Black Canadians reflect on this weeks unrest
I'm Keith Macarthur. Unlocking Bryson's brain is a podcast about my son I am. The rare disease that keeps him from walking or talking Bryson's perfect. His life is really hard, and our families search for a cure. Oh my Gosh! Maybe science is ready for this. It's part memoir part medical mystery. We can do just about anything modifying DNA Heart in my throat cure his controversial unlocking braces brain. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. This is a CBC podcast. Hi. Everyone I'm Elaine Chao one of the producers on the show. It's been an unprecedented and exhausting week in the news. For Ten nights in a row, cities, all over the US have been home to demonstrations against police, brutality and racial injustice. Well as Here in Canada, WE'VE SEEN ANTI BLACK RACISM PROTESTS IN TORONTO. Vancouver, Calgary Montreal Halifax. There are widespread calls on social media about the need to listen to black voices and to learn about systemic racism. There's also a lot of hurt and frustration. So, today we're going to hear five black Canadians reflect on that, and what they hope might come out of this moment. And of course there were stories are just a few of many in this country. This is front burner. When George Floyd died in Minneapolis last week at the hands of police and footage of that incident spread worldwide Melissa callixte had to really engage from the news. That's not the norm for her Melissa's really active in her community. Montreal concerns around racial profiling by police have only grown in recent years cast. A new independent report has been released looking at the Montreal Polices Street checks of racialist people found that indigenous and black people were four to five times more likely to be stopped by police than white people. It also found. She's been fighting anti-black racism in the city for years fighting racism was. It's something I would say. became more of a priority for me. in my early twenties. Especially where Trayvon I think trio was really what triggered it, which is pretty common in my generation. It's something that basically shadowed. Twenties and I just turned thirty not too long ago in May and it's Kinda. Sad because I'm like okay, so am I gonNA spend the next decade fighting this know having the same fight the conversations and I have a feeling that will be the case, the fear of having the same fight, the same conversations over and over again was a big part of what made Melissa want to ignore the news for at least a little bit. I think it was It was Sunday that finally spoke to my younger brother and I admitted to him. That I've been doing what we call the emotional avoidance. It was the first time that I admitted to him. That Tamir rice face. And I'M GONNA. Try not to cry at this point Tamir Rice is face reminds me of my brother. Guy. Always say like. Everybody. The Guy was a twelve year old Tamir Rice. The police dispatcher apparently didn't Rela- the part that the gun could be fake. Soon. A squad car pulls up and within two seconds officer Timothy Lohman guns down the boy, three commands were, and when I first learned of Tamir Rice I was in school. and. Had to if as if like. My brain. New something that my heart didn't. So I had to logically remind myself that it couldn't be my brother. because I was like. No, we're in Canada. This happened in Ohio There's no way that he could have been in the park. There's no way he could have been playing with a toy gun. Because at that point, my brother. was in his later teenagers so I had to like. Had to process it logically to like calm. My heart down because I just looked at his face, and all I saw was my brother. And to this day to this day when I. When I look at the victims face. It's one phase I always tried to avoid because it. That just reminds me of my brother and. His stories found like something that could have happened to him. There's a savagery in that story that just I just can't get over just the fact that you know the police. Pulled up in didn't even get a chest the car before they shot him down in I. Remember also my brother. When he was younger, he must have been maybe around nine ten I. Remember telling him. Right now. You're cute right now. You're cute kid. In the local cops, they give you a basketball, but. When day you will grow, you will grow up and if you're lucky like that, you. Will you know shoot past six feet? Didn't you're no longer be that you get. You will be a threat. and. You have to be aware of that. And so for sure if you have a black man in your family, Fisher, ease the first one you think of. But then when the victims started multiplying when the you know, diversity of the victims are more what I mean by. That is that you didn't have just blackman anymore? Now was black women. It was black. Children was black. Girls loved ones, Brianna Taylor grieving and outraged the twenty six year old, Louisville First Responder Shot, eight times. By police and so now I can't help but worry about everyone. Including Myself, the problem is not even us, and so when the problem is not you and it's not what you do or what you do, then you just can't help but worry about everyone. Because basically everyone is at risk. Yeah, so now it's not even just about my brother anymore. I'm just scared for everyone. Hello My name is Caleb Fountain I'm patient to I moved to Canada at the age of like eleven months so I was real young lived in Ottawa for most of my elementary years, and then I moved here in Montreal. went to high school here when the college here and I also. ammon advocate for racial justice. When you look at what's going on like in the US. If you're my color, you look like me if you're black and you look at these images like as soon as a video starts like you instantly cringe, right. As soon as you see the lights. Turn on behind a black person's car and you hear. The officer giving instructions. You instantly cringe because