Tag: racism

We are in a moment. It has forced us to rethink what we mean by policing, and by public safety, and to begin to reimagine a world in which public safety does not necessarily mean a cop with a gun killing someone with whom he is supposedly conducting a “wellness check,” or six cops with […]

We’re right to speak out about the murder of George Floyd and about the global pandemic of state violence against black people, but we — white people — also need to act locally. There’s plenty for us to do right here in our own backyard. Call it the dance of the dodge. “We need to […]

Why aren’t we doing something to try to change decades of data — “comparative drop-out rates, school suspension rates, graduation rates, academic averages achieved” — that show African Nova Scotian students aren’t reaching their potential in our school system? Whatever the reasons, it’s time to stop allowing the failures of the past to keep repeating […]

When a young black woman accused the Halifax police of racially profiling and abusing her in connection with an alleged shoplifting incident at Walmart last week, officials did what officials do. They obfuscated, they passed the buck, they pretended to take it seriously. I still don’t know nearly enough about what actually happened inside the […]

“‘Truth and Reconciliation’ versus ‘the Murdered and Missing’” was intended to be a serious academic lecture by one of Canada’s most esteemed poets and social justice truth speakers. Somehow it all went wrong. George Elliott Clarke I don’t know George Elliott Clarke well, but I have known him for a long time. Back in the […]

His hiring as a Halifax police officer in 1969 happened only because the city feared what might happen if it didn’t at least pay lip service to inclusion. But over the course of his 36-year policing career, Calvin Lawrence proved a more than worthy fighter against racism. The 1969 Halifax Police graduating class. Calvin Lawrence […]

Last week’s Blackface/Brownface controversy raises the complicated question of how we navigate our way through all the competing, compelling, often contradictory private and public actions of our politicians to determine who — if anyone — deserves our vote. Voting is easy. Choosing who to vote for? Not so much… In our federal parliamentary, first-past-the-post system, […]

“This is North Preston” is a film about the stereotype of North Preston that allows the young men who’ve been stereotyped for so long to speak for themselves. Justin “Just Chase” Smith comes home. Jaren Hayman is from Toronto. He’s 32 years old, a white man. He began his professional career as a drummer, touring […]

As he begins the second half of his first term as a city councilor, Lindell Smith reflects on what’s been accomplished. And what’s still to do before he moves on. He is not, he says again/still, a career politician. (Halifax Magazine) This column first appeared in the Halifax Examiner February 25, 2019. What are you […]

In 1970, a dozen outside experts came to Halifax for a week to turn the city ‘upside down.’ Last week, a local group played excerpts from ‘Encounter on Urban Environment,’ the NFB’s documentary on that cataclysmic week in Halifax, and discussed whether it’s time for another upside-downing. This column first appeared in the Halifax Examiner January 28, 2019. I […]