October 10, 2005

Race in Canada

Here's an article from the Toronto Star. Capsule summary: Canadian blacks need their own (taxpayer-financed) institutions (like the French and First Nations tribes have) because white racism is causing blacks to shoot each other. And, even if that doesn't stop blacks from shooting each other, well, it will provide a lot of cushy government jobs for black activists, so it's a no-lose proposition for the black leaders.

A call for 'separateness'
Partnership of 22 groups seeking distinct programs
Gun violence and deaths behind controversial initiative
Toronto Star

Decades after the civil rights movement fought for racial integration, a Toronto coalition of 22 black community groups disgusted by gun murders in the city wants a separate set of rules and institutions for blacks — from a government department to a diversion program for minor crimes. The ambitious demands are, black leaders say, a turning point.

Fifteen years ago, you would not have seen so many in the black community "so frustrated that they are willing to consider this a positive — this formation of separateness," said Zanana Akande, a former principal and an Ontario cabinet minister in Bob Rae's New Democratic Party government.

"But blacks have now reached the point of such disgust, such frustration, such a feeling of rejection around these issues, that well-trained, well-qualified, capable people have given up and said, `You know what? Maybe we should have our own,'" said Akande, past-president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, which is not a member of the coalition.

"The more unhappy people are with the systems that are in place, the more acquiescent they are to some special services. And people shouldn't feel good about that," she said.

"We're not calling it segregation," said Sandra Carnegie-Douglas, president of the Jamaican Canadian Association and a coalition spokeswoman.

"We know what we need. We live it. We attend the funerals. We deal with the dropouts and the children expelled from school. As it stands now, our communities are, in many ways, being destroyed."

Gun deaths have ravaged Toronto's black community more than ever this summer. Out of more than 60 homicides this year, a record 41 have involved a firearm. Black community leaders say "90 per cent" have involved blacks.

The Coalition of African Canadian Organizations was spawned in August as a response to the bloodshed. It now represents a wide swath of the black community, which it believes is one of the most underserviced, underemployed, poverty-stricken and encumbered by racism.

Among the more far-reaching solutions proposed is a new provincial ministry office on African-Canadian affairs, created to help black Ontarians get access to services that alleviate poverty, help keep youth in school and allow them to thrive culturally.

The coalition is also calling for:

# A court diversion program for blacks who commit minor offences.
# An economic development agency for blacks.
# A skills training and employment access program focused on blacks.
# Police to keep race-based statistics.
# Repeal of the zero-tolerance school discipline policy, which the Ontario Human Rights Commission is investigating for accusations that it deals more harshly with blacks.
# A federal-provincial and cross-border task force to address trafficking in weapons and drugs.
# An independent civilian review of police misconduct.
# A halt to a large youth detention facility planned for Brampton, which it calls a "superjail."

The coalition also supports calls for a black-focused school and envisions a vibrant [it's about time that word showed up in this article!] African-Canadian cultural centre.

The focus of these proposals on a single group makes them highly controversial. Some of the ideas — such as a diversion program and a black-focused school — were broached more than a decade ago but vilified as segregationist.

Last month, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he was "not comfortable" with the concept of a black-focused school.

That rationale now infuriates these community leaders.

Society is already segregated for certain groups who have been granted their own schools and social services, such as aboriginals and francophones, they point out.

"For them, it's all about creating a level playing field. But when it comes to blacks, it's segregation," said Margaret Parsons, executive director of the African Canadian Legal Clinic, a coalition partner.

"If this crisis cannot convince them, if these shootings cannot convince them, I don't know what major catastrophe could."

In the couple of months since its creation, the coalition has become a powerful voice. It excoriated Prime Minister Paul Martin, McGuinty and Mayor David Miller in the media, questioning how much value they placed on black lives after none of the three responded initially to their calls for a summit meeting. Within days, McGuinty was meeting with them at Queen's Park, and Miller plans to meet with them Tuesday.

... "It comes down to money," Fynn said. "Government will have to find resources to put back into these agencies.... You have worsening gun violence. How much of a priority is that?"...

The idea of a government office to oversee African Canadian affairs is modelled after one formally established in Nova Scotia last year, after clear data showed the degree to which blacks were falling behind.

... Parsons went further, saying Canada's vaunted policy of multiculturalism has blinded authorities to systemic racism against blacks, even as they adopt policies of inclusion and integration. "It has done a disservice to us," she said. "It doesn't allow us to focus on communities that are in crisis and need a targeted approach. It does not address racism." Victims of recent shootings are waiting, desperate for changes.

Well, to be precise some of the victims of recent black-on-black shootings have all the time in the world (or the next world, for that matter).

Meanwhile in Canada:

A black coalition and the Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste will complain to the federal broadcast regulator after a well-known psychiatrist said blacks have lower IQs than other people.

Dr. Pierre Mailloux, a popular radio host in Quebec who has been called to criminal proceedings as an expert-witness, says he based his comments on U.S. studies.

But the psychiatrist, better known to Quebecers as "Doc" Mailloux, was unable to name the studies when he made the remark on a popular TV program last Sunday.

The most comprehensive investigation of the size of the white-black IQ gap was carried out by Philip L. Roth of Clemson and colleagues in a 2001 article, "Ethnic Group Differences in Cognitive Ability in Employment and Educational Settings: A Meta-Analysis," in the academic journal Personnel Psychology.

They looked at 105 different studies covering 6,246,729 individuals and found an overall average difference between whites and blacks of 16.5 IQ points, or 1.1 standard deviations. The 95 percent confidence interval runs merely from 1.06 to 1.15 standard deviations (in other words, there is strong agreement among the 105 studies).

Of course, this does not mean all whites have IQs higher than all blacks. There are something like 6 million African-Americans who have IQs higher than the 100 million white Americans with IQs below the white average.

Dan Philip, head of the Black Coalition of Quebec, and Jean Dorion of the sovereigntist Societe Saint-Jean Baptiste say they want the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to investigate.

Philip believes the CRTC should threaten broadcasters with the loss of their licence if they air such comments.

He and Dorion also want the Quebec College of Physicians to investigate in the hope Mailloux will be sanctioned or have his licence stripped.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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