Policing Black Lives
State Violence in Canada From Slavery to the PresentBook - 2017
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Change begins with a shift in thinking and a monumental shift in thinking is needed today to turn the tides of racism and its destructive impact in the lives of people of colour. If you have ever wanted to wrap your head around racism in Canada this book will open your eyes to the ways in which anti-Black thinking of the past continues to negatively frame the present, perpetuating harm and costing lives.
With a depth of research and historical context Maynard’s book Policing Black Lives systematically unpacks the historical foundations of anti-Black racism and traces it through into contemporary practice of Canadian political, economic and judicial systems. Once you discover the roots of concepts like the devaluing of black life and the demonizing of black bodies you can begin to see how they play out in the criminalization of blackness and the devaluing of black work. While the ways in which these concepts play out in the lives of black men is well known, Maynard illustrates the consequences of these beliefs in the lives of black women as well. Maynard also draws deft parallels between Indigenous and Black experiences of racism which illuminate the racist underpinnings of the state even further. The disproportionate representation of Black and Indigenous people experiencing violence at the hands of law enforcement, imprisonment and separation from family in the child welfare system is explained in detail and depth. A chapter on immigration and border control is titled “Of Whom We Have Too Many” reflecting the policy framework of Canadian founding father Sir John A MacDonald which barred entrance to people of colour for decades. Maynard also drives hard criticism at the deceptive ideal of modern multiculturalism which placates instead of inspiring real change.
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