Black lives matter has an important message, regarding the use of force on citizens generally. But their specific focus on race excludes people who would otherwise support their cause. This is especially true beyond the borders of the US, e.g. when BLM infiltrated the LGTBQ community in Canada. Our biggest incident involving police using lethal force on an unarmed man involved a Polish national coming to Canada for the first time to visit his mother, who was perhaps more in need of a translator and a cold glass of water rather than an immediate confrontation with several officers and a taser. Officer involved shootings are routinely reported by the media, and hold the public’s attention despite the efforts of police friendly PR spin doctors.
It is for this reason that I don’t find anything wrong with people coming forward reminding the public that the focus should not merely be on police v. black shootings, but police involved shootings generally. EVERY life taken should be a matter of concern to the public. I know that in the US, the issue of race is a divisive one. 19th century psychology was largely predicated upon convincing slave owners that blacks weren’t quite the same as whites, therefore inferior and not worthy to be considered human. Today some of that feeling is preserved in the way black and white people relate to each other, and how they view their roles as individuals. A large population of blacks will continue to feel distrust and resentment toward their white neighbours, while whites are seen as motivated by self interest to protect the status quo. Change is inevitable.
But the issues in the US aren’t reflected here in Canada, namely because we never indulged in slavery, and therefore never had to wrangle with the ethical incongruence to having them while living under a Constitution that declares ALL men to be free. We therefore allowed men of other races to vote, and women of colour voted federally from 1918 (by provinces, from 1916- 1960).
“Black Lives Matter” therefore should take a more pragmatic stance in Canada; rather than disallow gay/ lesbian police from attending their own Pride Parade by way of a police float, they should march alongside them showing that BLM is in fact an inclusive group, rather than exclusive.