Transcript: Desmond Cole: Fighting Racism in Canada | Feb 07, 2020

A male guest sits in The Agenda studio. He's in his twenties, with short-cropped black hair and a stubble. He's wearing a striped beige cardigan.

Steve Paikin says IN APRIL 2015, DESMOND COLE
WROTE THE COVER STORY IN
"TORONTO LIFE" MAGAZINE.
IT LANDED LIKE A METEORITE WITH
SEISMIC REVELATIONS ABOUT RACISM
IN GENERAL AND THE POLICE
PRACTICE OF CARDING IN PARTICULAR.

Steve appears on screen. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Fighting racism in Canada. @spaikin, @theagenda."

He continues THE INTERVENING FIVE YEARS SINCE
THAT AWARD-WINNING PIECE HAVE
BEEN NOTHING SHORT OF INTENSE AS
WE LEARN IN HIS NEW BOOK, IT'S
CALLED "THE SKIN WE'RE IN: A
YEAR OF BLACK RESISTANCE AND
POWER."
DESMOND COLE IS A FREELANCE
JOURNALIST AND ACTIVIST AND
JOINS US WITH MORE.

A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover is colourful, made out of juxtaposed silhouettes of human profiles.

Steve continues SO GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK HERE.

Desmond says SO GOOD TO HAVE ME.

Steve says THIS BOOK YOU HAVE
JUST WRITTEN ESSENTIALLY EACH
CHAPTER IS A MONTH IN 2017.
WHAT MADE THAT YEAR SO
SIGNIFICANT AS TO BE WORTHY OF
CHRONICLING IN THE WAY YOU HAVE?

The caption changes to "Desmond Cole. Author, 'The skin we're in.'"
Then, it changes again to "Evolution of an activist."

Desmond says I THINK IT WAS THAT
I WAS SEARCHING FOR A THEME IN
THE STORIES THAT I WANTED TO
TELL.
AND IN THE SUMMER OF 2017 I WAS
TALKING TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE
ABOUT HERE'S WHAT I'M THINKING
ABOUT DOING.
I WAS THINKING AT THAT TIME OF
TAKING A MUCH MORE HISTORICAL
APPROACH TO THIS BOOK THAN I
ENDED UP TAKING.
THERE'S DEFINITELY A LOT OF
HISTORY AND CONTEXT IN THIS BOOK
TO FILL IN WHAT HAPPENS IN 2017.
BUT I WAS THINKING ABOUT IT A
LITTLE HEAVIER ON THE HISTORICAL
SIDE BACK THEN.
ONE OF THE PEOPLE I SPOKE WITH
WAS DION BRAND WHO HAS A LITTLE
BIT OF HISTORY WITH WRITING AND
PUBLISHING.
AND I TOLD HER ABOUT THIS IDEA
OF GOING BACK MORE IN HISTORY
AND SHE JUST BLUNTLY WAS LIKE
DON'T DO THAT, DESMOND.
BECAUSE YOU'RE LIVING IN A
REALLY INTERESTING MOMENT.
YOU'RE DOING JOURNALISM AND
ACTIVISM NOW IN A REALLY
INTERESTING MOMENT.
WRITE ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING
RIGHT NOW.
AND I TOOK HER VERY LITERALLY.
IT WAS THE SUMMER OF 2017.
THERE WERE THINGS HAPPENING THAT
I THOUGHT WERE REALLY
INTERESTING.
I TOOK REAL GOOD CARE TO
DOCUMENT THE BACK HALF OF 2017
WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING.
AND THEN I STARTED LOOKING BACK
TO THE BEGINNING PART OF THE
YEAR.
WHAT STORIES WERE GOING ON.
WHAT WAS I THINKING ABOUT, WHAT
WAS I WORKING ON BACK THEN?
WHAT WAS I TREATING ABOUT?
AND I FIGURED EVERY MONTH OF THE
YEAR COULD REPRESENT NOT JUST A
STORY THAT HAPPENED THAT MONTH
BUT A LARGER CONTEXT.
SO IF YOU ARE GOING TO TALK
ABOUT EDUCATION AND YOUNG PEOPLE
BEING DISCIPLINED IN SCHOOL,
WHAT'S THE HISTORY OF THAT IN
ONTARIO OR CANADA?
IF YOU ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT
YOUNG, BLACK PEOPLE MORE AND
MORE BEING APPREHENDED IN THE
CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM... WHICH WE
ARE... WHAT'S THE HISTORY OF
THAT?
WHAT'S THE HISTORY OF
IMMIGRATION WHEN WE SEE HAITIAN
PEOPLE IN 2017 COMING TO THE
QUEBEC BORDER OR THE MANITOBA
BORDER?
WHAT'S THE HISTORY OF THAT
EVENT?
2017?
SO I GIVE THE STORY AND THE
CONTEXT IN EACH CHAPTER.

Steve says AND WE WILL GO DEEPER
INTO THOSE STORIES BUT I FIND IN
MY EXPERIENCE THAT PEOPLE WRITE
BOOKS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO.
THEY'VE GOT SOMETHING THAT JUST
SORT OF BURNS IN THEM AND
THEY'VE GOT TO SAY IT.
WHAT WAS THAT IN THIS CASE?

The caption changes to "Desmond Cole, @DesmondCole."

