In a continuation of a practice that was prevalent during the short-lived Occupy Wall Street protests, white people attending a vigil in Toronto for Michael Brown were asked to abide by separate rules than people of color.
The event organizers posted a set of “guidelines” on Facebook for “White/Non Black Allies,” telling them to “refrain from taking up space in all ways possible.”
Presumably, white people were allowed to breath the air, but were otherwise told “never be at the centre of anything,” and to “refrain from speaking to the media.”
And the breathing privilege had limits, as white people were instructed to “stand behind black folks or between us and the police.” A rule that makes one think of human shields.
The rules also stated: “If you see a cop harassing a black person, come in and engage (chances are they are least likely to arrest you).”
Organizers created a Facebook event titled “Black Lives Matter: Toronto,” that included the guidelines, as seen here:
The racially-driven guidelines prompted some to criticize organizers for being racist while putting together an event to criticize racism. An event where white attendees seem to matter less than attendees of color.
“Wow, is this an anti-racist rally or a pro-segregation one?” one social media user asked, according to the Daily Mail. It appears that critical comments have since been scrubbed.
During the Occupy Wall Street fiasco, white males were regularly expected to position themselves at the end of the line and be the last to speak during open-mic sessions where folks were given the floor to voice whatever discontent they may harbor.
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