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Op-ed: The myth of North Preston’s Finest

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Let me tell you, North Preston’s Finest is for real. The group even has a Facebook page. There you can learn about the Mobile Food Market schedule, basketball championships, all kinds of stuff. You should join and learn about the many community-minded events that happen in this historic African Nova Scotian community.

Another North Preston’s Finest group hits the news rather more often. It’s a mysterious gang of young Black men from North Preston who engage in human trafficking and who force Nova Scotia women into the sex trade.

A Black man who lives in Ontario but at one time lived in North Preston was arrested today for this abhorrent crime. Police says the man is “associated with a Halifax-area street gang known as North Preston’s Finest,” and this fact is duly reported by journalists. A CBC radio news item today also referred to the gang.

When I hear the word ‘gang’ thrown around I think Hells Angels, Maffia, Billy the Kid, that kind of thing. But according to earlier statements by police that’s not what we are talking about here.

“NPF is a term that refers to persons with ties to North Preston and surrounding areas who may or may not be involved in criminal activity,” RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke told the National Post last summer. “There is currently no evidence to support the claim … that NPF is an established group, with a defined structure, working in a coordinated fashion to carry out criminal activities, specifically human trafficking.”

No structure and no coordination to me implies there is no gang. Just a bunch of people with roots in one of Nova Scotia’s poorest communities, a community with a history of high unemployment rates mainly because of Nova Scotia’s long history of anti-Black racism.

I am not saying there are no pimps and other criminal activities by Black men who grew up in North Preston and likely know one another, and at times even cooperate. But I am saying there is nothing to suggest that a gang named North Preston’s Finest  exists.

That’s also what local residents told the same National Post reporter.

The story quotes Neville Provo, an athletic coach and staff member with Souls Strong, a community program that provides mentorship to young men deemed at risk of falling into violence or drugs, who says that if crime happens, it’s strictly “individuals doing individual things.”

If there is no gang, than all that’s left is an ugly name that unfairly paints an entire community with the same brush. A community that can point to wonderful residents, a proud history, but that ends up fighting stigma seemingly any time a Black man from Nova Scotia gets arrested for the crime of human trafficking.

Police and media should be a little less quick to throw that ugly name around.

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One Comment

  1. I don’t know anything about Nova Scotia, nor North Preston but I do know about stigma placed on African Americans in the United States of America, especially African American men. I’m sure North Preston has criminals there like anywhere else. I know that regardless of whatever you hear in the media about blacks and crime, violence, and incarceration, most of it ain’t true. The truth is this: The majority of black people in America are doing well but far too many are not. There is a segment of black America about on fifth of the black community that’s mired in poverty, chronic unemployment, alcoholism, drug addiction, violence, incarceration, poor housing, deplorable living conditions, and poor health due to poverty and living life on the margins of society. And that’s created a lot of hopelessness and despair. But it’s not anymore so than any other group of people in this nation because there are more poor whites than poor anybody else in America, quiet as kept. But most blacks are doing well. Most black neighborhoods are not war zones full of violence and mayhem, most black people don’t live that way. Menace to Society, Boyz in the hood, Colors, and disgusting documentaries like Black in America, Brick City, and Fault Lines showing Baltimore city as a poverty stricken, violence ridden, and drug infested rat hole where blacks live like dogs. It’s just not true. Yes, there are some black folks who live like this but there are people of all races living like this. Go to Pine Ridge in South Dakota, Appalachian, West Virginia and Kentucky, Brownsville, Tx, Salinas, Ca, National City, Ca outside of San Diego, and Little Cambodia in Fresno, California and tell me what you see. These are extremely poor communities right here in the United States that rival many third world countries full of extremely poor and very destitute people and none of them are black. You got lots of poor everybody in America. 96% of all the wealth is controlled by 1% of the population and that top 1% is all white. About 15 families comprise this top 1%. The Kennedys, The Rockefellers, Rothschilds, The Morgans, The Vanderbilts, The Waltons, The Trumps, The Gettis, The Duponts, and the rest of them. These guys are the ones who control the wealth. The Clintons are wanna be 1% percenters. The Fords and the Gates family are definitely 1% percenters. The Clintons were invited to the party last week. And the Clintons ain’t even got it like that cause if they step out of line just a little bit, they’re done and they know it. But back to black people. There are affluent black communities all over America that most people don’t know about. And when you unpack the demographics package, you’ll find out that it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be not what everybody thinks it is. There are many areas of L.A. County where black household incomes far exceed the those of Whites, Latinos, and Everybody else by leaps and bounds. The Greater Los Angeles Area is one of the top places in America for home, land, property, and business ownership and household incomes that far exceeds other ethnic groups, that’s a fact. Not only in Los Angeles but across America too. No one talks about this. You don’t hear about it and you your not gonna hear about it. We got so many successful black entrepreneurs that serve the black community in a positive and productive way all day, everyday that are never recognized and given no credit and nobody even knows about them, who they are, what they do, and how they make a difference everyday. Our country is a Hot Ass Mess right about now and I need America and all of her children of all races to pull their heads out of their asses and wake up and see the real deal so we can fix this mess ASAP.

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