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WEEKLY ROUND UP: JANUARY 29

January 29th, 2016     by Caitlin Blennerhassett     Comments

Illustration: Erin McPhee

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of author Octavia Butler’s death. She was a visionary science fiction writer and futurist whose work, among other things, launched a new genre called Afro-Futurism. She also kept detailed letters that are now in the possession of The Huntington.

This week it was announced that four members of the Toronto police force have been charged with obstructing justice and perjury. Two of the officers are major-crimes investigators while all four have been charged with making up a story involving planting heroin in a suspect’s car in an effort to justify a search. Following the announcement of this week’s verdict in the James Forcillo case where Const. Forcillo was found guilty of attempted murder in the 2013 murder of Sammy Yatim, this week represents a very clear demonstration of the public’s distrust in the racist practices of the Toronto Police Force. Forcillo was found not guilty of second degree murder and will continue to be suspended with pay.

In related news, a Toronto police officer is facing disciplinary charges after an incident in which that officer fired more than 14 bullets in to the hood of a stopped car in the Distillery District.

Toronto’s music community has been called out for racism in the industry. In November a panel called Music: Racism, Power and Privilege 101 was held at the Music Gallery in an effort to bring to light issues around white privilege and cultural appropriation in the local scene. Many people left frustrated at the lack of opportunity for dialogue and are now gathering for more thorough conversation and action via the hashtag #racisminmusic and through racisminmusic@nowtoronto.com.

In a historic victory the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the federal government’s underfunding of child and family services on First Nations reserves in this country is a form of racial discrimination. This racist practice led to funding formulas that created an incentive to remove children from their families.

The situation in Flint is still devastating.

NEW RIHANNA ALBUM. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

Tags: art, indigenous, media savvy, music, news flash, police, race and racism, recommended reading

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