On April 20, 2021, in an encouraging sign, the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin brought accountability for the murder of George Floyd. The worldwide support for the Floyd family and the strong condemnation of such blatant evil certainly helped to make this happen.
While this particular battle was won, the struggle for equal treatment under the law continues and needs strong ongoing support. In the United States, Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. In another study, white police officers dispatched to Black neighbourhoods fired their guns five times as often as Black police officers sent for similar calls in the same communities.
And Canada is not exempt from this racial bias either.
In Winnipeg from 2000 – 2017, Indigenous people made up 10.6% of the population but were more than 60% of the people who died in police encounters. And in Toronto, Black people make up 8% of the population yet were 37% of the victims of police violence.
At EA, we will continue to focus on social justice issues and find ways to contribute to building a more equal and just society.
Operating in Canada and the U.S. as providers of key social and economic data for both countries, we know that African-Americans and Black Canadians are underrepresented compared to the average in wealth and income, employment levels and educational attainment and are over-represented in poor health, involvement with the justice system and homelessness, just to name a few indicators.
These indicators are evidence of widespread individual and systemic racism. The video of the recent murder of George Floyd by a white police officer has forced all who believe in justice and equality to face the reality – anti-Black racism in Canada and the U.S. must be confronted and stopped.
We must act – individually and as a society to end this.
No more denial.
A New York Times Opinion piece regarding the way forward for the US put it this way, “Our nation suddenly caught a glimpse of itself in the mirror and people of all races poured into the streets to say ‘no more.’” (June 9, 2020).
This is true for Canada as well.
As a company, Environics Analytics is mandating the following items immediately:
This is just the start.
All staff, partners and clients are invited and encouraged to provide input on additional steps. To share your ideas, contact us. Black Lives Matter.
Canada Has Race-Based Police Violence Too. We Don’t Know How Much. TheTyee.ca
What the data say about police brutality and racial bias — and which reforms might work. Nature.com.