RALLY HELD IN SUP­PORT OF MAN SHOT WITH NAIL GUN

Rally held in sup­port of Pic­tou County man shot with nail gun

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ADAM MACINNIS

“We have an obli­ga­tion and we have an op­por­tu­nity to end racism in our prov­ince. This is not a fight that is for peo­ple of colour alone. This is a fight for all of us.”

Stacey Dlamini

Stacey Dlamini won­ders what would have hap­pened if one of her son’s co-work­ers had stood up for him.

On Sept. 19, her son Nh­lanhla Dlamini, 21, was shot with a nail gun. Prior to the in­ci­dent, Stacey al­leges Nh­lanhla had been bul­lied for about three weeks, since he started work­ing with the com­pany.

She be­lieves if some­one had said some­thing to re­buke the of­fend­ing co-worker or en­cour­aged Nh­lanhla not to suf­fer through it, the whole sit­u­a­tion could have been avoided.

“I feel like we wouldn’t be here to­day if that had been the case,” she said be­fore a crowd of about 50 peo­ple who gath­ered out­side the Pic­tou Jus­tice Build­ing on Oct. 19.

Po­lice have charged Shawn Wade Hynes, 43, of Tren­ton, with one count of crim­i­nal neg­li­gence caus­ing bod­ily harm in re­la­tion to the in­ci­dent. While po­lice have not charged Hynes with a hate crime, Stacey be­lieves – based on what her son has told her of the way he was treated – it was racially mo­ti­vated. Her son is black.

Racism still a prob­lem

Crys­tal States of New Glas­gow spoke at the event.

“We wel­come all who have joined us to­day to stand in sol­i­dar­ity de­mand­ing jus­tice for a heinous crime and that all work­places be free of bul­ly­ing, racial bul­ly­ing, ha­rass­ment and dis­crim­i­na­tion,” she said.

She and other speak­ers at the event be­lieve the in­ci­dent is ev­i­dence that racism is still a prob­lem.

“The legacy of sys­temic racism con­tin­ues to neg­a­tively im­pact the lives of black Nova Sco­tians,” San­dra An­der­sen, who helped or­ga­nize the event, read from a pre­pared state­ment by the African United Bap­tist As­so­ci­a­tion. “These evil at­ti­tudes and ac­tions im­pact the emo­tional, phys­i­cal and eco­nomic well­be­ing of in­di­vid­u­als tar­geted by such ac­tions as well as im­pact the en­tire black com­mu­nity.”

Grate­ful for sup­port

Stacey said she was grate­ful to see the sup­port from so many in Pic­tou County while her son and hus­band spoke at an event in Hal­i­fax.

The Dlami­nis moved to Pic­tou County, where Stacey grew up, from South Africa about five years ago.

“We know racism ex­ists in every so­ci­ety; we fig­ured we may ex­pe­ri­ence sub­tle racism.”

But she doesn’t be­lieve the in­ci­dent in­volv­ing her son was an ac­ci­dent or some­thing ran­dom.

“This was a re­sult of a pat­tern of treat­ment that our son en­dured,” she al­leges.

She en­cour­aged peo­ple who are suf­fer­ing sim­i­lar treat­ment to speak out.

“Peo­ple of colour in this prov­ince can’t just keep putting their head down and go­ing to work and hope it gets bet­ter. We all have to make sure it gets bet­ter.”

Peo­ple, like her­self, who are white, also have a re­spon­si­bil­ity, she said.

“We have an obli­ga­tion and we have an op­por­tu­nity to end racism in our prov­ince. This is not a fight that is for peo­ple of colour alone. This is a fight for all of us.”

She be­lieves that talk needs to lead to ac­tion.

“That ac­tion has to be that we our­selves do not per­pet­u­ate dis­crim­i­na­tion of any kind. That we don’t put it out there and we don’t tol­er­ate it.”

ADAM MACINNIS/THE NEWS

Stacey Dlamini speaks to peo­ple gath­ered out­side the court house in Pic­tou for a rally in sup­port of her son who was shot by a nail gun.

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