York University Libraries | Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections online exhibits

Racist Toronto Sun

Jean Augustine discusses the Racist Toronto Sun button.

And of course this was a big-- I think our memories have gone now past the recollections around the Toronto Sun, and the writers and all the people who are writing all kinds of things that were considered to be prejudicial, to be racist and to create or to have stories that created a lot of tension in the community. And so the Toronto Sun was always viewed as a racist paper. There are still a lot of people who don't read The Sun because of that past history. We know some of the people had gone, we know the Sun has had different editorial positions now, but there was a time when the Sun was really a cause of concern for people in not only the black community but people in the sidelines of society. It was in the 70s, the 80s. It was not so much the kinds of stories, it was really the tone of the stories, the descriptors that would be used-- like the words that would be used to describe individuals and also the hard line positions that were put forward in terms of race. So for example the story would be, you know, why should we have to do employment equity? There'd be all kinds of viewpoints around that, or in the case of the police shootings and the marches and things that were happening, how it was reported. Or in the instance of things that were happening in public housing, how that was reported versus how something was reported if it happened in another part of town. So there were lots of-- the Toronto Sun, people were writing, demonstrating, passing out buttons, doing all kinds of things.