Transcript: The Fight to End Anti-Black Racism | Jun 05, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit and a checkered white shirt.

A caption on screen reads "Fighting to end anti-black racism. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT'S NOT A NEW FIGHT, BUT IT'S ONE THAT'S BEEN RENEWED OVER THESE PAST FEW DAYS, AND TONIGHT, WE'VE MADE THE TRIP BACK INTO OUR STUDIO BECAUSE THE TECHNOLOGY HERE ALLOWS US TO HAVE MORE GUESTS THAN OUR "WORK-FROM-HOME PLATFORM." PERMITTED. SO LET'S DISCUSS IT: ANTI-BLACK RACISM. TO BE SURE, THE BIGGEST PROTESTS STEM FROM THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD. BUT IT'S ALSO RIGHTLY PROVOKED US HERE IN CANADA TO EXAMINE OUR OWN REALITY. SO WITH US NOW FOR THEIR INSIGHTS: IN INGLEWOOD CALIFORNIA, SANDY HUDSON, CO-FOUNDER OF BLACK LIVES MATTER TORONTO AND CO-HOST OF THE "SANDY AND NORA TALK POLITICS" PODCAST...

Sandy is in her thirties, with curly black hair in a bob. She's wearing a sleeveless black blouse and silver hoop earrings.

Steve continues IN WHITBY, ONTARIO: ROGER DUNDAS, PUBLISHER AND CO-FOUNDER OF ByBlacks.com...

Roger is in his forties, clean-shaven and bald. He's wearing a black t-shirt.

Steve continues AND IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL, IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO, AKWASI OWUSU-BEMPAH, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO...

Akwasi is in his late thirties, clean-shaven and bald. He's wearing a black shirt.

Steve continues AND IN SOUTH ETOBICOKE, KIKE OJO-THOMPSON, PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT AT THE KOJO INSTITUTE...

Kike is in her thirties, with long curly brown hair. She's wearing a patterned white blouse.

Steve continues WE ARE VERY HAPPY THAT ALL OF YOU COULD SPARE SOME TIME FOR US AND OUR VIEWERS AND LISTENERS ON TVO TONIGHT FOR A HUGELY IMPORTANT CONVERSATION THAT THE WHOLE WORLD, FRANKLY, IS HAVING RIGHT NOW. SANDY, LET'S START WITH YOU FIRST. I WANT... I JUST WANT EVERYBODY'S IMPRESSIONS ON WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN SEEING IN THE STREETS, MOSTLY OF AMERICA, BUT ALSO IN CANADA OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS. WHAT ABOUT THESE PROTESTS, SANDY, HAS STOOD OUT FOR YOU MOST?

The caption changes to "Sandy Hudson. Black Lives Matter – Toronto."

Sandy says HONESTLY, THE UBIQUITY OF THE PROTESTS. I'VE BEEN SO... I MEAN, INSPIRED, SADDENED THAT SO MANY PEOPLE ARE STRUCK BY THIS, BUT INSPIRED THAT SO MANY PEOPLE FEEL THE NEED TO DEMONSTRATE AND SAY SOMETHING FROM WHITEHORSE ALL THE WAY DOWN TO MIAMI. THE STRENGTH THAT IT TAKES TO GO OUT INTO THE STREET, ESPECIALLY WHEN, YOU KNOW, IN THE UNITED STATES, THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF REPRESSION FROM THE POLICE IN RESPONSE. IT CAN BE VERY SCARY. AND FOR PEOPLE TO PUT THEMSELVES OUT THERE LIKE THAT REALLY MEANS THAT THEY'RE TAKING THIS PROBLEM OF ANTIBLACK POLICING VERY SERIOUSLY AND REALLY WANT SOME SORT OF CONCRETE CHANGE.

Steve says KIKE, WHAT HAS STOOD OUT FOR YOU THE MOST?

The caption changes to "Kike Ojo-Thompson. Kojo Institute."

Kike says I THINK THE DIVERSITY OF THE FOLKS COMING OUT IS REALLY PROFOUND AND IT'S A LITTLE ENTRY POINT INTO THE CONVERSATION WE NEED TO BE HAVING WHICH IS THAT THIS IS NOT BLACK PEOPLE'S PROBLEM TO FIX. YOU KNOW, IT'S BIGGER THAN THAT. THE OTHER PIECE I WOULD JUST ADD IS HOW SUSTAINED IT IS. I THINK WE'RE ON THE 11TH DAY OR NIGHT OF PROTESTS IN THE U.S., AND I WOULD SAY HERE, THE SUSTAINED PIECES AROUND THE SOCIAL MEDIA... AT LEAST THE SOCIAL MEDIA CONVERSATION, IT HAS NOT SLOWED DOWN EVEN SINCE LAST WEEK.

Steve says ROGER, HOW ABOUT YOU?

The caption changes to "Roger Dundas. Byblacks.com"

Roger says YEAH, I FEEL THAT FROM MY PERSPECTIVE... I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH SOME MEN ON WEDNESDAY, A GROUP OF BLACK MEN, AND IT'S JUST THE EMOTIONAL TOLL THAT BLACK MEN ARE FEELING RIGHT NOW. YOU KNOW, NOBODY... THIS GROUP OF MEN WERE ALL, YOU KNOW, VERY ACCOMPLISHED MEN, AND WE STILL FEEL AS IF IT COULD HAPPEN TO US. SO THIS IS... NOBODY IS EXEMPT. NO BLACK MAN IS EXEMPT FROM THE POSSIBLE UNFEAR AND UNJUST TREATMENT... UNFAIR AND UNJUST TREATMENT FROM THE POLICE. THAT IS SCARY AND OFTENTIMES DEPRESSING.

Steve says AKWASI?

The caption changes to "Akwasi Owusu-Bempah. University of Toronto."