Desmond says IT WAS THE DESIRE TO
SEE TWO THINGS, I GUESS.
ONE BEING MORE FULSOME COVERAGE
OF STORIES THAN I READ ABOUT IN
OUR MEDIA.
BUT I THOUGHT THERE'S NOT ENOUGH
HERE.
THERE'S NOT ENOUGH HERE FOR THE
AUDIENCE TO TRULY APPRECIATE THE
STORY.
SO I WANTED TO GO DEEPER.
I DID THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE
CASE... THE FIRST STORY I TELL
IN THE BOOK ABOUT A YOUNG MAN
NAMED JOHN SAMUELS WHO IS AN
ARTIST IN TORONTO WHO HAD A NEW
YEAR'S EVE PARTY.
THE END OF 2016 WHO DIDN'T GET A
LIQUOR LICENCE FOR THAT PARTY
AND HAD A FEW BOTTLES OF ALCOHOL
WHICH THE LIQUOR LICENCE PEOPLE
SOME HOW SHOWED UP TO OF ALL THE
PLACES THEY COULD HAVE BEEN THEY
SHOWED UP TO HIS NEW YEAR'S
PARTY AND SAID YOU DON'T HAVE A
LICENCE GIVE US YOUR ALCOHOL.
JOHN DID THAT AND HIS NEW YEAR'S
PARTY AT HIS ART GALLERY
CONTINUED UNTIL MULTIPLE POLICE
CRUISERS SHOWED UP A FEW MOMENTS
LATER, CAME IN AND ESSENTIALLY
PERFORMED A RAID ON THE GALLERY
WHERE THEY SMASHED THE WINDOWS
OF THE GALLERY, TOLD ALL OF HIS
GUESTS TO LEAVE AND JOHN WAS
TAZED MULTIPLE TIMES BY THE
POLICE AND THEN HE WAS CHARGED
WITH ASSAULTING THEM WHICH IS A
CLASSIC THING THAT HAPPENS TO
BLACK PEOPLE IN THESE
INTERACTIONS WITH POLICE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says AND THE DETAILS THAT
YOU DON'T SPARE US ARE REALLY
QUITE INCREDIBLE IN THE BOOK.
I WONDER, WHY DO YOU THINK THAT
HAPPENED THAT WAY?

Desmond says THAT PARTICULAR
STORY FOLLOWS SUCH A CLEAR
PATTERN FOR ME.
I THINK THAT WHAT JOHN EXPLAINS
ACTUALLY TO ME THAT I RELAYED IN
THE BOOK IS THAT HE FELT THAT HE
WAS BEING SURVEILLED FROM THE
MOMENT HE OPENED THE GALLERY.

Steve says BECAUSE?

Desmond says BECAUSE HE'S BLACK
NOT ONLY DO PEOPLE NOT WANT A
YOUNG MAN HOLDING HIS OWN SPACE
IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD BUT TO
INVITE OTHER YOUNG BLACK PEOPLE
TO COME AND DO SHOWS AND HAVE
MUSICAL EVENTS.
WHITE PEOPLE IN THIS DAY AND AGE
STILL FIND THAT INHERENTLY
THREATENING.
SO THE COPS STARTED COMING,
LOOKING AROUND HIS SPACE ALL THE
TIME.

Steve says YOU THINK OF THE
REQUEST OF THE WHITE PEOPLE IN
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD DO YOU THINK?

Desmond says HE BELIEVES THAT FOR
SURE.
MY OWN EXPERIENCES AND MY OWN
DOCUMENTATION OF POLICE CARDING
AND THE LARGER REGIME OF POLICE
SURVEILLANCE TELLS US THAT
THAT'S HOW IT GOES DOWN.
IT'S NOT THAT THE POLICE FIND
THEIR WAY TO US.
THEY ARE GUIDED TO US BY PEOPLE
IN COMMUNITIES WHO ARE SAYING
THIS PERSON EITHER DOESN'T
BELONG HERE OR IS A THREAT TO
THE SAFETY OF WHITE FOLKS IN THE
COMMUNITY.
AND THAT'S WHAT JOHN BELIEVES.
AND HE TELLS THAT VERY CLEARLY
ABOUT HOW HE ALWAYS FELT LIKE HE
WAS BEING WATCHED.
SO IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME
BEFORE SOMETHING LIKE THIS
VIOLENT POLICE INTERVENTION TOOK
PLACE.

Steve says I AM TRYING TO
REMEMBER, WAS THIS IN YORKVILLE
WHERE THE GALLERY WAS OR WHERE
WAS IT?

Desmond says BLOOR WEST, SO THE
HYDE PARK AREA.
THAT'S THE THING.
IT'S SO HARD TO GET PHYSICAL
SPACE IN TORONTO.
THERE'S THIS BUILDING THAT'S
SLATED TO BE DEMOLISHED FOR
CONDOS AND HE GET AS SHORT-TERM
LEASE TO PURSUE THIS DREAM OF
HIS HAVING A GALLERY.
A YOUNG MAN WHO'S AN ARTIST,
DOING HIS THING.
AND NOW HE'S A ENTREPRENEUR.
BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU A
ENTREPRENEUR WHEN YOU'RE BLACK.
THE STIGMA, THE STEREOTYPES AND
THE FEAR, THEY REMAIN.

Steve says BECAUSE THE THINKING
IS, IF YOU BLACK FOLKS WANT TO
SET UP A AN ART GALLERY IN A
BLACK NEIGHBOURHOOD THAT'S GREAT
BUT DON'T TRY IT ANYWHERE ELSE?

Desmond says OF COURSE.

Steve says I SEE.

Desmond says AND THIS IS THE
PROBLEM WITH WHAT PEOPLE CALL A
MULTICULTURAL CITY.
I THINK IT'S MORE ACCURATE TO
SAY IT'S A SEGREGATED CITY.
BECAUSE IF YOU CAN'T BE IN WHOLE
SPACES.
I STEVE, ONE OF THE MOST
FASCINATING THINGS I FOUND ABOUT
TORONTO IN THE LAST 30 YEARS IS
THAT AS THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF
TORONTO HAS BECOME MORE BLACK
AND BROWN AND OTHER RACIALIZED
PEOPLE, THE DOWNTOWN CORE HAS
BECOME MORE WHITE.
THAT TEMPERATURES ME EVERYTHING
THAT I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS
CITY THAT THE DOWNTOWN HAS
BECOME THE PLAYGROUND FOR THE
RICH WHO ARE OVERWHELMINGLY
WHITE AND THEY HAVE MANAGED TO
PUSH US OUT THROUGH THE
SO-CALLED RE-VITALIZATION OF
PLACES LIKE REGENT PARK,
LAWRENCE HEIGHTS, ALEXANDER
PARK.
WE'RE NOT WELCOME DOWNTOWN.
AND THE POLICE'S JOB HAS BECOME
TO PUSH US OUT OF THESE SPACES
AND TO ENFORCE US WHEN WE'RE IN.

Steve says DOES THAT PHENOMENON
AS YOU DESCRIBED IT HAPPEN IN
OTHER CITIES IN THIS PROVINCE
AND COUNTRY AS WELL?

