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On March 20th a group of professional protesters and student union leaders gathered followers in front of City Hall to protest an SIU ruling about the shooting of Andrew Loku. The SIU decided that the Toronto cop who pulled the trigger and shot Loku was justified in their decision. Loku was no more than three meters away from the cop charging at them with a hammer yelling “What you gonna do, come on, shoot me”.
Despite the complete absence of any wrongdoing, Black Lives Matter Toronto protesters demanded that the cop who shot Loku faces criminal charges for “murdering” him. Their speeches have accused the Toronto Police service of “conducting a genocide” against black people. Standing behind the curtains we see the exact same organizers who orchestrated the violence during the 2010 G20.
The protesters lit an illegal and dangerous open fire in the courtyard of police headquarters- an office tower in a densely populated downtown neighborhood. When cops and firefighters responded to their baiting, the protesters “resisted” in a violent scrum- children were used as human shields. At least one protester was caught on film assaulting a cop. Despite all of these facts, Toronto’s media has boldly put most of their focus on an offensive tweet by a professional protester named Yusra Khogali.
Khogali is a student at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) who is currently working towards her M.A in Social Justice Education (with collaboration in Womyn & Gender Studies). She’s one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter Toronto, and the former VP Equity for the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union. Khogali’s LinkedIn page labels her as a Spoken Word Artist who has “Lead and facilitated workshops as well as present [sic] key note [sic] addresses for numerous elementary and high schools in the GTA.”
Her tweet was uncovered by Toronto Sun columnist and Newstalk 1010 host Jerry Agar, some have labeled it as racist and violent:
“Plz Allah give me strength not to cuss/kill these men and white folks.”
Khogali’s supporters claim that her tweet “wasn’t serious” and it came “out of frustration” from living in the “white supremacist” country we call Canada. In a Toronto Star opinion piece published on Sunday, Khogali explained herself saying “I put my rage and trauma into words, not action, not threat.”
She also claimed that she’s received “death threats” from “white supremacists.” She’s provided no evidence of these death threats, it’s common for activists to make similar undocumented claims when they’re called out for their bad behavior- Buzzfeed writer Scaachi Koul did this after the buzz about her sexist and racist tweets in February, and #BLMTO supporter Stephanie Guthrie did the same in March, 2015.
#BLMTO members and supporters have a habit of labeling anyone who questions their behavior as a white supremacist. Jerry Agar was accused of this for calling out Khogali, he was also labeled “homophobic”, “anti-Muslim”, and “misogynist.” I was accused of being a white supremacist when I released a video of a #BLMTO tent city protester assaulting a police officer- my black girlfriend had a good chuckle about it.
But the reality is that it’s not really all that funny. False and unfounded accusations of white supremacy weaken the meaning of the phrase and make it easier for the real supremacists – of all races, genders, sexual preferences, ideologies, or creeds – to get away with their ugliness.
Does Khogali Actually Support The Use Of Violence?
It was later discovered that Khogali’s tweet wasn’t an isolated incident. In a March 30 posting on her Facebook page she made a similarly questionable posting:
“What wypipo don’t understand is that this is not like our elder’s movement. We will snatch your edges and clap you back into ashes. We will also beat that ass Becky. Run up.”
The word “wypipo” is slang for “white people,” the word “Becky” is a racist slang word for white women. Khogali’s posting threatens to “beat that ass” of white women, the phrase “snatch your edges and clap you back into ashes” appears to be a kind of a death threat (if so, there’s more public evidence of Khogali making death threats than evidence of death threats against her).
Khogali’s fellow #BLMTO co-founder Sandy Hudson is another colorful character. She was formerly the Executive Director of the University of Toronto Students Union until she was voted out last year. Hudson is currently being sued by the UTSU after allegedly bilking the organization for $247,726.40 shortly before she left office.
Both Hudson and Khogali were members of the Black Liberation Collective, a militant student organization with chapters at universities across the US and Canada. The BLC’s statement of principles has a deeply concerning statement on violence:
“We understand that continuing to remain peaceful and encouraging others to remain peaceful at the hands of white supremacist oppressive violence is illogical and immoral. We support those who believe that nonviolence is a tactic, but we are aware that this is not the only way to dismantle the system that has humiliated, physically and literally enslaved, unjustly murdered, and continues to devalue black people in America. We will strive for liberation by any means necessary, including but not limited to: armed self-defense.”
Is Khogali A Supremacist?
On October 17, 2015 Khogali made a shockingly racist post on her Facebook page that indicates she’s an anti-white supremacist. “White skin is sub-huxman,” she wrote, “white ppl are a genetic defect of blackness.” Continuing with her Josef Mengele like posting, Khogali stated that “black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to…because we are superhumxns”.
One of her Facebook friends called Khogali out on her batshit crazy statement. “This stuff is just messy, and wrong on so many levels,” they said. Khogali’s statements make University of Western Ontario professor J. Philippe Rushton sound like a moderate, and might make members of the KKK blush.
It’s bad enough that a person who supports “armed insurrection,” makes violent threats, and posts online racist hate speech claims to represent the black community at-large; most black people, like most Canadians, don’t think and behave like Khogali. But the most disturbing part of her story is that she’s been allowed on the campus of our province’s elementary and high schools.
Stay Tuned For Part II
Part II of #BLMTO unmasked is where things will start to get really interesting. We’ll dig into #BLMTO & Khogali’s connection to a City of Toronto funded NGO that works closely with the Toronto Police Services Board, a city councillor on the board, her assistant who was convicted for encouraging Toronto’s youth to smash windows during the G20, former board chair Alok Mukherjee, and two professional protesters who are currently facing charges for endangering life after sabotaging an oil pipeline.
Click here to continue to Part II…