race & crime


I think these people are missing the point… the fact that it got the attention it got is not because this girl was a white schoolgirl involved in a gang who was shot in an alleyway, it was because she was a white innocent schoolgirl who was shot in broad daylight in a shopping area frequented by tourists. If people are getting shot on Yonge Street, then nowhere in Toronto is a safe place, it seems.

6 Comments so far

  1. Jam Master Jamie (unregistered) on January 4th, 2006 @ 12:38 am

    I actually have to disagree with you on this, Lorraine, if only because just six months ago there was another bout of gun violence in the same intersection, but the two people hit (none were killed) were non-caucasian. I believe it was on the long holiday weekend in August, busiest tourist time in the city, once again in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon. I think it’s incredibly unfortunate, but due to this most recent one happening not only to a young white girl, but also during the busiest shopping day of the year during what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, makes this a much bigger medida-grab because it’s got all the drama and excitement to make a great story and make it relevant to the suburban white culture.

    We live in the greatest city on Earth, in my opinion, and we don’t have the racial problems our friends south of the border do, but when a young white girl is killed by random gang violence it tends to resonate a little more strongly because it’s suddenly not just effecting the minorities, it’s now got a face that the majority of people in our city can relate to. Does that make it racist? Maybe, or maybe it just helped make people realize that although this stuff usually happens to “other people”, it’s still here in our own back yards an we’re all vulnerable to it. Jane Cerba (forgive me if I mis-spelled her name) has become the face of all our children, and her unfortunate death finally illustrates to the white majority that this gun violence doesn’t just effect the people at Jane and Finch – it affects us all. If one good thing can come out of this senseless act, hopefully it’s that people have finally woken up to the fact that this is a problem we all have to face, white, black, asian, or whatever other race, creed, colour, tint or hue. This isn’t a black problem, it’s everybody’s problem.

  2. Stephen Jacobs (unregistered) on January 4th, 2006 @ 8:29 am

    I’d have to say I agree with your take on it Jamie.. but to go one furthur – Most people who want action taken to halt the violence (whether ordinary people or people involved in community groups etc and the govt) seem to agree that the lack of programs available to youth (not just the offenders but everyday youth) do not help. That was what my late friend Ahmed Arshi wanted to show people in his film “Why Should I Care?”

    “…inspire us with new ideas of how we can get the youth more involved and spread the message (that) the youth are more important to society than anyone thinks!!” (from his blog)

    Of course race should not have anything to do with it…of course to many people it does.

    Especially if we keep referring to her as that young, WHITE girl who was shot. Does it take anything away to just emphasize that she was not even 18 yet? …whole life ahead of her? …had nothing to do with it? …the puck stops here sort of rhetoric? No. But even mentioning the adjective ‘white’ either shows the persons preconceptions or plays into others preconceptions.

  3. Kevin (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    I agree with the original statement. It does not mater if the innocent person was white, Indian, Arabic, Chinese or black…innocent is innocent it is not racist.

    Jam Master, I have never feared for my life in the city at all. I am not into drugs, crime, gangs or anything of that nature. I would have no problem walking Jane Finch at anytime. Look at the last year in homicides…78 people…5 were innocent, the rest were visible minorities. Why? blacks are not killing whites, whites are not killing blacks, it is completely a problem that has to be addressed within the community where the problem arises. Blacks are killing blacks…its fact. That is the issue that needs to be addressed.

  4. Stephen Jacobs (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    Perhaps I should offer a clarification of what I read originally:

    I don’t believe Lorraine’s intention was to include this word to MEAN something just that it was fact: “it was because she was a white innocent schoolgirl who was shot in broad daylight in a shopping area frequented by tourists.”

    I suppose becasue I still read the unneeded adjective ‘white’ there I thought I was in agreement with Jam. My point still stands as I meant it but I suppose I don’t disagree with Lorraine either. Not at all. I completely understand what she meant.

    On the other hand these things can get so out of hand. Take Andrew Telegdi’s comment (Liberal MP for Kitchener/Waterloo) of some 30 years ago that gained notoriety lately. He was accused of calling some students a bad N* word. However others have suggested that he used the word as Lennon used it when suggesting that “Women is the N* of the world”

    Like this statement from Kevin’s post: “Look at the last year in homicides…78 people…5 were innocent, the rest were visible minorities.” Being innocent or guilty does not nor should it rest on colour. 5 people were innocent, the rest were visible minorities could also be taken out of the context in which Kevin meant to place it.

    One little thing. Kevin – in NO way am I arguing against anything you wrote.. I’m just reflecting on how people can get hung up on words and twist them sometimes without intending to and I am also not saying that you did that. Just making a point with examples!

    I hope this gets across as simply trying to continue the discussion. ;) Email me if it doesn’t… :)

  5. lorraine (unregistered) on January 7th, 2006 @ 8:25 am

    I just think that calling the media racist is not really the main issue, (though still a problem) it’s more the fact that there is a problem with gun violence.

  6. shy (unregistered) on January 7th, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

    i agree… it’s the gun/gang violence that i’m worried about. it’s already bad enough that it is out there, but if they are going to battle it out with one another, i’d rather it not be somewhere public where innocent bystanders would not get hurt (regardlesss or race/ethnicity).

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