featured Racism

Racist street checks are a white silence problem

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Wortley report, dealing with racist profiling within the Halifax police force, with all its stats and stories, only confirms  what the Black Nova Scotian community has known forever, and has said forever.

There is nothing in Wortley’s report we didn’t know, or could not have known, or should not have known a long time ago.   

Yet even at today’s panel discussion white politicians such as Justice minister Mark Furey, and councillor Steve Craig, representing the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners, expressed surprise and shock at Findley’s findings.

“I was shaken to the core,” is what Craig said.

When African Nova Scotians asked for a moratorium over two years ago that same Craig poo poohed the idea.

“I think it has to be looked at, but immediate is quite a reaction,” Craig told the CBC in January 2017. “This is communications, information and understanding issue, It sometimes takes a lot of effort for people to understand.”

Mayor Savage was even more direct. Street checks are here to stay, he told CTV.

How is it even possible not to know how bad it is?   Have these guys never heard of the Kirk Johnson report? Don’t these politicians ever talk to Black people? Isn’t it their job to know about this stuff?

The answer is, of course they knew. No way that racism this widespread at the Halifax police force was not known well before the CBC reported on its Freedom of Information request.

When they say they didn’t know how bad it was they’re lying.

This gets me to the truly deplorable part of this entire awful news story.

There is a reason we don’t yet have a moratorium on street checks, as demanded over and over by the Black community. There is a reason we allow the practice to continue even now.

That reason is that by and large white people, white politicians, white media, in this province don’t really care. Or at least don’t care enough to end it.

White people, even well meaning ones, tend to think of racism as a problem affecting Black people. In reality anti-Black racism is also very much a problem affecting white people. It’s a white silence problem.

Subscribe to the Nova Scotia Advocate weekly digest and never miss an article again. It’s free!

With a special thanks to our generous donors who make publication of the Nova Scotia Advocate possible.

2 Comments

  1. Street checks are illegal and I believe they should be BANNED! Period. This opinion won’t probably matter in the big picture. The carding issue needs to appear next to the name of elected officials in every election, municipal and otherwise. PRO or CON state your case. Let’s grow the f—k UP

    Reply
  2. If there’s a “quota” requirement for cops out there checking pedestrians to see what’s up, how many white people get the nod? Why not just check out every 3rd or 4th person just to say exactly what a carded human would be asked on any given street. Card every random person, including me, and get the quota

    Reply

Post Comment