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Black Daddies Club: The Murder of Junior Manon – A Black Daddy Speaks

2 May 2011 One Comment

Junior Alexander Manon

By: Anonymous

MAY 5th 2010:
Eighteen year-old Junior Alexander Manon and a teenage friend are subjected to a routine police traffic stop. By itself, this should come as no surprise – Black males are often the targets of ‘random’ stops by the police in numbers wholly disproportionate to their presence in the population. According to the official police record, Manon attempts to flee the scene on foot. The officers pursue the youngster and eventually bring him down. Minutes later, he is lying on the grass.

And he is dead.

Shortly thereafter, it is reported that Junior Manon – a healthy young man in the prime of his life -was the unfortunate victim of a heart attack.

Eyewitness accounts of the vicious beating that Manon received at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve were discounted by both the police and the mainstream media as the fevered imaginings of a community blinded by anger and pain. The severe bruising that turned his face into a misshapen monstrosity was likewise dismissed.

To date, no-one has been charged.

This was my introduction to Toronto – the city that my Canadian-born wife and I decided to relocate to after spending many years overseas. With our two Black boys in tow, we began to build our lives and lay the foundation for the realization of our dreams.

The murder of Junior Manon, however, stopped me in my tracks and compelled me to look more closely at the place that we’d chosen as our new home. This is what I have observed.

There is no ‘Black community’ per se – only disconnected individuals who are trying mightily to assimilate into the dominant (read: ‘white’) community and minimize, as much as possible, the genetic reality of their Afrikan heritage. That’s why there is no acknowledgement of fellow Black folks on the subways, buses, on the street. We are desperately trying to escape the prison of our flesh and to consciously greet a brother/ sister means that we recognize a commonality of experience, a kinship that we despise and want no part of.

Simply put, we are chasing invisibility (whiteness).

But then, here comes something that we cannot explain away: the cops give a righteous beating to a Black child and he dies at their hands. Whether Junior came from a family that voted Conservative and worshipped Stephen Harper; whether he was a straight-A student who only dated non-Black females – all of that was of no consequence. What the officers saw was a n**ger on the run.

No differentiation – one n**ger is the same as another, really. And we’re all just one act away from an extrajudicial execution.

So, here we are – the strivers, the assimilationist dreamers, the ‘we’re not like them!’ Talented Tenth crew – lumped in with the n**gers. They can’t tell us apart, despite our best efforts. And, despite our best efforts, our children still aren’t safe.

We are, at this point, confronted by two distinct choices. Either

1) we recognize that racial uplift is necessarily communal in nature – that is, it’s a team sport (ask any Jewish person) that benefits the individual through the provision of resources and numerous examples of what it means to be a balanced and contributing member of the racial/ ethnic group in question. In addition, building this type of community offers protection when persons within the racial/ ethnic group are singled out for attack. It is because of their deep understanding of this concept amongst Toronto’s Jewish community that the police wouldn’t dream of assaulting and killing Jewish children – there’d be HELL to pay and the perpetrators would have to be brought to justice, whether or not they carried a badge; or

2) we continue to shuffle through life, alone and vulnerable to the whim and fancy of anyone who wants to cash in on our refusal to build with one another in order to achieve a better future for ourselves and our children.

My suspicion is that we’ll continue to choose option (2).

That worries me deeply, because my sons will soon reach an age where they will be in the cross hairs of Toronto’s finest. They will grow up in a city where they will be expected to fend for themselves against the savagery of racist society that is not averse to revealing the snarling face of its bigotry through the state-sanctioned assassination of our babies.

And they will not have the buffer of a community that realizes that, despite their individual ethnic background (Guyanese, Ethiopian, Ghanaian, Trinidadian, etc.), they must rally around their common racial heritage in order to better their collective lot and provide a safe haven for their precious Seed.

Thursday will mark the one year anniversary of the slaying of Junior Manon. The men who snuffed out his tomorrows will continue to receive a salary, confident in their belief that they will never be made to answer for their unconscionable actions.

Life in this great city will continue as if he never existed. And the Black people in the GTA will continue to ignore the call to unify in defence of our children. Which means that it is only a matter of time before another mother and father – maybe this time, they will be Jamaican, or Somali, or Haitian – are left to mourn the untimely passing of a child ruthlessly cut down before his/ her time…murdered by the boys in blue.

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One Comment »

  • Lesley said:

    Dear Anonymous, it is disheartening to say that you are correct in your assessment of what life is and will be in Toronto for black people or more specifically our youth. You state that “racial uplift is necessarily communal in nature” but you leave us short by not suggesting ways that we as individuals and then as a community can act on and eventually realize the communal benefits of an all encompassing BLACK COMMUNITY. I am sure that there are many like me that are willing to walk with you step by step, hand in hand to fight the fight but we just don’t know how!
    How will I know you? How will I recognize that you are sympathetic to the cause and not just another brother/sister out for his or her own benefit! Where ya at black man? Because I’m here, ready and waiting to do what needs to be done!

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