The n-word still holds huge power (Canada)

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History isn’t pretty, says RCMP Cpl. Craig Smith — especially black history in Nova Scotia.

And that history includes the n-word, which Cpl. Smith, a Halifax Mountie, used in his new book, You Had Better Be White by Six A.M.: The African-Canadian Experience in the RCMP. He used the word in describing a scene in a segregated New Glasgow in 1946.

But he says that word has made the Education Department hesitant about using the book in the classroom, where he thought the book would be best served.

"If it doesn’t get in the hands of kids, then I’ve missed the mark," Cpl. Smith said. "That’s where my aim was."

"It’s the kids that are the losers in this case Black History Month would have been a great time to get it in their hands."

Cpl. Smith is one of only 225 black RCMP officers in a force of 17,000 and has participated in Black History Month since 1984.

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