President's Commentary: Cry, the Beloved Country; the USA in crisis.

Let us offer solidarity to our neighbours in the U.S. Let us mourn the deaths, and let us vow to redouble our efforts to keep this poison of racism from growing in Canada. 

by Larry Brown, NUPGE President

An American citizen, George Floyd, was murdered by police for committing the crime of living in the U.S. as a black man. Far from being the first such victim of racist violence.

A dangerous, immoral, and fascist President.

A servile and disgusting Attorney General, who acts not to keep the law but to enable the President’s worst acts.

Heavily armed white supremacists who are allowed to operate freely, while defenders of democracy are labeled terrorists.

The list of factors that make up the crisis in America is a long and unpleasant one — too long, too ugly to enumerate here.

We offer our complete solidarity with the people of the United States who are fighting back against injustice and racism. We especially salute the courage of black Americans in standing up for justice. We applaud you for fighting back against the forces of repression that are so strong in your country.

But we here in Canada need to be vigilant. We are not immune to racism. Our country does not get a free pass because we are not, collectively, facing the depth of crisis that the people of the U.S. are facing.

We can see racism here, and there are some signs that the ugliness is growing.

We have a history of mistreating First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. People have been excluded, abused and threatened here because they are Muslim, or of Asian descent, or are black, or are brown.

We have a small but dangerous number of groups of people who somehow think that their skin colour makes them better than others and entitled to abuse those who don’t look like them.

Let us look at the awful, sick, and sickening events in the country next door, and use their example to inspire us to never, never, let our society be corrupted and poisoned to the same extent that theirs has been, yet while never claiming that things are fine here.

Let us be inspired instead to act more forcefully and with more vigilance to ensure that racism in all its ugliness does not gain an inch in this country but is instead eradicated and silenced.

The U.S. can heal itself. The American people can root out the evil and reclaim the good. 

So can we.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE