Emancipation Celebrations 2012: On Blacks Being A Cursed Race

Emancipation Celebrations 2012:

On Blacks Being A Cursed Race (Part 2)

By N Oji Mzilikazi

July 26, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 14)

Given the wars, famine and diseases that constantly plague the African continent, the failure of people of African descent to rebuild and build empires, including business conglomerates, the multiple manifestations of self-hate and internecine warfare; denying the existence of a curse on Blacks is a tall order.

In furtherance of belief in said curse, pointed out is that slavery was an evolutionary part of civilization; a common institution in the ancient world, and all previously enslaved people made tremendous gains upon their Emancipation save Blacks. Also, many other nations scarred by colonialism and or devastating wars are prospering save Africa.

What is never told is that the enslavement of Africans was worse than what was ever visited upon others, and given the natural riches of Africa; it was never in the interests of its colonizers to see growth, development, and the sort of governance to deny them control/access, and make them pay a fair price for its inexhaustible and diverse commodities.

In Geneva, July 2000, Jeffrey Sachs, US economist and Harvard professor stated that Africa’s great distance from the World’s trade centers and international ocean routes inhibited its abilities to incorporate technologies and attract significant direct foreign investment. Additionally 80% of the population lives away from the coasts; in highlands that favor agricultural production.

Ah! The depth of racism one has to contend with. When gold and slaves were needed, Africa’s distance was not insurmountable. Didn’t Europe’s partition of Africa to facilitate their rape of the continent establish European prosperity? But Africa is now not conducive to development.

Didn’t the Western World try to allocate a part of Uganda as the Jewish homeland? Had the Jews accepted, would the West and like of Sachs hold such a mindset towards Africa?

Forget the economic “Marshall Plan” that saved post-war Europe. Taiwan and South Korea were never economically raped like Africa, but American financial support allowed their quick economically and technologically growth.

Australia is on the other side of the world. Australia was a penal colony for Britain. Western investments made those children of criminals, murderers, prostitutes, and “bastards” turn a jailhouse into a nation.

Africa is the cradle of civilization. Africa is a continent of resources. She has too many things the world needs for America, Europe, China and others to want to see an industrial and financial business center on its shores. Stirring tribal conflicts, wars, supporting dictatorships, corruption, and letting diseases run rampant to facilitate her exploitation remain their goal.

In a January 2012 visit to Namibia, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi hailed Africa as a “golden ground” for foreign investment. In November 2007 Li Ruogu, the head of China’s Export-Import Bank, urged Chinese farmers to move to Africa. (BBC News, 29/11/07 China’s long march to Africa)

For the longest while, China has had its hands in African conflicts and wars. The new scramble for Africa has other Asian countries, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait securing million of hectares of farmland to grow food to feed their citizens back home.

As reported in the (British) UK Guardian, “Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland.” (US universities in Africa land grab 8/6/11) The deals would force thousands of people off their land.

While Christian ministries show starving African children to solicit funds, and resources rich places like Sudan, Angola, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia are in a state of “perpetual” conflict – unleashing unimaginable terror, brutality, and their accompanying disenfranchisement and poverty on millions, other nations and ethnicities are beneficiaries.

Collaboration with one’s exploiters/oppressors happens all the time. The rise of Nazi Germany saw Jews actively collaborating with the Nazis. Members of the Jewish Order police in the Ghettos went so far as to force fellow Jews onto the cattle trucks and trains destined for concentration/extermination camps.

The actions of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski or King Chaim, the Jewish leader of the Judenrat in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland are well documented.

Seventeen people, including a former director, ripped off $42 million from Holocaust Funds. (CBS New York, 9/11/10 Holocaust Survivor Funds Raided for $42m.) The fraud went on for nearly a decade. Adjustments had the funds at $57 million, and eventually 31 persons were charged. Torontonian Luba Kramrish was one of those charged.

Rabbi Menachem Youlus proclaimed himself the “Jewish Indiana Jones.” He created “a bogus charity built on fictional tales of rescuing Holocaust-era Torahs, selling forgeries and pocketing the dough.” (New York Daily News, 2/2/12, Rabbi Menachem Youlus admits to Torah scam and faces jail.)

