Fwd: Black Lives Matter: Let’s Listen, Empathize, and Learn

I’d like to share with our members and friends an opportunity to learn about
the experience and opinions of the black community in Canada on racism.  The
first part below is the invitation to the live online audio program from one
of the hosts.  I sent her a message, giving my thoughts on the Black Lives
Matter movement, which was attached at the end of this post.

They are getting great engagement, and will have two dates for the
Wednesday June 17 at 3:30pm &
Thursday June 25 at 3:30pm Eastern Time

You can tune in live at: www.amiaudio.ca to participate.

The invitation: Black Lives Matter: let’s listen, empathize, and learn –
AMI’s Kelly and Company wants to hear from you

“I’m sending you this message on behalf of my team at Accessible Media Inc

On AMI-audio’s Kelly and Company show, we’re asking questions, listening to
responses and experiences, and encouraging taking part in the difficult and
real conversations around racial bias and injustice.

On Wednesday, June 17 at 3:30pm Eastern Time, Hosts Kelly and Ramya are
listening to how you are feeling, and encouraging you to speak your truths
on what has been and is happening to Black lives.

Perspectives need to be told and heard; please join us.

How are Black, disabled males in Canada being heard right now?
Were you comfortable calling the police growing up? Why, or why not?
How do you feel when learning about your own internalized racism?
What makes you afraid to speak out?
How do you perceive the current message for change in law enforcement and
the justice system?
Where do you, or someone you know, experience significance racial bias?
How are Black Police Officers being heard?
Who can help break down the systemic racism built into the bricks of our
Exactly how can we be the change we want to see?

The conversations are here, and every one of us is a part of them.

To give us your perspective, please reach out via phone, and leave a
Voicemail at: 1 866 509 4545, and leave permission for us to use your
message on-air.
Alternatively, please send us an audio recording or written email to:
Finally, please engage with us on Twitter with the handle @AMI-audio, under
the hashtag #KellyCo

Thank you for moving these conversations forward.

Ramya, on behalf of the KellyCo Team at AMI ”

My comments:

I invited several school principals of Caribbian heritage to my learning
club as guest speakers for the Black History Month in the past years.  I
remembered  One of the male principals said he told his son how to cooperate
when he was stopped by a police officer one day while driving a car.  He
said he did not say “if” to his son.  Instead, he used the word “when”
because as a black male you would be stopped one day or another for sure.  I
think that unfortunate certainty perceived by the black community reflects
the fact that we do have a systematic racial profiling against the
community.  I really want to know how we can address this problem and do a
overhaul to get rid of it.

Meanwhile, I read a book, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It
Harder for Blacks to Succeed, by Jason L. Riley, an African American
journalist and member of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.  In the
book, Mr. Riley examined how those well-intended welfaire policies had
actually hindered the black community in the States from moving forward, and
in many cases, led to a deteriating community culture.

So I have been thinking what we can do to solve the problem,  or to improve
the situation?  I think everybody needs to make an effort: the society as a
whole need be aware of racist phenomenon and peerceptions, stand up against
racism, and mobilize more resources to help; the black community need strive
to address some of their problems, such as high crime rate, low graduation
rate, and high percentage of single-mom families.  Education (of diversity
and anti-racism for the whole country, and of schooling or vocation for
Black young people), and communication between different races at an
individual level would be two powerful weapons to change the status quo.  As
an Asian immigrant, I see similar problem facing the Asian community.
That’s why I wanted to start my learning club, to educate and improve
ourselves, and to promote communication with people of other heritages.  For
systemic prejudice we need every member of our society to stand up for us;
otherwise the minorities would often feel powerless — that’s where I
especially feel for the black community.

One idea I have is to mobilize resources to launch a befriending program
for black kids in single-parent families.  I don’t know the number for black
Canadians, but it’s said 75% of black families in the States are led by
single parents, mostly mothers.  This could have a negative impact on the
growth of the kids, lacking the role model and support from the other
parent.  If we could find positive, caring grown-ups who would like to spend
a couple of hours every week with these kids, playing with them or taking
them to do chores, outings etc., the kids may benefit from interacting with
these big friends.  Actually I was planning for such kind of program through
my learning club at the beginning of this year, aiming to help kids in quite
some Asian families whose father worked in Asia and seldom stayed in Canada.
The kids faced the same adversity to their growth.  I had very little
resource to go to, but believed the program could make a difference to the
kids so I would like to try my best.  The plan was halted by COVID-19,
though.  Now that the whole world have been drawn to the Black Lives Matter
movement, I think it would be much easier to find resources to have a
similar program in place for the black community if people think it is
something worth of a try.

That’s my thoughts and proposal.  I could be wrong.  So I am looking
forward to listening to the voice from the Black community about their
experience, thoughts and suggestions.  Thanks for organizing the event and
giving us the opportunity to listen!


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