Akwasi says ECHOING EARLIER THE DEPTH AND BREADTH OF THE PROTEST. THEY WENT GLOBAL VERY QUICKLY AND OBVIOUSLY THEY'VE CONTINUED THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA. THAT HAS ESPECIALLY BEEN... THE SITUATION THAT WE'RE CURRENTLY IN WHICH IS THAT OF THE PANDEMIC. SO PEOPLE PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE NOT ONLY FOR THE RISK OF VIOLENCE AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE BUT ALSO CONTRACTING A VIRUS THAT CAN ALSO BE DEADLY. I THINK ALSO IN THE CANADIAN CONTEXT, THE PROMPTING OF CONVERSATIONS AROUND SYSTEMIC OR AS I WOULD PREFER TO SAY STRUCTURAL RACISM, OPPOSITION TO THOSE DENIALS, QUICK WALKING BACK BUT OF COURSE WE CAN QUESTION THE KIND OF TRUTH BEHIND THE STATEMENTS AMONGST PEOPLE LIKE DOUG FORD AND THE REMOVAL FROM BOARDS OF STOCKWELL DAY, I THINK TO ME HAS BEEN IMPORTANT. FINALLY, PERHAPS UNSURPRISING, BUT DONALD TRUMP'S KIND OF RESPONSE TO THIS JUST KIND OF FURTHER ENTRENCHING HIS PARTICULAR FORM OF POLITICS THAT HAS KIND OF CHARACTERIZED HIS LEADERSHIP SINCE THE BEGINNING.

Steve says I DON'T KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS, BUT A LITTLE POINT OF CLARIFICATION. I DON'T KNOW THAT STOCKWELL DAY WAS REMOVED FROM EITHER OF THE BOARDS. I BELIEVE HE VOLUNTARILY RESIGNED FROM THOSE BOARDS HAVING REALIZED THAT WHAT HE SAID WAS... DIDN'T CAPTURE THE NUANCES, LET'S SAY, OF WHAT'S GOING ON RIGHT NOW. YOU DID MENTION, AKWASI, DOUG FORD IN THAT ANSWER. I WANT TO PICK UP THERE. BECAUSE THE ONTARIO PREMIER WAS ASKED A QUESTION AT ONE OF HIS DAILY BRIEFINGS EARLIER THIS WEEK ABOUT THE PROBLEM OF SYSTEMIC RACISM IN ONTARIO AND CANADA, AND HE SAID HE DIDN'T THINK IT WAS... I WANT TO MAKE SURE I QUOTE HIM ACCURATELY, HE DIDN'T THINK WE HAD AS BIG A PROBLEM IN ONTARIO AND CANADA AS THEY DO IN THE UNITED STATES. HAVING SAID THAT, A DAY LATER, HE CLARIFIED HIS REMARKS, AND LET'S PLAY THAT CLIP, IF WE CAN.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "June 3, 2020. Honourable Doug Ford. PC. Premier."

In the clip, says Premier Doug Ford rises inside the Legislature and speaks.

He says OF COURSE THERE'S SYSTEMIC RACISM IN ONTARIO. THERE'S SYSTEMIC RACISM ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. I KNOW IT EXISTS, MR. SPEAKER. WHAT I DON'T KNOW IS THE HARDSHIPS FACED BY THOSE COMMUNITIES. AND A LOT OF US IN THIS CHAMBER DO NOT KNOW THE HARDSHIPS WITHIN THOSE COMMUNITIES, MR. SPEAKER. I DO NOT HAVE THOSE LIVED EXPERIENCES...

The Speaker says ORDER!

Ford continues
I DO NOT HAVE THOSE LIVED EXPERIENCES AND I CAN EMPATHIZE WITH THEM BUT AGAIN, MR. SPEAKER, WE HAVE NEVER LIVED THAT, WE HAVEN'T WALKED A MILE IN SOMEONE'S SHOES THAT HAS FACED RACISM. NOT ONLY JUST IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY, A LOT OF MINORITY COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF ONTARIO AND CANADA HAVE FACED RACISM. AND OUR GOVERNMENT WON'T STAND FOR... I WON'T STAND FOR IT AS PREMIER.

The clip ends.

Steve says CAN WE GET INTO A BIT OF AN EXPLORATION WITH THIS: SANDY, THE PREMIER SAID ON THE FIRST DAY, WE DON'T HAVE A SYSTEMIC RACISM PROBLEM IN ONTARIO AND IN CANADA LIKE THEY DO IN THE UNITED STATES. CAN WE JUST LOOK AT THAT STATEMENT? IS THAT ACCURATE, IN YOUR VIEW?

Sandy says NO, IT'S ABSOLUTELY NOT ACCURATE. I THINK WE HAVE A LOT OF SIMILAR PROBLEMS TO THE UNITED STATES. I THINK THAT THERE ARE PARTICULARITIES AND IN SOME CASES THOSE LOCAL PARTICULARITIES ARE WORSE. IN ONTARIO, WE STRUGGLE TO GET INFORMATION THAT WOULD PROVIDE PARTICULAR ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES WHEN LOOKING AT THE ACTIONS OF THE POLICE. SO IN AMERICA OFTEN PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO INFORMATION LIKE THE NAMES OF POLICE OFFICERS WHO HAVE KILLED CIVILIANS RIGHT AWAY, ACCESS TO 911 CALL AUDIO WITHIN WEEKS, ACCESS TO PREVIOUS INFRACTIONS BY POLICE OFFICERS WITHIN DAYS. IN CANADA, WE OFTEN DON'T EVER GET THAT INFORMATION. SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO WAIT TWO OR THREE YEARS FOR AN INQUEST TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE WE GET THAT INFORMATION. AND THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON THE WAY THAT WE CAN HOLD THESE SERVICES ACCOUNTABLE. AND SO, YES, THERE ARE LOCAL PARTICULARITIES, BUT A LOT OF THE WAY THAT CANADIAN ANTI-BLACK RACISM WORKS WITH RESPECT TO POLICING IS THROUGH DENIAL, BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF THIS INFORMATION BECAUSE OFTENTIME POLICYMAKERS LIKE DOUG FORD REFUSE TO COLLECT CERTAIN TIMES OF INFORMATION. WE HAVE LESS OF AN ABILITY TO POINT TO OFFICIAL SOURCES AND CITE WHAT'S GOING ON. THAT BEING SAID, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF RESEARCHERS WHO HAVE BEEN DOING THIS WORK, PICKING UP THE SLACK IN INSTITUTIONS AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, WHO HAVE SHOWN THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, IN TORONTO, A BLACK PERSON IS 20 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE THAN NON-BLACK PEOPLE.