Vultures, predators and those complicit in the exploitation of their own exist in every race, creed and religion. However, the complicity of Africans in their own demised is always exaggerated and framed as a curse.

Slavery existed from time immemorial. Slavery was also no respecter of person. Even the rich could be condemned to servitude. At the same time, slavery allowed manumission or the granting of freedom. Freedom could be given as a gift, for services rendered, acts of bravery and heroism, and upon the death of the slave owner. Slaves were also allowed to buy their freedom.  (The birth of Islam saw slavery regulated by its scripture – the Koran, thus legitimized.)

Just as talent and ability – cream rises to the top, slavery allowed the talented to rise to positions of authority. The Bible tells of Joseph being sold to the Ishmaelites, who then sold him to an Egyptian, and Joseph graduating to be the Pharaoh’s man.

No such things were allowed under African enslavement as facilitated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and to which the Roman Catholic Church was its flag bearer. It was perpetual slavery in the service of capitalism. It was centered on dehumanization; the deliberate breakdown of identity, culture and mind, and extended itself as affirmation of white superiority.

For all that is said about the existence of slavery in Africa; Africans enslaving each other were for domestic consumption – the needs of their marketplace and not for export. In the face of Europe’s military might and the law of survival – wage war and sell others before you and yours are the ones sold; African kings, chiefs and tribes became complicit in the slave trade.

Europe operated under the principles of Roman Civil law. The law listed specific conditions for just enslavement. They were penalty for crime, capture in war, the sale of children by destitute parents, and the selling of oneself into slavery.

Africans had no need to sell themselves into slavery. Africa was in a better economical shape than Europe. Africa didn’t commit any crimes against Europe that warranted war between them. Therefore, the claim couldn’t be made that the enslaved were prisoners of war. Simply put, Europe couldn’t apply to Africans the legal rights that governed just enslavement.

Given that it is human nature to justify and defend the indefensible, what would one expect from the upholders of an economy that depended on slavery? As Part 1 (August 18, 2011) outlined, Talmudic (Jewish) scholars maliciously and deliberately positioned the Biblical Mark of Cain, and Noah’s curse of Ham as applicable to Blacks. Since Christianity came out of Judaism, Catholicism readily subscribed to those erroneous beliefs.

Roman Catholic scholastic philosophers long posited that the fall of Adam and Eve from Grace resulted in slavery – the “some men were by nature free while others were slaves” ideology. The Mark of Cain and Noah’s curse thus framed Africans as divinely sanctioned to be slaves -inherently slaves.

New Testament passages like 1 Corinthians 7: 21-22, Ephesians 6: 5-9, Colossians 3: 22, Colossians 4:1, 1 Timothy 6: 1-2, Titus 2: 9-10 and 1 Peter 2: 18-25, served as additional scriptural justification for African enslavement.

There were no Catholics in the anti-slavery movements of the West Indies, England, and America. The Church never came out and condemned the prostitution of its Holy Cross by the Ku Klux Klan, nor was it visible in the Black Civil Rights struggle in America. Their silence to Black suffering attest to its doctrinal complicity in regards to slavery.

It was only at the 2nd Vatican Council (1962-65) did the Catholic Church retreat from their “spiritual legitimacy” to African slavery.

Under Mosaic Law: Leviticus 25: 39-41, enslavement among people of the same faith was forbidden. (Christian/European nations adhered to the principle of non-enslavement in their wars. However, in European/Christian Islamic wars, Muslim prisoners-of-war were enslaved.)

Brothers of the faith sold into service were to be considered a hired servant and not a slave. Their servitude was not perpetual, but unto the year of the Jubilee, upon which both he and his children “shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers.” The Jubilee occurred every 50th year.

Exodus 20:10, Exodus 23:12 and Deuteronomy 5:14 inform that the “enslaved hired servant” retained their religious rights, and along with the ox and the ass had a day of rest.

