Addressing Environmental Racism in Black Communities in Canada
For Black History Month, the Institute hosts a policy series highlighting bold policy solutions in order to tackle anti-Black racism, focusing on the need for intergovernmental action. Each submission proposes a plan for governments to work together to tackle a problem; while serving as a guide for advocates working towards [what should be] our collective effort to eradicate anti-Black racism.
Africville, a former African Nova Scotian community, has come to symbolize the harmful impacts of both gentrification and environmental racism. An “urban renewal” campaign that began in the 1960s took property away from and displaced members of the Africville community. The area subsequently became the site for several environmental and social hazards, including a fertilizer plant, slaughterhouse, tar factory, stone and coal crushing plant, cotton factory, prison, three systems of railway tracks, and an open dump .Read more
New Report: Addressing Economic Racism in Canada’s Pandemic Response and Recovery
Arlene Reid. Bonifacio Eugenio-Romero. Joyce Echaquan. These are just three of the thousands of lives that have been lost during the pandemic, but in many ways they characterize who is dying. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread through Canada, proclamations from government officials about a virus that doesn’t discriminate was belied by the names and faces of those who were perishing.Read more
Race, oppression and social democracy
The Broadbent Institute's new project, Change the Game, takes a critical look at the history of social democracy in Canada, with the intention of learning from the successes and challenges of the past in order to build the best possible path forward. We invite you to join us in rethinking and renewing social democracy by reading other entries in this series.
When the Broadbent Institute invited us to join forces with them to write about social democracy from the perspective of critical race theory, we were both struck by the challenge that lay in front of us.Read more
Whiteness trouble: the Left's challenge after Trump
The speed, scale and ferocity of racist attacks across the United States in the wake of Trump’s victory are revealing. Doubly revealing, in fact.Read more
On reconciliation, the government can and must do more
A year has passed since the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Ottawa — a brief moment of self-reflection that punctured through a stubborn, willful and long-standing national blindness.Read more
Left and liberal colour blindness imperil real change for Black people
Since the very public executions of Alton Sterling and Philander Castile, I find myself in a profound state of sadness.Read more
Ferguson: Not so far away
Picture this: it's about midnight, and two black men are walking up the street in their neighbourhood after enjoying a meal out.
Up ahead in the distance, four young white men, guitars on their backs and shoulders, are walking on the street. The two black men notice a Toronto Police Services car coming south towards them. The car passes the young white men, but as it approaches the two black men, it slows down deliberately. The two officers look at the black men, making sure the men see their stare, as they continue to drive slowly down the street.Read more
Race and the wilful ignorance of Margaret Wente
Truth, progress and science.
The relationship between these concepts is unwieldy and complex. As media scholars, we read Margaret Wente’s column heralding journalist Nicholas Wade’s new book and cringed, recognizing the ease with which these concepts were used to tell a misleading story about race.Read more
Rob Ford and the truth about privilege
Renowned lawyer Clayton Ruby’s intervention into the Rob Ford spectacle got me thinking about the ways in which this civic mess has unfolded. Namely, it has brought into focus how privilege continues to be accrued unfairly to certain individuals and communities and not others in Canadian society.
Toronto Police Chief William Blair’s announcement concerning the recovery of the infamous video came just as a judge’s ruling on disclosure of the warrant became public. Some of what has been revealed in those documents is more damning than the reality of the video. The video vindicates the reporters and the Toronto Star in particular. However, the documents raise a whole other set of issues and concerns, ones that are bigger than Rob Ford and the specifics of his actions and represent a far more troubling, systemic scandal.Read more
Race, class and lessons from Detroit
Detroit's recent bankruptcy filing led me to re-read a fine award-winning book by Thomas J. Sugrue, “The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit.” The basic argument of the book is that the crisis of that city – now a mainly black, overwhelmingly poor city, a fraction of its former size and a shadow of its former magnificence – is deeply rooted in persistent discrimination against blacks at the workplace and in housing.Read more