The enemy of my enemy…

It came as a shock. I just found out that Toronto writer Tiffany Gooch and I agree on something. Neither of us is a fan of Mr. Trudeau’s public safety and emergency preparedness minister Bill Blair. This came as a surprise as I had written her off as a ‘black is beautiful booster’ who assumed that all white men are racists.

Gooch’s antipathy with MP Blair connects with her primary assumption that policing in Canada is built on being systemically racist. Despite her seeming inability to explain what ‘systemic racism’ means, she builds on this assumption. She sees former Toronto police chief Blair as unable to do anything more than support the status quo.

If she had quit there, I would have been in agreement.

But Gooch seems to blame Blair for any and all events that happened over his career in policing. She uses the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS) as a case-in-point. She blames Blair for this provincial strategy that she says “blurred lines between protecting and terrorizing black communities.”

What Ms. Gooch seems to forget is that just because I am Caucasian racially, does not mean I speak for the white community. Being black, in itself, does not entitle her to speak for the black community.

And just because some of the children were frightened by the big police people with guns is not a substantive reason to withdraw the police from schools where they were getting mixed reviews. She should be aware that children are sometimes frightened by clowns with balloons. That is no reason to ban clowns from our schools.

It might be that neither Ms. Gooch nor I consider Mr. Blair to be the ideal person for the prime minister to choose as a point person on police reform in Canada. That might not be much but it is a start.

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