you know that. is going to go wrong. You know that it's it's not A. It's not a comedy sketch. Is probably some real footage of someone probably gonna be either shot murdered or or violently pulled out of their car and the rice are GONNA be violated like it's just. It's just becoming the norm when you see that kind of videos and. It does give you trauma to a certain extent that people don't want to address. It gives you trauma, and when whenever I'm like bulled over. Let's say even for traffic stop. You fear for your life. That's why you see a lot of us. Don't even feel safe calling the police when when something bad happen to us because. You think the police are just gonNA. Come and think that you're the perpetrator. and. Every time we look at this footage, we cringe right away before the interaction even starts and the average I feel like the average. White person is not able to relate to that. Because that's not a reality, they face every day. But we have to watch. We have to watch these videos. Often time I hear some of my peers. Say A big situation. Let's say like Ahmad Aubrey. Who got shot like? Those group chats in like a lot of us are just like I haven't watched a video yet. I'm not ready for it. You know like we're not ready to watch. District leg is just too much to take. State, investigators now testifying that video statements from the suspects, so the Aubrey was quote chased hunted down and ultimately executed, and that the man who shot him. Used a racial slur as he stood over his body. I'm Doctor Hillary McBride. Take! Your microphones rarely go. Into my therapy office. It's where my clients hurt. He'll ultimately thrive. You're going to hear private conversations that we rarely ever have with ourselves. Let alone share with others. Welcome to other people's problems. Maybe along the way you'll discover that other people's problems are a lot like your own. Season Three's out now. Subscribe on CBC. Listen or wherever. You get your podcasts. What Caleb Fountain just talked about the pain and trauma that comes from watching footage of police. Brutality against black people is something that Trayvon also brought up with me. He's twenty two years old and made national news last year when he was the target of a racial profiling incident on Parliament, Hill. It eventually led to a personal apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau judo met privately with African. Nova Scotian youths including several, who said they were racially profiled on a recent visit to Parliament Hill. They say a government employee complained about them, being noisy and refer to them as dark skinned people trayvon Clayton. One of the youth wanted an apology from the prime minister. He says he got one in private. What did you make Hersher? Did sure did totally respect his apology. And also. Some thoughts since then Trayvon has been really active in fighting against racism and his home of Nova Scotia. And like a lot of people, this week's events have brought back a lot of pain for him when I heard. Will George Floyd? It just like it hurt me has been filled with pain for a very long time. When I was sixteen I was brutally arrested by police officer. Put his need to the back of my head in so just mamie reflect on. My trauma I've been through. In growing up as a as a young black male, it's like at something we face on a regular basis. How do people let this slide? Like? How do people let this continue to happen because? I wasn't I wasn't I. WanNa murder by police officer. Like. Crazy that there's been so much names. Mentioned way before mentioned years before, but yet it's still allowed this. We still let it slide. It all builds up to me because here in Halifax Nova Scotia also racism here in his face at every single day. And so growing up as it's tough, being black but I love it because Dessus. That's who I am. That's what I do and it's I'm proud to say I am black. Seeing that a lot of noncolored people. were. Saying black lives matter in in posting host boat the situation that happened with George Floyd. In so it was just like all right like I'm tired of seeing won't pose on social media I'm tired of seeing them. Show that the cure through social media so that the care behind a screen where I can't see their actual facial expression or the way they feel or what? They're really doing and so what I did. I wouldn't put on my social media. I just gave them. The way I felt. Like I'm tired of noncolored people. Posting in sharing stories about situations that are happening with police brutality where you guys out when we protest against that kind of stuff where you guys at when we march against that in so I basically just called the modes like you need to show your face and then. After that, it just kind of. took off like I had a lot of friends. My that message me like what can I do to support events in south in the first thing I would say be at the protest at this this marching and show your face. Show that you care. And if you don't like, ask also like. Do. You know what the problem is. Do you understand what is going on like in if they would say Knowlton now would be like the new are the problem. If you find that a police officer killing a unarmed black man black woman. Isn't really issue than you are part of the problem, but if you're against it, then you have to take advantage of the privilege you have and use it against your own people. Monday's protests here in Halifax and. When I was standing up on that stage front, and on the Mike when I would see the faces of our beautiful colors, not just blacks not just waits. It was I was grateful to say that. I felt welcome for the first time ever hearing in Halifax Nova Scotia. Scotian. That desire and hope for change, Nova Scotia and Canada more widely is something the case of Monroe Anderson has been thinking a lot about. She's a community worker and educator someone who's dedicated her career to advocating for people of African descent. He