Canada, can we please stop acting like we are lit when it comes to being multicultural. Everyone is outraged at America and their treatment to black people and their communities, but, Canada isn’t any better. Just take a look around. You don’t need the media to tell you something you already know.
What really puzzles me is the lack of attention this is receiving from Canadian media. Could it be that Canada is hiding under its multicultural illusion? This country has put so much time and effort to be a “gay-friendly” country and proving that to its citizens and the world. As a lesbian, I appreciate it. I sincerely do. But why hasn’t the same effort gone into the racial attitude Canada has towards blacks and natives? The research has obviously been done. Why hasn’t there been any real media coverage on this matter?
After watching Ava Duvernay’s “13th” documentary, I took it upon myself to do a little research to see what the numbers were like in Canada. I am angered but not shocked by the results.
In June 1016, the 42nd Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator was released by correction investigator, Howard Sapers. The results ring many alarms but are not surprising. Saper confirms that from 2005-2015, the federal prison population in Canada has grown by 10%. Within this decade, there has not been a year that the black population did not rise. In fact, the population of black prisoners grew by 69%. In addition, majority of the black men that are serving time are in Ontario. On the contrary to all of this, the white population in federal prison has declined by 3%.
Black men only represent 3% of Canada’s population, but also manage to make up 10% of the prison population. That is 3 times their population rate in general society.
Sapers report also revealed that black (and aboriginal) prisoners are over represented behind bars. Black men are the fastest growing group in Canada’s federal prisons and account for 14.9% of all “use of force” incident. This has increased by 2.3% since last year. This is because the systematic racism these men face comes from all levels of the justice system; from the minute they are arrested till their last day serving time. And, it doesn’t take this report to know that they are less likely to be released on parole. However, the report also found that black men are also less likely to reoffend once on parole. It’s an opportunity they deserve but never get and contradicts the population growth.
Although we are not Americans, our correctional systems have very obvious similarities that help answers the question of why there are so many black men in federal prisons. For an example we both have mandatory sentences that are forced to keep prisoners locked up regardless of their state of rehabilitation and population of black men is on the rise.
I’m not going to let these men off the hook so easily either. If you did the crime you serve the time. It’s simple as that. I just believe that the punishment for a crime should be same for all racists. Don’t give a black person more time for selling coke then you would a white man.
The numbers are alarming and raise great concern; however, black men have to take accountability where its due. They need to stop giving the police reason to lock them up point, blank, period.
As a black woman in Toronto, I can say that getting the job, and keeping it can sometimes be easier said than done due to racial factors. But starting your own business is never short of an opportunity. We have to start the process of fixing the correctional system problem. In order for people to acknowledge the racial pressure we face as black Canadians also need to acknowledge our contribution. The numbers don’t lie, but in most cases, the reasons don’t either.