SASKATOON (Saskatchewan, Canada) – Police Chief Clive Weighill says that while he believes there are some racist officers in his force he does not think their racist views and biases spill into their work and interaction with the community in which they are sworn to serve and protect. Racial tensions between Native and Aboriginal Canadians and White European decent Canadians have been long standing and at times seem to have a strong grasp on current day events and situations. There is much distrust with policies, government and law enforcement from the Natives and no shortage of abuse of power and neglect of law enforcement, government and policies set in place.
For Chief Weighill to claim that his officers’ racist and prejudice sentiments don’t interfere with their ability to work, protect and serve the community they are biased against is not only naïve but insane. It is illogical to believe that anyone who is racist would be able to approach, assist and or respond to a person/group they internally hate without bias. Chief Weighill made another statement conveying that he looked into his department and found nothing wrong with how his department and officers handle cases. However, how likely would someone who believes and says such things, actually find any wrong doing?
On the opposite of Police Chief C. Weighill’s statements RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson in an annual meeting with AFN (Assembly of First Nations) said “I understand that there are racists in my police force. I don’t want them to be in my police force.” (B. Paulson) Commissioner Paulson showed to be more responsible and reasonable than Police Chief Weighill in his position with the public and work. Clearly people like Chief Weighill are part of the problem.
The systemic plague of racism and prejudices in law enforcement stems and is partly fueled by the lack of progressive movement in and from government. Old entitled, colonial and imperialistic views on social interactions and acceptance among groups raped by the dominating oppressors structure and put in place policies that set forth failure on the oppressed. This divide and destruction have been implemented and acted on since colonization and based on current events doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, especially without a fight. Unfortunately, and understandably many in the Native community, like the Black community in the United States who have experienced systematic oppression, lack faith in real change. We as “the others” in society may very well be left with no alternative logical option other than to save ourselves from a debauched system. – J. Whitehead