KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Seemingly forever residents of North Preston have been reminding Nova Scotians that the historic African Nova Scotian communities aren’t crime infested slums.
Then along comes the CBC and publishes a story that ignores all these efforts and pulls out every anti-black stereotype you can imagine.
Just the other day our free daily, Halifax Metro, ran an excellent story on the great work Miranda Cain is doing in her community.
All on her own this young woman managed to raise money for 12 summer positions. Her group helps seniors cutting grass, and performs other ‘random acts of kindness.”
She named her group North Preston’s Future, or NPF. That’s also the acronym for North Preston’s Finest, the gang that at one time originated in the community.
That’s on purpose, Cain told Metro.
“We are a part of Canada’s history as the largest black community, we should be recognized as such – not as being North Preston’s Finest where the little 2 or 5 per cent is doing whatever,” Cain told Metro.
“You come here and our community welcomes you with open arms. People are not afraid to come here, so why are you portraying that in the media?” Cain said.
That’s a question our national broadcaster should ponder.
CBC’s recent story, Understanding the North Preston’s Finest Gang, pulls out all the stops. Really, there’s not a racist stereotype about Black crime that’s not mentioned somehow. Black men with $100,000 gold chains and cadillacs luring white women into prostitution, you get the idea.
“There are no businesses there, which really means no opportunities. What ends up happening is many people in the community, sadly, end up getting involved in gangs,” journalist Angela MacIvor explains.
“Many.” What does that even mean? It strikes me that Cain with her” 2 or 5 percent” is closer to the mark.
Also absent is any effort to provide context. No mention of the high unemployment the community faces. No mention of the shameful racism in Nova Scotia that’s one of the main reasons for that high unemployment.
No mention of the recent defunding of the Watershed Association Development Services (W.A.D.E.), a community organization that offered employment services to Black residents of East and North Preston, Cherry Brook, Lake Loon and Dartmouth for many decades.
Most importantly, no awareness of the real hurt that a story like this is likely to cause to the many law abiding residents of North Preston.
And when I say many, I mean 95 to 98 percent.
With thanks to El Jones, whose post on Facebook alerted me to the CBC coverage. She asks that people contact the CBC to let them know their article is unacceptable and racist.