought of the police and its preoccupation, relations, interactions with Black men in Montreal.
As in most major North American cities, Montreal police continue to make Black males’ lives a miserable-as-hell experience.
What with their constant surveillance [of us], as if we’re a special species of beings who in going about our business cannot be out of sight of those who pledge to Protect and Serve… Or whatever they pledge here. Don’t know if our local men… women (in blue or black) have one, but their interactions with the Black community have been historically questionable at best. But volumes of complaints lodged against them by people who have been victimized over decades have finally come to light in a scathing report released by the Quebec Human Rights Commission in October, highlighting police systemic bad practices, including racial profiling of Black males.
So I went to www sources, where information abounds, to extract some information vis-à-vis the police and us. Turns out they were collecting information, which they kept under wraps. Luckily, it was leaked…
One headline screams Montréal police’s own report proves systemic racial profiling.
Consistent with their Trump-like habit of lying and denying charges of profiling…
For its part, in response to victims’ complaints about police racist practices (in dealing with so-called cultural communities, ethnic/visible minorities/cultural communities, especially Black men) the Quebec Human Rights Commission agreed that “for the better part of two years police have denied accusations they routinely stop young Black men without cause, dismissing each complaint brought to their attention as an exception to standard procedure.
But the “profiling” stigma is akin to a tattoo.
Which is why a substantiating quote from the head of Quebec’s human rights and youth commission (giving further credence to Black complainants) states in an October article that “the Montreal police force needs to put an end to its “systemic” practice of racial profiling.” And they are numerous.
Which is why, according to an online article, “the damning internal report, prepared for Montreal police… appears to confirm what individuals and community groups have been saying – young Black men in neighbourhoods such as Montreal North are far more likely to be pulled over than young white men. […]”
Legal grist for what the Black Coalition of Quebec (BCQ), coupled with a multi-million dollar Class Action lawsuit against the city of Montreal and its police force vis-à-vis [those] illegal practices in question. With its decades-long implication in the anti-racist struggle for justice and human rights, it is hoped that where Black males are concerned fair policing will become the norm as far as this Black males are concerned.
Inordinate policing (harassing, profiling… physical interactions, complaints against the police, promises of investigation and resulting change… better policing made for decades are yet to be realized. The evidence is now irrefutable.
[After all] we’re living in a place where [some] people are linguistically, and in certain cases physically and linguistically marginalized and pigeon-holed, coupled with dubious descriptives like [visible] minorities, tolerance… on that demographic totem pole. So we’re deemed unworthy.
And one can say without equivocation that all those terms we hear or read everyday, collectively serve as tacit reminders of our place in this majority society of which we constitute a small part. So we must conform…
It would serve all the afflicted well to simply go online and read some of the decades-old police-Black males’ incidents many of us have forgotten. It’s surprising how many of those incidents I personally forgot.
Doing mundane chores are a good period to let your mind roam and refresh your memory regarding matters of importance to our community.