Questions Black Lives Matter Toronto won’t answer

These questions, sent via electronic mail, elicited no response whatsoever. (Links added and rearranged.)

  1. Janaya Khan wrote this in Now:

    They have committed to a more inclusive Pride – an inclusivity connected to the very first Pride, known as Stonewall, the riot led by transwomen and queer people of colour against police brutality in 1969 New York.

    Many participants in the Stonewall rebellion are still alive (including James Dubro here in Toronto). They, and all historians, and all available documentation (like photographs), conclusively show that most attendees of the Stonewall were white gay males; that most attendees of the three-night rebellion were white; that most people in Manhattan in 1969 were white; that it was illegal to appear in public in clothing of the opposite sex in New York State in 1969; and of course that no “transwomen” were involved whatsoever (no such persons existed – at best a subgroup of participants were effeminate gay males and drag queens).

    Given these historical facts, and given black activists’ constant claims of erasure, why did Khan lie about Stonewall in the pages of a local newspaper? Why did Khan erase historical truth?

  2. If Pride has been suffused with “anti-blackness” for years, why haven’t BLMTO members, or other black or nonwhite persons, joined Pride Toronto and stood for office? Pride Toronto uses a single-transferable-vote system and it is easily possible for a black or nonwhite person to be elected (cf. Alica Hall). Why not run a full slate of candidates and take over from the inside?

  3. Next, on the topic of banning police “floats” from Pride marches and/or the parade: Do you not understand that rainbow-painted police cars are not “floats”? From Pride Toronto’s Rules of Parade Entry (PDF):

    • Each float built on a flatbed truck over 8 feet long MUST have the rear wheels covered with wood panels
    • Your float may not be higher than 13ft from the ground (to avoid live streetcar cables); electrocution never goes well.
    • Your float may not be wider than 9ft (one traffic lane wide). We bet that getting your float stuck between the centre median and the barricades is not exactly what you had planned for the day
  4. Why didn’t Black Lives Matter, or any nonwhite person, file a complaint against any and all police forces under the Dispute Resolution Process? Are you not aware that the DRP, fatally flawed though it is, remains the only mechanism to ban any organization from Pride parades and marches?

  5. Are you further unaware that the DRP derived from the Community Advisory Panel process, where black and nonwhite communities were extensively canvassed?

  6. If BLMTO merited its honoured-group status because it is a so-called queer‑ and trans-led activist group, on what grounds would, say, LGBTory or the Toronto Police LGBTQ ISN also not qualify for honoured-group status? They too are queer‑ and/or trans-led.

  7. Looking at one of your listed demands –

    A commitment to more Black deaf & hearing ASL interpreters for the Festival.

    • Are you unaware that a service provider, like OIS, is legally barred under the Ontario Human Rights Code from accepting or fulfilling a service request that itself contravenes the Code? Of course there are other provisions that enable, say, female-only staff in all-female spaces (MTFs are not female), but those do not apply here. Why does BLMTO insist that Pride Toronto make a request that BLMTO knows would break the law?

    • Given the existence of professional certification under AVLIC, which includes commitments to impartiality and professionalism, how is a nonwhite certified interpreter actually better at his or her job than a “Black” one would be?

  8. BLMTO essentially admitted it refused to sell a T-shirt to a white person, or, in your Orwellian euphemism, someone who is not black-identified. (If Tilda Swinton were to identify as black tomorrow, was she black all along?) Haven’t you also violated the Human Rights Code in this instance by refusing to provide goods or services on the basis of colour, race, and ancestry?

  9. Khan told Maclean’s the following:

    Q. You’ve said that you’ve received death threats since the sit-in, primarily from gay men.

    A. Yes. […] So our action has challenged gay white men specifically and they’ve responded in white supremacist ways. That’s really what we’ve seen.

    • How does Khan know the messages actually came from gay men? Andray Domise’s Twitter user ID is T’ChallaBack Youngin; as you surely are aware, usernames can be made up. How does BLMTO know with certainty who the writers of these messages are and how they “identify”?

    • What is the evidence of “white supremac[y]” among gay men in Toronto? Is a difference of opinion white supremacist, racist, or violent?

    • On that point, I heard Khan say, at Yonge and Carlton during the sit-in at the Trans March, that the Orlando massacre of over 40 gay men and others was due to “toxic masculinity.” She was further quoted as saying the cause was “white supremacy.”

      Why can’t Black Lives Matter Toronto admit that the actual event was as follows: An American-born Afghan Muslim murdered 49 people? (Are Afghans “white”?)

      As with Stonewall, why does Black Lives Matter TO lie about historical truth?

    • Further, as in the Canadian Press article on the harassment allegedly experienced by BLMTO, why didn’t Khan provide copies of the harassing messages, ideally with headers shown?

  10. @BLM_TO issued this on Twitter on July 4 (excerpted):

    The community & allies supported our actions. 2 those who felt inconvenienced, be better.

    I have are four credible reports (from Dubro, Sue-Ann Levy, Chris Rowlinson, and Doug Elliott) of people suffering in, and in once case fainting in, the heat and sunshine while the parade was held up during your protest. In what respect are directly inflicted physical discomfort and injury mere “inconvenience”?

  11. Further on Twitter (July 3):

    We shut it down. We won.

    In what respect is “shut[ting] down” a parade “winning” when you went on to present a list of demands?

  12. Last, if Black Lives Matter Toronto holds a community forum in the near future, will nonwhites be allowed to attend? How will you enforce that, exactly?