- Lindell Smith is a community assistant focusing on teen programming at the Halifax North Memorial Library, and city council candidate for Halifax Peninsula North. This piece is adapted from a Facebook post Smith published on Thursday. Read a complementary piece by The Nook owner Kathleen Healy here.
I have been silent during these last couple of days because my heart and community are truly hurting from the tragic events that have taken place. I haven't had the time to reflect because of my busy schedule. I have spent some time talking to the young boys and men in my community, making sure that they have the chance to speak and truly express how they feel.
I look at a CBC article and I read this: “owner of The Nook, a coffee shop, says her staff came to work on Wednesday comforted, at least, by the fact the shooting wasn't a random act.
“‘My main concern was making sure that all my staff was fine last night getting home,’ she said. ‘Honestly, business goes on. Life as usual. Unfortunately, it's a realism of the world we live in now.’”
Tragic loss of life is never “business as usual.” Those suffering from this tragic loss are not comforted by the fact that this act was not random.
As a community leader and prospective city councillor, there are things that I feel are important and need addressing: Our education system for our young black learners and school reviews for our schools in our area; Lack of activities for youth in the community, and a lack of young people feeling they are part of the community’s growth; Our Transit system, the need for better housing, better spending, et cetera.
NONE of these issues come before the loss of young lives, and the impact this has on communities from the day it happens, and many years after. When I hear that young men’s—especially young black men’s—lives have been shortened it really hits home. These victims have left children and families—some of these children I work with everyday—and the community mourns way after media stops reporting. It is very hard to understand that when this happens it’s not just “Young man killed.” When it happens to us it’s “Tyler Richards, father, community leader, all-Canadian basketball player, murdered, leaving many communities hurt and feeling hopeless.”
These incidents really hit home for me, and with the loss of so many of our young people and the unsure future of many coming up before us, my heart really hurts and I pray that we can avoid as much loss as possible.
We need to educate and support our young people coming up so they are not the next victims or offenders.
I love my people and my community and pray for the families that are, and have been mourning.