Desmond says IT'S UNIVERSAL.
THERE ISN'T SOMETHING SPECIAL
ABOUT TORONTO THAT MAKES THAT
DYNAMIC PREVALENT.
THIS IS ALSO THE PART OF THE
ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION ABOUT
WHY WRITE A BOOK ABOUT ALL OF
THESE THINGS?
AND WHY TIE ALL OF THESE STORIES
ABOUT DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE
COUNTRY TOGETHER.
NOT ONLY IS WHITE SUPREMACY AND
ANTI BLACK RACISM SYSTEMIC AND,
LIKE, UNIVERSAL IN CANADA.
IT'S A GLOBAL PHENOMENON.
MY PARENTS IMMIGRATED HERE FROM
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD FROM
A COUNTRY THAT HAD ALREADY BEEN
COLONIZED BY THE BRITISH.

Steve says SIERRA LEONE?

Desmond says CORRECT.
THAT'S SIERRA LEONE.
SO AFRICANS COME TO CANADA AND
THEY'RE TOLD OH, MY GOODNESS,
YOU'RE ENGLISH, SO GOOD.
IT'S LIKE YEAH, WANT TO KNOW
WHY?
WE CAN'T ESCAPE THE GLOBAL
ECHOES OF COLONIALISM, OF
IMPERIALISM, OF THE BRITISH,
FRENCH AND THE PORTUGUESE AND
OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TRYING
TO ESTABLISH EMPIRE AROUND THE
WORLD.
CERTAINLY WE STILL SWEAR
ALLEGIANCE TO A QUEEN IN THIS
COUNTRY.
SO WE KNOW THAT THOSE THINGS
AREN'T JUST A VESTIGE OF THE
PAST.
THEY STILL FUNCTION IN OUR
DAY-TO-DAY LIVES.

Steve says DESMOND CAN I CONFESS
THAT I HAVE BEEN FASCINATED
WATCHING YOUR CAREER AS A
JOURNALIST, ACTIVIST AND SO ON
EVOLVE OVER THE PAST DECADE OR
MORE.
AND YOU HAVE CERTAINLY MADE YOUR
MARK.
AND YOU WERE HERE ABOUT TEN
YEARS AGO.
WE HAD A CONVERSATION ABOUT
POLITICS THEN AND JUST FOR FUN
LET'S PLAY A CLIP OF YOU TEN
YEARS AGO AND WE'LL COME BACK
AND CHAT ABOUT HOW YOUR POLITICS
HAVE EVOLVED OVER THE LAST
DECADE.

Desmond says SURE.

Steve says SHELDON PLAY THE CLIP.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "March 9, 2010."
In the clip, a young and clean-shaven Desmond wearing glasses speaks to Steve.

Desmond says THE BEST WAY TO GET
INVOLVED IS TO GET INVOLVED.
THE STUDENT VOTE GOES INTO
SCHOOLS WITH KIDS WHO CAN'T VOTE
YET AND THEY DO MOCK ELECTIONS
THEIR IDEA IS THE BEST WAY TO BE
PART OF THE ELECTION IS TO
PARTICIPATE AND DOING.
IT'S NOT TO BE REMOVED FROM THE
PROCESS BACK WATCHING.
SO WE WANT PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY
GET INVOLVED AND THAT FIRST TIME
THAT SOMEBODY HAS TO GO AND
VOTE, THAT'S THE TIME THAT
THEY'RE THE MOST EXCITED.
THAT'S THE TIME THAT THEY WANT
TO GO OUT AND LEARN THE MOST
ABOUT THEIR COMMUNITY.
LEARN THE MOST ABOUT THE ISSUES
SO THEY CAN FEEL LIKE WHEN THEY
GO AND VOTE IF THAT'S WHAT THEY
WANT TO DO THEY'RE OUT THERE
MAKING AN INFORMED CHOICE.
WE THINKS THE THE BEST WAY TO DO
THAT IS TO GET PEOPLE TO GO AND
DO IT.

The clip ends.

Steve says YOUR PASSION AND
INTEREST WAS EVIDENT THEN.
I WONDER HOW YOU THINK YOUR
POLITICS HAVE CHANGED OVER THE
ENSUING DECADE?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Desmond says THAT YOUNG MAN WAS
BEAUTIFUL AND PRECIOUS I MUST
SAY.
IT'S NICE TO SEE THAT ME.
I'M NOT THAT PERSON IN THE SAME
WAY ANY MORE.
AND THAT INITIATIVE I WAS
FIGHTING FOR OVER TEN YEARS AGO
WAS ABOUT NON-CITIZEN VOTING.
WHICH I STILL SUPPORT AND
BELIEVE IN.
BUT OUR PROPOSAL AT THAT TIME
WAS LIMITED TO PERMANENT
RESIDENTS BEING ABLE TO VOTE IN
OUR MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.
IF I WERE TO LAUNCH A CAMPAIGN
LIKE THAT AGAIN TODAY, I
WOULDN'T LIMIT IT TO PERMANENT
RESIDENTS.
I WOULD SAY ALL NON-CITIZEN
RESIDENTS NEED TO VOTE IN
TORONTO'S AND ONTARIO'S
ELECTIONS.
THAT'S BECAUSE AS TIME HAS GONE
ON, THE NOTION THAT NONE OF US
ARE FREE UNTIL ALL OF US ARE HAS
REALLY STARTED TO PERMEATE ALL
OF MY POLITICS.
THE NOTION THAT ASKING THE
SYSTEM FOR INCREMENTAL CHANGE IS
THE WAY THAT WE MAKE PROGRESS,
THAT NO LONGER RESONATES WITH
ME.
I THINK THAT SOMETIMES YOU HAVE
TO ASK FOR EVERYTHING FROM THE
STATE JUST TO GET A TINY, TINY
AMOUNT OF CHANGE.
AND THAT'S BEEN MY EXPERIENCE
DOING CAMPAIGNS LIKE THAT ONE.
WE WERE NEVER SUCCESSFUL IN
GETTING THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT
TO EVEN COMMIT TO THAT
INCREMENTAL STEP OF PERMANENT
RESIDENTS BEING ABLE TO VOTE IN
ELECTIONS.
THE NON-CITIZEN POPULATION IN
ONTARIO CONTINUES TO GO UP.
BUT THERE'S STILL NO REMEDY FOR
PEOPLE IN TERMS OF VOTING.
SO NOW WHILE I WANT PEOPLE TO
VOTE IF THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT TO
DO, I THINK THAT THEY'RE MUCH
MORE FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES THAT WE
NEED TO MAKE TO MAKE SURE THAT
FOLKS ARE INCLUDED.

