About four dozen people rallied in downtown Halifax Friday against racism on job sites.
The rally was organized in the wake of an incident on Sept. 19 in Pictou County, in which 21-year-old Nhlanhla Dlamini was shot in the back by a co-worker wielding a nail gun.
Dlamini underwent emergency surgery for a collapsed lung, and spent four days in hospital. The co-worker has been charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Dlamini’s family said he was the victim of bullying, harassment and racism on the job site.
Rev. Rhonda Britton of New Horizons Baptist Church in Halifax told the rally that the community has lots to do to wipe out racism.
“You cannot deny that Mr. Dlamini’s attack on the job was racially motivated,” she said. “It was a hate crime, and we need to stop trying to whitewash that. We need to say what it is so we can address it.”
Angie Bowden travelled from New Glasgow for the rally.
“When racism is this hateful, it rips open old wounds, exposing many victims. It is concerning to us that our youth feel hopeless in these situations, and continue to be targets in this province,” she said.
“What we are collectively saying is that we, the black community of Nova Scotia, refuse to allow anyone to create another wound in our children to be left unhealed. Our children deserve better, and we demand better.”
Raymond Sheppard, who organized the event, said he believes the charge should be upgraded to attempted murder and a hate crime.
I am surprised and I’m very impressed with the community and the level of support.
Dlamini was at the rally. He told the group that he didn’t bring up what he was dealing with to the boss because he had been on the job less than three weeks.
“I was just going to let it die out, but by doing that it resulted in me being shot by him,” he said.
He said he was grateful for the community support for his family.
Dlamini’s older brother Buhle also thanked people for their support.
“We know what happened to Nhlanhla is not normal, we know that what happened to Nhlanhla is not what Canada is about, it’s not what Nova Scotia is about, because of people like you, who are here today to say ‘this is not us,’” he said.
After the rally, the brothers said they have appreciated the support they have received.
Buhle said people have expressed shock since the event.
“They are shocked that this has happened here, but there are also responses where some people want to minimize what happened or that racism had a role in it. That’s always a bit frustrating … but those incidences have been fewer. Overwhelmingly, the response has been very supportive with people saying this isn’t OK and they won’t stand for it.”
He said the rallies are important to make more people realize that these kinds of incidents are happening, even if they don’t result in violence or injuries.
He said he hopes people will realize workplace racism is happening and stand up to it.
Nhlanhla said besides appreciating the support, he was surprised by how much he received.
“I really, really am,” he said. “Looking on my Facebook, this one person saying they thought I did this on purpose to get this outcome, and everyone just (piled) on this person and I was like, ‘whoa, I didn’t even have to say anything. This is amazing.’ So yes, I am surprised and I’m very impressed with the community and the level of support.”
The federal government is consulting experts and community leaders ahead of a new national anti-racism strategy, but in a series of secretive meetings to avoid them turning into public shouting matches.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has already attended at least three closed-door meetings and another 19 are to take place nationwide before the end of the year.
However, the government is not publicizing who attended, who will be at future meetings or even where those meetings are taking place.
There are still Canadian communities where people face systemic racism, oppression and discrimination, Rodriguez said Friday.
The minister has not, however, directly explained why he told The Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this week that systemic racism was not “part of his vocabulary” and that Canada was not in fact a racist society.
New Democrat MP Jenny Kwan asked Rodriguez this week multiple times in the House of Commons to explain and apologize for his comment, to which Rodriguez only said racism does exist in Canada.
The federal government is consulting experts and community leaders ahead of a new national anti-racism strategy, but in a series of secretive meetings to avoid them turning into public shouting matches.Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has already attended at least three closed-door meetings and another 19 are to take place nationwide before the end of the year.However, the government is not publicizing who attended, who will be at future meetings or even where those meetings are taking place.There are still Canadian communities where people face systemic racism, oppression and discrimination, Rodriguez said Friday.The minister has not, however, directly explained why he told The Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this week that systemic racism was not “part of his vocabulary” and that Canada was not in fact a racist soc
History is in crisis when black students refuse to study it and staff suffers abuse.
what happens when a highly respected professional body undertakes serious and rigorous research into race and racism in its industry? Then, in the light of depressing findings, the researchers call upon their profession, institutions and colleagues to confront “persistent inequalities in our habits and practices”?
