Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Carding and racial profiling: What does it mean to these Toronto men?

While the debate around carding was at its peak earlier this summer, photojournalist Chris Young spoke with members of Toronto’s black community about the police practice. Opponents of carding say it unfairly targets racial minorities, that it amounts to racial profiling.

“I wanted to hear from the people who were affected by the practice of carding, to open up a narrative without politicking or rhetoric,” says Mr. Young. He asked them: Tell us how racial profiling has affected you.

Explore The Globe’s carding survey and compare police policies in cities across Canada

Dewitt Lee, Two-time mayoral candidate and founder of the Toronto Community Advisory Board

As an Afro-Caribbean, it has affected me tremendously. And not just in dealing with police, and not just dealing with white people. You know, this thing, racial profiling, as a man of colour, follows me when I'm applying for a job; follows me when I am applying for a rental agreement; follows me when I'm looking to hire people. So, at the end of the day, racial profiling does not consist just in the realm of police services but follows you everywhere you go.

Frank Forde, Barber

I try to push it under the carpet, some of the years, the things I went through, but now you hear more about it in the barbershop. I'm listening to people, I'm hearing, “It's getting worse, it's getting worse.” Not only in Canada, but a country like Canada can do a lot more to be a leader in the world if they're really going to be what they're showing, that “everybody can live free as one.” The culture is what we have to respect. We have different cultures, different behaviors. The kids don't see the prejudices – we magnify them as we get older.

Kirk Meikle, Barber

I’ve been singled out coming through the customs, and I know it’s because of the colour of my skin. I’ve been singled out on the Go train. There were several white folks sitting in the same car, and they were passed, and [there were] about four black people, including myself, and the inspectors came and checked us. You know, so these are just some of the experiences I have had.

Lascelles Small, Activist, Photographer

Racial profiling has affected me in a manner in which there are no words, no adjectives to describe it. It’s demoralizing, it’s poisonous, it’s destructive. Because as a black person it’s like you just throw your hands up and says, “What do I do.” Carding is supposed to be different than profiling, but profiling and carding, they got married and the marriage is still going on. And so I find that very, very intolerable that at the present time somebody is saying that carding is an investigative tool.

Louis March

I work with a lot of young black men that have been stopped that when you listen to their stories, you say, “Hold on a second, but you didn't do anything wrong. Nothing happened. Why were you singled out? Is it because you were walking while being black? Were you walking with a hoodie? What was the circumstances?” And, it does not give them a chance to be human. Like, they walk the streets feeling guilty because they're black. And that's how racial profiling affects me. Because I have to work with the people that pay the price for this confrontation with the police.

Maurice Levy

[Racial profiling] just makes me—it gives a great cloud on the future for me and my future family. Sometimes it makes me a little scared to think of having children in this kind of age right now, where he could very well be profiled himself starting from a young age.

Michael Parris, Barber

If I go in the subway or the bus, and there are seats available, and a white person would come in and if I'm at the end of the seat I would move around, move that he can sit, and he wouldn't even sit down. That's how deep it is. And I still say that all other races seem to shun the black race.

Quaashie ‘Q’ Wright-Massey

As a minority there is a duality you have to carry. There’s a way you can carry yourself amongst your friends and your peers, and there’s a way you have to carry yourself in front of a police officer or a politician. Which is, realistically, you should be able to be yourself in front of these people.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading…

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.