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‘Hidden form of prejudice’: Diversity trainers say solving police racism has no quick fix

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Against the backdrop of smoldering tensions over race and policing in Toronto and Thunder Bay, Ont., trainers and educators who specialize in anti-racism efforts caution that cultural sensitivity training for police officers is no quick fix.

« Our use of stereotypes is an unconscious habit. Like any habit, it’s hard to break, » said Shakil Choudhury, a Toronto-based consultant who has lead diversity training for about 25 years.

« You’re not going to break the habit after one training [session], »

Police in Thunder Bay are under intense scrutiny over their interactions with Indigenous people, after two separate reports released this week suggested the police service in the northern Ontario city is rife with institutional racism.

The reports advised that both police officers and the civilian board, which oversees the police service, undertake cultural sensitivity training about Indigenous peoples.

Toronto police already conduct mandatory training on diversity and bias avoidance, but they are also under fire after the Ontario Human Rights Commission released statistics on Monday showing black people are « grossly overrepresented » in violent interactions with police.

The reports didn’t surprise Choudhury, who has conducted diversity training for several police forces in Ontario and Alberta.

In a report released Wednesday, Ontario’s independent police watchdog Gerry McNeilly said that there’s a ‘crisis of trust’ between police and Thunder Bay’s Indigenous community. (Matt Prokopchuk/CBC)

He says systemic racism is « pervasive » in policing and the criminal justice system in Canada, and it takes time and commitment from leadership to root it out.

« Like any other lesson we learned in school — whether it was math, learning to read, or write — it took repetition … It took a teacher to help us work through our mistakes, » he said.

« Equally, that’s how you’re going to undo unconscious bias. »

However, some anti-racism educators question the effectiveness of unconscious bias training.

According to Carl James, a York University professor who has published several reports about anti-black racism in education, research suggests that unconscious bias training hasn’t produced desired results.

« We have heard over and over again that the police have had training. So the question is, why hasn’t it produced anything different? »

‘A hidden form of prejudice’

The problem, according to James, is a resistance to mandatory training.

« When people reluctantly sit in the place and are … given training, one would wonder how willing are they to really engage, in a deep way of thinking, through what ought to be dealt with, » said James.

Choudhury, who has also trained teachers and health professionals, acknowledges participants in anti-racism workshops often feel defensive, « because they’re basically waiting to be told that they’re bad, they’re wrong and they’re racist, » he said.

[Unconscious bias] is part of the human condition, and you can be trained to uncover it.– Shakil Choudhury

Choudhury tries to avoid the blame-game by explaining unconscious bias, which he describes as « a hidden form of prejudice. »

« You don’t have bias because you’re a bad person, » he said. « We’ve all been socialized in a system in which criminality and danger has been associated with the darkness of one’s skin. That is an incorrect assumption, yet it is pervasive, » said Choudhury.

Unconscious bias training programs, which are designed to expose people to deeply ingrained stereotypes they hold about everything from race to gender, have been rolled out to police forces across Canada and the United States.

Toronto Police came under scrutiny this week when a report from the Ontario Human Rights Commission found that a black person in Toronto is 20 times more likely than a white person to be shot by police. (Christopher Langenzarde/CBC)

Choudhury believes it’s also important to teach emotional intelligence skills to police.

« Police officers very much feel highly criticized, and rightfully so … But this [unconscious bias] is part of the human condition, and you can be trained to uncover it, » says Choudhury.

But training for individual officers won’t work, James suggests, unless the entire culture of an organization is examined for bias.

« One of the benefits might be a nice conversation — but a conversation toward what? Is it going to produce the changes necessary to provide a more effective organization that works with the community in less discriminatory ways? »

Policing solutions in Saskatoon

Métis entrepreneur and journalist John Lagimodiere believes police forces can change.

Lagimodiere led Indigenous awareness training for Saskatoon police in 2002 and 2003, after the practice of « starlight tours » — where officers would abandon Indigenous men, perceived as troublemakers, on the outskirts of town in the dead of winter — was exposed.

John Lagimodiere is the publisher/editor of Eagle Feather News. (Submitted by John Lagimodiere)

Police were taught Indigenous history, treaties, the Indian Act, and residential schools. Elders were invited to offer cultural teachings.

« All of Canada got robbed of the proper education about Aboriginal people, » said Lagimodiere.

« It’s not their [police officer’s] fault they don’t know. It’s not their fault it’s those perceptions and biases are in there, because they’re born into them. »

Lagimodiere recalls police responding positively, including one memorable follow-up with a long-serving sergeant.

« He said, ‘That two days I spent with you changed the entire way I police,' » said Lagimodiere.

In the past decade, Saskatoon police have hired more Indigenous members and offered compulsory diversity training. The Saskatoon police chief began holding annual meetings with Indigenous elders. Police also helped erect a memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women in front of police headquarters.

But Lagimodiere says the key changes need to be on the street.

« A lot of these guys [police officers] don’t know where this pain in the community comes from, » said Lagimodiere, who teaches police officers to approach Indigenous people they’re investigating differently.

« If you can talk to them in a good way, without blaming these dudes … once they have a better perspective on it, things get better relationship-wise. »



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These US entities partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology — time for a criminal investigation?

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(Natural News) The Wuhan Institute of Virology from which the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to have “escaped” has a number of questionable partnerships that are worth looking into in light of the pandemic.

