all sacred_all scared


Ottawa: On an evening in March 1999, Ahmed Ali Hashi, a 41-year-old Somali refugee, was beaten to death by a White man and woman. Both perpetrators were tried for manslaughter in late 2000 and early 2001, but both were acquitted. [1]

Kitchener: A disabled 33-year-old Kitchener man, an immigrant from Sudan, was viciously beaten by a group of men on July 15, 2006. Francis Pitia was knocked to the ground and was beaten with his own crutches. Four men were charged in the case, one pled guilty to assault. Six years earlier, a young Black Man, Howard Joel Munroe, was beaten to death in the same vicinity by a group of white youth shouting anti-Black racial slurs. [2]

Darfur, Sudan: Since 2003, more than 100,000 Black Sudanese have been killed, and one million displaced, due to state sanctioned attacks by militias who identify themselves as Arabs. The militia groups are composed of Arabs who are equally as dark as the Black Sudanese. [3]

So what can I tell her?

When she asked, “What do they have against us?”

How to summarize, find words to express something so cruel and complex

When it’s easier to say it’s just pure craziness

Something so generally true, it’s mostly lies

How do I explain the hurt in my Father’s eyes

When he explained the various ways in which he was insulted, downgraded

Tense from always having to stand on guard to fight back bravely?

Do I tell her about all the times I was pulled over

So often I learned to half-live life looking over my shoulder

Asked for ID, no reason given?

Called so many names, not numbed but half-forgotten?

Or tell her about my Grandfather’s stand, in Trinidad

That he refused to celebrate the queen’s birthday and wave the union jack

And I know there are some here in Canada that want to bring that flag back

Or at least keep making us swear allegiance to the figurehead for that

Some show or hide their fear and want to pull us down and back

To when they banned immigration of those with skin brown and black

But for my daughter to live free from fear, I will fight back

And for our right to be here: I will protect and celebrate that

Cuz she and her friends have all kinds of influences

They all just want to fit in, and still enjoy their differences

That complement them like their likes on instagram unites them

So I want to tell her to beware:

all life is sacred


efil is all scared

[1] From Responding to Anti-Black Hate Crime: A Tool Kit, (African Canadian Legal Clinic, 2009), p. 14.

[2] ibid.

[3] ibid. p. 19.


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