Monday, July 13, 2020


In today's Waterloo Region Record, Luisa poses the following question in the headline of her Opinion piece: "What does it take for a Black person to get on the police board?". What it takes is for the Black person to be one of the old boys network. What it takes is for the Black person to be preferably a good human being with absolutely no hint of activism, agenda, or willingness to mix it up when being bafflegabbed or stonewalled.

Here's a much broader definition of who both our regional councillors and the province want on our police boards: "nice", polite Canadians with complete confidence in our institutions and government. No one, black, white, or brown, male or female, gay, straight, or bi who go in there with great concerns or deep understanding of the failures of both our police and their mickey mouse oversight Police Services Board. The Black woman (Ms. Hogarth-presumably Dr. Hogarth?) represents exactly what our old boys political network are terrified of. This is an educated AND knowledgeable individual who also has life experiences dealing with police and discrimination. Sure there are women regional councillors (including the Chair) as well as women on the Police Services Board over the years. As long as those women have been vetted by the old boys network of primarily white men and they feel that the women are like themselves in believing in the status quo and the inherent superiority of the few then they will be not only accepted but treated reasonably well.

I expect that a very successful Black businessperson who showed every indication of enjoying and appreciating the fruits of their success and who absolutely weren't left wing or active in speaking out against various social ills, would be acceptable on the Police Services Board. Just for the record there have been many old white guys as well as old white ladies who have applied to be on that Board. I'm one of them and I've never even gotten a sniff at being appointed. Why would I? I'm an environmental and human rights activist. I've spent decades fighting with various government bureaucracies and ministries whose real agenda is maintaining the status quo, not in supplying to citizens the help and services listed in their mandates. Can anyone imagine me working for the WSIB? How about for the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of labour or even the Ministry of Transportation? I would have blown the whistle on their deceit and corruption as soon as I had the goods on them.

People in authority do not hire or appoint based upon merit. They hire or appoint based upon their comfort level with like minded persons. In politics as well as in some businesses this includes hiring friends and relatives. It's called nepotism and cronyism and is alive and well. "Nice" people do not upset the apple cart. They "go along to get along". These are the kinds of people who are quickly appointed to these positions. Brains or good looks are merely icing on the cake. Being outspoken is the kiss of death for applicants.

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