By Dr. AJAMU NANGWAYA
"We are creating a society where youth are afraid of police even to the point of hatred. You don't have enough guns and Tasers to control a society that hates police."
- Kingsley Gilliam, Black Action Defense Committee
Carding is an act of state and police violence. It must end through the mass refusal of the people of Toronto, especially Afrikan Canadians, other racialized peoples and the White working class, to share their personal information with the cops.
The Toronto Police Service is using the surveillance and rights-denying regime called carding to stop, question and document the personal information of people who are not suspected of a crime. This repressive policing tactic has been disproportionately used against Afrikan Canadians and targets racialized working class communities across Toronto.
The cops claim that carding is an investigative and intelligence-gathering tool that is used in high crime neighbourhoods. According to the Toronto Star, "...only a small percentage of the people in their massive electronic database have been arrested or charged in Toronto in the past decade."
Afrikan Canadians are stopped in low-crime, predominantly White, class-privileged areas of Toronto at a rate of up 17.3 times that of their White counterparts. Racial profiling is both a means and outcome of this form of apartheid or Jim Crow policing that is a classic form of social containment, over-surveillance and repression.
Since the appearance of Afrikans in the Americas as enslaved workers for capitalism, the policing and regulating of this group's movement has been a standard way of maintaining their second-class citizens' status. From the days of the Holocaust of Enslavement to today, Afrikans have been resisting the brutal violence that is involved in the policing of their bodies.