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stop racism I was shocked at Councillor Greig’s comments about Councillor Merton’s timely motion “that the City of Owen Sound will actively work towards anti-racism and anti-oppression.” I was very dismayed to see him cast the sole vote against the motion.

Councillor Greig’s first question: “Where's the body of evidence that there's a problem?” demonstrates complete ignorance of one of the biggest issues of our time. And yes, there is racism in Owen Sound, as outlined by David McLeish in his response and obviously known by council members who supported the motion.

Greig’s next comment: “Because before one fella in Minneapolis, it was not an issue” is just appalling – not to know that the murder of George Floyd (that “fella”) by a policeman is part of centuries of murders, lynchings, incarcerations, racial profilings, discrimination and injustice against Blacks and Indigenous people, not just in the United States, but in Canada as well.

Addressing Mr. Floyd as “fella” is demeaning. It constitutes one of those micro-aggressions that are regular occurrences for racialized members of our community.

Mr. Greig continues: “If there is evidence that was put in front of us, more so than one or two people complaining . . .”. That statement woefully ignores the premise of the motion that systemic racism exists, and Owen Sound is no exception.

Councillor Greig’s comments are clear and sufficient evidence that education is needed. Perhaps it could start by understanding the word “systemic.”

Systemic racism is “a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organisation. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.” (Wikipedia).

Councillor Greig is concerned that “working towards anti-racism and anti-oppression” is just the “newest political correct initiative.” He says “I've seen it in minor hockey. Because one fella did awful things with kids, and then everybody, all the coaches, are asked to go through programs and so forth.”

These abuses are not isolated incidents. And if one child can be spared from being abused by a coach, isn’t all that training worth it? That type of training may have spared many of my sons’ classmates from being sexually abused by their high school music teacher.

Let us plan for a post-Covid “Just Recovery for All” that includes, as Councillor Tamming requested, “more hefty” actions against racism.

Liz Zetlin
Owen Sound


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