After claims made by right-wing “traditionalists” warned that a “black crime wave” was taking the white residents of Edmonton, Canada by siege went viral, a black resident of the city debunked the claim.
“BLACK CRIME WAVE SWAMPS ‘WHITE FLIGHT’ CANADIAN CITY” read the headline on the Trad News blogspot page. The post’s writer claimed that “a one-sided race war appears to be under way in the Canadian city of Edmonton after it was announced that hundreds of charges had been laid against 34 members of a large group of Black youths responsible for hundreds of attacks on White people over the past year.”
As Edmonton resident Bashir Mohamed found, however, reports on the uptick in crime in the Alberta capital do not mention race. Further inspection of the Trad News page by Raw Story also revealed that videos used to support the racist claim appear to show the blurred-out faces of rioting white people.
“Fake news is spreading in Edmonton that there is a ‘Black Crime Wave’ targeting white people,” Mohamed tweeted on Thursday, accompanied with a screenshot of the Trad News post. “The article has been shared hundreds of times and has already elicited calls for lynchings and retribution.”
This is important. Fake news is spreading in Edmonton that there is a 'Black Crime Wave' targeting white people. The article has been shared hundreds of times and has already elicited calls for lynchings and retribution.# p #5_24 # ad skipped = true ## p #6_24 # ad skipped = true #
— Bashir Mohamed (@BashirMohamed) March 29, 2018# p #7_24 # ad skipped = true #
The post “references an incident back in March where 32 young people were arrested for a series of crimes,” he continued. “The original press release by [the Edmonton Police Service] does not say race was a motivating factor. Nor does it list the race of the victims or those charged.”
Mohamed went on to note that one of the videos embedded in the post purports to show a young black person shoving and “kicking a white woman down a set of stairs,” though upon further inspection by Raw Story, the race of both the person being pushed down the stairs and the attacker is not clear.
Instead, the article claims that "It was announced that hundreds of charges have been laid against 34 members of a large group of Black youth."# p #10_24 # ad skipped = true #
They also link two videos which they claim is of a Black youth kicking a white woman down a set of stairs. pic.twitter.com/NQKYlGisbP# p #11_24 # ad skipped = true #
— Bashir Mohamed (@BashirMohamed) March 29, 2018# p #12_24 # ad skipped = true #
The second video, which is called a “youth series swarming incident,” claimed to show “a group of 30 Black youths” as they swarm “two male teens” at a train station, causing one person to be hospitalized and “two of the gang [sic] being charged with assault causing bodily harm.” The Trad News blog post admitted that “the race of the victims is unknown,” but that the gang is “clearly” comprised of black members.
Raw Story independently viewed the video and could not verify the races of the people being “swarmed” nor the people doing the “swarming,” but close inspection of the hands of the people in the video, concluded that the group Trad News characterized as a “gang” includes both black and white people.
Mohamed noted in his Twitter thread that the post, which references the “white genocide” myth, was shared widely on Facebook by groups with names like “Albertans Opposed to the [New Democratic Party] and Liberals” and “Nationalist Agenda.”
Needless to say, this propaganda got traction on facebook. It has been shared by groups such as 'Albertans Opposed to the NDP and Liberals' and 'Nationalist Agenda.' pic.twitter.com/FkjodQ4TBX# p #18_24 # ad skipped = true #
— Bashir Mohamed (@BashirMohamed) March 29, 2018# p #19_24 # ad skipped = true #
In the comments, Mohamed wrote, people commented with references to lynching and other forms of violence against black people. One racist comment was posted by former Edmonton police detective Thomas Wilson.
Tom Wilson – "Those little Black bastards!"# p #21_24 # ad skipped = true #
Btw, Thomas Wilson is a former @edmontonpolice detective who worked as a police officer for 25 years. He left the force in 2016.# p #22_24 # ad skipped = true #
Here is his linkedin photo along with his facebook photos. pic.twitter.com/7nf8sY67Od# p #23_24 # ad skipped = true #
— Bashir Mohamed (@BashirMohamed) March 29, 2018# p #24_24 # ad skipped = true #