- Saskia Scarce
A Necessary Change is Bound to Happen
Whenever I watch the news I always have the thought, “ I am so happy that my parents chose to immigrate to Canada”. However, this is not a recent thought, ever since the murder of Trayvon Martin I have been grateful for their decision. I should note that I recognize that I am fortunate enough that I haven’t experienced extremely blatant racism yet. I am not saying Canada is not flawed but from the perspective of a black woman, Canada is in a better position than America in terms of racism toward the black community. On the other hand, from the perspective of the Indigenous community, Canada is no better than America and we still have more strides to becoming the country we appear to be today and eliminating racism towards Indigenous people.
My soul aches for my brothers and sisters that do have to live in a society that is outright racist, from the politicians to their employers. Over the years, I have seen several black people murdered either from excessive force or hate crimes. It is sad to say that my friends, my family, and I are not shocked by the injustices that have unfolded since the beginning of March. Police brutality is not a new social issue and has had many serious effects on the victims and their communities. The police are supposed to protect and serve but when they abuse their power towards minority groups, it creates distrust which results in neither protecting nor serving our communities. In the presence of police officers, I feel uneasy, whether they are working as security for school dances or they drive behind the car I am travelling in. This should not be the normal emotions associated with police officers, but that is the harsh reality within black communities. A necessary change is bound to happen. There are many ways in which change can be executed. One option is by defunding the police and giving a portion of their annual budget to other services that assist communities such as social services. Another option is by enforcing new laws that will hold the police accountable for their actions. Similarly, if the government mandates that the police have to follow new guidelines and have de-escalation training this can reduce or even eliminate the number of police brutality incidents. We now have the ability to highlight injustices because of the integration of technology and the influence of social media. We are now having necessary conversations within the black community, other minority groups, and with our allies.
Social media has been very overwhelming recently. It is saturated with videos displaying the brutal acts of Officer Chauvin, other acts of brutality, protests and black screens. This made me take a couple of days away from social media. My suggestion to anyone is that if it does get overwhelming, it is okay to take a break sometimes. Despite the overwhelmingness of the internet, it is amazing to see our allies come together to make sure that black voices are being represented and heard. For a long period of time, I was unable to voice my feelings on the current issues revolving around these acts of injustices. I wrote this poem to process my emotions:
I am screaming but no one is listening. The black casualties are increasing. My community is dying, are you policing? This is not a trend or a hashtag. We state Black lives matter Your response is to wave your confederate flag, Neglecting the blood splatter. This is a cry, The time for us to unify. Is this just a way to pass time? Or are you an ally? Amplify our voices, Support our choices In this time of crisis Not only behind your devices. We are screaming, now everyone is listening.
by Saskia Scarce