FACL BC Statement on Anti-Black Racism and Recent Events in Canada and the US
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 3, 2020
FACL BC has always advocated for equity and justice, and, in doing so, stands against racism and discrimination aimed at Asian communities in Canada. As members of the legal profession, it is our duty to advocate for the rights and freedoms of all persons and to oppose oppression. This duty does not stop with the Asian community or at our borders. We believe that it is important to speak out against racism that impacts any community. This activism is a reflection of our values and mission as an organization.
Black lives matter, at all times and in all places. As historically marginalized communities, we must stand together with Black communities in condemning violence, oppression, and racism. We also recognize the historical ties between Asian and Black communities, the fact that there are members of our communities with both Asian and Black heritage, and the importance of solidarity against white supremacy.
We urge and demand that fair and proper investigations be conducted into the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We recognize that Black communities in Canada have been disproportionately targeted by police violence. “A CBC analysis in 2018 found that 18 [B]lack men and one [B]lack boy were among the 52 people killed in encounters with Toronto police officers between 2000 and 2017. That is more than a third of the total figure. Of those 52 cases, seven Toronto police officers have faced charges after being involved in the death of a civilian. Only one was found guilty” (capitalization added).1 We condemn police violence against Black people in the US and in Canada. We call upon authorities to create long-term strategies to eradicate this violence and to invest in resources for marginalized community members.
FACL BC also recognizes that anti-Black racism exists in British Columbia, and has displaced Black communities, including those formerly residing in Hogan’s Alley. We applaud the initiative headed by The Hogan’s Alley Society, which seeks to honour the legacy of Black Strathcona residents and is “working with the City of Vancouver to ensure that the redevelopment of the Hogan’s Alley block represents the legacy of the Strathcona’s Black community.”2
We also condemn the actions of Officer Tou Thao, who stood by while George Floyd was asphyxiated.3 His complicity depicts the dire need and responsibility to be actively anti-racist. We must confront anti-Black racism within our own communities, dismantle the “model minority” myth,4 which harms both Black and Asian communities,5 and hold ourselves and others in our communities accountable. We call on Asian communities in Canada to commit to being actively anti-racist and combat anti-Black racism. This includes learning about the history of anti-Black racism, having conversations about race and anti-Black racism with family and friends, listening to and amplifying Black voices, and demanding justice and accountability.6
We commit to working towards strengthening interracial solidarity with Black communities, including the Black Canadian legal community.
FACL BC has compiled a resource list for individuals who wish to support Black communities moving forward. We also invite our members and members of the public to consult various other publicly released statements from other law organizations in light of these events:
On behalf of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society
About FACL BC
The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society is a diverse coalition of Asian Canadian legal professionals working to promote equity, justice, and opportunity for Asian Canadian legal professionals and the wider community. FACL BC represents the interests of over 300 legal professionals in British Columbia. Its members include lawyers from all areas of practice ranging from large firm lawyers, in-house counsel, solo practitioners, students, professors and lawyers serving at all levels of government.
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