LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Black Caucus visit to Truro leads to a stark realization

To those of us born into privilege

Published on April 28, 2017

Racism

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To the editor: It may surprise members of my family and community to learn that I was born into privilege.

Even the most superficial inspection of my family circumstances would lead most to conclude that we were quite poor.
Indeed we had little money but we were blessed with strong family bonds that have proven far more lasting than earned wages. That was just the thin edge of the privilege I enjoyed. Pure circumstance provided the rest.
I was born a white male in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada, and in a world that has forever been owned and ruled by white men. From this circumstance has come my greatest privilege. It is unearned privilege and comes only through the denial of equality to all others.
It remains a great source of anguish that I was in my mid-forties before I recognized the degree of racial discrimination that existed all around me while I lived and worked in Truro and area. Returning after retirement, I soon witnessed continuing racist commentary. In nearly 40 years absence, nothing had changed.
Long before my birth, Truro had a significant black community. Only once did I find myself working beside even one member of this group. And yet, I didn’t question it. It just didn’t enter my mind. Even considering my youth at the time, this seems preposterous. Privilege has built-in blinders.
On Tuesday, April 25, MP Bill Casey sponsored a discussion on racial issues in Truro. The consensus seemed to lean toward a need for greater education and communication throughout the community. There was a frequent complaint that concerns put forth by the black community were consistently ignored. Issues from decades ago remain unresolved.
There are surely many good white people living in the Truro area. Despite this I may have been the only white male in attendance who was not a presenter or otherwise directly connected to a black attendee.
Good people doing nothing is a recipe for the continuation of the evil of racism. We can do better.

Orland Kennedy,
Brookfield