Professor Julius Haag on violence and the inappropriate labelling of criminalization

Professor Julius Haag recently responded to a specific tweet on Twitter from Jamil Jivani. This tweet response, along with several other ones, including one by professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, was picked up by CBC news. In his response to the tweet from Jamil Jivani, Professor Haag mentions the dangers of inappropriately labelling marginalized and criminalized people as ‘young gangsters.’

Professor Haag is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, of Sociology at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities on the UT Mississauga (UTM) campus. He has expertise on the intersection of youth justice, race, ethnicity, policing, and criminology.

We have posted an excerpt of the article below. The full story is available on the CBC News website here.

Ford-appointed adviser defends tweet on gun violence saying calls to defund police ‘out of touch’

Jul 13, 2020

Laura Howells

An adviser to the Ontario government on outreach to at-risk communities is responding to a wave of online criticism for his tweet blaming heightened gun violence on “young gangsters” starting online “drama.”

Jamil Jivani, the Ford government-appointed “advocate for community opportunities,” made the comments after a violent weekend of shootings in Toronto. Jivani also disparaged calls to defund the police.

“One reason gun violence is up again: during COVID a lot of young gangsters were talking trash on Instagram and YouTube, making videos about rivals, starting e-drama,” Jivani said on Twitter Sunday.

…Julius Haag, sociology professor at the University of Toronto, called the comment “shameful.”

“There’s no clear evidence that conflicts on social media are a widespread vector for real-world violence,” Haag said in a tweet.

“Describing marginalized and criminalized young people as ‘young gangsters’ is both callous and dangerous.”

Read the full article…