Councillor calls for new body to target anti-black racism

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    Councillor calls for new body to target anti-black racism

    An Ottawa city councillor is urging the capital to follow Toronto’s lead by establishing a secretariat specifically targeting anti-black racism.

    Coun. Rawlson King’s suggestion comes two weeks after the racist message “N–gers, out!” was spray-painted on a black family’s garage door.

    In response, King is calling for both an anti-black racism secretariat at city hall and a dedicated hate crime unit within the Ottawa Police Service.

    King said he himself was called the N-word in the Cyrville neighbourhood a couple of years ago.

    “I think that this type of racism, especially with what’s emerging with … right-wing radical extremism throughout the industrialized world, has to be actually addressed. It has to be addressed in substantive ways, and I think that a secretariat does that, and a hate unit does that,” King told CBC in a recent interview.

    Anthony Morgan, a lawyer and a member of Toronto’s relatively new secretariat called the Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit, agreed with King that creating those specific groups is a good idea.

    Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Rawlson King says racism exists in Ottawa and needs to be dealt with by specialized groups. (Kristy Nease/CBC)

    ‘Collectively unprepared’

    Toronto’s secretariat supports the city’s 44 departments to implement 22 recommendations and 80 actions made in an anti-black racism action plan, which acknowledges that racism still exists.

    “We live in a country that has done many positive things around ……

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