Angela Bowden on growing up Black in Nova Scotia. “You do not belong here” became the name of the unfamiliar place where I lived, churning my stomach for as long as I can remember. It was as if I had arrived on a foreign planet and even though I spoke the language of its inhabitants, it still felt forced, unnatural, uncomfortable and entirely unfamiliar.”
I went to the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners meeting this afternoon when it recommended that street checks be suspended.. Afterwards I talked to some members of the African Nova Scotian community who think only a ban is good enough.
Media release and open letter to Minister Furey by the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition : “Street checks are illegal and must stop before we can sit to discuss their impact. We are not interested in negotiating away our inherent human and Charter rights.”
Ever since the Wortley report came out almost all the discussion has focused on street checks and whether to ban or regulate them.
What about rampant racism among the force as reported in Wortley’s community meetings? What about classism, sexism and ableism we continue to hear about? And why do we think the same old and tired recommendations are going to work this time?
PSA: There are no more studies needed. There is much work to be done to undo the layers of racism at play in the HPD. Banning street checks is only a start, but an absolutely necessary one. Let Minister Mark Furey know that we need to end the racist practice of street checks now.
PSA: Ban street checks.
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.
PSA: We are calling on all Youth, African Nova Scotian Communities Members, Social Justice Groups, Activists, Churches, Organizations, 1st Nations, 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 to bring about change.
I ask why it was journalists who revealed the racist bias of police street checks rather than the Board of Police Commissioners, whose job it is to oversee the Halifax police. Then I speculate on the answer. They’re worried that it will expose how powerless they really are.
“These stories are true.” Brenda Thompson introduces five people who lived between the early 1800s and today. “Their hardships were not their fault, yet they were punished for being different or for merely being poor. When it comes to people in poverty, our minds remain shut. Our attitudes and policies are still stuck in the 1860s, Brenda writes
Brenda’s piece was produced in partnership with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers, for co-publication in Connections, published three times a year by the College. We really appreciate this wonderful opportunity to promote longer pieces by Nova Scotia authors on topics so dear to our heart.