Take a knee to make a stand: Advocates say symbolic action must translate to real action
HALIFAX -- Thousands stood in solidarity Monday night, as the Take a Knee to Make a Stand rally took over a downtown Halifax street.
Organizer Kate MacDonald says she is pleased with the turnout and hopes people will continue to show their support.
“I'm encouraging folks to call their city councillors and representatives and ask them to revisit the recommendations from the Worley report. Whether that means re-examining those recommendations, whether that means looking at implementing those recommendations, I think there are a couple options.”
Sylvia Parris-Drummond is the CEO of the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute. She says people who want to be an ally need to understand that they may never fully understand.
“So, a recognition about the trauma that I’m personally feeling, that your community is feeling, is really important,” says Parris-Drummond.
“An acknowledgement of when people talk about systemic racism, that it exists, and not try to do things like minimize by telling comparative stories, or wondering about where we are, and that we've made some progress, and isn't that enough. That type of thing, particularly in this immediate time, it's not helpful.”
MacDonald encourages people to reach out and learn the history of the black community. She adds it is also important to be mindful.
“It's emotional labour, like reliving any past traumas, reliving any vicarious traumas, maybe there's PTSD involved with something your discussing,” says MacDonald.
“We're seeing the government and systems shift and change to adapt to this pandemic. So all of these things that weren't malleable, actually are very malleable to change under extenuating circumstances. But I would beg to differ that police brutality and anti-black racism is a pandemic of sorts as well.”