Reaction to Premier Doug Ford's shake up of Toronto's municipal breakdown by Robert Onianwah for Pride, Canada's daily African Canadian and Caribbean news source.
"The workplace generally is a veritable pressure cooker of opportunities and challenges." The author says, "For us Black folk, the trepidation is more acute, knowing that we are the last to get hired and the first to be fired and the potential for career mobility is far less promising." If you are Michael Thompson, Toronto’s only Black city councilor, working amongst other politicians—ruthless, egoistic, type A personalities—your burden is even more daunting, and you must be a special one. Michael has been a member of Toronto’s city hall, as a council member for Scarborough Centre for 15 years! This is no small achievement considering that no ward in Toronto is predominantly black and that he faces re-election every four years." The author asks, "So why is he the subject of my article today if he is so successful at his job?"
"Because through lived experience or interest, some of us recognize the drumbeat that is the machination of the white media establishment when they start plotting the plausible justification for a successful Black man’s downfall. While trying to feign objective reporting, but unable to disguise her racial dog-whistle, Sue-Ann Levy, a writer for the Toronto Sun, described Michael Thompson as “highly self-serving,” leading a “posse,” who pronounces clear as “clar.” We know where she’s going with that one, don’t we? The author closes by saying: "The crescendo of attacks on Michael Thompson is mounting and before it culminates in an attempt to force his resignation, public humiliation or electoral defeat, due to the unfair public treatment; I felt it was necessary to alert the public, and especially the impotent African-Canadian population, to the media’s complicity in the give-a-dog-a-bad-name-and-hang-him scheme that is becoming all too common in their treatment of prominent African-Canadians."
Ford's decision to make Toronto's wards twice as big has implications for minority councillors and diverse areas as they become more heterogeneous. Listening to diverse voices as Toronto navigates these next few months will be increasingly valuable.
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