Since enslaved Africans were forced to accept Christianity, its philosophy made them brothers-in-Christ with their masers, thus subjected to the aforementioned Biblical regulations. That was never the case. Defined as sub-human primates, their enslavement was perpetual. They had no day of rest, nor were they allowed to retain their religious rights. The trust of Christian teachings to them was that a good Christian meant being a good slave.

In regards to perpetual slavery: Leviticus 25: 45-46, states that the Israelites can buy the children of the strangers that live among them, and can leave them as an inheritance for their children. Given that the African was not a stranger living among the Hebrews/Christians, African enslavement unto perpetuity had no merit.

God fearing European Christians first tricked; kidnapped unsuspecting Africans and enslaved them. In paying local chiefs for their captives, they created an export market for slaves. The voracious export market fermented tribal wars for captives/prisoners of war.

Thus Slavery/Slave Trade literature make a point of advancing that the Africans they enslaved were already slaves or criminals or prisoners of war. In other words, they met the requirement for legal and just enslavement.

Also, their transportation and subsequent enslavement in the New World saved them from a worse fate in Africa, and give them/their progeny a better future/life. For that reason, racists make light of Black discontent, our fights against racism and complaints against the system, and  readily voice we have it a million times better “here” than “there,” so we should be thankful.

For all the goodness that is God-consciousness and religious salvation, the conditioning that a good Christian meant being a good slave, along with biblical passages, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul,” and “It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, have been the real curse upon Blacks.

They engendered an accommodating mentality towards victimization, aversion to acquiring wealth, rabid consumerism, the living for today mentality, perceptions of suffering as a Christian virtue, poverty equated to spiritual salvation, and racial paralysis.

Poverty, illiteracy and being uneducated guarantee paralysis, the sustaining of dysfunction, as well as cheap and exploitable labour. Cheap labour is integral to profits. Money/wealth is essential in getting things done; doing for self, community, building institutions and pursuing economical and political power. As Ecclesiastes 10:19, explains “…money answereth all things.”

To repeat: Africa was never cursed nor the intellectually and culturally dark continent it has historically been portrayed to be. Its only curse, and that of people of African descent, is in our inability to recognise that there is no curse, and act accordingly. Up you mighty race you can!

Emancipation Day: August 1, 2012

Sense & Sensibilities

Sense & Sensibilities

By N Oji Mzilikazi

July 12, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 13)

Ti m’ba r’oto ma so, o le panu mi de
Je’nwi temi o, o le panu mi de
Otito ko ro, o le panu mi de
Bo ti mi mo’le o, o le panu mi de
Otito ko ro o, omo araiye o fe
Be fe, befe o, mi a wi temi

(If I see the truth, I will say it, you can’t shut me up
Let me say mine, you can’t close my mouth
Truth is bitter, you can’t shut me up
You can imprison me, but you can’t close my mouth
The truth is bitter, the world hates it
Like it or not, I will say mine)

– “Je’nwi temi”

— Fela Kuti

Jamaica can boast of having produced many outstanding citizens – citizens of the world – people of stature who left indelible footprints in the Diaspora, as well as in history. Jamaica can boast of leaders and leadership in Black pride, Black empowerment and – putting up resistance.

Jamaica has been a cradle and crucible that forges and nurtures the fierce and independent spirit of warriors. Jamaican born Dutty Boukman led the 1791 slave revolt in Haiti against France.

In 1796, at the end of the Second Maroon War in Jamaica – a war between runaway slaves and the British; 586 Maroon men, women and children were deported from Jamaica and transported to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The British mistakenly believed the snow of Canada and their direct control and supervision of the Maroons would force capitulation. Refusing to bend the knee, many of the Maroons were eventually returned – shipped to Africa.

Jamaicans are fiercely patriotic – never afraid to wave and wear their flag. Anecdotal evidence suggests Jamaicans are rarely prepared to take “ship” or what they perceive as “ship” from anyone, even when deserving of said “ship.”

Jamaicans are bold – aren’t afraid to assert themselves. Consequently, Brand Jamaica is established everywhere Jamaicans reside.

