This is not an easy post to write. I don’t have good news to share. Last week, I became aware of a vile incident of hatred that occurred in District 5. The word “noose” was spray-painted onto a Nova Scotia Power Pole in front of a person of colour’s home. This was deliberate in its targeting and designed to terrorize and intimidate. No one should have to feel afraid for themselves and their family because of the colour of their skin. It was a vile act and is totally unacceptable.
After the graffiti was reported, Nova Scotia Power was quick to respond. The graffiti was removed early the very next day. Halifax Police are in contact with the family, and are investigating. I have spoken with the family several times and they don’t wish to be identified publicly. They did, however, agree that there is value in letting the community at large know what happened. I would ask that their privacy be respected.
Sadly, this isn’t the only incident in the last month that has been brought to my attention. Another family who has a Black Lives Matter sign in their window received a hateful letter in the mail objecting to their sign and expressing truly despicable sentiments about Black Nova Scotians.
I’m sharing all of this today because it’s important to recognize that racism hasn’t gone away and to let people know what’s going on in our community. It’s easy to not be aware of how prevalent overt racism still is if you look like me. Before I was elected, it wasn’t part of my life – none of my friends, family or work colleagues expressed racist sentiments. Being elected changed that because Council periodically receives racist correspondence. It’s impossible to underestimate the flaws that still exist in our society in elected office because reminders arrive somewhat regularly in letters, and emails.
We should all be aware that racism hasn’t gone away. That’s why I’m writing this. It’s not just Trump, it’s not a rural problem, it exists right here in Dartmouth. We can’t turn a blind eye. If you see overtly racist signs or actions in our community please report them. If someone you know expresses racist sentiments call them out on it. Racism isn’t innate, it’s learned. It needs to be socially unacceptable.
Also, if you have any information about the graffiti, please call police non-emergency at 902-490-5020 to report it. HRP would very much like to speak to the person who is spreading hatred and threatening our fellow citizens.