White cops and black men can be an unhappy mix. Last week, all hell broke loose when a white cop intercepted a black man trying to break into a big house near Harvard University. Unfortunately for the cop, the man was Henry Louis Gates, a prominent African-American scholar, and he lives there. Tempers flared. Accusations of racial profiling filled the air. Prof. Gates was promptly arrested for disorderly conduct, i.e., mouthing off. It turned out the cop was a race-relations trainer. Barack Obama got involved, declared them both fine men and invited them to the White House for a beer.
If only things worked that way in Canada, Instead, we have Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal. It has ruled that an individual can be convicted for racism, even when it’s totally unconscious.