The establishment, entrenchment of Brand Jamaica in Montreal was so strong, that “Jamaicans” became the stereotype – collective term applied by the wider society to all West Indian/Caribbean Blacks. Needless to say, the ignoring of the diversity of the Caribbean collective was maddening to West Indians from other islands.

As a street deejay back in the 80s, I’ve experienced J’can youths coming to hip-hop/R&B dances and threatening us deejays with damage to the sound system if we didn’t play reggae. Some of them would go so far as to show the gun in their waist and threaten “lickshot.”

One night in 1992, I was awakened sometime after 1a.m., by a phone call. (Late night calls were always a source of fear – bad news from back “home.”) The call was local, threatening. The caller – a known community personality, someone with whom I had broken bread, and also contributed to – assisted with a ground-breaking project at the time.

He told me he heard I was printing a letter critical of him in Upfront, a music magazine I published, and I shouldn’t. He knew gunmen in Toronto. The caller was Jamaican.

On account of the aforementioned revolutionary spirit, boldness and power of Brand Jamaica, I was taken by surprised when the Jamaican Association didn’t “put up resistance” as Jamaicans are wont to, and Carifiesta and Jamaica Day shared the same date last year.

Assured it was accidental, I didn’t sharpen my pencil. The 2012 reoccurrence had my fingers itching. But due to continued contentiousness over a previous Carifiesta article, I didn’t want to start more fires.

Then, in the June 28 issue of Community Contact, there was Mr. Noel Alexander, the president of Jamaica Association of Montreal saying “that after 30 years of struggle our community is no further ahead. We have lost a lot of credibility, due to a lack of leadership”

Mr. Alexander, as the public voice of the Montreal Jamaican community, you epitomize what it is to be Jamaican to the Bone. I respect that. Admittedly, there were times I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief over your disinclination to step into the breach and be a community statesman of note. Especially when perception from the wider community is that you are a Black leader and not a Jamaican Community leader.

Other ethnicities as well as members of the majority society do not care about the tribal interests, intra-racial or tribal differences, roots, politics or social standing of people of African descent. Racism resulted in physiognomy and varied gradations of skin tone qualifying us as belonging to same biologically homogenous pool.

Your record shows a protectiveness of the image of your tribe to all else. As a result, there were times I found your statements and decisions myopic, tribal and troubling. Having Jamaica Day on Carifiesta this year was shameful to say the least.

And just as shameful as in 2005 when you accepted June 25, to celebrated Jamaica Day at Parc Jean Drapeau. It was a bust. Then you got on your knees to seek funding and a location for a do over.

City Hall’s summer “du Monde” plans for ethnic/cultural communities – launched in 2005 has its merits. Lest we forget, it is on the back of Montreal Black community other ethnic communities stand.

It is activism from Black Canadians, Black immigrants and Black foreign students – It is Black activism; putting up resistance to racism – institutional and otherwise that is responsible for “visible minorities” able to enjoy a better life in Montreal.

The Civil Rights Movement in America and Black Liberation ideologies were the catalyst for the nationalism of French Quebeckers – their struggle against Anglophone cultural and economic power, the English language and assertions of a Québécois’ identity – that discriminates against Blacks.

One month after the Sir George Williams 1969 Affair – started by Blacks putting up resistance, a crowd estimated at 15,000 Quebeckers staged a demonstration demanding French unilingualism – the end of English as Quebec’s preferred language.

In spite of the government passing Bill 78, ordering students back to school, and the economic toll in millions; students continued their daily and nightly protest.

Yet, defenders of “Thank you City Hall for the crumbs” have the nerve to bristle at my take on issues and tell me, I don’t understand the politiciking involved. What I don’t understand – refuse to reconcile myself with is moral, intellectual, and community cowardice.

Given the shared history, migratory patterns of West Indians relative to other islands, interconnectedness by way of relatives, sexual relations and culture; many of the people attracted to Carnival, Carifiesta, and soca are also attracted to reggae. Fans of soca get down to reggae and vice versa.

