Friday, April 15, 2011

This Is What Racism Looks Like by Alex Snider

In reading The Globe today I came across this article, RCMP to Investigate Tasering of 11 Year Old Boy, and read how a cop in Prince George tasered a kid who was suspected of stabbing a 37 year old man in a group home. The boy was next door when the police arrived and was subsequently tasered although there is no mention of any aggression towards the police. 

Recommended, at the end of the article, was a link to another article entitled Native Leaders Call for Multiple Probes into Tasering of Boy, 11. This piece revealed that the child who was tasered is Aboriginal and that leaders in the community were, justifiably, skeptical of the RCMP's ability to investigate their own. 

Alright, so far so good but then, because of my masochistic tendencies, I decided to read the comments and, shockingly, I was pleasantly surprised. The first article's comments condemned the actions of the officers, declaring that there could be no excuse for such force to be used on an eleven year old child. 

One person wrote: "Humph! BC Mounties. Doesn't the record already show that they're among the most brutal cops in the country? Time for a huge shake-up in the Mounties. If you can't contain an 11 year old short of tasering them you're so sad that there's nothing else to be said."

Another: "If you cannot physically control an 11 year old you should not be a police officer! No inquiry needed, fire the officer that did it as he is of absolutely no use."

And: "An investigation is required? What's to investigate? He was 11. The only question is whether he had a gun, not a stapler, but a real gun pointed at the officer. Yes or no -> Investigation complete..." 

Of the twenty comments on the first page, all were critical of the RCMP, none of them suggesting that the force used could possibly be justifiable.

And then I read the first twenty comments on the second article, the one which implicitly states that the child is Aboriginal and found all the favourite straw-men that racist Canadians use when speaking about issues facing Aboriginal communities.


"How about probing why SO MANY Native children are in the care of social services. Where are these leaders when child abuse and the abuse of woman occurs every day on reserves?

My heart has become cold and stone until Natives and their elected leaders take at least some personal responsibilities. The blame game has become way too predictable and repetitive."


"While I don't condone tasering of 11 year old's, I tend to agree that this 11 year old was most let down by the people who failed to give him an upbringing or any sort of stable home environment which might have taught him socially acceptable standards in the first place."


"I live in Prince George, and Sadly this doesn't surprise me one bit. So many Young kids today are getting into trouble because of Lack of parental control. PG Has a very high rate of Mothers using drugs or drinking alcohol while pregnant. The high school drop out rate is just ridiculous and so is the rate of teenage pregnancy. Downtown PG is looking more and more like East Hastings with crack addicts and prostitute's loitering. 

I just hope this Boy get some Help and Guidance else he's gonna have rough road ahead of him."


"I am sure those 2 boys just a couple of weeks ago were white.

They took that 15 year old girl & tortured her & killed her not sure if they raped her or what.

After they killed her they took her body down under the bridge & set fire to her body they got 

tried in adult court the way it should be our youth are getting stronger & getting away with 

more all the time.

It is about time they had to take responsiblity for their own actions until then it is only going 

to get worse they no they can get away with it & have been getting away with because there 
are bleeding hearts out there to stand up for them."


"Bring on all the facts. Why was this little ANGEL in a group home at the age of 11, and why did he stab another person and why didn't he comply with the Police orders? Oh, and I guess the only reason he was tasered what that he was an Indian."

What happened that caused the tone of comments from one article to the next to go from outrage over fucking tasering a child to blaming the child, blaming his parents, blaming his community, blaming every one except the adult who fucking tasered a child?

The thing that did not change from one article to the next: A police officer used excessive force on a child. 

The thing that did change: The boy was identified as Aboriginal.


(Image from Livesafely)

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