Steve says AKWASI, I KNOW THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WATCHING THIS, I KNOW THERE WILL BE WHITE PEOPLE WATCHING THIS WHO WILL BE THINKING TO THEMSELVES RIGHT NOW, IT'S JUST NOT AS BAD HERE... THEY'RE NOT DENYING RACISM EXISTS BUT THEY WILL BE SAYING TO THEMSELVES IT ISN'T AS BAD HERE AS IT IS IN TRUMP'S AMERICA. ARE THEY WRONG TO CONCLUDE THAT?

Akwasi says THAT'S A VERY TOUGH QUESTION TO ANSWER IN PART BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEM SANDY POINTS OUT, WHICH IS A LACK OF ACCESS TO RELIABLE DATA. I WILL SAY ON MANY INDICATORS, ON BOTH BLACK AND OUR INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS, REACH NEGATIVE OUTCOMES THROUGHOUT OUR SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS THAT MIRROR THOSE IN THE UNITED STATES. IN FACT AMONGST SOME AGE GROUPS, CANADIANS ARE MORE LIKELY ON AVERAGE THAN AFRICAN AMERICANS TO EXPERIENCE INCARCERATION. IN 2010, FOR EXAMPLE, IN ONTARIO, 7.5 percent OF BLACK MEN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 25 EXPERIENCE INCARCERATION IN THAT YEAR. I'LL SAY THAT AGAIN. 7 and a half percent EXPERIENCED INCARCERATION IN THAT YEAR. SO WHEN WE LOOK AT CERTAIN MEASURES, ABSOLUTELY, SANDY JUST POINTED TO THE STATISTICS ON USE OF FORCE. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE HUGE REGIONAL DIFFERENCES ACROSS CANADA AS THERE ARE ACROSS AMERICA, AND IT'S DIFFICULT TO COMPARE APPLES TO ORANGES BECAUSE THE COUNTRIES ARE DIFFERENT. BUT, YES, ON MANY MEASURES WE ARE JUST AS BAD. IN MANY WAYS THE IMPORTANT THING TO RECOGNIZE IS THE HISTORY, RIGHT? SIX OF THE FIRST LEGISLATORS IN UPPER CANADA HAD SLAVES. SEGREGATED SCHOOLS IN CANADA CLOSED IN THE 1980s AND 1990s, LONG AFTER SEGREGATION WAS OUTLAWED IN THE UNITED STATES. THESE ARE FEATURES OF OUR EXPERIENCE. THEY HAVE SET THE NATURE OF POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, AND SOCIAL RELATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY, AND THEY CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE LIVES OF AFRICAN-CANADIANS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AS WE'VE BEEN SEEING.

Steve says KIKE, WOULD YOU PICK UP ON THAT? WHAT WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE AS THE STATE OF ANTI-BLACK RACISM IN CANADA THESE DAYS?

Kike says INVISIBLIZED. I THINK IT'S SO INTERESTING THE JUXTAPOSITION TO THE U.S., YOU KNOW, A PLACE THAT HAS HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN COMPARISON TO OUR POPULATION. SO THAT'S ONE. AND CERTAINLY MORE AFRICAN-DESCENT PEOPLE. BUT PROPORTIONATELY SPEAKING, TO PICK UP ON SANDY'S POINT, A FEW PEOPLE KNOW THAT I LED WORK AROUND ANTI-BLACK RACISM AND CHILD WELFARE IN ONTARIO. TO SANDY'S POINT ABOUT THE LACK OF DATA, IN SO MANY CASES, IN TERMS OF OUR BACKGROUND RESEARCH, WE HAVE TO PULL RESEARCH FROM THE U.S. BUT WHAT WAS FASCINATING IS THAT WHEN WE WERE COMPARING WHAT LITTLE DATA WE HAD IN CANADA AND IN ONTARIO IN PARTICULAR TO AMERICAN DATA OF VARIOUS SORTS, PROPORTIONATELY SPEAKING, WE WERE WORSE, RIGHT? AND SO PEOPLE REALLY STRUGGLE WITH THE NOTION OF PROPORTION, AND I THINK... BUT I THINK THAT SORT OF THE LACK OF BLACKNESS OF THIS COUNTRY, OF THIS CITY, YOU KNOW, THIS CITY... TORONTO, IF WE JUST USE TORONTO AS AN EXAMPLE, IS PROFOUNDLY WHITE FEELING, CULTURE, YOU KNOW, IT IS WHITENESS. AND THAT TO ME IS A REALLY GREAT INDICATION OF HOW ANTI-BLACK IS OPERATING BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN HERE SINCE AT LEAST THE EARLY 1600s. SO WHERE IS THE ESSENCE OF OUR EXISTENCE IN THIS COUNTRY AND IN THIS CITY?

Steve says WELL, LET ME DO A QUICK FOLLOW-UP WITH YOU, KIKE, AND THIS WAS POINTED OUT AT THE PREMIER'S NEWS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY. THE TWO BIGGEST CITIES IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, TORONTO AND OTTAWA, BOTH HAVE BLACK MALE POLICE CHIEFS. WHAT DOES THAT SAY TO YOU?

