Racism in Quebec


Jaider Cabarcas

Two black boys were violently arrested in Cap-Rouge.

With the movement ‘‘Black lives matter’’ and the deplorable death of Georges Floyd last spring,  people would like to think that racism isn’t a problem anymore. That’s wrong. The things that you see in the video, are just the visible part of the iceberg. Michael Brown, Charleena Lyles and Stephon Clark are just a few names among the list of black people killed by police in the last years.


 According to Fatal Encounters, an organism dedicated to the fight against police injustices, a person of colour has 2.5 times more chances to be killed by a police officer than a white person. Last few months, a few events reminded us that racism is still present in our society, in Quebec. The death of Joyce Echaquan is on the top of the list but is not the only one. 


Last November, a video that was filmed near Quebec City was travelling around Instagram.  Filmed a few days ago, the images were taken in Cap-Rouge. On a dark night, we can see two black boys being violently arrested by police officers that didn’t seem to take into consideration their safety.


“They came at us pretty calm, asking for questions,” said a witness of the arrest. Indeed, at the beginning of the video, we can hear the voice of the officer saying, “are you running away?”*. Since one of the teens was not willing to answer their questions, the police pinned him to the ground. Once on the ground, the young black was suffering under the weight of the two officers. He was uttering words of supplication towards the abusive policemen. You can hear “my arm hurts” and the sentence that became a symbol of police brutality, “I can’t breathe”. 


While filming the scene, the other begged the officers to calm down by making sure his friend was safe. “You are hurting him. He tells you that he can’t breathe”. Without paying attention to what he was saying, the agent asked him to step back. Without being disrespectful, the young man obeyed the authority without stopping to film the arrest. Tired of his presence, the policeman called another patrol to come and arrest him. 


 Apparently, the kids are going to do community work instead of paying a hefty fine of 600 dollars. Even if the reasons for the arrest are unclear, one may conclude that racism is not something that just happens in the United States. It’s happening everywhere, in our country, in our city, in our school. It’s time to stop it. Black lives matter is not a trend that you post in your story to do like everyone else. In 2021, we have to put an end to racism. 


*In french, the exacts worlds are “Êtes vous en fugue?”