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This recent event of Pride Toronto this year has been a memorable one for sure and everyone is furious about the recent events from Black Lives Matter whom has been much criticized and regretful not with great regard from Black Canadian Men and Woman as I hear it even discussing on the streetcar and even covering the Joe Jackson event at the TD Jazz Festival, I couldn’t get away from it.

I will tell you why you are furious Canadians, because Black Lives Matter is preaching to the Choir. More precisely Black Lives Matter are preaching to the Preacher. Perspective is the problem, more so from Black Lives Matter not doing their homework, and the due diligence of our adopting this American form of Activism within our general Canadian customs and philosophy. Good Canadians are confused and angered at the block aid and demand this disrespectful behavior of removing our police force from the parade shameful. Shame On You and I’ll will say it for all those Canadians who want to say it “F*&K you EH?” (In a Bob & Doug MacKenzie Voice from SCTV)

Well here is my respect for the cops whom come every year, attending in bigger numbers to help bridge misunderstanding, and who add to our safety of our celebrations. SORRY GUYS FOR THE FEW PEOPLE who dishonoured you that day. This is my photo for you taken July 3, 2016.

Yes the police are not always perfect, there are assholes in every Organization, Corporation, Groups, Province, Country, Religion, Churches, Mosques, Activist Groups… you get the point. So to dishonor those individuals who are Not Assholes and to black ball and brush them all with the same racist brush, is disgraceful and unbefitting of Canadian Culture. It is hard to address this issue because Black Lives do Matter and there is nothing that I wish to say that would demean the injustices, intolerance that happen every day. But I would love to open dialogue to talk about Black Lives whom demonstrate prejudice and racism to White People like the story of a Black Nurse here in Canada refused to care for a Gay Man dying of Aids in a hospital, and telling him to that he doesn’t deserve to live and should die in his own filth should he not repent and accept Jesus. There are real cases of racism from all cultures … we are all prone to make generalization but there is a long Generation of Canadians who do not think that way anymore and prefer a more amicable approach. Yes I believe that all people are capable of extreme racist comments and action but it is a choice to act on impulse rather than delve into finding perspective and good intent. What makes us Canadian is the ability not to see colour and further our understanding of one another but we lack the insight to see the value of investing in these mechanism to promote these dialogues further. It is Lazy thinking but it’s not too late to admit that with our polluted egos that those mistakes can happen thus the need for forgiveness, reconciliation and renewal which can still occur. This still can be a great opportunity to further our definition of our Human Identity.

Being a good journalist I did my due diligence; recorded every speech listened by Black Lives Matter, to every comment, even got an interview with Black Lives Matter. But our conversation cut short due to time, I even tried to gain perspective from other journalists to gain an understanding and then saw our Executives supporting hesitantly along with the other Executives at Pride Toronto and Black Lives Matters supposed to be officially leading the Parade, but there was something in their speech that triggered a deep journalistic warning within me that I couldn’t put my finger on it until now.

In my interview with Black Lives Matter, I asked why did they disrupt the Mural Presentation in memory of the 1981 Bathhouse Raids and discredit the Chief of Police’s Apology; she stated that the Police didn’t apologize but said they regretted the incident, which is not an apology and also that the Police where pink washing the Mural and The Event. For those not understanding Pink Washing is simply a term, of ill intent people using the LGBTQ Community as a pink shield of excuses by doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons simply to look good in the public's eye. I then asked Black Lives Matter what evidence do you have to support the Pink Washing, which she replied ... where are those cops whom made those decisions and whom were involved in the raid how come their names were not shown and why were they not present to make the apology. Good point, but these men and woman cops must be either dead or getting old and most likely retired, perhaps is it worth looking into but humiliating those cops now … and is it going to bring any better changes? She also stated that the Orlando Massacre deceased where primarily of Colour which then I answered “why is that relevant?” Then I realized what was really going on, and unfortunately our conversation ran short due to time, for her commitment to the stage. Personally, I believe that Black Lives Matters need to substantiate some evidence before staging a coup on July 3 2016 at the Pride Parade or making accusations of Pink Washing. Well there has to be documentation and some stories of the abuse happening within this city of Toronto, with some surety many journalists or the Chief of Police would love to hear your story of abuse from Police within the City of Toronto because surely, if they knew what was going on with some Officers of the force behaving badly, there will be heads rolling. In no way, I am saying that Black Lives Don’t Matter, frankly Black Lives Do Matter, and their mission statement’s focus is on Black issues thus Black Lives Matter.

The over populace and majority of Canadians don’t see colour, Black Lives Matter do see colour and that may be part of the problem. Personally, the early morning of June 12 2016 when I saw the red alert on the news wire about the Orlando Shooting, I didn’t have my glasses on and I tripped over my bed and thought that it was Muslims that got shot and killed and I literally cried right then. Some people would say Jean-Claude why would you cry you are a big critique of Islam Religion, and yeah honestly I believe Sharia Law sucks, but it would never stop me from helping a Muslim Woman with her groceries off the Streetcar, it would not stop me coming to the aid of anyone for that matter, why, because I am Canadian. I cried because my thoughts of Men, Woman, Children’s lives being snuffed out by a massive shooting disturbed me, then I found out that it was a gay club I cried again, why, because I am Canadian.