Kike says IT SAYS THAT THAT RACISM, THAT ANTI-BLACKNESS IN PARTICULAR, IS SO INSIDIOUS AND SO PROFOUND AND SO PERVASIVE THAT IN ORDER TO BECOME THE LEADER OF ANYTHING OF CONSEQUENCE IN THIS PROVINCE, IN THIS COUNTRY, FRANKLY, YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO PERFORM WHITENESS AT A LEVEL SO SUPREME THAT IT RIVALS SOME WHITE MEN, STRAIGHT WHITE CHRISTIAN MEN. AND THAT THAT IS A REQUIREMENT OF HOLDING THESE POSITIONS. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT TORONTO'S POLICE CHIEF, HE WAS IN COMPETITION WITH ANOTHER POTENTIAL CHIEF WHO HAS MOVED TO ANOTHER CITY TO LEAD AND, YOU KNOW, OUT OF THOSE TWO PEOPLE, THE COMMUNITY WAS PRETTY CLEAR OF WHO THEY WANTED, THE PERSON HAD HE KNEW, THE PERSON THEY HAD MET BEFORE AND SEEN BEFORE IN COMMUNITY SPACES, AND WHAT DOES THE POLICE SERVICE DO? THEY CHOSE THE ONE THAT WE DID NOT KNOW, THAT... WELL, SOME KNEW HIM, BUT HE WAS NOT THE APPROVED CANDIDATE. AND SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE BOTTOM LINE... AND WE'RE SEEING THIS... AND I KNOW THAT WE'RE ABOUT TO GO INTO THIS DISCUSSION AROUND POLICING AND FUNDING, BUT WHAT I WANT TO SAY IS, YOU KNOW, WHEN OUR PREMIER SAYS THE NEXT DAY, OF COURSE THERE'S SYSTEMIC RACISM, BUT WE DON'T KNOW IT. WELL, FOR DECADES AT LEAST, RIGHT, THE BLACK COMMUNITY HAS ARTICULATED VERY WELL THE EXPERIENCE OF ANTI-BLACKNESS AND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE AND IS LIKE TO LIVE BLACK IN THIS PROVINCE AND IN THIS COUNTRY.

Steve says HAVING SAID ALL THAT, WE DO, ROGER, SEEM TO BE UTTERLY FASCINATED WITH RACE RELATIONS, I'M TALKING ABOUT WE ONTARIANS, WE CANADIANS. WE SEEM UTTERLY FASCINATED WITH RACE RELATIONS DOWN IN THE UNITED STATES. WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT IS?

Roger says I FOR ONE AM NOT SURE. THERE SEEMS TO BE, AND I'M JUST ECHOING EVERYBODY'S COMMENTS, THAT WE ARE FORGETTING THAT SLAVES WERE HERE IN CANADA, THERE WAS RACISM, ET CETERA, RIGHT? DOUBLING BACK ON THAT QUESTION ABOUT THE TWO POLICE CHIEFS AND THEM BEING BLACK. THE TRUTH IS, MY UNDERSTANDING, BECAUSE I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE IN THE POLICE FORCE, THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF OFFICERS WHO WERE NOT IN SUPPORT OF IT. THEY'RE UNDERMINING THEIR ABILITIES TO EFFECTIVELY GOVERN THOSE INSTITUTIONS. SO THAT IS ONE THING. THEY THEMSELVES ARE FIGHTING ANTI-BLACK RACISM WITHIN THEIR OWN [indiscernible]. THE WHOLE NOTION OF BY BLACK.COM. QUITE FRANKLY, I WISH I DIDN'T HAVE TO START BYBLACK.COM. I REALLY WISH I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO IT. THE POINT IS I'M ALSO A PUBLICIST. SO I'M FLIPPING ON THE SIDE OF DOING PUBLICITY FOR PEOPLE AND I'M LOOKING ON JUST... THIS IS MY LIVED EXPERIENCE OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS. SO IF I HAVE A CLIENT THAT'S NOT BLACK, I HAVE A HIGHER CHANCE OF THEM BEING ON MAINSTREAM MEDIA, RIGHT? AND THIS IS WHAT ACTUALLY PROMPTED US TO START THIS MEDIA OUTLET, TO GIVE AN AUTHENTIC VOICE TO BLACK JOURNALISTS. OFTENTIMES THERE'S A VERY PUBLIC CASE OF THAT GENTLEMAN IN THE GLOBE AND MAIL IN VANCOUVER WHERE HE WOULD CREATED STORIES AND THEN HAVE THE WHITE EDITOR BUTCHER IT, BASICALLY, TO NOT REFLECT WHAT HE WAS SAYING. SO I THINK THAT IT'S IMPORTANT, YOU KNOW, AS JOURNALISTS TO HAVE OUR OWN VOICE, TO SPEAK AND LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT WE'RE FEELING BECAUSE OFTENTIMES PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT WE'RE FEELING.

Steve says SANDY, I DO WANT TO PICK UP ON ONE OF THE THEMES THAT HAS EMERGED IN LIGHT OF THE EVENTS OF MINNEAPOLIS, AND THAT IS DEFUND THE POLICE. WE'RE HEARING THAT MORE AND MORE NOW. CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF DEFUND THE POLICE ACTUALLY MEANS?

Sandy says SURE. AND I JUST WANT TO CLARIFY THAT IT'S NOT JUST COMING OUT OF MINNEAPOLIS. THIS IS SOMETHING WE WERE SAYING BACK IN 2016 WHEN ANDREW LOKU WAS KILLED RIGHT HERE IN TORONTO SO THERE DOES SEEM TO BE CONSENSUS AMONG ACTIVISTS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA AND BEYOND ABOUT THIS BEING THE SOLUTION THAT WE REALLY NEED TO FOCUS ON. SO WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY DEFUND THE POLICE IS THAT RIGHT NOW THERE ARE SERVICES THAT THE POLICE DO NOT PERFORM WELL, AND IN FACT, IN THEIR PERFORMANCE OF THESE SERVICES, CONTINUE TO KILL BLACK PEOPLE. AND THAT CAN NO LONGER BE SOMETHING THAT WE ACCEPT AS A SOCIETY. WE NEVER SHOULD HAVE. AND INSTEAD, WHAT WE SHOULD DO IS TAKE THOSE SERVICES AWAY FROM THE POLICE, IMPLEMENT NEW SERVICES THAT PROVIDE THOSE SAFETY MEASURES, THOSE SECURITY MEASURES, BETTER THAN THE POLICE DO, AND BY DEFUNDING THE POLICE, WE FREE UP FUNDING THAT WE CAN THEN USE TO INVEST IN SERVICES THAT WILL TACKLE THESE ISSUES BETTER.

Steve says OKAY. KIKE, DO YOU WANT TO GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE ON THE GROUND?