The caption changes to "Zero tolerance."

Steve says LET'S TALK EDUCATION.
YOU DO REFER IN THE BOOK TO THE
SAFE SCHOOLS ACT WHICH WAS
SOMETHING BROUGHT IN, I GUESS,
ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO ANYWAY, 20
YEARS AGO BY THE MIKE HARRIS
GOVERNMENT BACK IN THE DAY.
AND HERE'S AN EXCERPT FROM THE
BOOK.
YOU WRITE...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Safe schools act." The quote reads "Premier Mike Harris and his education minister, Janet Ecker, won re-election in 1999 partly on the promise of a 'zero tolerance' approach to violence and misbehaviour in schools."
Quoted from Desmond Cole, "The skin we're in." 2020.

Steve says HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?

Desmond says HOW DO I KNOW THAT
THAT'S PARTLY THE REASON THEY
WON?

Steve says YEAH.

Desmond says WE REMEMBER THE
CAMPAIGN.
THEY CITED THAT THERE WAS THIS
KIND OF LACK OF DISCIPLINE IN
OUR SCHOOLS AND THAT VIOLENCE
WAS BEING TOLERATED AND ACCEPTED
TOO MUCH AND THAT IT WAS MAKING
OUR SCHOOLS AN UNSAFE PLACE.
WHY ELSE CREATE AN ACT THAT YOU
ARE CALLING THE "SAFE SCHOOLS
ACT"?
THE HARRIS GOVERNMENT ALSO
BROUGHT IN WHAT THEY CALLED THE
"SAFE STREETS ACT" THEY HAD THIS
WHOLE MANTRA IN THAT '99
CAMPAIGN WHICH IS SOMEONE IS
MAKING YOUR LIFE, YOUR SCHOOLS,
YOUR STREETS AN UNSAFE AND
UNINHABITABLE ENVIRONMENT.
AND IF YOU ELECT US WE WILL
CLEAN UP THE PROBLEM.

Steve says WHAT DID YOU THINK THE
AGENDA OF THAT WAS?

Desmond says I THINK IT WAS IN
THE SERVICE OF TEACHERS WHO WERE
LIKE WE NEED CERTAIN KIDS OUT OF
OUR CLASSROOM.
WE DON'T HAVE THE RULES RIGHT
NOW TO KICK THEM OUT.
WE NEED STRONGER RULES TO BE
ABLE TO GET CERTAIN KIDS WHO WE
BELIEVE ARE A DISTRACTION TO
OTHER KIDS' EDUCATION OUT OF THE
CLASSROOM.

Steve says DO I INFER FROM THAT
THIS YOU THINK THIS IS WHITE
TEACHERS ASKING A MOSTLY WHITE
GOVERNMENT TO GET MOSTLY BLACK
KIDS OUT OF THEIR MOSTLY WHITE
CLASSES?

Desmond says NOT ALWAYS.

Steve says NO.

Desmond says NOT ALWAYS.
BUT THAT'S THE THING ABOUT WHITE
SUPREMACY IS THAT THAT'S WHAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN IN ANY SYSTEM
THAT RELIES ON DISCIPLINE.
STEVE, IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A
SCHOOL.
ASK PEOPLE AT WORK WHERE THEY
WORK IN INSTITUTIONS.
ASK PEOPLE WHO HAVE PRISON
SENTENCES IN THIS COUNTRY.
LOTS OF RESEARCH HAS BEEN DONE.
SAME CRIME.
DIFFERENT SENTENCING IF YOU'RE
BLACK OR INDIGENOUS.

Steve says FOR SURE.

Desmond says WE DON'T NEED TO
RE-LITIGATE THOSE THINGS.
SO IF YOU ARE GOING TO GIVE OUT
A SYSTEM IN A SCHOOL THAT
ENCOURAGES THE SCHOOL TO ENGAGE
IN MORE HARSH DISCIPLINE, OF
COURSE BLACK STUDENTS ARE GOING
TO BE AFFECTED MORE BECAUSE
THEIR BEHAVIOUR IS MORE
SCRUTINIZED FROM THE BEGINS BY
THE TEACHING ESTABLISHMENT.

Steve says LET'S DO ANOTHER
EXAMPLE FROM EDUCATION.
AND IN DOING SO, LET ME PREFACE
IT BY SAYING WE HAD A GREAT
CONVERSATION AROUND HERE ABOUT
WHETHER OR NOT I SHOULD ASK YOU
THIS NEXT QUESTION BECAUSE YOU
REFER TO SOMETHING THAT I WROTE
ONCE UPON A TIME.

Desmond says I DID.

Steve says AND I DIDN'T WANT TO
BRING IT UP JUST BECAUSE YOU
MENTION ME IN IT.
BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO ASTEROID IT
AND HAVE YOU THINK WELL, HE'S
TOO CHICKEN TO BRING UP THE
EXAMPLE THAT HE IS INVOLVED WITH
HERE.
SO I THINK WE ULTIMATELY LANDED
ON A SPOT WHERE WE THOUGHT LET'S
JUST TRY IT AND SEE WHAT THE
HECK HAPPENS HERE.
THIS WAS A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO.
I GUESS... I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT
MONTH IT WAS BUT IT WAS IN 2017
AND THERE WAS A YORK REGION
DISTRICT SCHOOL TRUSTEE WHO WAS
ABSOLUTELY IN THE CROSS HAIRS
BECAUSE SHE USED THE "N" WORD IN
DESCRIBING A PARENT.
SHE DIDN'T USE IT TO THAT PARENT
BUT SHE DESCRIBED THAT PARENT
USING THE "N" WORD BECAUSE THIS
PARENT WAS ATTEMPTING TO SEE
SOME REFORM IN THE SCHOOLS AND
DEAL WITH AN ISSUE THAT WAS OF
GREAT CONCERN.
LET'S JUST START WITH THIS:
WHAT DID YOU THINK THAT WHOLE
EPISODE WAS INDICATIVE OF?

