Police carding says I don’t belong, I’m just tolerated
By XINAVANE MAWU KUSH
The issue is not whether carding can be made to look friendlier. The issue is not whether carding can be redone so it seems nicer.
The issue is that carding – in and of itself – is wrong. Carding is similar to the New York Police Department's infamous "stop and frisk" program.
Carding says that I am not entitled to the same rights and freedoms as White Canadians. Carding says I'm not as 'real' a citizen as a White person. Carding says I don't belong, I'm just tolerated.
Carding is based on the White supremacist historical mantra that we Afrikan people are inherently criminal; inherently lacking in civilized values and principles; inherently untrustworthy; and that we need to be reminded that we are (considered) inferior to White people, and especially, that we must keep that demeaning status foremost in our (and their) minds.
The current era's racist policing has been given the name carding, and because that name wasn't used in previous eras people think this is a new activity. It is not.
It had no name I was aware of when I was growing up (and BTW there was no gun violence at the time to use as an excuse for targeting our community) but police, nonetheless, maintained exactly the same behaviours as carding.
They would come up on law-abiding, innocent Black people and demand all kinds of personal information, and talk to us in a tone as though they were an occupying army and we were the barely tolerated suspicious enemy.
The news reports of carding’s death are grossly exaggerated
By Ajamu Nangwaya
On June 7, Toronto's Mayor John Tory called for the cancellation of carding, which is the cops' practice of stopping and questioning Torontonians and documenting and storing their personal information in non-criminal encounters. Tory made this announcement in spite of previously being a strong supporter of carding.
Many people were wildly jubilant at this proclamation and uncritically took his words at face value. Some people went so far as to claim it as a victory.
Rachel Décoste, a blogger with Huffington Post Canada, could not avoid noting "the congratulatory backslapping (that) spread across Hogtown (Toronto)" under the belief that carding had been dumped into the cesspool of history.
Paula Fletcher, the city councillor for Ward 30, was enthused by Tory's declaration. According to Fletcher: "This is what a leader does: looks at the situation, reassesses. And he's made a very big announcement for the city of Toronto today."
Akwatu Khenti had this to say, by way of Twitter, about Tory's change of heart on carding: "Thank you Mayor @JohnTory You have an entire community's support on the need to end #carding yesterday."
John Clarke of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty was skeptical of the quality of carding reform that Mayor Tory would bring to the fore: "Facing huge opposition to #police #carding #Toronto Mayor #JohnTory hopes pause for cosmetic changes will save him."
On June 18, Mayor announced that he had another "road to Damascus" moment and was converting back to his original embrace of carding. Tory introduced the carding policy of April 24, 2014 and it was unanimously supported by the members of the Toronto Police Services Board.
This development should not have been unexpected because statements in Tory's June 7 speech expressed his commitment to carding, notwithstanding his explicit call for an end to it.