Kike says FIRST OF ALL, DEFUNDING HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, RIGHT? SO IT'S ABOUT THE RELEASE OR NEW UTILIZATION OF FUNDS, THE SHIFTING OF RESOURCES AND MOVING THEM AROUND SO THAT WE'RE BETTER ANSWERING, RIGHT? BUT, YOU KNOW, I'M THINKING ABOUT, WHEN I THINK ABOUT CHILD WELFARE, FOR EXAMPLE, AND THE WAYS THAT PEOPLE ARE... THE NEEDS THAT PEOPLE SORT OF SHOW AND THE THINGS THAT USUALLY CAUSE THE POLICE TO BE CALLED, CERTAINLY THERE'S A NUMBER OF WAYS THAT WE CAN BE IN PREVENTION MODE AND UTILIZING THE FUNDS TO SUPPORT, YOU KNOW, THE KIND OF SERVICES THAT PEOPLE REALLY NEED. SO PARENTING SUPPORT OR, YOU KNOW, CHILD CARE. I MEAN, I THINK CHILD CARE IS A GREAT EXAMPLE. CHILD CARE IS EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE IN THIS PROVINCE. SO IF FUNDING WAS USED TO SORT OF, YOU KNOW, SUPPORT, SUPPORT FOLKS WITH THAT EXPENSE, THERE WOULD BE A LOT OF FREEING UP AND SORT OF, YOU KNOW, BETTER CARE FOR CHILDREN. YOU KNOW, THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT OFTEN CAUSE CALLS TO THE POLICE THAT ARE UNNECESSARY, FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE CONTEXT OF CHILD WELFARE. SO JUST AN EXAMPLE OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD BUT, YOU KNOW, I THINK WHEN PEOPLE HEAR DEFUND, THEY THINK THE POLICE WON'T EXIST NECESSARILY OR THEY'LL BE DOWN TO ZERO. BUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE IS THAT OFFICIALS... THE DECISION-MAKERS AROUND THIS PIECE HAVE BEEN UNWILLING TO COME TO THE TABLE. IT'S BEEN A FEW DAYS THAT THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN BACK ON THE TABLE, AND IF YOU LISTEN, THE NARRATIVE IS: THAT'S NOT AN OPTION. NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THESE OTHER THINGS. AND I THINK THAT THAT IS STRUCTURAL AND SYSTEMIC RACISM IN ACTION. YOU KNOW, YOU ARE TALKING TO PEOPLE WHO KNOW. YOU SHOULD BE WILLING TO LISTEN BECAUSE WE ARE PARTNERS IN THE FUNCTIONING OF THE CITY.

Steve says WELL, AKWASI, ONCE AGAIN I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE NEWS CONFERENCE THE PREMIER HAD YESTERDAY, DURING WHICH TIME HE INTRODUCED JAMIL JAVANI. WE KNOW HIM, HE'S BEEN A GUEST ON THIS PROGRAM NUMEROUS TIMES. BUT HE'S HEADING UP A NEW PREMIER'S COUNCIL ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. HE IS THE ONTARIO ADVOCATE FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES. HE PUT SOMETHING FORWARD I'D LIKE TO GET YOUR COMMENT ON. HE SAID ON THE ONE HAND THE POLICE ARE TOO PRESENT IN THE LIVES OF MANY AFRICAN-CANADIANS, BLACKS, INASMUCH AS CARDING, INASMUCH AS NEEDLES HASSLING OF YOUNG PEOPLE, ET CETERA. BUT HE ALSO ADDED ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU'RE NOT THERE WHEN WE NEED YOU. AND WHEN, FOR EXAMPLE, KIDS GO TO SCHOOL, BLACK PARENTS ARE TOO NERVOUS TOO OFTEN ABOUT WHETHER THEIR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO GET TO SCHOOL SAFELY OR COME HOME SAFELY. CAN YOU TALK TO US ABOUT THIS DICHOTOMY OF, ON THE ONE HAND, TOO MUCH BAD POLICING AND ON THE OTHER HAND NOT ENOUGH GOOD POLICING?

Akwasi says IT'S REALLY A DESCRIPTION OF A PHENOMENA WE WOULD DESCRIBE AS OVER-POLICING AND UNDER-PROTECTION. QUITE LITERALLY AT THE SAME TIME THAT MARGINALIZED NEIGHBOURHOODS ARE OFTEN FLOODED WITH POLICE OFFICERS THERE WHO ARE THERE TO ENFORCE CERTAIN, YOU KNOW, CRIMINAL INFRACTIONS, THOSE COMMUNITIES DON'T FEEL LIKE THEY CAN CALL OR RELY ON THE POLICE TO INVESTIGATE CRIMES OR RESPOND TO CRIMES WHEN THEY HAPPEN. AND SO WE CAN THINK ABOUT THE HIGH RATES OF STOP AND SEARCH THAT EXIST WITHIN OUR MARGINALIZED NEIGHBOURHOODS AND THE RATHER HOSTILE AND AGGRESSIVE NATURE OF THOSE CONTACTS. AT THE SAME TIME, WHEN THOSE COMMUNITY MEMBERS, FOR EXAMPLE, CALL IN RELATION TO A VICTIMIZATION, THEY MAY NOT BE TREATED IN THE SAME WAY THAT MEMBERS OF OTHER COMMUNITIES MIGHT BE TREATED, THEIR VICTIMIZATION IS NOT TAKEN AS SERIOUSLY. THEY MAY BE VIEWED AS RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN VICTIMIZATION. IT MIGHT NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THEY'VE DONE BUT AS A RESULT OF WHERE THEY LIVE. THEY'RE SEEN AS UNDESERVING VICTIMS. THAT'S SOMETHING TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY, AND A PHENOMENON THAT'S BEEN IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMUNITIES AFFECTED AS WELL AS RESEARCHERS FOR A LONG TIME.

Steve says GOTCHA. ROGER, YOU HAVE ALL LAID OUT THE CASE FOR SYSTEMIC ANTI-BLACK RACISM IN CANADA. WE ARE NOW AT ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS IN HISTORY WHERE IT SEEMS AS IF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY, THE WHOLE CONTINENT, SO MUCH OF THE WORLD IS ACTUALLY FOCUSED ON THIS ISSUE. THIS MAY BE ONE OF THOSE UNIQUE MOMENTS IN HISTORY WHERE SOMETHING CAN ACTUALLY BE DONE. SO LET'S TALK ABOUT, AND, ROGER, START US OFF HERE, HOW DO YOU START TO CHANGE ATTITUDES AROUND ANTI-BLACK RACISM HERE IN ONTARIO, HERE IN CANADA?