“Black Lives Matter started in 2012 as a call to action for Black People in the United States after 17 year old Trayvon Martinwas posthumously placed on trial for his own murder and the killer George Zimmerman was not held accountable for the crime he committed.”

Yeah I would be pissed, and their call to action is working in bringing awareness to the abuse from what is happening and started in the United States of America. Again we are talking about the United States of America, a complete different culture when it comes to racial tensions. For example I am a big supporter of THE REAL NEWS.com - Paul Jay, the Chief Editor, is from Toronto CBC. He is a friend on Facebook whom I share comments time to time on the issue he is facing, which he would quite sternly agree the situation is very fractious between police and the Black Community in Baltimore and he highlights the injustices all the time on his Network. Thus, I empathize with and support their cause for justice where oppression and suppression is manifested concurrently and repeatedly but let’s ask ourselves is it happening in Canada to the extent of our neighbouring Country; absolutely not. But, if the oppression, how I hear it from Black People in Baltimore and from my reporter friend reporting in Baltimore “Then yes Black Lives Matters!” protest and get guerrilla like in those situations because you have too ….” but we are Canadians. This is not a war zone. Canada is one of the Leaders in Human Rights Legislation and I am proud to note of knowing more of MPP Cheri DiNovo who keeps fighting to extend its definition even when we all think things are ok. We have very good moral exemplars here in Canada we don’t need to be offended to understand your cause, we already do.

Honestly, the very title Black Lives Matters sounds racial to us, it is because it is an offence to our Canadian Psyche and thus the reason for the confusion. The title is probably meant to invoke anger and tension to bring awareness to the grave injustices happening especially within the United States.

Yet, for example if we started saying “WHITE LIVES MATTER”, people would automatically label us as KKK, and other horrible white “supremist” groups. So in essence Black Lives Matter offends us because the title itself and the movements History, Tactics, Philosophy is foreign to our Canadian Perception, and unfortunately groups like Black Lives Matter can easily be lead down the wrong path of becoming a Black Neo Nazi group IF NOT CAREFUL. What scared me was they are organized, loud, but more so vengeful in their speech, “we are going to win they say…” “Tell us the full prize and what is that vision…and in that photograph of your vision are white people in that portrait as your brother and sisters living in harmony?” Fair Question.

“Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”

Great mission statement but not necessarily true in every culture in the degrees of expression that Black Lives Matters experience in the United States of America and definitely not truly accurate for Canadian Culture thus the reason for the conflict.

“Our Language is Old … we talk at each other now rather than to one another.”

“Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but many opinions stink because many people have not learned how to wipe.”

What pissed me off the most out of all the interrupted and the stampeding of events with this American Style Agenda was on the night of the Pulse Vigil during the speeches people mentioning all the suffering the Queer Muslim speaker called for that Muslim Lives Matter and then all you heard was loudly in a vengeful voice Black Lives Matter… offending everyone whom were grieving and then I heard behind me has I am shooting the moment “All Lives Matter … honey!” So I coined the phrase from the event because it was much more Universal and frankly much more attuned to Canadian Culture. But then I get told off by Black Lives Matter in their speech at the Trans Pride Parade that All Lives Don’t Matter until Black Lives Matter first, for if you don’t believe in Black Lives Matter than you don’t believe in All Lives Matter! Really? Ridiculous! But then unexpectedly, my own Pastor Rev. Brent Hawkes repeated the same rhetoric in his sermon on Church on Church Street probably to save face with all the dignitaries within the crowd, and the pressures of making everyone happy by trying to keep the peace. I love you brother but…”gotta” seriously disagree with you on that statement.

The difference is I am not always a nice guy when it comes to hard truth… you can’t always be nice in delving into issues of such importance. But the accusation of using “All Lives Matter” in my video to be an insult to Black Lives Matter, I say that is just lazy thinking “F*&K y90 EH!” (Gotta say it in a Bob and Doug Mackenzie voice…)

All Lives Matter is not a negation of Black Lives Matter it’s more an Evolution of where Black Lives Matter should be heading. As I said before Black Lives Matter is A Racist Remark probably because it’s supposed to… but this title does not adopt inclusiveness and this group leading the parade here at Pride Toronto is misleading to say the least.

Personally I empathize with the workers of Pride Toronto and the stress must be as bad as a Drag Queen loosing an EYELASH before heading onto the stage… But what I don’t understand is how can Pride Toronto not have done their due diligence a little more and thinking of the huge cultural differences we have with our American Counterparts. Black Lives Matter Toronto maybe a Canadian Branch but its’ policies and its spirit is still lodged within American Ideology. We are forgetting and not thinking that their structure and worlds are completely different to the average modernized Canadian Individual. Honestly, Black Lives Matter should not be leading, they should be following us and we should be their teacher, for their actions so far here in Canada, are looked as arrogant, pretentious, puéril and macabre. And this experience is not helping their well intent cause at all.

Do Black Lives Matter? Absolutely! Do ALL LIVES MATTER, absolutely more! ALL LIVES MATTER….. Honey!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is my new mantra and no one is “gonna” stop me from preaching that gospel and Black Lives Matter.

Peace Jean-Claude Lafond


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