The dismal answer is that both the researchers and their findings are served up, by parts of the press, as disapproval fodder for the “world’s gone mad”, “had enough of experts” demographic; the hard core of the unreality-based community.
The report, Race, Ethnicity & Equality in UK History, is the work of the Royal Historical Society (RHS). Based on surveys and interviews with more than 700 UK historians, it examines what is taught in the history departments of our universities and who does the teaching. It paints a bleak but hardly unexpected picture, one that some newspapers elected to ignore in favour of a handful of cherries picked, out-of-context quotes that pushed their culture-wars agenda.
Most people involved in the delivery of history, in universities, publishing, museums and the heritage industry, are aware that we have a problem with diversity and inclusivity. The RHS’s findings show us just how deep that problem is. By multiple measures, the report reveals, history as an academic subject is less inclusive and less open than others. While the overall UK academic workforce is 15% black and minority ethnic (BME), in history departments, that figure collapses to just 6.3%. So while 85% of all academics are white, for historians the figure in 93.7%. A mere 0.5% of academic staff in history departments are black. Black people make up 3% of the UK population, nearly 2 million people.
The statistics for diversity are accompanied by surveys about experiences. They reveal that almost one in three of the BME history staff surveyed by the RHS had had direct experiences of discrimination or abuse because of their race – from academic colleagues, members of the public and students. The respondents also reported that colleagues presumed that, as BME historians, they were only interested in the histories of their “own” communities and that their language skills would be in some way deficient. Critically, the report reveals that black historians face particular problems when they try to discuss race and structural racism, what is sometimes called institutional racism. One respondent to the RHS’s survey wrote: “Whenever I tried to discuss it with my colleagues (all of whom were non-BME), I was told unequivocally that I was imagining it.”
‘Thugs’ is a race-code word that fuelsanti-Black racism
race-code word that fuelsanti-Black racism
Toronto has seen a stark rise in gun violence and homicides this year.
The numbers raise questions about responses to violence by politicians in Canada’s largest city.
Mayor John Tory, who seems poised to coast to re-election on Oct. 22, is morally outraged.
His knee-jerk response to the violence this summer, however, led him to call young African-Canadian men “thugs” and “sewer rats.”
Tory also used terms such as “profoundly anti-social,” and “gangsters” in reference to specific acts of gun violence.
City councillor Giorgio Mammoliti shortly followed suit.
The representative for Ward 7 (the Jane-Finch area) called young Black men in his ward “criminals” and “cockroaches” who must be “sprayed.”
Racist law-and-order words like “thugs” are used to justify state-sanctioned violence.
With Toronto in mind, it is necessary to decode how racist slurs like the n-word have been replaced with crime-based terminology like “thugs” to justify anti-Black occupation-style policing.
Immediately after the 2016 presidential election, a great debate ensued about whether Trump voters were motivated primarily by racism or economic anxiety. Initially those who took a position were arguing from their own perceptions and assumptions, but eventually, the political scientists and researchers were able to study the data and consistently concluded that racism was the more significant factor.
However, for a lot of people, one group has been excluded from that conclusion. Conventional wisdom would have it that people who voted for Barack Obama and then supported Donald Trump could not have changed as a result of racism. The thought was that voting for a black man exempted them from racism.
Based on my own experience and what I’ve learned about racism, I never embraced that assumption. To me, it is a misunderstanding that rests on the idea that people can easily be sorted into categories of being either racist or non-racist. To get beyond that view of racism as a binary issue, take a few minutes to watch Jay Smooth talk about how that prevents us from having a meaningful conversation about racism.
I had previously avoided discussing all of that when it comes to Obama-Trump voters because we hadn’t seen any data that backed up my skepticism with the conventional wisdom. But as Zach Beauchamp reports, that void has now been filled.
The existence of [Obama-Trump] voters has served as evidence that the most plausible explanation for what happened in 2016 — that Trump’s campaign tapped into the racism of white Americans to win pivotal states — is wrong. “How could white Americans who voted for a black president in the past be racist,” or so the thinking goes…
A new study shows that this response isn’t as powerful as it may seem. The study, from three political scientists from around the country, takes a statistical look at a large sample of Obama-Trump switchers. It finds that these voters tended to score highly on measures of racial hostility and xenophobia — and were not especially likely to be suffering economically.