Roger says WELL, I THINK, FIRST OF ALL, WE NEED TO PUT THE FOCUS ON WHERE THE REAL PROBLEMS ARE. I'VE OFTEN SAID THAT AS A COMMUNITY THAT IS NOT THE MOST, YOU KNOW, FINANCIALLY SUSTAINABLE IN THIS COUNTRY, SO THEREFORE I LOOK AT THE VOLUME OF DRUGS AND CRIME THAT EXISTS IN CANADA. WE CAN'T EVEN AFFORD TO BUY THE BILLIONS OF DRUGS THAT COME INTO THIS COUNTRY, SO WHY IS THERE SO MUCH FOCUS ON THE BLACK COMMUNITY? WE HAVE AN OPIOID CRISIS RIGHT NOW, AND I THINK A LOT OF THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DEAL WITH OUTSIDE OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY IS JUST DECRIMINALIZING ALL DRUGS. SO LET'S START WITH THAT SO WE CAN GET A LITTLE BIT OF LESS FOCUS ON THE SO-CALLED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY THAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR CITY COMMUNITIES. A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN LOCKED UP FOR SIMPLE MARIJUANA POSSESSION. IF YOU EVEN THINK BACK ON GEORGE FLOYD, HE WAS KILLED FOR 20 dollars. 20 dollars. A 20 dollar BILL. I DON'T KNOW WHAT... I'M NOT SURE.

Steve says NO, YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO GET THE DEATH PENALTY FOR WHAT GEORGE FLOYD DID, THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. SANDY HUDSON, WHY DON'T YOU PICK UP THE STORY? WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT CHANGING ATTITUDES OF ANTI-BLACKISM IN CANADA?

Sandy says I THINK THE ONLY SOLUTION IS DEFUNDING THE POLICE. I WANT TO PICK UP ON WHAT WAS SAID ABOUT DECRIMINALIZING DRUGS. THAT IS A FORM OF DEFUNDING THE POLICE. WHEN WE TACKLE AN ISSUE LIKE THE OPIOID CRISIS BY INVESTING IN PUBLIC HEALTH, SETTING UP TREATMENT CENTRES AND MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE GET THE TYPES OF SUPPORTS THAT THEY NEED INSTEAD OF CRIMINALIZING PEOPLE AND SENDING THE POLICE AFTER THEM TO INCARCERATE THEM OR ARREST THEM, THAT IS ONE OF THE WAYS THAT WE CAN DEFUND THE POLICE, TAKE MONEY AWAY FROM THE POLICE DOING THAT ACTIVITY, AND PUT IT INTO THE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE GET THE SUPPORTS THAT THEY NEED. ANOTHER FORM OF DEFUNDING THE POLICE WOULD BE MAKING A NEW EMERGENCY SERVICE THAT IS SPECIFIC... SPECIFICALLY IN PLACE TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERIENCING A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS. THERE'S LOTS AND LOTS OF EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT THE POLICE ARE NOT WELL-PLACED TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE HAVING AN EMERGENCY MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS. THAT IS WHAT WAS HAPPENED WITH REGIS PAQUETTE IN TORONTO AND ALSO DEANDRAY CAMPBELL WHO WAS KILLED ON HIS FRONT LAWN, AN UNARMED MAN KILLED ON HIS FRONT LAWN IN BRAMPTON ABOUT A MONTH AGO. WHAT IF THERE WAS ANOTHER OPTION FOR PEOPLE TO CALL, ANOTHER NUMBER, ANOTHER SERVICE, WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD SHOW UP WOULD BE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE TRAINED IN THE SOCIAL AND HEALTH NEEDS OF THESE PEOPLE? A PROGRAM LIKE THIS HAS ALREADY BEEN PUT IN PLACE IN OREGON AND IT HAS BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL THEY ARE SCALING IT UP TO PORTLAND, THE CITY OF PORTLAND. SO THESE EXAMPLES OF HOW THIS COULD WORK EXIST ELSEWHERE. SO LET'S TAKE ALL OF THAT MONEY THAT'S GOING INTO THE POLICE IN TORONTO, THAT'S 1.07 BILLION dollars, TAKE SOME OF THAT MONEY, PUT IT INTO NEW SERVICES THAT ARE ABLE TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES THAT WE HAVE IN OUR COMMUNITIES BETTER, PROVIDE BETTER SAFETY AND BETTER SECURITY SERVICES.

Steve says AKWASI, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE POLITICS OF THAT. OF COURSE THERE'S NO INSTITUTION IN SOCIETY THAT'S PROBABLY BETTER AT PROTECTING ITS OWN BUDGETS THAN THE POLICE, AND WHEN POLITICIANS HAVE TRIED TO REARRANGE BUDGETS OR CUT BUDGETS, THE POLICE ARE VERY GOOD ABOUT MAKING THEIR CASE FOR STATUS QUO OR INCREASES. SO WHAT WILL BE REQUIRED TO MAKE THE KINDS OF CHANGES THAT SANDY JUST DESCRIBED?

