Writing about big challenges in our society is fraught with smaller but equally difficult challenges. I had a wonderful interview with a CBC reporter who said that the news story had to be canned because the Toronto police refused to address the book and the topic... and the editor thought the story would be too biased without that input. The police spokesperson frankly told the interviewer that they would not be reading the book.
The interviewer told me that s/he was surprised by such a staunchly negative response and asked if I had anticipated it.
"Yes" was my answer.
When you ask tough questions you have to anticipate substantial criticism and to dig deep for the courage to continue.
Our police services have admitted there are problems and have brought in consultants to deal with the concerns. Our governments have admitted that change is needed in the criminal justice system. Guns are a problem. But so is poverty. So is racism. So is a simplistic perspective.
Today my friends in policing have said that my book is being spoken of as “that gang banger book”.
I have asked every one of us to be introspective. I invite everyone to read the book and try to do so with an open mind.
This book is not about individuals inside policing, the courts, social work, education or any other system where discrimination resides. I am not the enemy. I am only a voice asking for reflection and redirection of resources.
And today Toronto Mayor John Tory referred to “thugs” in Toronto in the escalation of gun violence.
Can we stop using this language…. these categories…?