In order to understand our current political environment, that raises the question of why people who voted for Barack Obama were receptive to Trump’s racist appeals. Both Beauchamp and Kevin Drum attempt to answer that question, but the most plausible reason comes from the former when he states that, “racial issues became the key political dividing line in a way they were not in either 2008 or 2012.”
Trump kicked off his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and vowing to build a wall between the US and Mexico. He vowed to ban Muslims, and described black life in America as a hellscape of violence and poverty. Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign was not nearly so overt, which means it was less likely to attract voters who held latent racist and anti-immigrant attitudes.
Clinton, for her part, positioned herself as a champion of racial justice. While Obama’s rhetoric on race was typically post-racial, positioning the country as more united than divided, Clinton got out front on issues like police violence and immigration. There are plenty of valid reasons for this — Clinton was more worried about failing to turn out minority voters, Obama was more worried about alienating skittish whites, and there was no way to respond to Trump’s campaign without tackling race head-on.
Issues that were important in 2008 included the financial collapse and getting out of the Iraq War. Romney’s wealth and his remarks about 47 percent of the population being freeloaders dominated in 2012. In 2016, Trump put racism and xenophobia front and center. Clinton, knowing she would need to engage the so-called “Obama coalition,” addressed the issues directly.
We also can’t ignore the fact that for the eight years of Obama’s presidency, right-wing news outlets dished out a steady stream of racist appeals to their viewers in order to provide congressional Republicans with the fuel they needed to obstruct anything the president tried to accomplish. That included a certain media personality launching himself onto the political stage by reviving the whole birther movement.
All of the above contributed to the 2016 election being a referendum on race, with people being compelled to take sides. Just as Karl Rove drove conservative voters to the polls in 2004 by getting gay marriage on the ballot in as many states a possible in order to tap into homophobia, Trump put racism and xenophobia on the ballot.
Here is what we know: Racism is bad for your health. Here is what we’re exploring: possible interventions that could help ameliorate the health impacts on people of color while the broader work to dismantle racism continues. In the first installment of this series, we explored how self-regulation, a set of teachable skills and behaviors that help us cope with stress, could be a key to reducing or eliminating the impacts of racism and discrimination. But there are other areas of research that show some potential. One such area social science researchers have explored is how racial identity, cultural connection, and conversations with kids about race might improve resiliency in the face of racism and systemic bias.
In part two, we’ll take a closer look at this research, and how a person’s relationship to their racial and ethnic community shapes their experience with discrimination. While there is still more research to do in this arena, certain behaviors and attitudes have been found to promote resilience in the face of discrimination for people of color. These findings lend themselves toward certain interventions, both on the individual and community level, that could potentially improve the health of people of color.
We should also note that any interventions regarding racial and ethnic identity are complicated by the nature of race and ethnicity itself—fluid constructs that are very much shaped by power and structure, and do not always offer individuals easy or accessible routes toward identity or connection. This can be particularly true for people with more than one racial identity or ethnicity and people who are disconnected from their communities or practices for a whole host of reasons. That said, when it comes to people who have a strong cultural connection and whose parents talk to them about race, the opportunities for intervention are clear, based on the research that is currently available.
Metro church draws unease with Black Lives Matter banner
Metro church draws unease with Black Lives Matter banner
A prominent metro church’s new controversial banner is drawing mixed reviews from the community.
On Tuesday, Plymouth Congregational Church hung a Black Lives Matter banner on its building.
The church voted to display the banner for 10 days.
Leaders at the church, which is located at 42nd Street and Ingersoll Avenue, said the banner is part of an effort to combat racism in the community.
“Very honestly, we feel like we are late to the party, and we admit that,” said Rev. Matt Mardis LeCroy, senior minister at Plymouth Congregational Church.
Mardis-LeCroy said the 3,300 members of the church are mostly white and have not taken a stand against racism.
He said that, privately, some support the Black Lives Matter movement. Others say the movement is too political.
