Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah was recently featured in a CBC News article titled RCMP’s diversity hiring remains stagnant, new figures show by Catharine Tunney. The article opens with an overview of the lack of diversity in RCMP hiring practices over the last decade. In reference to the statistics provided by the RCMP, Professor Owusu-Bempah criticized their use of “visible minority” to collapse all non-white, non-Indigenous Mounties into one category. He explained that this racist practice makes tracking how representative the RCMP is of the communities they serve impossible.
Professor Owusu-Bempah also noted that while making the RCMP representative of the populace is important for changing attitudes and behaviors within the ranks over time, the issues around systemic racism in policing institutions cannot be resolved by simply making the ranks less white. One such issue mentioned in the article by Professor Owusu-Bempah was that of ongoing harassment and discrimination of RCMP members by other Mounties, and he argued that this problem could only be resolved by holding the individuals responsible at every level of the institution.
Professor Owusu-Bempah is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities at the U of T Mississauga campus. He frequently provides commentary to public and governmental agencies, community organizations, and media outlets on topics related to his research focus: the intersection of race, policing and justice.
We’ve included an excerpt to the article below. Read the full article at CBC News here.
RCMP’s diversity hiring remains stagnant, new figures show
Updated statistics come as the national police force grapples with systemic racism