The clash of Carifiesta and Jamaica Day betrays the lack of decisive, strong and visionary leadership. It makes us look weak and stupid. It constricts. It divides the community. It dilutes our power. It unnecessarily increases the competition for the promoters of reggae and soca dances to “eat ah food.” Only the promoter with a true megastar – regardless of genre, is guaranteed to eat.

Jamaica Day 2012 is in essence the Jamaican Montreal Community celebrating Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence. That day should be Jamaica and Jamaica alone – so friends of Jamaica (many of them fans of Carifiesta) could celebrate with the Jamaican community.

Furthermore, Brand Jamaica is so powerful – and such a well-known brand, it doesn’t need to feed on the carcass of Carifiesta. Acceptance of Jamaica Day on Carifiesta reflects poor leadership, and undermines the proud spirit that is Jamaica.

Last year, Jamaica Day ate well off Carifiesta – coming off its 2010 suspension. Short-sightedness to the wider implications; you decided to go with the “winning for Jamaica Day and Jamaica Association” formula. Actions like those have us contributing to our own impotence.

Carifiesta 2012 was the best in years. It can only get better. For the sake of cultural respect, solidarity and support, Montreal Jamaican Association must eschew celebrating Jamaica Day on the same day as Carifiesta.

Mr. Alexander, you’ve been at the helm of the Jamaican Association for 28 years. That makes your comments about the “lack of leadership and the loss of credibility” – though true, hypocritical and disingenuous. It also points to your complicity in our paralysis.

Clearly, if you had trained persons in the ways of leadership and encouraged them to take up its mantle, you wouldn’t still be wearing the title of president or wish “some of those young people make their way to the organization and offer their skills and time to help.”

Fossilized leadership accounts for the stagnation in the community, and both our talented young and those needing guidance disconnected, turned off and tuned out.

Far too long, far too many people in the community have been holding down the same positions – and without taking “refresher courses” to be better at what they do. Stuck on yesterday’s paradigm and rhetoric, they repeat the “same ole,” and contribute to community impotence. Rather than apologize for their shortcomings and culpability in our dysfunction, they deceitfully articulate as if blameless.

Look at the rot that permeates long-running dictatorships in Africa. Robert Mugabe went from hero status to Zimbabwe’s blight. The Arab Spring was people rising up against dynasty rule. Dynasty rule and the complacency it engenders mark our community’s many organizations.

Healthy organizations and healthy governments have term limits. Term limits forces stewards to be at their best; to try and accomplish things in the time they have. It gives leaders waiting in the wings a chance to shine, as well as bring forth new leaders. Also, pumps fresh blood into the demanding veins that qualifies stewardship.














RCMP Commish Paulson: Giving Canadians 6 for 9

RCMP Commish Paulson: Giving Canadians 6 for 9

By N Oji Mzilikazi

June 28, 2012

(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 12)

In response to the feather-weight punishment meted out to senior Alberta Mountie Donald Ray for years of sexual misconduct – sexually harassing, having sex with female subordinates, and inappropriate behaviour, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson recently penned an open letter to Canadians decrying the discipline process enshrined in the RCMP Act.

Deemed unprecedented, the letter made it appear that Paulson would like to clean the force of its bad apples – but for bureaucracy. What masterful politricking – disingenuousness and obfuscation by Commissioner Paulson.

According to the Montreal Gazette’s (May 24, 2012, RCMP commish Paulson slams case of misbehaving Alberta Mountie), the three-member adjudication-board contemplated dismissing Ray but decided against it – swayed by a number of mitigating factors, including strong letters of support from colleagues. Clearly, the disciplinary process was not the obstacle as the commish would like us to believe.

To pull at our heartstrings in this negative economic environment, Paulson referenced spending our tax dollars to pay individuals that don’t deserve to be in the RCMP.

With twenty-five plus years of observation, research of police criminality, police abuse, police brutality and death of unarmed citizens at the hands of police officers, I can authoritatively state: Taxpayers have been paying undeserving officers in both the RCMP and regular Canadian police forces like FOREVER.

No occupation besides policing offers wrong-doers impunity, exoneration, salary while suspended and protection against being fired.

B.C. resident Ian Bush, 22, was arrested by RCMP Constable Paul Koester for having an open beer at a hockey game. In less than an hour, he was dead – shot in the back of the head. Koester explanation was that “Bush began choking him during a violent, life-or-death struggle.” (Globe and Mail, November 30, 2007, RCMP watchdog clears Mountie in fatal shooting.)

Whether someone is being choked from the back or the front, it takes a lot of doing for the person being choked to shoot their assailant in the back of the head. Two inquiries concluded Koester acted in self-defence.

On a very cold December 5, 1998, night, Vancouver Police Constable David Instant, on orders from Sergeant Russell Sanderson, took Frank Paul from the jail and dropped him off into the city streets. Paul, an aboriginal was drunk at the time. He died in an alley of hypothermia that night. No charges were laid.

In Saskatoon, on the night of January 28, 2000, and temperature -25C, Dan Hatchen and Ken Munson, two veteran police officers dumped Darrell Night on the outskirts of the city – to walk to his reservation.

In November 1990, Neil Stonechild, an aboriginal teen, was taken into police custody. His frozen body was later found on the outskirts of Saskatoon.

Glenn Shuter, a native of Merritt British Columbia was beaten by RCMP officer Constable Saxon Peters in the presence of a second on-duty RCMP officer and an on-duty auxiliary constable, then left to walk 10 kilometres home.

RCMP Constable Burke Huschi, stationed in Kamloops, B.C., punched Howard Oakland, a diabetic in the head because he thought Oakland was driving drunk.

Aren’t the Courts the designated legal authority to dispense justice? The RCMP disciplinary board fined Huschi two days’ pay for his use of excessive force. – read “dispensation of justice.”

White-washing police misdeeds is so part of the Judicial System, crown prosecutors do not seek strong sentences for officers charged with wrongdoing who appear before the courts, and judges are leery of throwing the book at them.   Their crime has to be truly egregious for manifestation of any semblance of justice.

Albertan Darren Varley was arrested for public drunkenness. He ended up being shot in the stomach and head by RCMP Officer Mike Ferguson. Ferguson claimed self-defence. Charged with second-degree murder, he was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ged Hawco granted Ferguson a constitutional exemption. The Mountie of almost 20 years was given two years less a day to be served in the community.

Toronto police Sergeant Donald MacCallum was arrested for sexually assaulting four girls. Though initially facing 25 sex-related criminal charges, in September 2009, the 53-year-old MacCallum pled guilty to 10 counts. He was subsequently convicted of sexually assaulting ten girls ages 5 to 15.

In spite of trust engendered by MacCallum’s profession, and revelations that parents knew their children were molested, but were afraid of what might happen to them because he was a policeman with friends on the force, Toni Skarica, the Crown prosecutor sought a jail sentence of two years less a day for this pedophile. (Toronto Star, Sep 26, 2009, Trusted officer pleads guilty),

In what “my people” call “taking in front before in front take yuh,” Paulson told Canadians they are going to be exposed to more cases of unacceptable behaviour, and position them as inheritance of past behaviours and attitudes. Ergo, a new RCMP will soon exist.

Talk about fooling children and taking their candy. Policing is a public service. But unlike all government public services, its mandate of counterintelligence, protection and enforcement that necessitate a wide array of powers, secrecy and confidentiality, limit their subjection to regulation and government control. That has led to unchecked powers, illegal activities by law enforcement and a culture of police impunity and arrogance.

The 1950 RCMP initiated PROFUNC program that whitelisted Canadians over political views – deemed them subversives; targeted them, their spouse and children for indefinite incarceration ended in 1983, and by accident.

Complaints to Canada Solicitor General Bob Kaplan, by citizens denied permission to enter the United States based upon RCMP secret files, led to Kaplan demanding the RCMP discontinue whatsoever it was doing.

In the 2010 televised exposure of PROFUNC, Kaplan stated he had no knowledge of its existence. (CBC’s Fifth Estate, October 15, 2010, Enemies of the State.)

