I know that this is certainly a delicate topic, and one that's become rather explosive given the events of the last few months (George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Chantel Moore, etc.). I think most of us here recognize that this is a bit of an "elephant in the room" topic that can't really be ignored, but that is also difficult to discuss at times. I really appreciate you taking the time to collect your thoughts on this and to write them down in as matter-of-fact and neutral a tone as possible (I've seen a lot of other people on the interwebz who have yet to master that skill). All of that said though, I'm going to respectfully disagree with some of the specific points you raise.
I've worked in six different federal departments/agencies through my career with the public service, nearly the entirety of which has been spent working in policy analysis and development to try to change the way government responds to certain issues. Most of that time I've actually spent on policing policy with respect to police interactions with certain minority populations. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of it, the way the policy process works generally follows these steps:
Priority topic/initiative X is identified by the Minister
Direction is given to identify and examine potential options to change a certain aspect of X
Public service employees undertake necessary analysis
Examine new/existing studies on X, collect/analyze relevant quantitative data, talk to relevant stakeholders for their perspectives/experiences, collect/analyze relevant qualitative data
After completing analysis, public service employees assess the options on X previously identified to determine feasibility and/or changes necessary
Revised options on X are presented to the Minister for consideration
Associated data (quantitative and qualitative), pros and cons, costing, etc. are all provided to contextualize the options and help the Minister make an informed decision
Minister makes a decision as to the preferred option for X
Depending on the department, the issue, the cost, etc., the Minister may or may not be required to present his/her preferred option to Cabinet so that other Ministers can weigh in. In those instances, the same general process is followed, but with additional information an analysis in order to address concerns that other departments might have on X.
The point is that this is all a very involved, time-consuming process that requires an incredible amount of work by a lot of people. No one in government expects a private citizen to come up with a fully-cooked, concrete solution to a major issue by themselves. We would never, never dismiss an issue or respond "well, I'm not going to do anything then" because we recognize that it's unrealistic to ask an individual to come up with a solution and do the kind of analytical work needed to effect change. If that were actually the case, then we wouldn't need a bunch of bureaucrats to be working on these issues full-time, year-round. I think we can also agree that it's not ideal to have a bunch of bureaucrats in Ottawa coming up with solutions in isolation, so talking to people outside of the Ottawa bubble is a key part of coming up with real-world solutions.
The statements made during the Y9 video are all comments on lived experiences by specific individuals. Is it 100% certain that in every single instance cited that racism was the sole factor that led to the described outcome? Without interviewing witnesses or the other people involved, you can never have that perfect level of certainty. It's entirely possible that there were other factors that contributed to these situations. But that doesn't mean that racism wasn't *a* factor, as you acknowledge in a large number of your comments. And it doesn't mean that these kind of statements should be discounted. A concept I learned a long time ago that I've also found useful is "impact, not intent". Even though Person A may not have consciously intended anything malicious when interacting with Person B, it doesn't mean that Person B still didn't find themselves in a difficult situation as a result. In the context of systemic racism, this is all the more relevant because it can manifest itself in a thousand subtle but significant ways. Most daily experiences of racism never involve someone actually saying "I am treating you in this way specifically because you are of a different race". It's so pervasive that it often goes unsaid, either because the person on the other end isn't aware of the impact of what they're saying/doing or because they don't feel the need to explain or justify themselves. It would be great (from a data perspective) if every incident of racism was a textbook smoking gun where someone was explicitly, admittedly racist, but that's very rarely the case. But there's enough study of the issue and the ways in which it manifests itself that it's not terribly difficult to recognize it. Ignoring this kind of problem isn't going to help create change.
