Halifax man shares video of anti-Black racist encounter
A man in Halifax is sharing video footage of a racist encounter he experienced while having coffee with a colleague in the city's west end.
On Tuesday, resident Tari Ajadi took to Twitter to explain the incident in which a man approached him and his female friend at the Local Jo Cafe to say, "A white girl like you shouldn't be dating Negroes."
So I was just racially abused in the West End of Halifax. Video below. 1) pic.twitter.com/4ojQQHXgon— Tari Ajadi (@tariajadi) September 8, 2020
While the comment was not caught on camera, Ajadi approached the man afterwards and asked him to repeat himself. This time, the man told him that "there are plenty of brown women in the world to date, go find one of them."
I asked him to repeat himself, and he said “there are plenty of brown women in the world to date - go find one of them.” 3)— Tari Ajadi (@tariajadi) September 8, 2020
In follow-up tweets, Ajadi, a student at Dalhousie University, went on to explain that he and his friend were not dating and were each married.
How this man presumed that we were dating is beyond me. Both @jn_arsenault are happily married (not to each other, obviously!) and there was no fathomable way this man could jump to that conclusion apart from his sick internal world. 4)— Tari Ajadi (@tariajadi) September 8, 2020
He also added that he chose to video tape the man instead of calling the police for fear of his safety, saying that this is the reality for many Black people in Halifax.
My recourse is to write this, not for retribution, but for clarity. Because documenting it seems like the only thing I can do. Because this town is not and has never been safe for Black folks, and the cops certainly won’t help. 8)— Tari Ajadi (@tariajadi) September 8, 2020
"It’s about a city that exists to marginalize Black people. It’s about the massive economic and health inequities that currently exist. It’s about the epidemic of police brutality that exists. That’s the problem," Ajadi told Global News.
"I know that if I retaliate, if I respond, it's actually my life that's at risk. I'm not going to call the police — I can't… If I did call the cops… they might blame it on me, or worse."
While many tweeted their support for Ajadi, others criticized him for posting the video at all.
The mindless ramblings of a guy who's wearing a sweaty, food covered shirt & $3 pants is hardly worth being offended by. That moron probably walked off & started arguing with a squirrel. This "gotcha" cell-phone footage is painfully unworthy of circulation. Handle it like a man.— Tim Burr (@TimBurrFalls) September 8, 2020
"His comments are 100% not okay, but instead of publicly shaming him, I wish he’d be given a chance to be educated and grow," someone else wrote.
Ajadi said that this is not the first racist encounter he's had to deal with and that he will not stop speaking out about it.
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