When terror strikes in a pleasant, bustling city street, the first people to arrive are the police. Right behind them are the media, keen to report carefully and accurately about what has happened.
The link between these first responders and the sources bringing opinion and ideas about situations police are needed for is crucial. While mainstream media report on the big headlines and large trends in policing, Canada’s ethnic media offer unique and valuable coverage—especially every time those involved are part of a minority community.
A special collection of cross-culturally translated stories from MIREMS highlights policing issues as covered in the ethnic media. From gun laws to 3D printing and a shift in the meaning of safe cities, editors and voices in these communities are bringing their voices to their audiences in their mother tongue.
Headlines like “Mini Punjab no longer safe for Punjabis,” “Everything is not OK in Toronto,” “Toronto the good is no longer” lead stories detailing the impact of police issues on these communities.
Fareed Z. Emokhol writes in an editorial for Montreal’s Arabic El-Ressala Bi-weekly about Trudeau’s failure to tackle radicalization of Arabic immigrants to Canada, calling Trudeau’s welcoming of refugees to Canada under human rights law a “mistake” by “granting killers and criminals rights and ignoring the innocent victims killed or injured by them.” Emokhol called the rise in shootings and terror attacks a “new and strange phenomenon.”
In response to the Greektown shooting, the latest in Toronto’s rising gun crimes, Portuguese writer Vincent Black wrote an editorial for Milenio Stadium saying that in his conversations with community members, they believe that had carding policies still been in place, the shooting would not have happened. Black continues to say carding disproportionately affected people of visible minority communities and finished saying “Toronto the Good is no longer. There is a new culture of gun violence where it’s fine to shoot people, it’s glamorized, and it’s glorified, and they don’t mind dying.”
Not just Toronto is affected by this gun violence as Toronto’s Hindi Express published an editorial saying cities famous for Punjabi populations are “no longer safe for Punjabi youth.” The author says their increasing population is causing problems, that Punjabi youth are being targeted, listing multiple shootings where Punjabis were injured.
While many sources reported on the sharp rise in shootings in Toronto, Chinese source Fairchild TV Ontario made a point to downplay the increase calling it measurable, “but hardly a surge.”
On gun control, Toronto’s Russian Torontovka.com reported about Jagmeet Singh’s push to let cities ban handguns: “Singh says more policing is not a solution to gun violence in cities because some measures have amplified distrust between police and racialized communities.” Toronto’s Tamil East FM 102.7 raised the question about 3D printed guns quoting Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders saying the possibility would be “catastrophic.”
Montreal’s Sinoquebec Chinese Newspaper quoted Conservative Public Safety critic Pierre Paul-Hus saying “the government's real work is in targeting criminals, strengthening penalties for gun crime and keeping gang members behind bars.”
On issues like carding, radicalization, gun control and beyond perspectives and opinions in minority communities often differ from mainstream opinions, and these difference are laid bare in the headlines, editorials, TV and radio shows in Canada’s ethnic media.