Qualitative data like this is, by its nature, more subjective than purely quantitative data. As you rightly point out, it can be difficult to validate every single detail in every instance. We always do our best to make sure that we're providing the higher-ups with the most accurate information possible, so we do our due diligence when reviewing the qualitative data we receive from stakeholders/the general public. But it's still of great use to government decision-makers because it helps contextualize quantitative data and bring it to life, so to speak. We have studies and statistics up the wazoo that speak to the continued legacies of slavery, colonialism and ongoing racism for visible minority populations (lower life expectancies, lower financial prospects, lower levels of employment, lower levels of undergraduate/post-graduate education, lower levels of home ownership, more frequent health problems for certain populations, higher levels of police interaction, higher incarceration rates, severe over-representation in the criminal justice system, etc.). But the senior bureaucrats and politicians making decisions on how to try to address these issues are - despite rumours to the contrary - human. Being able to engage with people and hear the stories of their lived experiences helps people better understand the real-world impacts of these issues and inform decision making. For me, I experienced that in a very real way about a year and a half ago when working on a file related to the opioid crisis. It's one thing to see the stories in the papers and read the studies. It's a very different thing to meet with a grandmother who's in tears as she speaks about losing two daughters to overdoses and doesn't know how she can afford to raise three granddaughters at her age. Personal accounts aren't a perfect form of data, and on their own they're not always enough. But they're still an important part of the equation in helping make the impacts of these issues understood, both for government and for the general public.
I'd also just note that for issues of systemic racism (and a lot of other social issues), discussions aren't targeted solely at government and business. It's systemic: it touches everyone. Maybe this kind of video won't change anyone's mind in Ottawa or on Bay Street, but considering that this is a video about soccer players in a relatively upstart league, I don't think anyone expected that to begin with. This is the kind of thing that can help Joe Public stop and think for a minute on the impacts of his words and actions when he interacts with people of different backgrounds. Maybe a bouncer will see this and think about what it means to turn away someone because of their shoes (that one still baffles me a bit; I've seen plenty of offensive/questionable t-shirts, but shoes strike me as relatively benign). Maybe someone's mother or grandmother will see this and try to be a bit more trusting the next time they see someone of a different race on the sidewalk. Maybe some teenager will see this and think a bit more about what it means to use racial slurs at school. This exact video might not create a lot of stir at the Cabinet table or the boardroom table, but it might just help stimulate conversation at the supper table.
Not every person who speaks out about racism is going to be a perfect spokesperson for the cause, and not every person who speaks out about it will have the expertise to propose a specific, concrete solution. But that's not their responsibility - that's the responsibility of people who are paid to work on this stuff full-time. Some do go the extra mile and get involved with different volunteer or NGO groups, which also makes a big difference in a lot of communities. But for those who don't have the energy or time to do so (family commitments, precarious employment situation, or a hundred other reasons), speaking out still matters. If acts of racism were the exception rather than the rule, then maybe it would be easier for people to let it go as you suggest. But when it's something that people are confronted with every day, simply for the fact that they exist, I don't see how letting it go is really an option. Institutional racism isn't an easy thing to overcome, especially when those institutions are so firmly entrenched and society has built up around them. But by talking about these issues more and more, through different media and in different contexts, it helps bring attention to the issue and force the conversation of what concrete changes can be made. Individual, personal acts of racism might not ever be completely eliminated, but that doesn't mean it's not worth taking action to reduce them. Society has come a long way in the last 50 years in terms of racial equality, in terms of opportunities and attitudes. I don't see any reason why we can't keep going further.
I won't pretend to have any insights about how decisions are made in the private sector, but I've always had the impression that banks/companies tried to speak with their wallets. Beyond adjusting/updating internal policies to reflect societal norms and changes, it always seemed to me that they'd invest in/sponsor/donate to businesses and causes that provide them with returns, be they monetary capital (profits) or social capital (goodwill/positive PR). So when the public starts to pivot on an issue, banks/companies tend to be savvy enough to know when to invest more or pull the plug on something that aligns with a particular cause. Am I totally out to lunch in thinking that that's how that works? Are there any folks here who are more business-y than me who can offer some insights?
Again, I do want to thank you for putting your perspective down on paper (so to speak), and for doing so in such a matter-of-fact way. There are a lot of people out there who just start shouting their opinions online without much thought being put into them, and that's clearly not the case here. I'm not trying to stir to pot in responding to your post; I'm just offering my perspective based on my experience in working on these issues, and trying to further the conversation. If ever we find ourselves at the same match (God, I can't wait for spectators to be allowed again!), I'll be the first to buy you a pint and chat. But for what it's worth, I don't think that an approach of "don't talk about problems unless you have solutions" works for something this large, this complex and this pervasive. I think "if you see something, say something" is the better way to go - and one that's been forcing a lot of conversations for a lot of people these last few months.