April 23, 2017


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Letters to the Editor

Blaming the victims of racism

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/1/2014 (1207 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

In his one-sided Dec. 29 SundayXtra piece, Enough with the racist rhetoric, retired police officer James Jewell claims the Winnipeg Police aren't racists. Yet any conversations I have had with cops I know are invariably peppered with racist rhetoric and ignorant assertions about First Nations people.

Jewell presents us with a litany of reasons as to why it can be difficult to catch the murderer of a sex worker. What's really telling is that in every one of them he blames the victim. Jewell may believe what he writes, but anyone who knows a cop or has had dealings with one knows full well that racial equality isn't one of their strong points.

Aboriginal activist Gladys Radek.


Aboriginal activist Gladys Radek.


Palm Springs, Calif.


As a master's student who works in First Nations contexts and has spent a great deal of time examining cycles of violence and trauma, I must admit I finished James Jewell's piece with a feeling of deep lament braided into anger and disgust.

The issues surrounding murdered aboriginal sex-trade workers are, as Jewell helpfully points out, many and complex. What I truly can't handle is the racist perspective that permeates his view these acts not be viewed as racist.

But why does he not ever once stop and ask: How did these women get to this place of high-risk to begin with?




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