Akwasi says ABSOLUTELY. I THINK IMMENSE PRESSURE BY THE PUBLIC ON THEIR POLITICIANS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN WILL BE REQUIRED. YOU'RE COMPLETELY RIGHT. YOU KNOW, POLICE SERVICES, AND IMPORTANTLY POLICE ASSOCIATIONS AND UNIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, DO A VERY GOOD JOB OF LOBBYING POLITICIANS AND PRESSURING POLITICIANS TO ENSURE THAT THEIR RESOURCES ARE PROTECTED, AND SO IF WE WANT TO SEE THE REALLOCATION OF RESPONSIBILITY AND OF RESOURCES, WHICH IS REALLY WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN HERE, RIGHT? LIKE, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE POLICING EXAMPLE, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE POLICING OF POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS, RIGHT? WE'RE TALKING ABOUT POLICING IN RELATION TO MENTAL HEALTH. AND THEN WE CAN LOOK AT SOME OF THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH MY WORK FOCUSES ON. MANY OF THE PROGRAMS PROVIDED TO YOUNG PEOPLE IN TORONTO'S MARGINALIZED NEIGHBOURHOODS INCLUDE THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE POLICE, AND I UNDERSTAND THEY COME UNDER THE BANNER OF CRIME PREVENTION, RIGHT? THESE ARE MENTORING PROGRAMS. THESE ARE SPORTS PROGRAMS. THESE ARE OTHER TYPES OF PROGRAMS. BUT I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE MAY BE A CRIME PREVENTION ELEMENT TO THEM BUT THERE'S ALSO A CRIME PREVENTION ELEMENT TO GOOD PRENATAL CARE AND WE DON'T HAVE THE POLICE INVOLVED IN THAT, RIGHT? SO THIS RE-THINK OF THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POLICE I THINK NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE. I WOULD CALL ON MAYOR JOHN TORY TO ESTABLISH A TASK FORCE IN THE CITY, NOT THE POLICE BOARD, TO DO AN AUDIT OF ALL THE FUNCTIONS AND THE RESPONSIBILITIES THAT THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICE CURRENTLY HAS. OVER 200 YEARS GENERALLY, A HUNDRED OR SO YEARS IN CANADA, WE'VE BEEN GIVING THE POLICE MORE AND MORE AND MORE RESPONSIBILITY WITHOUT NECESSARILY THINKING THEY'RE THE MOST APPROPRIATE INSTITUTION TO DO THAT, AND AS ONE OF MY STUDENTS SAID IN CLASS YESTERDAY, IN MANY INSTANCES, AND SANDY BROUGHT THIS UP EARLIER, WE'RE FUNDING THEM TO FAIL.

Steve says KIKE, WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THAT LIST ABOUT CHANGING ATTITUDES AROUND ANTI-BLACK RACISM IN CANADA?

Kike says I THINK WE HAVE TO START ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY ARE THE POLICE DOING THESE THINGS TO BLACK BODIES? ALEX WAS DRIVING A VAN AND USING PEOPLE AS BOWLING PINS ON YONGE STREET, NOT TO BE DISRESPECTFUL TO THE LOST LIVES OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE HARMED. DYLANN ROOF WENT INTO A CHURCH AND PRAYED WITH PEOPLE AND THEN MURDERED THEM. BOTH OF THESE TWO PEOPLE WERE TAKEN ALIVE. SO WE NEED TO PICK IT UP AT THIS MOMENT BECAUSE THIS MOMENT IS EVEN BIGGER THAN THE POLICE. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH MY COLLEAGUES AROUND THE POLICE FOCUS. BUT THIS MOMENT IS ALSO ABOUT ANTI-BLACK RACISM IN GENERAL. SO I DON'T WANT TO TAKE OTHER INSTITUTIONS OFF THE HOOK. THE REASON THAT A POLICE OFFICER CAN PUT HIS KNEE ON THE NECK OF A HUMAN BEING FOR 9 MINUTES AND MURDER HIM IN BROAD DAYLIGHT IS BECAUSE OF THE LARGER ISSUE OF THE DEVALUING OF BLACK PEOPLE'S HUMANITY, OF BLACK LIFE. AND SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? WE HAVE TO FIRST OF ALL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT. SO MOVING PAST THE DENIAL, FIRST OF ALL, WHETHER STRUCTURAL AND SYSTEMIC RACISM IS EVEN REAL TO ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THERE'S AN UNDERVALUING, A DEVALUING OF BLACK LIFE, AND THEN THE LAST STEP THEN IS ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EVERYBODY, EVERY SYSTEM AND EVERY STRUCTURE, FROM OUR GOVERNMENT ELECTED OFFICIALS ON DOWN, FOR PROPORTIONALITY. EVERYTHING SHOULD BE IN PROPORTION. AND THAT OUGHT TO BE THE GOAL. SO ACCOUNTABILITY IS WHAT WE'RE ASKING FOR, AND WE'RE NOT TAKING ANY INSTITUTION OFF THE HOOK ON ANTI-BLACK RACISM.

Steve says I WANT TO FOLLOW UP WITH YOU, ACTUALLY, KIKE, ON THAT ISSUE OF OTHER INSTITUTIONS. BEFORE I DO, I THINK IT WAS DYLANN ROOF... ANY INDIVIDUAL OUT THERE NAMED DYLAN BOOTH WILL WANT THE RECORD CLEAR.

Kike says I'M SORRY, DYLAN BOOTH.

Steve says WE'VE SEEN AMAZON, NIKE, OTHER COMPANIES EXPRESS THEIR SOLIDARITY WITH BLACK LIVES MATTER. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THEM TO DO AT THIS TIME?

Kike says THEY NEED TO HEAR... WE'RE GRATEFUL BY THEIR STATEMENTS BUT ALSO FRUSTRATED BY THEIR STATEMENTS. BECAUSE NONE OF IT IS NEW. THE NEXT STEP IS, PLEASE SHOW US YOUR C-SUITE AND YOUR BOARD AND SHOW US YOUR PLAN, YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN, YOUR STRATEGIC PLAN TO CHANGE THAT, AND ALLOW US TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE. SO SET UP A SYSTEM AND STRUCTURE WHERE OUR COMMUNITY IN PARTICULAR CAN HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR PROGRESS IN THIS AREA. OUT YOUR NUMBERS. OUT YOUR DATA. AND LET'S MAKE THIS A COMMUNITY PROJECT.

Steve says ROGER, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE FROM CORPORATE AMERICA AND CANADA?

Roger says YEAH, MORE DIVERSE AND INCLUSION IN THE HIRING PROCESS. I USED TO BE A RECRUITER AND I WAS FRUSTRATED AT THE ORGANIZATION THAT I WAS WORKING IN BECAUSE PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY... I HAVE SEEN PEOPLE IGNORE SOMEBODY'S RESUME BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT PRONOUNCE THE PERSON'S NAME. THAT PERSON COULD HAVE BEEN COMING FROM AFRICA, PAKISTAN, OR CHINA, RIGHT? IF THAT IS SYSTEMIC IN ONE OF THE LARGEST RECRUITING FIRMS IN THE WORLD, THEN HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET HIRED INTO A CORPORATION THAT THEY ARE REPRESENTING? SO IT REALLY STARTS WITH HIRING. YES, I DEFINITELY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT... SHOW ME YOUR C-SUITE AS WELL, BECAUSE REALLY IT STARTS WITH THE TONE AT THE TOP. IT HAS TO BE DRIVEN DOWN FROM THE LEADERS OF THE ORGANIZATION RIGHT DOWN THROUGH EVERY TENTACLE AND EVERY DEPARTMENT.

