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Twitter users react to death of George Floyd, address racial discrimination in Canada

Last Updated May 31, 2020 at 8:51 am MDT

A man walks past graffiti during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Los Angeles. Floyd died in police custody Monday in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Saturday morning, all of the top 10 trending hashtags in Canada were related to the death of George Lloyd and the protests happening across America.

Many online are citing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including Toronto FC Jozy Altidore, and Toronto Raptor Fred VanVleet, who both retweeted a clip from one of Dr. King’s speeches throwing their support behind protesters in many American states.

“A riot is the language of the unheard,” Dr. King says in the clip.

“As long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”

Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay also posted a clip from her Netflix documentary ’13th.’

“If you dismiss black complaints of mistreatment by police as being completely rooted in our modern context, then you’re missing the point completely. There has never been a period in our history where the law and order branch of the state has not operated against the freedoms, the liberties, the options, the choices that have been available to the black community, generally speaking,” Kevin Gannon says in the video.

“To ignore that racial heritage, to ignore that historical context, means that you can’t have an informed debate about the current state of blacks and police relationship today, ’cause this didn’t just appear out of nothing. This is the product of a centuries-long historical process. And to not reckon with that is to shut off solutions.”

Many other celebrities voiced their outrage online as well.

Closer to home, the hashtag #meanwhileincanada is being used to identify the ongoing discrimination within Canada.

RELATED ARTICLE: Advocate says Canadians often turn a blind eye to local acts of racial discrimination

Twitter users are pointing out the overt racist behaviours that continue to impact black and Indigenous people in Canada.

Others also mentioned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s brown face, which was discovered in a yearbook from 2001.

In the photo, Trudeau was shown wearing a turban, white robes and his face and hands were painted a dark colour.

There is also mention of the rally taking place Saturday in protest of what organizers describe as anti-black and anti-Indigenous racism around the world.

The protest in Toronto comes on the heels of high-profile, police-involved deaths in both Canada and the United States.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is looking into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell from the balcony of a 24th-floor Toronto apartment while police were in the home on Wednesday.

Toronto Mayor John Tory called the community’s anger over her death understandable, describing anti-black racism as “a fact in our society” and encouraging protesters gathering this afternoon to practice physical distancing in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

– With files from The Canadian Press