“What’s behind the banner is a conversation that we’ve been having at Plymouth about our sense that God is calling us to get involved in anti-racism work and to stand in solidarity with our African American neighbors,” Mardis-LeCroy said. “This is one small attempt to do that.”
Nearly a third of black and minority ethnic (BME) historians in UK universitieshave directly experienced discrimination or abuse because of their race, research finds.
And one in three BME university-based historians have witnessed racial discrimination or abuse of colleagues or students during their work, the Royal Historical Society (RHS) has revealed.
The majority of university based historians said the discrimination was from other academic staff, but more than a fifth (21 per cent) was from students and 15 per cent was from the public.
One African PhD student received racial discrimination from students, including one who said “they did not want someone foreign (and from Africa) telling them about their own national history.”
Another BME historian said: “I find that the basic assumption among colleagues is that my English language skills are not as good as theirs.”
The new report also highlights the stark underrepresentation of BME staff and students in higher education – and it reveals that only 0.5 per cent of history academic staff in UK universities are black.
BME pupils are less likely than their peers to choose History in university applications, the research – which includes a survey of more than 700 university-based historians as well as interviews – finds.
History student cohorts are less diverse than most other university subjects, with only 11 per cent of students coming from BME backgrounds, compared to nearly a quarter of all university students.
A more diverse curriculum in schools and university – rather than programmes “grounded uncritically in White histories and Eurocentric approaches to the past” – would boost the diversity of students, the report suggests.
Dr Jonathan Saha at the University of Leeds, co-chair of the race and ethnicity working group, said: “That almost 95 per cent of academic historians are white, while only 0.5 per cent are black, should be concerning enough.
“That it also reveals that nearly a third of the BME historians who responded to our survey had directly experienced discrimination or abuse because of their race is frankly alarming.”
Dr Saha said: “The report is a clarion call that should galvanise university historians to take action to help reform their departments, universities, and the discipline as a whole.”
Professor Margot Finn, president of the RHS and professor of Modern British History at University College London (UCL), said: “Bias and discrimination based on perceived racial and ethnic differences are far more prevalent in UK university programmes than many historians have acknowledged.
“Effecting change will demand that the historical profession confronts persistent inequalities in our habits and practices.”
The coversr story of the New York Times Magazine on April 11 garnered more attention for a problem that is increasingly becoming news but is not new: Black women and babies die at alarmingly high rates during pregnancy and childbirth. But the article advanced the conversation in two important ways: first, by acknowledging that racism is to blame for these disparities, and second, by elevating the role of doulas as a potential intervention for Black mothers and babies.
The author, Linda Villarosa, explained: “Recently there has been growing acceptance of what has largely been, for the medical establishment, a shocking idea: For black women in America, an inescapable atmosphere of societal and systemic racism can create a kind of toxic physiological stress, resulting in conditions—including hypertension and pre-eclampsia—that lead directly to higher rates of infant and maternal death.”
But the reality is that it’s not just pregnant women who see the health impacts of racism—these types of disparities cross gender, age, ethnic and racial lines. People of color, especially African-Americans, experience the highest rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and much more. Therefore, to truly get at the root causes of these health problems, we’d need to eliminate racism. We’d need to dismantle or dramatically reform institutions that uphold racist paradigms.
In the meantime, interventions like doulas, as the Times piece suggests, could protect pregnant people and buffer the impacts of racism on maternal health. This raises the question: What other interventions should be considered for the wide range of conditions affecting people exposed to systemic injustices while the work to change the larger structures continues? Over the course of the next few months, we’ll be looking at a number of those potential interventions to shine a light on the approaches that could ameliorate or prevent the health impacts of racism.
For our first piece, we’ll look at self-regulation, an umbrella term used primarily by psychologists to describe a set of skills that allow people to deal appropriately with stress, potentially preventing it from having toxic impacts. One thing that we know about the physiological stress described in the New York Times Magazine piece is that whether it is toxic or not depends on our ability to cope with the stress. The inability to cope with stress is part of what results in the health problems we see into adulthood. Because of its potential, and the fact that these skills can be taught and strengthened throughout a lifetime, self-regulation is a promising intervention for the health impacts of racism.