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Raymond Sheppard: Instead of throwing stones, build a fortress

Fasil Ghebbi fortress in Gondar, Ethiopia, photo A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace)

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – African peoples the world over have been demeaned, had their culture discounted and stolen, have been discriminated against, murdered, disrespected and demonized, causing lifelong pain and suffering.

This is why we, members of the African Nova Scotian community, can not afford to buy into this malicious garbage of bad mouthing others in our community and being two-faced. 

When we spread falsehoods about people in our own community we not only hurt individuals but the community as a whole.

It is so easy to spread rumors, gossip and to put others down. All this plays into the hands of divide and conquer and does master’s bidding. 

It seems the world over there are people who gossip about other people, put others down, call them names, spread innuendo and all around backstab others.

It is simply wrong to outright lie and put others down to make yourself feel good or to look good in the eyes of others. Of course we are not going to like everybody, but we can respect everybody until they earn our disrespect.

Many times jealousy and misguided competition is at the center of this foolishness.

It seems many are living and putting into practice all the terrible experiences we as a people have been subjected to. This is not constructive at all. 

Although we have all fallen short and maybe have entered into this crap at some point, I truly believe we must own it and set a path to honouring our people while avoiding the negative narrative of others.

Rest assured when we are negative to other African Nova Scotians and persons of African descent, others are clapping and rejoicing. 

Being kind to others is important and it is the right thing to do, harboring bitterness is not the way to go and can affect our own mental health and that of others. 

It does not show any class to put down another. It is amazingly easy to put somebody down, but it speaks to the divine within to lift someone up with a kind word or action.

Black Feelings Matter

Putting down others detracts from the person we are and we were meant to be.

When you plan to get even with someone you are only providing a portal to allow the hurt to continue. You may gain a short term false happiness, but you will reap long term pain and a missed opportunity.

Life is too short to judge and criticize and put down others. If they are wrong there is a greater power to judge them. 

Great is the love and respect we give one another.

There is a role for all of us and it is not in putting one another down or being dismissive. To be strong requires teamwork and we need all hands on deck. This is a call to action; we have lived most of our lives based on the expectations of others. It is past time to own ourselves. 

We continue to face times that require unity and togetherness and we must do everything within our power to be respectful of others, of our heritage, culture and lineage. 

If you don’t like what you’re receiving from others, consider changing what you’re doing to others. We should atone for our past hurt to others and make peace.

Never try to destroy somebody’s life with a lie when your life could be destroyed with the truth.

We must always ask ourselves, who taught us to hate ourselves, who taught us to hate our people and who taught you to be ashamed of who we are and who taught us to be jealous of one another? They taught you to put down others to benefit them.

We are not perfect nor were we ever meant to be. We all have opinions but they should be informed, not malicious. 

When you talk and put down other Brothers and Sisters and spread malicious rumors, you are being selfish, but it’s not all about you, it is about the hurt you inflict on others. 

So here is the *dealeo, cut this crap out and live and let live. Instead of throwing stones, build a fortress.

Raymond Sheppard

* Dealeo means ‘plan’ or ‘plan to follow’ in the African North American vernacular.

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One Comment

  1. Brother Raymond Sheppard has spoken the truth in this article, and we as a people could do well by his words.

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