Desmond says NANCY ALGY USING
THAT RACIAL SLUR AGAINST
CHARLENE GRANT AND THEN REFUSING
TO RESIGN AFTER IT WAS REPORTED
THAT SHE SAID IT WAS EMBLEMATIC
FOR ME OF THE NOTION THAT WHITE
PEOPLE SHOULD ALWAYS BE FORGIVEN
FOR THE HARM THAT THEY DO TO
BLACK PEOPLE.
AND THAT HOLDING THEM
ACCOUNTABLE IS BEING PRESENTED
AS THE THREAT RATHER THAN THEM
HAVING TO TAKE SOME CONSEQUENCES
FOR WHAT THEY'VE DONE.
I WOULD CORRELATE IT WITH JUSTIN
TRUDEAU ENGAGING IN BLACK FACE
IN HIS WORDS "MORE TIMES THAN HE
CAN REMEMBER" BUT THEN THE ONUS
BEING ON US AS BLACK PEOPLE TO
IMMEDIATELY FORGIVE HIM SO THAT
WE DIDN'T END UP WITH AN EVEN
WORSE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT.
THIS IS HOW ANTI BLACK RACISM
WORKS.
IT PUTS THE ONUS ON US AND SAYS THAT WHITE PEOPLE SHOULD BE
FORGIVEN.
THAT'S WHAT I SAW IN THE NANCY
ALGY SITUATION.

Steve says SHY DID APOLOGIZE AND
EVENTUALLY RESIGNED.
WERE YOU CONTENT WITH THE WAY IT
WORKED OUT?

Desmond says IT TOOK TOO LONG.
SHE FOUGHT TOO HARD.
SHE MADE TOO MANY EXCUSES FOR
WHY SHE DESERVED TO STAY AS DID
HER FAMILY.
EVEN THE NEWSPAPER, THE "TORONTO
STAR" RAN AN OP-ED BY HER
CHILDREN... OF ALL PEOPLE...
ARGUING WHY SHE SHOULDN'T FACE
CONSEQUENCES FOR USING THE "N."
WORD.
SHE DIDN'T DENY, EVER, THAT SHE
SAID IT.
BUT HER CHILDREN WERE IN A
NEWSPAPER SAYING "YOU DON'T
UNDERSTAND ALL OF THE FACTS."
THEY WEREN'T THERE.
THEY WEREN'T QUESTIONING THE
BASIC PREMISES OF THE STORY.
IT WAS JUST THAT OUR MOM HAS A
LEGACY OF FIGHTING FOR HUMAN
RIGHTS.
VERY MUCH LIKE JUSTIN TRUDEAU,
ONCE AGAIN.
SO IT'S AS IF WHITE PEOPLE ARE
INOCULATING THEMSELVES AGAINST
ANY ACCOUNTABILITY BY SAYING:
BUT IN THE PAST I FOUGHT FOR YOU
IN SOME WAY.
IN THE PAST I ADVOCATED FOR YOU.
SO NOW WHEN I'VE HARMED YOU I
SHOULDN'T BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

Steve says HERE'S NOW WHERE IT
GET AS LITTLE STICKY BECAUSE I
WOULD LIKE TO GET INTO SOME OF
THE STUFF AS IT RELATES TO YOU
AND ME HERE.

Desmond says SURE.

Steve says I RECALL... AND AGAIN
TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO SO I
DON'T HAVE IT PERFECTLY IN MY
HEAD... BUT I RECALL WRITING A
PIECE AT THE TIME SAYING
SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES OF
COURSE WE CAN NAME AND SHAME AND
INSIST SHE RESIGN AND THAT'S AN
OPTION THAT'S TRIED, TESTED AND
TRUE.
WHEN I THINK I BROUGHT UP THE
EXAMPLE OF A PLAYER FOR THE
MONTREAL CANADIENS WHO HAD IN
THE MIDST OF A GAME IN A
FEROCIOUS MOMENT ON THE ICE
CALLED ONE OF HIS OPPONENTS A
"FAGGOT" AND IT BECAME PUBLIC.
AND THE OPTIONS AT THAT POINT
WERE TO SUSPEND HIM FOR THE
WHOLE YEAR OR SOMETHING.
OR TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
AND WHAT THEY DID WAS THAT THEY
MADE THIS PLAYER... THEY
EXPLAINED TO THIS PLAYER WHY
WHAT HE DID WAS WRONG.
AND HE BECAME A CHAMPION FOR
LGBTQ RIGHTS AND NOW CONTINUES
AS A GOODWILL AMBASSADOR
SPREADING THE WORD THAT THIS
KIND OF HOMOPHOBIA HAS NO PLACE
IN THE GAME.
AND I THINK WHAT I WROTE TOTE
WAS WHAT IF WE USED THAT
APPROACH WITH NANCY ALGYAND YOU
DIDN'T CARE FOR THAT APPROACH.

Desmond says NO.

Steve says TELL ME WHY.

Desmond says BECAUSE YOU LOSE,
FIRST OF ALL, THE AUTHORITY TO
BE THAT AMBASSADOR FOR ME ANY
WAY WHEN YOU ENGAGE IN THAT
BEHAVIOUR AND DON'T IMMEDIATELY
TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR IT.

Steve says WELL, REMEMBER SHE'D
BUMPED HER HEAD AND HAD A
CONCUSSION WHICH WAS... IT WAS
THOUGHT... PART OF THE
EXPLANATION WHY SHE SAID WHAT
SHE SAID.

Desmond says THAT'S NO MORE AND
EXPLANATION FOR ANYONE USING
THAT WORD IN MY OPINION THAN IS
ROB FORD GETTING DRUNK AND
SAYING IN A DRUNKEN STUPOR I
ENGAGE IN CALLING PEOPLE THE "N."
WORD OR.
THOSE THINGS DON'T CUT IT FOR
ME.
I'M A GROWN PERSON AND I DON'T
WANT TO HEAR THAT WHEN I'M BEING
HARMED THERE IS A GOOD
EXPLANATION AND THAT THERE'S A
GOOD REASON FOR IT.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE OTHER THING
IS, STEVE, HOW COME A PERSON
CAN'T LOSE FROM THEIR ERROR AND
TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY?
WHY CAN'T SOMEBODY WHO ENGAGES
IN THAT KIND OF HARMFUL
BEHAVIOUR STEP BACK FROM WHAT
THEY'RE DOING, TAKE SOME TIME TO
REFLECT.
LIKE WHY IS THERE THIS RUSH TO
AMEND IN A WAY THAT KEEPS THEM
IN THE POSITION OF AUTHORITY OR
POWER THAT THEY'RE IN?
WHY CAN'T THERE EVER BE
CONSEQUENCES?
IF JUSTIN TRUDEAU WANTED TO TAKE
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WEARING BLACK
FACE, COULD HE NOT DO SO WHILE
NOT BEING PRIME MINISTER?

