Tag: racism

There is no excuse — period, full stop — for the violence and vandalism currently taking place in southwest Nova Scotia. That said, the crisis there — and the tangled, troubled history behind it — is far more complex, nuanced and slippery that any simple hashtag-RACISM tweet can ever capture. There is no excuse — […]

A report by Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team clears Halifax police officers in the violent arrest of Santina Rao. But it doesn’t even try to explain how what happened at the Walmart that day was allowed to become the confrontation that led to her arrest. The purpose of a SiRT investigation is to determine […]

Premier Stephen McNeil was right to apologize for our justice system’s long history of racism, but he was wrong in his father-knows-best response to fixing it. It has been ever thus. It was one of those moments when seemingly good intentions smacked up against abysmal execution and resulted in a lost opportunity. Last week on […]

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. I don’t know George Elliott Clarke well, but I have known him for a long time. Back in the mid-1980s, before he […]

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. Calvin Lawrence remembers the life-altering moment well. It […]

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, […]