My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles from December 2018

  1. Part of the system

    Being part of a racist system doesn't make you racist. Refusing to acknowledge and stand up against system racism is what makes you racist.

    Last week the OIPRD released its findings of an investigation into the Thunder Bay police. The report, at over 200 pages, is the culmination of two years of investigation. It unequivocally states that systemic racism exists within the Thunder Bay Police Service. Also last week, a second report from a separate investigation, this one done by Senator Murray Sinclair at the behest of the OCPC, came out. It too found racism—this time from the Thunder Bay Police Services Board, which oversees the police. As a result of the report, the OCPC appointed an interim administrator to oversee the board until its members have undergone training and taken other required steps.

    Both reports also made very specific recommendations for how to address the systemic racism.

    None of this is news, really, for those of us in Thunder Bay who haven’t buried our heads in the sand, but now there are hundreds of pages of documentation backing up what is pretty common knowledge here: the police are racist, and it’s killing Indigenous people.

    Reaction though, of course, has ranged largely from lukewarm to ludicrous in the denial and shifting of accountability. Police Chief Sylvie Hauth (who took on the…

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  2. I have a podcast now. Podcasts are cool.

    In what is probably the most millennial move of my life, I have started a podcast with my bestie Becky. The podcast is called We Just LIke to Talk, and it launches today. Subscribe to it however you get your podcasts!

    We Just Like to Talk logo

    You may recall Becky as the friend I visited in Montreal at the end of the summer. We’ve known each other for several years now, but we’ve grown a lot closer over the past year and a half or so. One of the defining features of our friendship is our easy yet intense conversation—by which I mean, we can talk with each other about anything (literally no subject is off limits), and we can have incredibly intense discussions, without it ever feel awkward or acrimonious. Our topics range from inane banter about our lives to deep discussions of feminism, relationships, and heavier topics. We learn a lot from each other when we have these conversations, and I always look forward to them.

    So at some point along the way, Becky said we should be recording our chats—we should, in fact, start a podcast. Although I didn’t doubt her sincerity, I also didn’t, at the time, think anything would…

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