Steve says WHAT SHOULD HE HAVE
DONE?

Desmond says HE SHOULD HAVE
RESIGNED.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU IS ABOUT TO GO
AND PROBABLY GIVE A BLACK
HISTORY MONTH SPEECH SOMEWHERE.
AND I THINK HE SHOULD BE LAUGHED
OFF THE STAGE BY ANY BLACK
PERSON WITHIN A FOOT OF HIM.
HE HAS NO CREDIBILITY TO SPEAK
TO US ABOUT DIVERSITY.
HE WON'T SAY ANTI BLACK RACISM,
BY THE WAY.
HE WON'T SAY WHITE SUPREMACY FOR
SURE.
THAT'S WHAT WE SHOULD BE TALKING
ABOUT.
BUT WE DON'T NEED JUSTIN
TRUDEAU.
HE'S NOT BLACK.
HE'S NOT THE PERSON WHO NEEDS TO
PLAY THE ROLE OF TEACHING OTHER
PEOPLE.
HE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THE WAY
AND ALLOW THOSE OF US WHO'VE
BEEN FIGHTING THIS TO SAY WHAT
WE NEED TO SAY.
PEOPLE LIKE THAT CAN AMPLIFY
BLACK AND INDIGENOUS AND OTHER
PEOPLE'S VOICES.
THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE IN THE
SPOTLIGHT.

Steve says OKAY.
WE COULD GO ON ON THIS BUT WE'VE
GOT OTHER STUFF TO TALK ABOUT AS
WELL.

Desmond says SURE.

Steve says LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW
YOU SEE POLICE PROTECTING THEIR
POWER.
AND HERE WE GO...

Another quote from Desmond's book appears on screen, under the title "Protecting police power." The quote reads "Police understand that their ability to enact violence with impunity is the defining feature of their job. They know that if one officer's use of force can be criminalized, all officers' ability to use force indiscriminately is at risk, and they will stop at nothing to protect that power."

Steve says OKAY.
I MEAN YOU'VE REALLY HIT IT OVER
THE HEAD THERE.
THE DEFINING FEATURE OF THEIR
JOB?
YOU WANT TO PUT IT THAT
STRONGLY?

The caption changes to "Policing the police."

Desmond says YEAH, POLICE
OFFICERS ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN
OUR SOCIETY WHO ARE LEGALLY
ALLOWED TO USE VIOLENCE.
AND THEY'RE LEGALLY ALLOWED TO
USE VIOLENCE UP TO THE POINT OF
TAKING SOMEONE'S LIFE.

Steve says THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO
EXERCISE GOOD JUDGMENT IN DOING
SO, OF COURSE.

Desmond says THEY ARE SUPPOSED
TO.
THAT IS THE FANTASY, I THINK,
THAT A GROUP OF OFFICERS WHO...
LET'S, AGAIN, HISTORICAL
CONTEXT, RIGHT?
SO LET'S NOT JUST FANTASIZE WHAT
WE WOULD LIKE POLICING TO BE.
LET'S FIRST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE
REASON MODERN POLICING EXISTS IS
TO CONTROL THE INDIGENOUS
POPULATIONS OF THIS COUNTRY,
NORTHWESTERN MOUNTED POLICE...
NOW THE RCMP... AND LOCAL
PATROLS LIKE THE TORONTO FORCE
WHICH LITERALLY WERE SLAVE
CATCHERS.
WHICH WERE GOING AROUND ON THESE
TERRITORIES 200 YEARS AGO SAYING
THAT BLACK PERSON WALKING
AROUND, WE BETTER CHECK HIM OR
HER OUT.
SO NOW WE HAVE STREET CHECKS OF
MAJORITY BLACK PEOPLE AND
MAJORITY BLACK PLACES 200 YEARS
LATER.
I'M JUST NOT GOING TO PRETEND
THAT THOSE ARE DIFFERENT.

Steve says YOU ARE GOING TO DRAW
A STRAIGHT LINE.

Desmond says I AM GOING TO DRAW A
STRAIGHT LINE BETWEEN THOSE TWO
THINGS BECAUSE THE MENTALITY
THAT INFORMS THEM IS THE SAME.
BACK THEN A BLACK PERSON WHO IS
SUPPOSED TO BE SOMEBODY'S
PROPERTY ON A PLANTATION IN
MONTREAL OR NOVA SCOTIA OR
SOMEWHERE ELSE, THEY ARE A
THREAT TO THE SOCIETY BY BEING
ALLOWED TO WALK OUT.
I TALK ABOUT NEGRO FROLICS.
THAT'S THE FIRST CHAPTER NAME OF
THE BOOK.
THAT'S A LAW FROM 1780s,
SHELBURNE, NOVA SCOTIA, WHICH
FORBID BLACK LOYALISTS WHO HAD
JUST WON THEIR FREEDOM IN THE
REVOLUTIONARY WAR COMING TO NOVA
SCOTIA.
THAT LAW, NEGRO FROLICS
PREVENTED THEM FROM DRINKING IN
THE STREET, DANCING IN PUBLIC.
AND WHAT WAS JOHN DOING ON NEW
YEAR'S EVE?
PARTYING AND DANCING WITH HIS
FRIENDS IN A PLACE WHERE HE
COULD BE SEEN AND CALLED OUT.
STEVE IT HASN'T CHANGED.
SO TO PRETEND NOW THAT WHAT THE
POLICE'S JOB REALLY IS TO DO IS
TO BRING LAW AND ORDER, WHY
DON'T THEY GET ACCOUNTABLE THEN
WHEN THEY DON'T DO THAT?
WHY IS IT SO HARD, I WOULD ASK,
TO HOLD A POLICE OFFICER
ACCOUNTABLE?
BECAUSE OF EXACTLY WHAT I SAY
THAT THE FEAR IS: HOLDING
POLICE ACCOUNTABLE PARTICULARLY
FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST BLACK OR
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE THREATENS
THEIR VERY PURPOSE.