In 1977, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau ordered The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP – aka the McDonald Commission. Note the specificity of “Certain Activities” as opposed to including managerial, performance and structural reviews – to minimize future illegal activities and wrongdoing.

Police are thought of as having the best interest of the public at heart and dedicated to upholding the law. Truth is, their loyalty has always been primarily the protection of their own – the familiar blue wall of silence.

Called a rat, Const. Andrew Vanderburgh was harassed and berated by fellow officers after he arrested and charged Const. Breton Berthiaume, an off-duty police constable, with impaired driving. (Toronto Star, May 30, 2012, Toronto police union decries officers protecting their own)

In April 2004, RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli halted an RCMP investigation into mismanagement allegations – $30 million of its employee pension fund.

When Barbara George, the RCMP chief human resources officer appeared before the House of Commons over the pension fund issue, she gave false and misleading testimony.

The Legislature passes laws. George’s profession is that of an upholder of the law. And in front of the highest body in the land, she showed she didn’t give a damn about them and the law. George’s attitude epitomizes the arrogance borne out of unchecked police power. (In April 2008 she was found in contempt of Parliament.

Some of the RCMP officers who testified revealed the force had a culture of covering up corrupt behaviours both in the field and in the office, and it was rife with nepotism and sweetheart contracts to friends. (Montreal Gazette, May 15, 2007, Mounties clash at inquiry into pension fund)

In December 2007, the public accounts committee reported that the leadership style of Commissioner Zaccardelli contributed to a culture that allowed the wrongdoing to occur. (Montreal Gazette, December 11, 2007, Former top cop blasted in report.)

Bad behaviours and bad attitudes from the top birthed the police culture that supports police arrogance, police malfeasance, and their disrespect and abuse of citizens.

Rather than doing whatsoever it took to change the governance and culture of the RCMP, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day told a House of Commons committee, a public inquiry into the administration of the nation’s police service would be too expensive and take too long. (CBC, September 7, 2007, No need for full public inquiry into troubled RCMP, Day says)

Thus, the RCMP rank and file got the message that it can proceed with business as usual. Reinforcement of the “same ole, same ole” came in 2009, when the Harper government made it known it was slashing nearly half the funding for the watchdog agency that monitors the RCMP. (Toronto Star, Mar 17, 2009, Ottawa cuts funding for RCMP watchdog)

How can we trust the guards to guard the guards when they have repeatedly failed in the task? In light of the many failures of the RCMP, the National Post June 22, 2010, editorial “The RCMP: a police force in denial” made the point that if the RCMP wants Canadians to trust them, they must show they are willing to apply the law first to their own officers.

That message has been repeated ad nauseam by others both in and out of law enforcing but to no avail. No one at the RCMP is home, and the government isn’t listening.

Police Psychologist Dr. Mike Webster worked with the RCMP for more than 30 years. He consulted with them on undercover operations, hostage-takings and kidnappings. He believes the RCMP is in need of significant transformational change in order to genuinely re-connect with the public and its own membership. (Globe and Mail, May 15, 2009, Open letter to Zofia Cisowski)

In light of the above, Paulson’s letter says nothing, and deserves consignment to the recycling bin.

Paulson’s letter was also a deliberate chess move by the Tories – rebranding the RCMP and positioning the commish as Captain Canada.

On June 20, 2012, the government unveiled bill C-42 to overhaul the RCMP Act – and the gullible to think of Paulson’s letter as the catalyst.

For all Paulson’s lamentation of tied hands in respect to firing “bad” officers, the proposed legislation does not give the Commissioner “summary dismissal power” – the power to instantly fire someone.

Montreal’s Commission Scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys immediately suspended, and within days dismissed a 29-year old Montreal teacher over his poor decision in showing the gruesome video of Lin Jun’s slaying to a Grade 10 class. Police are contemplating bring charges against him – corruption of morals among them. Yet, police officers guilty of worse…

Bill C-42 would give the Commissioner greater powers including to appeal any sanction he/she disagrees with, and to suspend “without pay” Mounties facing investigation.

Big deal!