TYC Statement on Anti-Black Racism
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
At our June Cabinet meeting on June 11, our Community Safety Lead Zenah Hussun provided the membership a statement regarding Anti-Black Racism. Due to City guidelines related to social media use during the COVID-19 lockdown that the TYC is required to follow, we were unable to share this statement on our accounts.
“As you all may know it’s been a tough few weeks for everyone, particularly for the black and indigenous communities, who continue to suffer at the hands of racial injustice and police brutality. This has resulted in global protests, that aim to amplify the voices and diminish the injustices that are embedded in our systems.
The Toronto Youth Cabinet continuously aims to use a Anti-Black Racism and anti-oppressive lens in its approach to advocate for a more equitable and safer city. We acknowledge the imminent effects that police and gun violence has not only the many lives that were taken, but also the communities across the GTA. While strategies and funds have been allocated to address the needs of marginalized communities, we have yet to see the fruits of their labour as we continue to see anti-black racism, gun violence and members experiencing mental health and/or addictions in the city of Toronto. With this, we need to recognize that the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet and George Floyd are not isolated incidents but rather an example of the intersectionality of oppression found in our institutions and social structures.
According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, between 2013 and 2017, a Black person in Toronto was nearly 20 times more likely than a White person to be involved in a fatal shooting by the Toronto Police Service. Despite making up only 8.8% of Toronto’s population, Black people were grossly over-represented in police use of force cases (28.8%), shootings (36%) and deadly encounters (61.5%). Across the GTA, Black people are systematically over-policed: surveilled, detained, questioned, and searched without justification.
The issue of anti-black racism and discrimination is not a foreign concept to our city. They are historically embedded in our society, in our culture, in our laws and in our attitudes. They are built into our institutions and perpetuate the social and economic disparities that exist in everything from education, to healthcare, to housing and employment. Thus, it is important that along with protesting and being an ally to the black and indigenous communities, we must actively address the core issues and inequities faced by racialized communities.”