“Several African Nova Scotian HRM employees I spoke with compare their working conditions to the working conditions in the Southern United States of the 1950’s,” writes Raymond Sheppard. “In my humble opinion HRM has been singing the diversity song without learning the dance that goes along with it.”
African Nova Scotians with the extra burdens of racism and marginalization to contend with have nowhere to turn. Raymond Sheppard writes on the urgent need for Africentric mental health services, situated in the community and run by the community.
Raymond Sheppard with some things Halifax police must do now. “The chief of police, the mayor and Regional Council must halt negotiations with the police union until such time that the union stops advocating to keep officers who have committed racist acts.”
Raymond Sheppard: “The Canadian government, in concert with the African Canadian community, could establish the mandate and or purpose of the public inquiry, and provide the funds necessary out of the money it made from the historic enslavement of the African and the trillions that this wrongdoing generated and continues to generate.”
Raymond Sheppard: “Most of the things we have been told as African Nova Scotians are lies.”
Raymond Sheppard in this very personal essay describes how an injury to one is an injury to all, how acts of racism targeting an individual traumatize the entire African Nova Scotian community. “During the past fifty years of my life I have personally experienced racism and injustice. Like most African peoples, I have felt the pain, frustration, anxiety, and panic attacks caused by racism. This suffering never goes away because racism never goes away,” he writes.
After the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Raymond Sheppard reflects on the pervasive racism in the US and Canada.
“The current complaint system at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC) doesn’t seem to be working. Those who have been traumatized by racism, sexism and hate are being re-victimized,” writes Raymond Sheppard.
In light of racist police violence in Halifax it’s time to take another look at body cams, says Raymond Sheppard.
Raymond Sheppard meets with IWK officials after he and his grandson were kept waiting at the ER. “I felt and still feel, or should I say I know, that I was passed over because I am African Nova Scotian,” he writes.