says also married and has three kids. And for her and her household, all the enriched this week has been exasperating. I am frustrated. I feel overwhelmed, but I also have a righteous anger which moves made to look for solutions, which leads me to look for light during this intense time of darkness. George, Floyd could have been my brother. He could have been my uncle. He could have been my my children's oncle. He could have been a member of my family, and we see him as such we although we do not live in Minneapolis Minnesota. We don't live in the United States. We live in Canada, which is supposed to also be the land of the free. We know the truth, which is that anti black racism is alive on well in Nova Scotia on alive, unwell in Canada. Going into a grocery store not long ago as my son, and I my eldest, my fifteen year old, he was fourteen, then walked in. He looked at me and he said mom he said I should take my hands out of my pockets. Shouldn't I I said yes, she should, and he was wearing a Hoodie. He said I should pull down my hoodie. Shouldn't I I said yes, I said. Do you know why and he said? Yes, because I don't want them to think stealing. how many white fourteen year olds have that same thought you know when you hear security on our nine and you realize okay. Well I'm the only one dial nine. You know what's the the for security? Well, obviously, black lives and black bodies are seen as criminal when I think about my daughter. I'm taking can't her into a store department store and we were waiting on my son to try on an item of clothing and the changing room while we waited because I'm the only adult with my children were younger than I didn't WanNa take my daughter into a changing room to try on what she wanted. So I said I'll Jordan. We can just try on this blouse. Right here I. Look around, you know. Know it's Clare. The light is on really brightly above where we are, everybody can see I took the blouse and I put it over. Jordan smack You know to try it on. And she started to cry. She was about seven years old at the time and I saw, said Jordan. What what what? What's the matter she said Mommy? No, I said. What's The matador? And she said mummy I don't want them to think I'm stealing I. Don't want them to think we're stealing TESA describes this as the everyday trauma that her and her children go through. It's the kind of trauma that doesn't make the headlines, but that her family lives with all the time. When we think about what we've seen in Nova Scotia at the end of last year, the beginning of this year, a woman with two children shopping in Walmart and wrestle to the ground, having an enjoyed concussion, a broken wrist. think about an active Nova. Scotia Man Taes enduring a concussion on Quinn. Pool Road in Halifax. We think about a fifteen year old boy in Bedford I can. I. Go outside if I want you. For, what for speaking my mouth? We're speaking. Really, don't you? That's twenty minutes from my house. I have a fifteen year old. The night I found out about that. I looked at my husband and I said that could be our son. Fifteen years old. That was not in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Thought was twenty minutes from my house, and that could of been Mike fifteen year old son. Case a hopes that this is a time where people with privilege and power will actually begin to address issues of systemic discrimination against black people more representation in politics education, the healthcare system. A greater appreciation of black history and the contributions of black communities. And even when we're wrapping up our conversation cases, voice is full of energy and determination on this point. For her this. Conversation we're having about anti black racism is a longtime coming slow test of what of the kind that we're seeing across the world and in Nova Scotia it is necessary, and it was only a matter of time, and we're seeing the eruption on the demand that we'd be seen as human on that. The Anti Black Racism systemic discrimination at all levels the justice system with police in the education system in the healthcare system. It must end. You heard case Monroe Anderson. Talk about the need to address discrimination in the healthcare system that's something that relates directly with the ongoing threat of covid nineteen. In the US black communities are disproportionately affected. They represent about thirteen percent of the country's population, but more than half of covert related deaths. And in Toronto, research has shown that. The virus is more prevalent in low income, neighborhoods and areas with more immigrants and visible minorities. Dr Kwame. McKenzie is the CEO of the Wellesley Institute a think tank that studies urban health issues. He's calling for Canada to collect race based data on covert nineteen sections. Every day we don't have the data and everyday. We have spoken to communities to try and find out the way the best way to protect them. Is a day when we may lose a life that we could have protectate right so. When did this isn't hypothetical staff? It's not in sort of our move. Wouldn't it be nice? This is lives. This is people being infected. People dying when if we had the if we had the data and the data swimmer light on a titular population, we might be able to move resources that we might be able to do more track more testing more tracking more isolating. Remind them to save people's lives, so it's safe. You hear any frustration in. It's because the state. That's all for today. Front burner comes to you from ABC. News and CBC PODCASTS The show was produced this week by Markelle Polonia image burt chart the high teasers Derek, Van, Dyke and myself they're also that are sound design along with Mandy Sham and my cameron are music is by Joseph Shepardson of boombox sound. The executive producer of front burner is Nick McCabe locos. I'm Elaine Chao. Thanks for listening. For more CBC PODCASTS GO TO CBC dot, Ca Slash podcasts.