Perhaps… But ‘vigilance’ remains the operative word as people go about the business of making a difference in the community in their individual way.
So the ‘year-that-was’ is now that: over. Those so inclined celebrated by rounding out the ‘teens’ decades when the clock struck midnight and the ‘long hand’ ticked its way into 2020.’
No more whining years, just hard numbers going forward into the third decade of the 21st century.
Doing my ‘end-of-year’ reflection one thing stuck in my mind, the dogged determination of one Kenrick McCrae, who had been in an ongoing fight with the Montreal police (SPVM). Something about McCrae’s recurring contraventions of laws/rules when he’s ‘driving about his business’ so to speak, in his white Mercedes SUV. That coupled with their [the police] perception of Black people, especially males, driving ‘expensive brand name’ vehicles.
The man has been driving that mark of automobile for years because, he stated a few years ago, he likes the brand and feel… But his preference for the particular model clearly raised the suspicions and hackles of Montreal police who seem to think Black men, in this instance McCrea, a hard-working family man, as we learned when he stopped by the CONTACT a couple years ago to talk about his run-in with them… probably thinking that he shouldn’t be driving such a, relatively speaking, status vehicle.
The police versus Kenrick McCrae became a sort of ‘bull and matador’ game: years of victimizing, profiling and harassing… But for McCrea, the practice was no game; it was nothing short of inconveniencing: “harassing, profiling, frustrations…” Sic!
Over the years, I would occasionally see McCrae in the news voicing… venting his frustrations with the police (obsession…) with him, as if he had become a primary police poster child.
[But] all seemed to have come to a head as 2019 was running after that extended period of McCrae being put through that police ringer of harassment… and his recurring complaints to the police in his attempt to get the attention of the police top brass.
It was no small feat when his issue got to the top brass and ultimately the police ethics Commission, lending credence to his complaints of police bad practices, and acknowledgement that (certain SPVM officers) have [specific] policing issues with respect to Black men specifically, in the course of their work.
In McCrae’s case it’s described as an “egregious case of racial profiling…”
Kenrick McCrae had made his point. Inconveniences, frustrations, and what not, 2019 ended on a relatively positive note for him with his vindication.
He’s finally out of the crosshairs of Montreal police, ostensibly for having the temerity to challenge them in the course of performing their duties and McCrae going about his business driving a white Mercedes SUV.
He changed the colour; it’s now… black.
I don’t know if Kenrick McCrae popped a bottle of champagne or something else for his vindication celebration. The news came as the yuletide season was setting in, seeping into our consciousness. But it was an apt moment and occasion to free himself from all his police-related stress.
What better time of year to celebrate and have a good time.
So as we, especially Black males make our way into 2020 they (the police), must be mindful of the reality that our colour isn’t going anywhere this year, next year, or anytime soon. Black is like red to a bull in the (Spanish) running of the bulls, and the police.
Kenrick McCrae’s vindication doesn’t herald an end to bad police practices… [Old], institutionalized, systemic bad habits are hard to break.
We must be vigilant.