This article was originally published in iPOLITICS in May 2017. I have kept it hovering around until I had time to read it properly, and then found that elements of it are equally applicable to LGBT journalism and activism. He was and is a composite journalist, indeed communicator, but he felt that the system of ‘carding’ as it is called in Canada, and what is called ‘Stop and Search’ in the UK, was intrusive and morally wrong. He felt that having been stopped 50+ times, and the only apparent reason seemed to be because he was ‘black’, something had to be done!
In the UK ‘Stop and Search’ has been used by police forces throughout the UK as a means of ‘curtailing and controlling’ undesirables. However, the statistics would indicate that profiling is going on, and that particular targetted groups are being harassed e.g. blacks, Muslims, LGBT individuals and groups (Black and minority ethnic groups increasingly more likely to be stopped and searched by police).
To go further, taken in conjunction with the continued encroachment of our civil liberties by government bodies who use the over-riding phrase ‘ we are protecting society by delving into your emails, phone calls, indeed anything we deem necessary, the phrase ‘ Big Brother’ is real and all encompassing; 1984 and the politics and control written about by George Orwell is effectively here.
One of the proudest moments in the history of journalism came in 1898 when the French writer Émile Zola wrote his famous letter to the president of France, headlined ‘J’Accuse’.