I send prayers first before I write this blog. Not in a religious fashion but hopefully a spiritual one that intends to recognize we are all in this together and all here to caretake each other on this planet.
Dear USA. Your guns have come north and caused carnage on our streets. When “the right to bear arms” became a part of the constitution, the people who penned it only imagined foreign invaders – not people hunting their own with anything stronger than a musket. So much to grieve. I will argue that the NRA is an organization that is not dissimilar to any other group of extremists.
Dear Canada. We have much work to do in teaching our youth that there are better ways out of poverty than through drug and gun crimes.
When writing a book about true crime that endeavours to critique systems, the author has to necessarily be expecting critique returned.
Aim barbs and expect a volley. Like gunfire but much safer and hopefully productive.
My book about the Jane Creba murder is no different than my book about the Bandidos or my Ph.D. dissertation or any smaller pieces of work I have written wherein I ask us how we will move forward in our society unless we think critically about our behaviours, our expectations, our systems and our prejudices.
I welcome the critiques. I welcome all the feedback.
But here’s a frustration. I was interviewed about the book by a journalist who sought some insight into gangs in Toronto. We had a great chat. He was confused by the response he received from the Toronto Police spokesperson who said they would not entertain reading the book let alone respond to it. So here's the thing. A news story about gangs in Toronto and all the hype this year as a new "year of the gun" takes place got canned because the Toronto police spokesperson refused to read my recent book and provide commentary on the murder and issues of systemic discrimination I raised that continue to be problematic for all of us.
Dear North American and European cities. We deserve police forces that will answer to very real concerns that there are racial injustices alive and well.