reflections On 2020-21
The Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association recognizes that 2020-21 has been a year like no other. George Floyd's tragic murder at the hands of a former Minneapolis police officer woke the world to the brutal injustices that Black communities have always known. The ever-present racial trauma has been challenging, especially for Black families, Black men and women, children and teens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a very real and present rupture in society, amplifying and magnifying inequities and redefining what it means to be vulnerable. The violent and insidious legacies of colonialism, racism and anti-Black racism have been on full display on mainstream television and social media.
On June 6, 2021, a man struck five members of the Afzaal family with his car in London, Ontario. Four members of the family were killed while the youngest was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The attacker has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and terrorism – a first of its kind charge in Canada.
Anti-Muslim hate, anti-Asian racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of prejudice and hate are here in our society. Indigenous children have been stolen and murdered here. We mourn the 215 children found and the countless other Indigenous children buried. The uncovering is a reminder of the murder and genocide of indigenous lives and to never forget the legacies of settler-colonial violence, anti-Indigenous racism, legislated assimilation and the ongoing impact of historical and intergeneration trauma on the lives of this land's aboriginal people.
Although many parents are worried about what their kids can handle, we cannot shelter them entirely from what is happening around us. We encourage you to have ongoing dialogue within your families.
NACCA believes that the human rights and dignity of every person is valid. Communities that have had their humanity and dignity legislatively denied are at the forefront of consistent and longstanding battles for freedom and justice. We must move individually, and collectively, to disrupt and dismantle the systems that perpetuate racism and oppression. NACCA is committed to this work and continues to actively engage in the listening, learning and collaboration necessary to build a better way forward.
The violence and attacks we are seeing may emit strong emotions. For families, and community members with lived experience of anti-Black racism, these events, along with the long history before, and day to day ongoing experiences are creating an increased sense of vulnerability, anger, pain, and sadness. Trauma is always at the door.
The NACCA community reflects a caring family and we must remember to reach out and support each other; we must acknowledge that what is happening is not okay; and we must remain committed to speaking out against racism and anti-Black racism in all its forms.
For those in the community experiencing ongoing trauma as a result of anti-Black racism we encourage you to reach out to us and let us know how we can best support you. You can contact us here.
You can volunteer with NACCA and become active in supporting our community here.
Here are some easily accessed support resources for your families to explore:
Many more resources for your own awareness, education and support for well-being are located on our website here.
To continue to disrupt anti-Black racism and reflect on your knowledge and understanding of issues related to oppression and anti-Black racism, read books and/or research a particular topic to learn more. Reflect on your personal behaviour and practice and identify opportunities for learning and change - don’t forgot to think about your social media behaviour. Reach out to friends who might be impacted and let them know you care. Contact your trustee, Town Councillor, Member of Provincial Parliament or Member of Parliament to let them know about your concerns. Talk about race, disrupt racism and actively work to dismantle anti-Black racism.
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