Steve says CAN I STATE THE
OBVIOUS?
THE CHIEF OF POLICE IN THE CITY
OF TORONTO IS A BLACK MAN.

Desmond says MM-HMM.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THAT'S
MADE ANY DIFFERENCE?

Desmond shakes his head and says UH-HUH.

Steve says WHY NOT?

Desmond says BECAUSE THE ONLY WAY
YOU GET TO BE MARK SAUNDERS IS
BY UPHOLDING THE POLICE STATE.
YOU CAN'T BE MARK SAUNDERS
SAYING THIS ANTI BLACK VIOLENCE
WILL END THE DAY I GET HERE.
BECAUSE THE RANK AND FILE WILL
NOT FOLLOW SOMEBODY WHO SAYS THAT.
THAT'S THE OTHER FANTASY IS THAT
SOMEBODY WHO'S BLACK CAN LEAD A
PARA-MILITARY ORGANIZATION AND
TELL ALL OF THE TROOPS WHAT TO
DO.
THE TROOPS WILL STAB YOU IN THE
BACK THE SECOND YOU TURN AROUND
BECAUSE THE TROOPS ARE SERVING A
SYSTEM WHERE THEY HAVE A JOB TO
DO.
AND POLICE SEE THEIR JOB VERY
OFTEN AS BEING AN OCCUPYING
FORCE IN BLACK SPACES.
GOING IN THERE AND CONTROLLING
THINGS.
AND, STEVE, I TALK ABOUT HOW IN
THE BOOK WE'VE GIVEN EVERY JOB
NOW TO POLICE AS IT RELATES TO
BLACK PEOPLE.
KIDS DOING BAD IN SCHOOL?
NO SOCIAL WORKER.
NO GUIDANCE COUNSELOR.
NO, BRING A COP WITH A GUN INTO
THE SCHOOL AND THAT WILL HELP
JUST THE BLACK STUDENTS.
IT WON'T HELP RICH PRIVATE
SCHOOL WHITE KIDS WHO ARE
MISBEHAVING.
ONLY THE BLACK KIDS NEED A
SUPERVISOR WITH A GUN.
SOMEBODY IN THE COMMUNITY IS
HAVING A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS?
DON'T BRING SOMEBODY WHO KNOWS
HOW TO SPEAK AND DO DEESCALATION
AND SAY CAN WE GET YOU SOME
HELP.
BRING THE PERSON WITH THE GUN.
THE COP IN OUR CONTEXT IS EVERY
JOB, EVERY OCCUPATION BECAUSE
THE FEAR IS WE CAN'T APPROACH
BLACK PEOPLE IN CANADA WITHOUT
FORCE.
IS BEING'S GOING TO GO WRONG.
SOMETHING'S GOING TO BE
DANGEROUS.

Steve says THAT'S ONE
INTERPRETATION.
ANOTHER INTERPRETATION IS THAT
SOME PEOPLE WANT THE COPS IN THE
SCHOOLS BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY
MAKE THE SCHOOLS SAFER.

Desmond says AND SOME OF THEM ARE
BLACK.
BUT WHERE IS THE PROOF SHOWING
THAT HAVING A POLICE OFFICER IN
SCHOOL MAKES IT SAFER?
I WOULDN'T CONDONE IT IN ANY
CASE.
BUT, STEVE, WE FOUND OUT THAT
THE COPS WHO WERE IN THE SCHOOLS
IN TORONTO IN THE SRO PROGRAM
WERE HAVING A MEETING EVERY WEEK
WITH CANADA BORDER SERVICE
AGENCY PERSONNEL.
THERE'S ONLY ONE REASON WHY
LOCAL POLICE OFFICERS WHO ARE
SPECIFICALLY STATIONED IN
SCHOOLS WOULD NEED TO MEET WITH
BORDER AGENTS.
AND THAT'S WHAT WE'VE BEEN
TALKING ABOUT FOR YEARS IN
TORONTO ABOUT DOAN ASK, DON'T
TELL.
ABOUT KIDS WHO DON'T HAVE STATUS
BEING ABLE TO GO TO SCHOOL AS
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
GUARANTEES THEM THE RIGHT TO DO.
EVERY CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO GO
TO SCHOOL IN THIS PROVINCE
WHETHER THEY'RE DOCUMENTED OR
NOT.
AND HAVING COPS THERE GETTING
INFORMATION ABOUT THEM AND THEIR
FAMILY MEMBERS JEOPARDIZES THEIR
ABILITY TO HAVE AN EDUCATION AND
COULD GET THEM DEPORTED.
AND WE DARED... PEOPLE LIKE MARK
SAUNDERS DARED TO ASK THOSE
PEOPLE... SOME OF THE MOST
VULNERABLE PEOPLE WHO ARE HAVING
COPS WATCH THEM IN THEIR
COMMUNITIES AND SCHOOLS JUST
COME DOWN TO THE POLICE
HEADQUARTERS FOR A MEETING AND
TELL US WHY THIS MAKES YOU
SCARED AND THREATENED.
THAT'S THE FALSE REALITY THAT
WE'RE ASKING OF UNDOCUMENTED
PEOPLE.
SO MY VIEWS ABOUT POLICING ARE
NOT MINE.
THEY'RE NOT NEW.
THIS IS NOT NEW IDEA OR NEW
THEORY.
BLACK PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WRITING
ABOUT AND THINKING ABOUT THESE
IDEAS IN CANADA AND ACROSS THE
WESTERN WORLD FOR DECADES.
SO I'M BUILDING ON TRADITIONS OF
RADICAL BLACK FEMINISM.
I'M BUILDING ON THE TRADITIONS
OF PEOPLE WHO SEE THE SYSTEM WAS
DESIGNED TO KEEP US UNDER
CONTROL RATHER THAN GUARANTEE
OUR RIGHTS AS EQUAL PEOPLE.
AND THAT'S WHY THE SYSTEM ITSELF
HAS TO BE OVERHAULED AND
DISMANTLED.

Steve says I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW
FAST THE TIME HAS GONE BECAUSE
WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO TALK
ABOUT.
WE TALKED FOR ALMOST HALF AN
HOUR HERE.
I SHOULD POINT OUT AS WELL THAT
NOT ONLY IN THE CAPITAL CITY OF
ONTARIO BUT IN THE CAPITAL CITY
OF THE COUNTRY, THE NEW POLICE
CHIEF IS BLACK AS WELL.

