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.

3 Articles Tagged with “Thunder Bay”

  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…

    Read more…

  2. Racist op-eds need to stop, kthxbai

    Another day, another racist article in my local newspaper, The Chronicle Journal. This time it isn't an ignorant letter to the editor, though—it's an ignorant op-ed from a retired judge.

    I follow a lot of Indigenous people on Twitter, because I want to hear what they have to say. This article comes hot on the heels of a similarly stultifying piece from Conrad Black a few days ago, and it's one day after the news that another Indigenous teen (Brayden Moonias) has been found dead here in Thunder Bay, with police reporting signs of foul play.

    My city has a racism problem, and it is literally killing Indigenous people. But too many citizens refuse to acknowledge this, and now we're importing racist rants from Winnipeg when we should be standing together against opinions like this.

    So I wrote a letter to the editor responding to this piece. No idea yet if it will be published. Here is the letter in full:

    I wish I could say that I'm shocked that The Chronicle Journal ran Brian Giesbrecht's "System that rewards status Indians is spectacularly unfair" a day after Brayden Moonias was found dead here in Thunder Bay.

    Giesbrecht would

    Read more…

  3. Rocking the Fort (in our own way)

    No, I didn't go to Rock the Fort this year (you American people of course have no idea what I'm talking about, let alone you poor people in Britain, Singapore, Ireland, India, etc., but bear with me). However, today my friend Laura and I did take a trip out to Old Fort William Historical Park to take a tour and have some fun (and to laugh at our friends who were working out there).

    For those of you who don't know, Fort William was the largest fur trading fort west of Montreal and was essentially the "bottleneck" for furs coming eastward from the interior of the country. Back in the nineteenth century, this is why people settled here. The Historical Park, rebuilt to detail after the original Fort burned down, attempts to bring that atmosphere alive with costumed guides who play the roles of all sorts of people there, including the famous voyageurs.

    Several of my friends work there, including Graham and Cortney, so Laura and I agreed that it would be cool to spend the day down there and take a guided tour and see if we could locate our friends. Unfortunately, that was easier said than done. Once…

    Read more…