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Ujjal Dosanjh

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Was It RCMP's Racism That Expelled Dayton Goree From The Trudeau Event?

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Many of us had been watching with horror the United Airlines brutally dislodging a passenger from his seat and mercilessly dragging him through the aisle and off the plane, all to allegedly make space for their own employees in a flight the United says was oversold by them. Why did United choose to remove that particular man? Was it because he looked old? Was it because he didn't appear to be rich? Or was it because he looked foreign, not white, and United felt safer to remove him rather than pick on someone else? The insult and inanity of it hadn't fully sunk in when we awoke to the news of a black Canadian in Nova Scotia, forced to leave a trade skills competition attended by Prime Minister Trudeau a few days earlier.

Dayton Goree, a second year carpentry student at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) was told by Trudeau's RCMP security detail to leave the event. He was told if he didn't leave he would be removed. After ordering him to leave, the RCMP officer turned around and walked away. The officer returned a second time telling Goree only students, guests and faculty were allowed at the event. Goree was not given an opportunity to explain since after telling Goree to leave, the officer would turn around and walk away without hearing from Goree. The third time the RCMP officer showed up with two NSCC guards threatening to remove him. Absolutely humiliated and dumbstruck Goree walked over to the other end of the room, picked up his back pack and exited the place. A guard followed him out of the room. The guard offered no explanation either when asked by Goree why he was being removed from the event.

Goree is a second year carpentry student in the very class Trudeau was doing the event with. There were students, faculty and other guests present. He wasn't misbehaving. He says he was the only one asked to leave; he believes it happened because he was black. He wants to know: Why he was the only one asked to leave? Why did the RCMP or the guards offer him no explanation for his removal? Was it because he was black? These are questions he wants answers for. He deserves to have those answers without any delay whatsoever.

We know racism still lurks large in some parts, nooks and crannies of the country. The RCMP has had lots of problems dealing with the missing and murdered aboriginal women and sexual harassment of women in its own ranks. Have the powers that be ever asked any questions regarding racism in its ranks? Has it ever occurred to the force that it may be a problem?

The RCMP has denied asking anyone to leave the Trudeau event; but the fact that Goree left the event wasn't specifically denied by the RCMP. If what Goree alleges happened the way he describes it, the RCMP has a serious problem to deal with. The RCMP need to level with Canadians as to why Goree was targeted for removal. Was it because he was black? Was it because he didn't look like a student? Was it because he couldn't have been a student because looked too old to be one? Was it because in a crowd of over 150 people he was the only one who didn't look like a student, faculty or a guest? As an old brown father of three brown children and grandfather of six brown grandchildren, all Canadians, I too want answers to these questions. Canada, I hope, wants to know too. It needs to know. Not later. Now!



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