What a fucking week….
- First and foremost, America is a failed state.
- If you want to understand police brutality in the US you should follow a data scientist by the name of Samuel Sinyangwe.
- His work at Police Score Card .org around the use of deadly force, civilian complaints etc. which is used to score hundreds (if not thousands) of police services across the United States.
- He has also done a ton work on police policies and police unions and how they.
- This is a thread from a Canadian Economics Prof. Rob Gillezeau who looks at unions and collective bargaining rights in the US. What his preliminary finding show is that collective bargaining has risen compensation for police officers with marginal declines in crime rates. It also finds:
- “We find a substantial increase in police killings of civilians over the medium to long run (likely after unions are established) with an additional 0.026 to 0.029 civilians killed in a county each year of whom the overwhelming majority are non-white.”
- Title of this article really says it all.
I am going to break the format of these posts and editorialize a bit. As Canadians we look at the US with sadness and/or grief. Let be clear, many of the same systems exist in Canada. People of Colour die in Canada by police hands, thankfully not to the scale as the US. The legacy of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women inquiry is connected to police indifference or neglect and systemic injustices. Even in Windsor this past month saw an officer charged with assault. This isn’t to paint the vast majority of officers as bad apples but to sit in Canada and think that things are not frighteningly similar to the US is naive at best and ignorant at worst.
Now as a white male, I have little to fear. I am not going to be stopped and frisked or carded. On Thursday, I was out walking Izzy on Harrison Ave. when a Windsor Police SUV pulled up. The officer held up his phone with a picture of a white male who he was looking for and asked if I had seen in while I was walking. I hadn’t, he there was nothing to worry about said thanks and drove off. This was a normal interaction but I could certainly see how if I wasn’t white the tone, perspective and power of that conversation might have been completely different.
That being said, I can’t help think about how so much of this is also media driven. Where was the outrage and protests when China rounded up 1 million Uighur Muslims into Concentration Camps? Over the last couple of years a big issue was the plight of Rohingya in Myanmar (Burma)? What about the up to 300,000 Kurds who have been displaced from parts of Syria by Turkey? Or the fact that to this day 20% of all of Canada’s drinking water advisories occur in First Nations Communities. What we saw in America this past week was horrific but it also shows our privilege to be outraged by those events and ignorant (whether willfully or not) of these others.
I deliberately disconnected this week from social media because the cycle of outrage, grief, solidarity is predictable and repeatable. Guess what, that doesn’t drive change. We are 156 days from the most divisive election in American history; we are watching an empire in decline and oh I forgot for a minute, there is a pandemic happening. The question isn’t what you or I will do about it, is what Joe six pack in suburbia is going to do about it. For Windsorites, every time you cross the border you are enabling the systems that we are watching class. Every time you cross the bridge, you are helping fund Republican candidates and issue through Matty Marouns Superpac; every meal purchased or items bought – the sales tax is helping pay for rubber bullets and tear gas for police departments; every day a healthcare worker crosses the border, yes they are saving lives but also bankrupting families.
Finally I wonder where are our leaders, many of who are quick to share thoughts and pairs on school shootings or a devastating disaster in a foreign land – yet largely be silent on what could be an event of monumental proportions. It’s telling because there are clear policy solutions to some of these inequalities that we see in America that exist in Canada yet no one wants to have that discussion….
- America can still do something good with SpaceX launching astronauts yesterday and arriving at the International Space station.
- Emerging evidence that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease but also a blood disease which is terrifying in its own right.
- As I said a couple of weeks ago, we are now in our new normal barring a points specific outbreak (greenhouse, LTC or a workplace)
- The drive-thru testing is a great way to mass test the population, my concern is that it creates a false sense of security. A family gets a negative test and suddenly the rules don’t apply to them? Sally has a negative test so she can go play at Emily’s house?
- Honestly that’s it…. I got nothing else this week. So here is Izzy.