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Dr. Ameil J. Joseph speaks at the Black Friday Rally infront of City Hall in Hamilton.

How much more do you need to see? Black Lives Matter

The following was from an address given by Ameil Joseph at the Black Friday Rally in Support of Black Organizations in Hamilton, Friday June 12 at Hamilton City Hall

Jun 16, 2020


As recently as June 11, we saw the Hamilton Police Services Board approve a motion designed to intentionally mock Black Lives Matter protesters and supporters calling them nonsensical and that they are ignorant — knowingly directing these dismissals and insults to Black leaders in our community.

We have witnessed delays and complicity in responding to white nationalist groups organizing where I stand.

We have seen a notorious advocate of carding be hired at McMaster University, increasing the fears of students, faculty and staff who are already at risk of police brutality due to racism.

We have witnessed the rejection of applications from racialized leaders to the Hamilton Police Services Board.

We have witnessed the failure of police to protect the public and their admission of wrongdoing while organized hate groups attacked the 2SLGBT community at Pride — all of this validated by an independent investigator — and no accountability.

We have witnessed the employment and coverup of a leader of one of the most notorious white nationalist groups in our city hall.

We have witnessed the apprehension of our anti-racism resource centre.

We have witnessed local school boards refuse to immediately remove police from our schools whose presence is known to threaten Black lives, the lives of Indigenous students and students of colour.

We have witnessed superficial acknowledgments of land without substantive commitment to end the genocide of Indigenous people and our complicity with settler colonialism.

Those of us who have been involved also see the hate mail, the threats, the letters slipped under our doors alongside the aggressive dismissals and interrogations from those we try to appeal to for change.

How much more do you need to see omitted, erased, harm, fail, and humiliate racialized people in our communities, how many times do we need to see the invalidation of anti-Black racism?

How much more suffering do you need to see to believe? If there was ever a moment where we were to realize that superficial statements and empty platitudes are not enough, this is that moment.
The leaders of — and the organizations that have been doing the work to combat racism in all of its forms, to name anti-Blackness in our services and institutions, to speak out time and again in defence of their own right to breathe — those are the people who need you right now, they need you to back them up beyond words, they need you to back them up when they tell you what their demands are and how they matter. This work has not been rushed and they are not divided. Now is the time to speak out, to show up, to support the local organizations that we have not adequately supported. And it is not enough to do this just until your guilt subsides or until media get bored with covering these matters, we do this until racism is eradicated in all of its forms, individual, systemic, and structural, we do this until Black, Indigenous and people of colour tell us that the work is done!

Thank you.

Ameil J. Joseph PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at McMaster University


Please check out the full opinion article here