Desmond says YUP.

Steve says DO YOU REGARD HIM THE
SAME WAY AS CHIEF SAUNDERS?

Desmond says IT'S NOT ABOUT THEM
PERSONALLY, STEVE.
IN THE SAME WAY THAT AHMED
HUSSEIN AS THE FEDERAL MINISTER
OF IMMIGRATION DIDN'T TRY TO
STOP ABDUL ABDI WHO WAS HERE AS
A CHILD AND DIDN'T GET HIS
CITIZENSHIP BECAUSE CHILD
WELFARE SERVICES TOOK HIM INTO
THEIR CARE BUT DIDN'T FILE THOSE
PAPERS.
IT HAPPENED AGAIN WITH ANOTHER
YOUNG MAN AFTER ABDUL CALLED
ABDULA HELMY WE MADE A PETITION
TO THE GOVERNMENT: STOP DOING
THIS TO KIDS WHO ARE HERE FROM
AFRICAN COUNTRIES...
PARTICULARLY SOMALIA... STOP
TAKING THEM INTO YOUR CARE AS A
GOVERNMENT BUT NOT GETTING THEIR
CITIZENSHIP DOCUMENTS.
WE WON THE SITUATION WITH ABDUL
STOPPED THAT DEPORTATION.
WE HAD TO DO IT AGAIN.
DOES THE GOVERNMENT PROPOSE NOW
WE WILL NOT DEPORT YOUNG
CHILDREN WHO'VE BEEN HERE AS
MINORS WHO HAVE NOT GOTTEN THEIR
CITIZENSHIP DOCUMENTS AS A
RESULT OF GOVERNMENT NEGLECT?
WHERE IS THAT LEGISLATION,
STEVE?
IT DOESN'T EXIST.
SO THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT WANTS
THE RIGHT.
EVEN WITH A BLACK IMMIGRATION
AND CITIZENSHIP MINISTER TO
ADJUDICATE ON A CASE-BY-CASE
BASIS AND TO SEND PEOPLE TO DIE
TO SOME OF THE MOST DANGEROUS
PLACES IN THE WORLD BECAUSE THAT
IS THE VALUE OF BLACK LIFE IN
THIS COUNTRY IN 2020.
IT'S NOT UP TO INDIVIDUALS LIKE
PETER S THE CHIEF IN OTTAWA,
CHIEF SAUNDERS.
AHMED HUSSEIN.
IT'S NOT UP TO INDIVIDUAL BLACK
PEOPLE TO CONVINCE THE SYSTEM
DOING WRONG BY US THAT IT HAS TO
CHANGE.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Steve says OKAY.
LAST 30 SECONDS HERE.
ONE WAY TO GET STUFF CHANGED IN
THIS WORLD IS TO RUN FOR OFFICE.

Desmond says SURE.

Steve says WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO
DO THAT?

Desmond says I ALREADY DID.

Steve says I KNOW.

Desmond says AND I LOST.

Steve says BUT ALMOST EVERYBODY
LOSES THE FIRST TIME.

Desmond says I GUESS SO.
THE REMEDIES THAT WE NEED ARE
BIGGER THAN ME.
AND THEY'RE BIGGER THAN ANY ONE
PERSON THAT COULD ENTER THE
SYSTEM NO MATTER HOW AMBITIOUS.
I WANT US TO DISMANTLE THE
SYSTEMS LIKE THE CHILD WELFARE
SYSTEM.
LIKE THE POLICING AND PRISON
SYSTEMS THAT DO THE HARM.
AND, STEVE, YOU FIND ME THE
POLITICAL PARTY IN CANADA THAT
WANTS A LEADER GOING AROUND
SAYING THOSE THINGS AND
WOULDN'T, AS I MENTIONED, STAB
HIM IN THE BACK THE SECOND THAT
THEY TURNED AROUND.
THAT'S NOT WHAT PARTY POLITICS
IN THIS COUNTRY IS FOR.
PARTY POLITICS IS NECESSARILY
OPTIMISTIC IN THAT WAY ABOUT THE
FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY.
I'M NOT.
BECAUSE I WANT TO RECOGNIZE THE
REAL CHANGE THAT'S NEEDED.
THAT CHANGE IS BIGGER THAN PARTY
POLITICS.

Steve says THERE IS PARTY
POLITICS AT CITY HALL.
BUT NOT OVERTLY WITH THE SAME
KIND OF PARTY DISCIPLINE AS AT
QUEEN'S PARK OR IN THE FEDERAL
PARLIAMENT.
WHY DON'T YOU GIVE CITY HALL
ANOTHER TRY?

Desmond says YOU KNOW, I... JUST
THIS ONE QUICK THING, OKAY?
AS A BLACK PERSON, I'M LIKE
SCARED TO DO THINGS LIKE GET ON
THE TRANSIT SYSTEM WITHOUT A
TICKET BECAUSE SOMEBODY COULD
TAKE MY LIFE.
I LIVE NEAR St. CLAIR AVENUE
WEST WHERE A YOUNG MAN WAS
PULLED OFF OF A SUBWAY... OR A
STREETCAR, EXCUSE ME, AND BEATEN
BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T THINK HE HAD
THE FARE.
SO YOU KNOW WHAT I WOULD REALLY
LIKE?
WITHOUT HAVING TO RUN FOR MAYOR,
I'D LIKE SOMEBODY AT CITY HALL
TO PROTECT BLACK PEOPLE SO THAT
IF THEY DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO
GET ON THE TRAIN THEY CAN STILL
RIDE, STEVE.
THAT'S THE KIND OF CHANGE I'M
LOOKING FOR.
AND IF I HAVE TO GO AND PUT
MYSELF UP FOR OFFICE WE HAVE
BIGGER PROBLEMS IN THIS COUNTRY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Colin Ellis, @ColinEllis81."

Steve says THAT'S DESMOND COLE.
HIS NEW BOOK, "THE SKIN WE'RE
IN: A YEAR OF BLACK RESISTANCE
AND POWER" IS NOW AVAILABLE.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR COMING INTO
TVO TONIGHT.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Desmond says THANK YOU SO MUCH.
THANK YOU.

Watch: Desmond Cole: Fighting Racism in Canada