Raymond Sheppard: “The first war that we must face as African people is the war on ourselves. The oppressors live inside us, they are in our minds and every piece of material we read including textbooks, reinforce their so-called superiority.”
Martha Mutale: “I learned from my ancestors to always speak the truth. I go to bed every night anxious about how to house my caseload of people, how to combat microaggressions, how to enjoy my life with my partner, how to stay present even though I want to imagine a world without this much chaos, violence, and neglect.”
The Nova Scotia College of Social Workers is inviting the broader community to join in re-imagining how we can collaboratively develop a social justice praxis that will ensure that every person can join in the recovery that is hopefully around the corner. Nadia Siritsky writes about some of the topics the conference aims to cover, including the keynote from Dr. Delores Mullings, Associate Professor at Memorial University, questioning the popular framing of white fragility.
What happens when a Mi’kmaw and settler university student share car rides on their way to university and other places? They talk, and the settler learns some hard lessons. “First check your privilege. I mean really check your privilege. Ask yourself, why is your privilege so hard to see?”
Over and over Black people tell of racism in Nova Scotia, and then there are the stats, but still the message isn’t getting through. Historian Jill Campbell-Miller on the origin of this reluctance to accept that racism is for real, and how a knowledge of history can counteract this disbelief.
Raymond Sheppard on how white privilege rather than hard work is the cause of many white people’s good fortunes. And racism functions to keep it that way.
Poet and writer Joanne Bealy went to the Kent Monkman talk at the Central Library, and learned some hard lessons about white privilege and complicity, not just from Monkman but especially from two Black women.
Rana Zaman, an immigrant, social activist and community volunteer, writes about the humiliation and raw pain she experienced as the result of a recent restaurant experience with subtle but clear racist overtones. She decided to tell the story, not to call out the restaurant or any individual servers, but to explain how very harmful and hurtful this kind of behaviour is.
“Should I counsel students at Dalhousie not to critique social institutions or practices, or not to invite academics who may do so, for fear of reprisals on the part of Dalhousie University, lest a student file a complaint that actually affirms the analysis in question?” Saint Mary’s professor Darryl Leroux writes an open letter to Dalhousie University administration pointing out that disciplining Masuma Khan for her FB post on white fragility exemplifies precisely the type of racism that is rampant on university campuses, including at Dalhousie.
Attached to the letter is an abridged version of a keynote address on white fragility in academia that professor Leroux delivered last year to the Dalhousie Arts and Social Sciences Society. This lecture is eerily applicable to what is transpiring at Dalhousie right now.