Media release Racism

PSA: Justice for Nhlanhla Dlamini, say no to hate crimes against Black youths!

Your Attention Please!!!

Calling on all youth, African Nova Scotian community members, social justice groups, activists, churches, organizations, unions and allies in Nova Scotia and beyond:   We, the Core Group of African Nova Scotians (CGANS) and allies of New Glasgow and Halifax need your help, support and activism!

Racial justice, equality, human rights, poverty, the rights of workers, anti Black racism, hate and hate crimes in Canada and around the world affect all of us. We have been suffering the effects of these traumas for far too long and the price is too high to remain silent and allow it to continue without a collective response in effort to change the things we can no longer accept!  

We invite you to take part in active efforts to secure justice for ourselves, our elders, our youth and future generations.

As you may be aware, on September 19, 2018, after nearly three weeks of daily racist bullying, racial taunts and slights in the workplace, young Nhlanhla Dlamini of Pictou, Nova Scotia was brutally shot with a high velocity nail gun by a white co-worker, Shawn Wade Hynes, both employed with PQ Properties Limited of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

22-year old Nhlanhla, 21 at that time, who is of African descent, sustained serious physical and psychological injuries as a result of this hateful act. Nhlanhla suffered from a collapsed as a result of the nail that punctured his lung that required emergency surgery. He has permanently lost 3 percent of functioning in that lung and continues to experience pain and discomfort. His injury could easily have resulted in his death.

Despite the overwhelming pattern of the escalation of this race based bullying over nearly three weeks leading up to the September 19, 2018 incident, his perpetrator was not charged with attempted murder or a hate crime.  Instead, he was charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and in March, 2019 assault with a weapon was added to his previous charge.

On March 25, 2019, Hynes plead not guilty to both charges and his trial has been set for September 17 to 19, 2019.

Young Mr. Dlamini had only started in his new position 3 weeks prior to this incident. Throughout the duration of his employment he was forced on a daily basis to endure racism and racial taunts. that are embedded in the fabric of racism and white supremacy.

It has been widely reported in the media that Nhlanhla was given the nickname Squigger, aka Nigger and was continually referred to as such. His co-workers refused to try to pronounce his real name, or even use the shortened version, “NH”, that Nhlanhla requested and commonly goes by.  

This same co-worker stapled Nhlanhla’s jacket to the stairwell while the other guys on the crew laughed about it. Nhlanhla alleges that the shooter threw nails at him while he was working and hit the steel toe of his boot with a hammer and numerous times threatened to puncture his hand with the staple gun. But the most chilling and blatant act of racial hate was prior to telling Nhlanhla he was working too slow, smiling, removing the safety and shooting Nhlanhla, Shawn Wade Hynes confidently express his white supremacist ideals in  being quoted as having said “every white person deserving to own a black person.” Nhlanhla was the only employee of African descent and the only employee singled out for this mistreatment.

Mr. Quinn, owner of PQ Properties is quoted as having asked, “Did he tell us this was going on?” The answer is no, because Nhlanhla told himself perhaps it was some kind of initiation; that if he kept his head down and kept working this harassment would pass. The co-worker would get tired of bullying him or he would find a new victim. He thought that if he caused trouble for a more senior person on the crew, then as a new employee he could lose his job. He thought that because his boss had laughed about his jacket being stapled to the stairwell and where he had witnessed at least some of the bullying behavior and laughed about it, that his boss would not act in his interest. So, he said nothing. He just waited for it to pass, but it didn’t pass and it escalated and almost caused him his life. Old white supremacist terror and trauma psychologically rendered this young man defenseless, hopeless and silent.

Crimes against our youth are unconscionable and hate crimes against African Canadian youth are especially heinous. What happened to Nhlanhla is evidence of this.

Hate crimes against persons of African descent are escalating rapidly in Canada and indeed Nova Scotia while authorities are failing to take a strong public stand against these intolerant actions. We ask that you and your colleagues, friends and family make a concerted effort to attend one, two or all three days of the September 2019 trial.

If you are unable to be there, you can help in other ways. We encourage you to write letters demanding justice for Nhlanhla to your MLA, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Premier, Prime Minister and share this information to all your networks. Vocalize your support, express how you feel and demand Justice for Nhlanhla Dlamini. You can find most email addresses online.

Thank you, in advance for your support.

“United we stand, divided we fall.”   

Raymond Sheppard and Angie Bowden

On Behalf of The Core Group of African Nova Scotians (CGANS) and allies in New Glasgow and Halifax