Steve says SANDY... SORRY. SANDY, WERE YOU PLEASED TO SEE THOSE STATEMENTS FROM, FOR EXAMPLE, NIKE AND AMAZON EXPRESSING THEIR SOLIDARITY WITH BLACK LIVES MATTER?

Sandy says I MEAN, TO BE HONEST, ALL IT REALLY TELLS ME IS THAT IT IS VERY, VERY POPULAR RIGHT NOW AND CULTURALLY IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO IGNORE THE CALLS THAT ACTIVISTS ARE MAKING. I WANT TO ALSO MENTION THAT WITH RESPECT TO DOUG FORD. I THINK THAT DOUG FORD ALSO KNOWS THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO MENTION AND RESPOND TO THE CALLS. BUT I NEED TO BE SKEPTICAL OF THE PROGRAM THAT HE'S ANNOUNCED. 1.5 MILLION dollars IS NOT A LOT OF MONEY. AS MPP LAURA MINDO POINTED OUT, THE GOVERNMENT HAS ALLOCATED 10 MILLION dollars TO SUPPORT SOME HORSING INITIATIVES IN CANADA. AND WE ALSO HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT WHEN DOUG FORD CAME INTO POWER, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT HE DID WAS TO CUT FUNDING TO THE ANTI-RACISM OFFICE AND TO ANNOUNCE HIS INTENTION TO ROLL BACK REFORMS THAT HAD BEEN MADE TO THE ABILITY OF POLICE TO CARRY OUT CARDING. HE NEVER ACTUALLY ENDED UP DOING THOSE REFORMS. I THINK THAT PART OF THE REASON FOR THAT IS BECAUSE OF HOW POPULAR IT WAS IN ONTARIO TO END THE PRACTICE OF CARDING. BUT THE VERY FIRST THING THAT THIS PREMIER DID WAS TO ANNOUNCE HIS INTENTION TO ROLL BACK THE VERY FEW INROADS THAT WE HAVE MADE IN THE WAY THAT ANTI-BLACK RACISM MANIFESTS IN POLICING. SO I THINK ALL OF THIS IS ABOUT POWER, WHERE BLACK PEOPLE HAVE POWER IN OUR SOCIETY. AND RIGHT NOW WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS REFLECTED BACK TO US AS SORT OF PITYING OR THESE ACTIVITIES ARE BASED ON THE FACT THAT THIS IS ALL SO POPULAR, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR POWER TO IGNORE. BUT THAT IS NOT REAL CHANGE. WE NEED REAL CHANGE TO COME FROM POWER, AND WHAT THAT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE, AGAIN, I HAVE TO SAY, IS DEFUNDING THE POLICE. IT'S NOT GOING TO LOOK LIKE BODY CAMERAS WHEN THERE'S RESEARCH TO SUGGEST THAT BODY CAMERAS HAVE ABSOLUTELY EITHER NO IMPACT ON THE WAY THAT THE POLICE CARRY OUT THEIR BUSINESS OR, IN SOME CASES, THERE'S BEEN RESEARCH TO SHOW THAT WHEN POLICE ARE WEARING BODY CAMERAS, THAT THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO USE LETHAL FORCE. SO, YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO SEE US GETTING KILLED MORE. I WANT THAT TO STOP. AND SO THESE MEASURES THAT WE'RE SEEING FROM THE PROVINCE AND THESE CALLS FROM POLICE CHIEFS ARE NOT WHAT'S GOING TO TAKE US TO WHERE WE NEED TO GO.

Steve says AKWASI, I'M GOING TO... PLEASE, GO AHEAD.

Akwasi says I WOULD LIKE TO FOLLOW UP ON SOMETHING SANDY SAID THERE BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT FOR YOUR VIEWERS TO UNDERSTAND. WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO FORGIVE DOUG FORD FOR NOT KNOWING THAT SYSTEMIC OR STRUCTURAL RACISM HAS LONG, HISTORICAL ROOTS IN CANADA BECAUSE IT'S LONG BEEN ABSENT FROM OUR HISTORY BOOKS AND OUR NARRATIVE. BUT WE CAN'T FORGIVE DOUG FORD, AS SANDY SAID, DISMANTLING THE ANTIBLACK RACISM UNIT. HE STARTED PULLING RESOURCES FROM IT, DISTANCING HIMSELF FROM THE ANTI-RACISM DIRECTORATE. I WAS SURPRISED WHEN I WENT ONLINE POST ELECTION TRYING TO FIND A DOCUMENT AROUND THE RACE DATA STANDARDS [indiscernible] PASSED BY THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT TO SEE THERE WAS ACTUALLY A BANNER AT THE TOP OF THE WEBSITE THAT LITERALLY SAID, THIS IS AN INITIATIVE OF THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT. THAT SENDS A SIGNAL THAT PRIOR TO THESE ALLEGATIONS, DOUG FORD'S GOVERNMENT TOOK THE ISSUE OF ANTI-RACISM AND ANTI-BLACK RACISM IN PARTICULAR IN THIS PROVINCE.

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

Steve says I WANT TO THANK ALL FOUR OF YOU FOR JOINING US ON TVO TONIGHT. THIS WAS OBVIOUSLY A HUGELY IMPORTANT CONVERSATION TO BE HAVING AT THIS TIME, AND IT'S OUR FIRST TRIAL RUN BACK HERE IN THE STUDIO SINCE THE PANDEMIC HIT, AND I'M VERY GLAD THAT IT WAS THIS SUBJECT MATTER THAT ENABLED US TO GET BACK IN THE STUDIO SO WE COULD HAVE MORE VOICES HEARD AND I'M GRATEFUL TO SANDY HUDSON, ROGER DUNDAS, AKWASI OWUSU-BEMPAH, AND KIKE OJO-THOMPSON FOR JOINING US TONIGHT. ALL GOOD WISHES TO YOU ALL.

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Sandy says THANK YOU, STEVE. NICE TO SEE YOU.

Watch: The Fight to End Anti-Black Racism