I don’t have the right words to say – and even struggle with these as they seem empty without any concrete action to support them. And yet, I feel compelled to speak out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, fighting against the injustices endured by Black people simply because of the colour of their skin.
Like so many in recent days, I was appalled when viewing the video of the harrowing incident in Minneapolis that took the life of an unarmed Black man at the hands of police. The ensuing protests in cities around the world demonstrate the frustration at our collective inability to address the underlying and systemic anti-Black racism that continues to permeate our society.
Some of this racism is overt, disturbing and deeply offensive. Much of it is hidden and subconscious, embedded in a system that benefits some at the expense of others and creates an inequality and separation among human beings. I don’t want to live in a world that discriminates against any human being based on the colour of their skin, their heritage, their religion, or who they love. This starts with examining my own biases. When one part of the community is hurting, we are all hurting. Let’s lift each other up.
I serve as co-chair on Mississauga’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC) and also as a member of Peel’s Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism Committee (DEAR) and I do not take lightly the role I and these groups play in fostering understanding and a more inclusive community. This is one avenue I have to raise my voice and influence change. Due to COVID-19, we have not met but I look forward to the opportunity soon to discuss and take action on addressing anti-Black racism in our quest to dismantle the systematic and institutional racism that continues to affect the well being and progress of the Black community.
I acknowledge that several groups and communities have experienced injustice and discrimination. However, the recent killing of George Floyd – caught on film – has galvanized a marginalized community to call for change. And I support this call. I am here to stand with the Black community in tearing down racial barriers to equality and justice. I am here to listen… to learn… and to act. I invite you to join me.
City and Regional Councillor, Mississauga Ward 10