Most of them are universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of North Texas, and Harvard University. There is also the EcoHealth Alliance, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Wildlife Federation.

While the relationships between these entities and the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be completely innocent, there is no way to really say for sure without a proper investigation. And this is exactly what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for, as is the nation of Australia.

Pompeo and the folks down under, along with millions of Americans, would really like to know the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). An increasing number of people simply are not buying the narrative that the novel virus originated in bat soup at a Chinese wet market, and this even includes mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

The only way to really determine what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and who else might have been involved. is to open the place up for an international investigation. But communist China is against this, of course, accusing Australia of “petty tricks” and collusion with the United States.

“Overnight, I saw comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry talking about a course of activity with respect to Australia who had the temerity to ask for investigation,” Pompeo is quoted as saying in response to China’s aggression against a proposed investigation.

“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” he added.

As the U.S. aims to get back on track economically speaking, Pompeo believes that now is the time to hold communist China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whoever else may have been involved accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world.

“Not only American wealth, but the global economy’s devastation as a result of this virus,” Pompeo further stated. “There will be a time for this. We will get that timing right.”

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New U.S. analysis finds that lab in Wuhan, China was “most likely” origin of coronavirus release

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(Natural News) While American Leftists and most of the Democrat Party continue to serve as apologists for the Chinese Communist regime over its role in creating and then perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, a new U.S. government analysis concludes that COVID-19 “most likely” escaped from a lab near Wuhan city.

The Washington Times reports that the analysis cataloged evidence linking the outbreak to the Wuhan lab and has found that other explanations for the origins of the virus are not as credible.

The paper reported:

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

However, “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Times.

ChiCom officials have claimed that the virus’ origin is unknown. However, Beijing initially stated that coronavirus came from animals at a “wet market” in Wuhan where exotic meats are butchered and sold in disgusting conditions.

Chinese officials claim that COVID-19 went from bats to animals sold in the market last year, then infected humans.

U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly dismissed that explanation, however, as attention has begun to focus on evidence suggesting that Chinese medical researchers were working with coronavirus in the country’s only Level 4 facility, which is in Wuhan.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that intelligence agencies are investigating whether the virus escaped from a lab or was the result of a naturally occurring outbreak, but that analysts have ruled out reports that COVID-19 was manmade.

‘The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off’

“At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural,” the general said on April 14, “but we don’t know for certain.”

The analysis said that the wet market explanation does not ring true because the first human diagnosis of coronavirus was made in someone who had no connection to the wet market in question. And according to Chinese reports, no bats were sold at that particular market.

At the same time, several questionable actions and a growing paper trail provide clues that the virus actually escaped from a lab, even as China begins to clamp down on those information streams.

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The biggest media lies about the coronavirus: Origins, treatments and vaccines

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(Natural News) If there is one thing that most everyone can agree on concerning the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is the fact that there is no shortage of conflicting information out there about the nature of it. And the mainstream media is certainly doing its part to steer the narrative as part of a larger agenda, using plenty of misinformation along the way.

The following are among the most commonly parroted lies about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that aim to distort the facts and deceive you into believing falsehoods about this pandemic:

Media LIE: The virus is not man-made

From the very beginning of this thing, the official narrative was that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came from a Chinese wet market where bats and other “exotic” animals are sold as meat. But the world later learned that it actually more than likely “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The mainstream media and social media platforms went nuts trying to censor this information and even called it  “fake news.” But eventually it became undeniable that bat soup was not responsible for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) around Wuhan and eventually to the rest of the world – hence why we continue to call it the Wuhan coronavirus rather than just COVID-19.

We have even seen attempts by the media machine at making the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) a racial issue because there are supposedly more “people of color” coming down with it than people with fair skin, which further detracts attention away from the source of this virus.

Media LIE: Hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous and doesn’t work

The minute that President Donald Trump announced that hydroxychloroquine may be an effective, and very inexpensive, remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the mainstream media immediately began decrying this claim as fake news, even though Anthony Fauci himself praised hydroxychloroquine back in 2013 under Barack Obama as being some type of “miracle cure” for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

There have even been studies conducted that were designed to intentionally smear the drug as both ineffective and dangerous, though one in particular purposely left out zinc, which appears to be a critical co-factor in supporting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – in other words, politics as usual.

Media LIE: Only a vaccine can save us from coronavirus

Many politicians and public health officials are parroting the lie that the only way America can come out of lockdown and go back to “normal” is to get vaccinated with some future vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that does not even yet exist. A vaccine, we are repeatedly told, is the only thing, or perhaps some new “blockbuster” antiviral drug, that can cure the world of this scourge and make everything happy and wonderful once again.

Meanwhile, not a peep is being made about things like intravenous (IV) high-dose vitamin C, which is being successfully used in other countries to stem the tide of infections without the need for new drugs and vaccines.

By omission, nutrition is pointless

Speaking of natural approaches to overcoming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that are being systematically ignored by the mainstream media and most in politics, have you heard anyone mention the importance of nutrition in all of this? We did not think so, and this is intentional.

Regular readers of this site over the years should know by now that the single-most important thing you need to do to stay healthy besides exercising regularly is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to naturally ward off illnesses, including those associated with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Research compiled by the Lewin Group reveals that nutritional remedies such as calcium, vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more all play a critical role in fortifying the immune system, which, if properly nourished, should have little problem fending off disease.

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