Most of these demands were harmless. But one was not. BLM insists that the Pride Parade has to kick out the police floats, which have been a popular staple for years. This is wrong, and sad, and bad. Police participation in the parade is a welcome symbol of solidarity and inclusion – and also an important message to the public that gay people exist in every walk of life. But BLM activists loathe the police, who, they believe, are racist to the core. So they have to go. (Side note, for what it’s worth: Toronto’s police chief is black.)
The short history of Black Lives Matter in Toronto proves that so long as you’re the victim group du jour, bullying and intimidation can win you obeisance from officials, to say nothing of reverential coverage in the media. When they staged a sit-in outside police headquarters to protest police racism, the Toronto Star depicted them as freedom fighters. After they demonstrated outside the home of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, she met them on the steps of Queen’s Park and declared, “I believe we still have systemic racism in our society.” When they accused the city of racism for shortening the schedule of an African music festival (the neighbours had complained about the noise), the city hurriedly restored it. In response to their demands, both the city and the province have called for investigations into the racist practices of the police – despite the obvious fact that Toronto is one of the most racially peaceable cities in all of North America.